Non Surgical Hair Loss Treatments
Our evidence-based treatment options are specific to male pattern baldness and thinning hair.
Hair loss is more common than people realize. According to research by the age of 35, two-thirds of men in the United States will experience some hair loss. By the age of 50, roughly 85% will have drastic hair thinning . Thinning hair loss can affect self-image, depression, and anxiety levels.
Hair loss can be caused by several factors: stress, hereditary issues, autoimmune factors, hormones, as well as many other factors. This article will cover treatment options for the following groups.
Male Pattern Baldness (androgenetic alopecia)
Age-related hair loss
The options presented in this article are not a good fit for individuals looking for surgical intervention or expecting immediate results. They are also not a good fit for patients expecting hair regrowth more than two to three steps difference on the scale below.
Based on observational data from our clinic, patients currently at a 3 or 4 on the stages of male baldness are likely to return to a 1 or 2. For patients that are currently a 6 or 7, a 4 or 3 would be likely. Individual results will vary. Our treatment plan requires the consistent application of a proven formula to sustain the growth of scalp hair. This plan works best for people wanting to prevent further hair loss and promote moderate regrowth.
The treatment options we promote consist of the daily application of a gel or daily pill. These interventions expose patients to minor side effects. The treatment plans are mostly pharmacologically based.
Hair Loss Prevention | Regrowth Treatments
Hair regrowth can happen in as little as a couple of months or take up to one year to notice improvements. We utilize two medications the FDA has approved for treating androgenetic alopecia as well as an off-label medication:
1st Line Option | Finasteride (Proscar, Propecia)
For patients who are looking for something simple and straightforward, we recommend taking finasteride. Finasteride is a pill taken once a day and is available with a prescription. In instances where patients take this medication for several months without adequate results and no adverse side effects, it is advisable to try our 2nd line option dutasteride.
2nd Line Option | Dutasteride (Avodart)
This medication is not FDA-approved for the treatment of hair loss but can be prescribed off-label for treating hair loss. In randomized trials, It has been shown to be more effective than Finasteride in the prevention and regrowth of hair in men. In these same randomized trials both Finasteride and Dutasteride, groups showed a similar side effect profile .
3rd Line Option | Minoxidil (Rogaine) with Microneedling
We recommend utilizing minoxidil topical application to the affected area twice daily with micro-needling once a week as the third-line treatment. It can be done without prescriptions or medical oversight. One reported downside is irritated flaky skin and micro-needling can be excessively painful for some patients. Application of topical minoxidil needs to be done twice a day versus with weekly micro-needling . Minoxidil is available as an over-the-counter foam or liquid product and micro-needling devices can be bought online. Studies are limited but have shown significant results with greater than 50% improvement.
Treatment Plan Cost
$35 new patient fee for new patients to Restorative Health.
$150 comprehensive hair loss evaluation for a 1-year prescription. Includes a prescription visit, complimentary scalp micro-needling session, and one case management follow-up appointment to cover additional questions.
We have found that patients utilizing Goodrx tend to get the best prices for their medications, oftentimes paying less than patients with insurance. Medication prices using GoodRx at pharmacies near our office in Sandy, UT.
Medication monthly cost
Albertsons (Sav-On) $7.85
City Market $14.25
Note from the Author
I’ve tried many hair loss treatment options and the routine I’ve settled on as the most effective for me is daily dutasteride with monthly micro-needling. I noticed I started losing my hair by my mid 20’s with handfuls of hair falling out while I washed my hair. My Dad was completely bald at 28 and my brother started noticeably balding in his mid 30’s. I still have a full head of hair and I’m 45 at the publication date of this article. I started taking daily 1 mg finasteride at 24 and switched to dutasteride at 38. I’ve tried a variety of different routines listed below and I’ll give my reason for no longer continuing with them.
Other Hair Loss Prevention Options
Laser Hair Cap - Too much of an inconvenience with the amount of time required to use the laser cap and based on my personal observations I didn’t see any noticeable improvements in my hair count after 4 months of daily use. At first I was under the impression that the laser hair caps had FDA approval for efficacy. From what I can tell no laser cap has FDA approval for efficacy. Some laser caps do have FDA approval for safety. If I would have known that the FDA approval was only for safety I would have done a deeper dive into the research before spending the money on a laser hair cap. As I look at the clinical trials supporting the use of laser caps most of it is done by laser manufacturers. If you see any marketing material labeled (Clinically Backed/FDA Cleared) most likely it's a laser hair cap that has clinical trials done by a laser manufacturer and FDA cleared for safety. In my opinion that is slight of hand with words.
Vitamins | Supplements - A good first-line offering for individuals whose diet doesn’t include the nutrients they need to sustain hair growth. The focus should be on getting nutrients naturally from food with supplements and vitamins being used only when food isn’t providing enough nutrition. Be wary of bold claims. The most well-done meta-analysis of vitamins and supplements for overall health improvement is marginally effective. Studies of vitamins and supplements show they are occasionally miss-labeled . If your vitamins aren't coming from the food you are eating do what you can to adjust your diet to have the highest likely hood of success with hair regrowth by vitamins and supplements.
Minoxidil - Dandruff and scalp irritation from daily application of minoxidil was too much for me even though I did notice some slight improvement.