What Every Man Ought to Know About Hair Loss

It's Treatable (Sort Of)

There are three main types of treatments used to treat male pattern baldness. The first is minoxidil (Rogaine® or other similar products), which is a liquid or foam applied to the scalp. It's not clear exactly how it works, but it might work by improving blood flow to the hair follicles. It tends to work best early on, when a man still has most of his hair, and it only works as long as you keep using it. It's available without a prescription.
 
The second type of treatment is finasteride (Propecia®), which is available only with a prescription. Finasteride is a pill that works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), thereby decreasing the amount of DHT in the body. Since DHT is important for male pattern baldness, using finasteride to decrease DHT levels can help to stop hair loss and regrow hair. It tends to work a little better than minoxidil, but it can sometimes cause some pretty undesirable side effects, such as impotence or a decreased sex drive. Like minoxidil, finasteride works only as long as you continue to take it.
 
The final type of treatment is hair transplant procedures. They're not viable options for many men, though, since they can be expensive and time consuming, and they shouldn't be done until a man is finished losing his hair.
 

It's What You Make of It

There is no one right attitude about male pattern baldness. Some men embrace it as a sign of virility. Others will spare no expense to try to fight it off. A great many men try to treat it in their early years but eventually decide it's just not worth the expense and effort.
 
If you find your thinning hair negatively affects how you feel about yourself, it may be worth trying a treatment or two. But if you don't really mind going bald, you should not feel any need at all to do anything about it.
 
If you do decide to seek help, your best bet will be a dermatologist. These specialists treat hair problems in addition to skin problems.
 
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