Drugs & Topical Treatments

Taking drugs or using topical hair loss treatments for hair replacement leave many people asking, “good way to go, or all just for show?

Here are hundreds, maybe even thousands of different types of hair replacement pills/drugs and topical treatments available on the market today. Some are backed by FDA approval and clinical tests, while others are just plain old snake oil.

But do you know the difference?

Let’s start by talking about those two big name brands that dominate the hair loss
treatment category; Rogaine® and Propecia®.

Rogaine® (Minoxidil)

Rogaine is a topical treatment, which means it’s sold in a cream form and needs to be physically applied or spread over the scalp and balding areas. Depending on the strength of the dosage, it would then need to be kept on the scalp for up to 4 hours at a time.

There are at least two different ways to buy Rogaine. Through your doctor, using a prescription it is sold in “true form" and is much more potent. However, it is also sold over the counter in “5% form" which of course means it may take longer to see any results.

Rogaine® was not always a hair replacement drug. Originally developed to treat high blood pressure, it was shown to have a number of side effects during testing. One side effect was “hypertrichosis" or the growth of hair on the face and areas of the body.

Propecia® (Finasteride)

Very different from Rogaine®, Propecia® is an oral and not topical treatment. This means it is sold in pill form and only needs to be ingested once a day. The sheer convenience of taking Propecia has propelled it to the top of the sales heap compared with other popular hair replacement pills/drugs.

But in addition to being an easy solution, it has also been shown to deliver positive results in up to 80% of men who were prescribed the drug by their doctor. Another important fact about Propecia is that it is only meant for men. Women should avoid any use or even physical contact, especially women who are pregnant, as it has the ability to cause birth defects in male babies.

Propecia works by reducing the conversion of testosterone into DHT, a natural bodily chemical known to cause male
pattern baldness.

The biggest drawback to using hair replacement drugs?

Although both Rogaine® and Propecia® have been shown to occasionally slow the rate of hair loss and even encourage the growth of new hair, both are dose-dependent. This means that as soon as you stop taking them, any progress made will halt and eventually begin to reverse.

Over time, this might prove to be an expensive and time-consuming alternative
for many hair loss sufferers because neither drug is covered by most health
insurance plans.