Hair loss can take an emotional toll on your appearance and your self-confidence. There are a number of topical products available you may want to try if you are having more hair loss than you are comfortable with.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) was first used as an anti-hypertensive medication but excess hair growth in various areas of the body (hypertrichosis) was found to be a side effect.
The FDA approved a 2 percent solution for use in female pattern hair loss and a 5 percent solution for men. Minoxidil acts to increase the time the hair is in its anagen (growth) phase and increases hair follicle size.
The recommended dosage is twice-a-day use of 25 drops (1 ml) spread evenly over the top of a dry scalp. To avoid excess hair growth on the face, users should wash their hands thoroughly after application.
Minoxidil has a good safety profile. Side effects are infrequently reported but include: skin irritation, contact dermatitis, facial hair growth, scalp dryness and increased hair shedding when first starting the medication. Stopping the use of minoxidil will result in gradual loss of the hair grown.
You've probably heard about the medication used for the glaucoma treatment that was found to increase the length of eyelashes as a side effect. Latanoprost and bimatoprost are the prostaglandins in glaucoma medications that increased the eyelash hair growth.
The FDA approved use of bimatoprost in 2008 to treat eyelash alopecia. More research will be needed to determine the best concentration and how it can be used for head hair growth.
Ketoconazole is used as an anti-fungal treatment for dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It is unclear how ketoconazole works to increase hair growth.
It is thought that its anti-inflammatory action, its ability to control the growth of the skin fungus Malassezia and its affect on the androgen levels at the hair follicle level are at play. Ketoconazole is frequently used along with minoxidil.
Spironolactone has been used orally for hair loss.