Wondering what causes hair loss or baldness? Curious about available treatments?

Here's a summary of the current treatments for hair loss.

We know: 1-Minute Lesson on Hair Loss Treatments

What causes hair loss in women and men?

Although the most common kind of hair loss is called male pattern baldness, it also occurs in women. Hair loss is caused by changes in hormones, specifically the androgen (male hormone) DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). This type of hair loss is often associated with age and genetic factors. Hair loss also can occur from hormonal changes due to child birth, birth control pills and other medications, illness and stress.

Hair loss treatments can be quite effective in helping both women and men recover hair loss.

What are some of the common treatments for hair loss?

A variety of treatments for hair loss are currently available. Often, treatments combine a drug that slows the down the hair loss (such as Propecia) with a drug that stimulates new hair growth, such as Rogaine.

Hair transplants are also another form of treatment for hair loss.

Tell me more about the drug treatments.

Drugs that slow hair loss ---
Two of the common drugs that are used to slow down the loss of hair are called Propecia and Proscar. The active ingredient in both is finasteride, which helps slow down the chemical process that causes hair loss. Propecia was the first pill approved by the FDA for hair loss.

Two other active drug ingredients that help slow hair loss, but are used topically instead of in pill form, are spironolactone and azelaic acid.

Drugs that stimulate hair growth ---
The active ingredient in products like Rogaine that helps stimulate hair growth is called minoxidil. Also, superoxide dismutase or SOD will stimulate hair growth.

In addition, antimicrondial shampoos, such as Nizoral, can help stimulate hair growth. Some anti-danduff shampoos such as T-Gel have also been shown to help in stimulating hair grow by cleaning the scalp.

RESULTS: Results from these drug treatments can be noticed as soon as 2 or 3 months, but can take up to two years for the best results.

Tell me how hair transplants work.

Even with male pattern baldness, a ring of hair remains along the outer edges of the head. That's because these hair follicles are not affected by hormones. In transplant surgery, the doctor removes skin with these hair follicles, extracts them and transplants them into the area where the hair loss has occurred. The number of grafts that will be necessary depends on the previous hair loss and the type and density of the individual's hair.

Patients must use a drug like Propecia after the transplant, or the hair that has not been transplanted will continue to be lost.

RESULTS: It will take about 1 year to see what the end result of the transplant is going to look like.

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