Since Propecia became available in January of 1998, the entire concept of medically treating hair loss changed. Prior to Propecia’s release, there was only 2% Rogaineª. Rogaine, also known as Minoxidil, had only limited effectiveness, mostly to slow future hair loss. Today there are several new and exciting products either currently available or on the horizon.
Propecia (or Finasteride)
Propecia is manufactured by Merck & Co. This is by far the most effective treatment. Studies have shown up to 66% of men demonstrating some regrowth after 12 to 18 months. This product requires taking a 1mg. pill daily. It works by blocking the formation of DHT (the male hormone) from binding with the hair follicle and appears to interrupt the development of male pattern hair loss in men. The drug is also used for prostate enlargement under the brand name Proscar, and thus is not recommended for women.
Propecia was developed to treat baldness in the top back and mid-scalp. There is no current evidence that Propecia works on the hairline or recession in the temporal areas. Propecia is available in 90 pill Pro-Packs and cost between $125.00 to $175.00 and must be taken daily for the rest of your life or until more effective methods become available.
Effectiveness and Limitations
- If used continuously, results may be noticed as early as 3 months. If the drug is discontinued, reversal of the results may take effect within 12 months.
- Propecia is not prescribed to women, especially those who are pregnant or breast-feeding, as it may have negative effects on a male fetus.
- The drug may not work on the hairline or recession in the temporal areas.
Precautions and Side Effects
- Before taking propecia, inform your physician if you have any medical history of liver disease, prostate cancer, infections, and urinary problems.
- Adverse effects may include decreased libido. Some men may also experience erectile dysfunction and a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex.
For additional information on Propecia visit: http://www.merck.com/
Manufactured by Pharmacia & Upjohn, this product claims 45% more hair regrowth than Regular Strength Rogaine (2% Rogaine). Although this may be true, Rogaine 2% grew very little or no hair on most people. Rogaine 2% appears to be more effective with women and is usually the first course of treatment in female pattern hair loss. (Currently 5% Rogaine is not recommended for women.)
Initial indications are that 5% Rogaine may be more effective when combined with Propecia. The medication is applied twice a day. Ideally, Rogaine should be allowed to remain in contact with the scalp for at least 4 hours before wetting hair. If Rogaine works for the individual, regrowth should be seen within 4-6 months.
5% Rogaine costs between $25.00 to $30.00 and must be used twice daily. If hair growth is accomplished you must maintain Rogaine application or the new growth will be lost.
Precautions and Side Effects
- The body usually tolerates Rogaine well, but side effects may include eye irritation, itching, redness and/or irritation of the area, and unwanted hair growth in other parts of the body.
Manufactured by ProCyte Corporation. The development of the Tricomin line of hair care products evolved from years of scientific research involving copper and its relationship to skin health. Tricomin is formulated to efficiently deliver vital micronutrients to the hair follicle environment. It makes use of a “copper peptide technology” which inhibits the production of DHT and shortens the resting phase of hair, activating more follicles at any given time. While Tricomin’s cosmetic benefits will be realized in the short term, the added benefits of younger, fuller, and healthier hair may require longer use. Tricomin can be used effectively with other hair treatments including Rogaine and Propecia and is excellent for both men and women.
The Tricomin product line includes:
- Revitalizing Shampoo
- Restructuring Conditioner
- Conditioning Shampoo
- Solution Follicle Therapy Spray — centerpiece of the product line.
GraftCyte Post Surgical Treatment
For the past year Dr. Prasad has used GraftCyte Moist Dressing, Mist and Shampoo as part of his post-surgical care regimen. The unique copper peptide technology has shown significantly enhanced healing and growth for the transplant patient. Graftcyte combines moisture and copper, known for its cell repair and anti-aging properties, to hydrate, heal, protect and nourish scalp tissue. Dr. Prasad has reported the improved healing and post-surgical cosmetic appearance of patients at the recent ISHRS.