In hair loss, it’s important to follow science. Claims can be impressive; claims can be glossy; claims can have a famous face saying them; but are these claims backed by science?
On your hair loss journey, you may ultimately decide to try more extreme treatments like a hair transplant, but before that, it’s always worth considering what other treatments are available and how they might work for you.
In this article, I’ll help you understand 4 of the main the hair loss and hair growth treatments and the science behind them.
Introducing biotin, DHT blocking shampoo, Minoxidil and Finasteride.
How To Safely Buy Hair Loss Treatments
All of the treatments mentioned (biotin, DHT blocking shampoo, Minoxidil and Finasteride) are available from Sons – a digital destination for men. Sons allows us to safely – and confidentially – seek advice and treatment prescriptions for hair loss.
As a registered pharmacy, Sons‘ products are licensed for sale in the UK and they’re accredited by the Medicines & Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Take A Consultation
The easiest way to find the best hair loss treatment for you is to take a consultation on the Sons website.
What is biotin?
Biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H) is a water-soluble vitamin that may help promote healthy and stronger hair.
Does biotin stop hair loss?
In randomised clinical trials (RCTs), it was found that biotin had a positive effect on patients who had an underlying pathology (genetics) for poor hair or nail growth.
So, if you’re a guy that is starting to explore hair loss (particularly for hair health) treatments, this could be a simple – and effective – first step for you.
DHT Blocking Shampoo
What is DHT blocking shampoo?
DHT blocking shampoos work by reducing the amount of DHT on your scalp, helping your hair appear thicker and healthier.
Put simply, they can prevent DHT binding to your follicles.
Does DHT blocking shampoo stop har loss?
There are numerous brands of DHT blocking shampoos that all use different ingredients. Depending on the brand you use, you’ll likely see different results.
The DHT blocking shampoo by Sons is formulated with saw palmetto (type of palm native to the southeastern United States) that can help reduce the amount of DHT on your scalp.
In one study by PubMed Central, it was found that saw palmetto was effective at improving hair growth in 60% of men with male pattern baldness, aged between 23 and 64. In another study of 38 men and 24 women (18-48), it was found that applying saw palmetto onto the scalp for 3 months increased hair density by 35%.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a topical (applied directly to the scalp 1-2 times daily) solution that increases blood flow and oxygen in vessels which reactivates and revitalises shrunken hair follicles.
Does Minoxidil stop hair loss?
Minoxidil promotes healthy hair growth with studies showing that 2 out of 3 men using Minoxidil have seen their male pattern baldness noticeably slow down.
It’s important to note that some research suggests that Minoxidil is more effective when treating earlier cases and less effective when the hair loss is already more extensive.
Does using Minoxidil cause any side effects?
Side effects are rare but some people can experience the shedding of smaller miniaturised hairs over the first few months of usage (a sign the Minoxidil is working) and scalp irritation.
Scalp irritation is often linked to Minoxidil formulations using Propylene Glycol (PG). Sons’ Minoxidil does not contain Propylene Glycol and so should cause less scalp irritation than many other preparations.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
DHT is a male hormone that develops manly features in puberty, including facial hair. In some men, DHT attaches to your hair follicles and ends the hair growth cycle. Finasteride reduces DHT to stop this process.
Does Finasteride stop hair loss?
Finasteride slows hair loss in about 88% of men and helps hair regrow in about 66%. You need a doctor’s prescription to get finasteride, which you take every day. It can, however, take 6 months to see results. Stick in!
The American Hair Loss Association, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by hair loss, confidently proclaims Finasteride as the first line of attack for all men interested in treating their male pattern baldness.
Does using Finasteride cause any side effects?
The most common side effects reported with Finasteride are reduced libido and reduced quantity of ejaculate (semen) which happen in less than 5% of people who take it.
A trial reported in the British Medical Journal in 2016 showed Finasteride does not significantly increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Minoxidil vs. Finasteride
You might be wondering if you should be using Minoxidil or taking Finasteride. The good news is that these two treatments can work alongside each other, with many people dubbing them the ‘dynamic duo’.
There are two main differences between Minoxidil and Finasteride:
- Unlike Minoxidil, in the UK you will need a prescription before you can buy Finasteride. This can be obtained after a consultation with Sons.
- Finasteride is taken orally in pill form rather than as a solution or foam.
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To find the best hair loss treatment package for you, check out the Sons website here.