Hair growth products for men has been a popular subject for decades. Most men after 30s start losing hair. Even though hair loss is very normal, talking about it and seeking help and medication for hair growth is not as common amongst men. Even though a lot of companies are advertising their products as the best hair loss treatments for men, we strongly advise against purchasing hair growth products through illegitimate commercial websites.
Most of these companies/websites are promising hair growth without having any scientific research or clinical trials to back up their promises. As of now, there are only two FDA-approved products that can really help you with your hair growth.
What is male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness (MPB) is hair loss that primarily affects the top and front of the scalp. Hair loss is usually seen as a receding hairline or loss of hair on the crown of the scalp. The most common MPB starts above the temples and vertex of the scalp. When the MPB progresses, a rim of hair at the sides and rear of hair remains. Although a natural part of aging is hair loss, for many men, it can be psychologically distressing.
Contrary to what you may hear, male pattern boldness doest not have anything to do with wearing hats or masturbating too much. It is mostly related to your genetics.
Is male pattern baldness related to androgenic alopecia?
Yes, it is. In fact, MPB is the same condition as androgenic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is the scientific name for MPB.
Androgenic alopecia is the condition that can affect both men and women. When it happens to women, it is called female pattern hair loss or female pattern boldness.
Male pattern boldness types
There are few types of boldness, including receding hairline, thinning crown, and diffuse thinning. Here is the picture from American hair loss associations showing different stages in hair loss.
Male pattern boldness causes
There are several causes for male pattern baldness, but the most common ones include genetics, male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and age.
Hair strands sit in small holes in the skin called a follicle. Boldness occurs when the follicle starts to shrink over time, which causes the hair to become shorter and finer. Even though the follicle stays alive eventually, it does not grow new hair. Since the follicle is not dead, it suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair. Basically, some of the follicles are genetically sensitive to DHT, and they began to miniaturize and stop producing cosmetically acceptable hair.
Other causes of MPB include nutritional deficiencies, infections, and some psychological conditions.
Best Hair Loss treatments
As of today, there is no cure for hair loss, but there are actions you can take to help you reduce hair loss and also medications you can use to prevent further hair loss. Let’s talk about the best hair loss treatments for men.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental key in keeping your hair. For example, regular exercise can increase blood flow to the scalp, or taking vitamins such as gummy bears from Hims can strengthen your hair. You should also avoid shampooing too often. In order to get thicker hair, you can try R+Co shampoo. Don’t get me wrong; you can still rinse and condition your hair daily just don’t shampoo your hair too much.
There are several other actions you can take like: avoid smoking, drink less alcoholic beverages, enrich your diet with protein, and de-stress.
As far as medications, there are three hair loss prevention options that you could consider. Their mechanism of action for all three is kind of similar. They are trying to stimulate regrowth on follicles that are weakened but are still alive.
These treatments include Finasteride, Minoxidil, and Platelet Rich Plasma.
What are Finasteride and Minoxidil?
Minoxidil and Finasteride are the two types of medication that can help with Male pattern baldness. One of them is Androgen-dependent and the other one is Androgen-independent.
Androgen is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone that regulates the development and maintenance of male characteristics in humans.
Finasteride is a hair growth product that is androgen- dependent. It prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT in various tissues, including the scalp. With Finasteride, you should be very patient as it may take up to 6 months for any results. You should be committed to taking this medication daily because as soon as you stop, the effectiveness is gone.
Some of the adverse effects of Finasteride include skin rash, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in rare cases, it can cause sexual dysfunction. Usually, when you stop taking Finasteride, the side effects will disappear.
Finasteride is a prescribed medication, so you need a doctor’s visit to get this drug. The easiest way is to go online and order it from Keeps, Hims, or Roman. All these three companies are telemedicine, meaning that from your doctor’s visit to prescription, everything is going to be online. You will also receive your medication based on the subscription plan you choose (the most common one is every three months). Here is the complete comparison between these three companies.
Minoxidil is a non-hormonal medication and works by dilating small blood vessels. Scientists have not yet discovered how Minoxidil helps with hair growth.
Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) is a topical treatment. It is an over the counter (OTC) product and comes in solution or foam. Since Minoxidil does not require a prescription, you can get it from your local pharmacy, Amazon (offers Rogaine) or from Keeps, Hims or Roman.
Minoxidil was initially tested to treat blood pressure, but some of the patients noticed hair growth in the unwanted areas as a side effect.
For Minoxidil to be effective, you need to apply it consistently for 3 to 6 months. One caveat with using Minxisild is that you need to apply it twice daily, and if you stop, your hair loss will start again. So consistency is the key, most men apply it once in the morning and once in the evening when they brush their teeth.
Some of the adverse effects of Minoxidil include hives, swelling, itchy, or irritated skin. Some of the not very common side effects include blurred vision, chest pain, headache, and an increase in heartbeat.
