Male pattern hair loss

Treatment Options for Men

A number of treatments are available for male pattern hair loss.
We have listed the ones that are backed by science, clinical trials and research.


Minoxidil is FDA approved to treat pattern male and female pattern hair loss in men and women, . i.e. androgenetic alopecia or AGA. It appears to convert vellus hairs, which are sho rt, fine body hair to terminal hairs – fully developed “regular” hairs; it also appears to normalize the hair follicle, and to increase the “growth phase” of hair follicles. It is mostly applied topically on the scalp in foam, liquid or cream form. Minoxidil takes four months to one year to produce visible results. Hair loss often reoccurs when you stop taking the medication.

Possible side effects associated with minoxidil include dryness, irritation, burning, and scaling of the scalp. You should visit the doctor immediately if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • weight gain
  • swelling of the face, hands, ankles, or abdomen
  • trouble breathing when lying down
  • rapid heartbeat
  • chest pain

Finasteride is an oral medication that is FDA approved only for men. It works by slowing hair loss in 83% of men by reducing the plasma levels of DHT to approximately 64%. However, stopping the medication usually means a return of hair loss symptoms. Additionally, the medication must be taken for at least three months and up to one year before results are witnessed. The side effects include:

  • depression
  • impotence, trouble getting an erection
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • trouble having an orgasm,
  • abnormal/painful ejaculation,
  • pain in testicles
  • swelling in your hands or feet,
  • swelling or tenderness in your breasts,
  • dizziness,
  • weakness,

Duasteride:Dutasteride is a prescription oral medication. It is also a DHT Blocker similar to Finasteride, and it also induces similar sexual side effects in women. It is not FDA approved. However it has been approved for treatment of pattern hair loss in several other countries, and can be prescribed off-label in the United States.

Spironolactone:A prescription medication, which can be used to treat female pattern hair loss. Spironolactone may be taken as an oral pill, or applied topically. It works to combat hair loss by inhibiting production of androgen hormones including DHT. Spironolactone is not FDA approved for treatment of hair loss but can be prescribed off-label. It should not be used by men.

Hair Transplant Surgery:A surgical procedure that involves moving healthy hair follicles from the back of the head to areas which are thinning or balding. This is a popular treatment option for men, as many of them experience hair thinning and balding at much younger ages. If carried out properly, this surgery may produce dramatic results. However, this procedure is usually carried out 2-3 times and is extremely expensive for most people. It may also cause discomfort, inflammation, and an increased risk of infection for those undergoing the surgery.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP):A newer procedure for treatment of hair loss, performed in the doctor's office. PRP involves taking a small sample of blood, processing it to isolated certain cells (platelets), and re-injecting this solution into the patient's scalp. PRP is minimally invasive, generally painless, takes under an hour to complete, and can be effective in both men and women. Although research on PRP is still ongoing it is thought to promote hair re-growth via release of growth factors from the platelet cells. Other treatments such as injection of stem cells, or stromal vascular fraction may promote hair growth via a similar mechanism.

Low-Level-Laser Therapy (LLLT):Also known as Low-Level-Light Therapy, Photobiomodulation Therapy, cold laser therapy, or laser hair therapy. LLLT is an effective, safe, and versatile treatment for pattern hair loss in both men and women. Uniquely, LLLT does not involve drugs or surgery, is not associated with any serious adverse side effects, and can be used in combination with all other hair-loss treatments. More than 12 clinical trials and 300 research papers have been conducted on LLLT’s benefits, and there are more than 25 brands selling LLLT devices for hair growth. This makes LLLT the most studied and well-proven hair loss treatment in the world. Many medical hair loss professionals use laser hair therapy as an indispensable component of their treatment plan.