Men with limited hair loss can sometimes hide hair loss with the right haircut or hairstyle. Ask your hairstylist for a creative cut that will make thinning hair look fuller.
Wigs or hairpieces
Wigs can cover thinning hair, receding hairlines, and complete baldness. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures. For a natural look, choose wig colors, styles, and textures that look similar to your original hair. Professional wig stylists can help style and fit wigs for an even more natural look.
Hair weaves are wigs that are sewn into your natural hair. You must have enough hair to sew the weave into. The advantage to weaves is they always stay on, even during activities such as swimming, showering, and sleeping. The disadvantages are they must be sewn again whenever new hair growth occurs, and the sewing process can damage your natural hair.
Minoxidil (Regenepure) is a topical over the counter medication sprayed to the scalp. Minoxidil slows hair loss for some men and stimulates the hair follicles to grow new hair. Minoxidil takes four months to one year to produce visible results. Hair loss often happens again 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
- labored respiration
Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) is an oral medication that slows hair loss in some men. It works by blocking the production of the male hormone responsible for hair loss. Finasteride has a higher success rate than minoxidil. When you stop taking finasteride, your hair loss returns.
You must take finasteride for three months to one year before you see results. If no hair growth occurs after one year, your doctor will likely recommend that you stop taking the medication. The side effects of finasteride include:
- breast tenderness
- breast growth
- swelling of the face or lips
- painful ejaculation
- pain in testicles
- difficulty getting an erection
Although it’s rare, finasteride can cause breast cancer. You should have any breast pain or lumps evaluated by a doctor immediately.
Finasteride may affect prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests used to screen for prostate cancer. The medication lowers PSA levels, which causes lower-than-normal readings. Any rise in PSA levels when taking finasteride should be evaluated for prostate cancer.
A hair transplant is the most invasive and expensive treatment for hair loss. Hair transplants work by removing hair from areas of the scalp that have active hair growth and transplanting them to thinning or balding areas of your scalp.
Multiple treatments are often necessary, and the procedure carries the risk of scarring and infection. The advantages of a hair transplant are that it looks more natural and it’s permanent.