If you noticed any of the side effects, you should contact your doctor or stop taking Minixodil, and the adverse effects will disappear quickly.
What is Platelet Rich Plasama?
This is the most expensive treatment compared to Minoxidil or Finasteride (which probably can cost you less than $40 a month).
So in this treatment, the doctor draws your blood, uses a centrifuge to separate your blood cells from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Then the doctor will inject the PRP into your scalp. Platelets contain growth factors that stimulate the follicles to grow new hair.
To get the best results, you should do this once a month for the first four months and then quarterly or biannually afterward. A single treatment can cost you a minimum of $1500 or more.
How to stop receding hairline?
Receding hairline is very common among men; in fact, two-thirds of all American men showing visible signs of hair loss by the age of 35.
There are several ways you can deal with a receding hairline. For example, you can style your hair differently, but this is not a permanent solution to your hair loss. Other actions can help you permanently deal with these issues. You can take medications that lower your DHT level or talk with a hair loss doctor. Here are the best hair loss treatments for men with a receding hairline.
How to Lower DHT level?
If you noticed that your hairline is starting to recede, the best practice is to lower the DHT level. DHT is a chemical that causes hair loss; It binds to receptors in the scalp causing hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing. By lowering the amount of DHT in your body, hair can regrowth. This can be achieved by taking either Finasteride or applying DHT blocking shampoo to your scalp.
The only FDA-approved product to help with a receding hairline is Finasteride. It prevents the 5α-reductase enzyme from converting testosterone into DHT. Taking one-milligram tablet daily has helped with less hair loss in 86% of men.
If you are only interested in Finasteride, you can try Roman. They have the most affordable price for Finasteride ($20/month)
Take DHT blocking shampoo
DHT blocking shampoos are the easiest way to lower the amount of DHT at your scalp. They are less proven than Finasteride to be effective, but they may work be preventing DHT from binding to receptors in the scalp. Hims has a DHT blocking shampoo that you can try.
Minoxidil is also another medication that can help with a receding hairline. Interestingly, Minoxidil is known to treat boldness at the scalp, but this is not true. The only reason most people think that way is because the trial studies to get FDA-approval for Minoxidil was done on the scalp.
Minoxidil dilates blood vessels wherever you apply it. So if you use it at your hairline, it will increase the blood flow and eventually help boost the growth of hair. 5% Minoxidil is the FDA-approved version for hair loss treatment. It comes in both solution and foam. If you are interested in using foam, Keeps is your best bet. They are solely focused on hair loss treatment for men an offer the best price for Minoxidil. You can also choose between foam or solution format.
Talk to a hair loss doctor
Not comfortable to visit a hair loss doctor in person? No worries! Keeps, Hims, and Roman, have made your life easy. You can do a consultation with their licensed physicians over the internet. Depending on the company you pick, the consultation is either free or very affordable (the price is way lower than actual doctor visit).
All you have to do is to fill out the questionnaire (it is mostly about your health, lifestyle, and current medications), upload a couple of pictures from your hairline and scalp, and their doctor will follow up with you shortly.
Based on your symptoms, the doctor may prescribe Finasteride, Minoxidil, or the combination of both. Since all these three companies are subscription-based, you would receive your medications at the comfort of your home every couple of months.
They also will follow up with you to make sure everything is as planned, and you are not experiencing any side effects.
Best shampoo for thinning hair in men
There are several shampoos for hair growth and thickness. The most common ones are DHT blocking shampoos. DHT is the hormone that can shrink hair follicles and can contribute to MPB. Hims DHT blocking shampoo includes palmetto, which can help reduce the amount of DHT on your scalp. With less DHT on the scalp, your hair could become thicker and healthier. Hims offers this product individually or in a bundle with Minoxidil and Finasteride.
To get the best results with DHT blocking shampoo, you need to use it regularly as you wash your head and leave it at least for one minute every time you apply it. This shampoo is also great for men who want to prevent hair loss in their scalp or hairline.
Keeps also offers Ketoconazole shampoo, which is a prescribed medication to help you with dandruff, itching, and flaking. When using this shampoo, it is best to let it sit on your scalp for at least five minutes before rinsing with water. You should be able to see results within a couple of weeks.
Ketoconazole shampoo may have some side effects. If you observe the pain, numbness, or allergic reaction, you need to talk with your doctor. There are some adverse effects that you don’t need to get medical attention, such as dry skin or skin irritation.
Summary of the Best hair loss treatments for men
- Finasteride (purchase it from Hims, Keeps or Roman)
- Minoxidil (purchase it from Hims, Keeps, Roman or Amazon)
- DHT Blocking Shampoo (get it from Hims)
- Ketoconazole shampoo (get it from Keeps)