There’s no cure for baldness, but there are ways to hold on to what you've got. The six dermatologists and the clinical studies point to three methods: minoxidil, laser treatments, and prescription finasteride. The key is finding the combination and hair loss regimen that works for you. A doctor is your best bet for that kind of guidance — but we found a few trustworthy products that will work for most people.
Dr. Carlos Wesley, a hair restoration surgeon in Manhattan, said that women in his practice respond better to P.R.P. than men do, which may have something to do with the fact that women with genetic hair loss tend to have more inflammatory cells around the follicles. From 2013 to 2014, he said, he had an 83 percent increase in female patients, in part because of P.R.P.

There’s also a women’s version (Women’s Rogaine Foam) — but a three-month supply costs $22 more online. The only difference between the two products are the instructions; women are instructed to apply once a day instead of twice. If you’re a woman who doesn’t feel like paying extra for marketing, the men’s product will suffice. A cheaper generic version is Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Foam, but with a longer history on the market and more customer testimonials, Rogaine is our first choice.


“It all started with a particular drug, Cyclosporine A, which is an immunosuppressant,” Hawkshaw explains. “It’s typically given to transplant patients to stop them rejecting new organs post-surgery and it’s been observed that it enhances hair growth. But the thing is, you don’t really want to give this to patients normally because you don’t want to suppress their immune system. So, I used that drug to treat human hair follicles in the lab to try and identify how it actually worked.”

Jimenez, J. J., Wikramanayake, T. C., Bergfeld, W., Hordinsky, M., Hickman, J. G., Hamblin, M. R., & Schachner, L. A. (2014). Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 15(2), 115–127.


Trichotillomania may be difficult to diagnose if the patient is not forthcoming about pulling at his or her hair. Patients typically present with frontoparietal patches of alopecia that progress posteriorly and may include the eyelashes and eyebrows. Bare patches are typical, and the hair may appear uneven, with twisted or broken off hairs. Trichotillomania may lead to problems with self-esteem and social avoidance. Complications include infection, skin damage, and permanent scarring.18

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I must have had about 5 readers email me today about the fascinating research coming out of Yokohama National University in Japan. Professor Junji Fukuda lead the efforts to successfully prepare “hair follicle germs” at large scale simultaneously. Essentially, the researchers prepared a cellular formulation with the right culturing materials to promote successful growth and development of tiny “hair follicle starter kits.” Source article here. 
Joseph Greco, Ms. Telford’s practitioner, who shares a patent for a process to remove growth factors from platelets, said he gets results in 80 percent of patients, more than half of whom are female. Roughly half of them fly in and out, often on the same day, he said, because the procedure doesn’t require downtime and has minimal side effects. (Small clinical studies suggest further research is necessary but acknowledge the procedure’s “excellent safety profile.”)
Avacor Physicians Formulation® for Men, Bosley Professional Strength Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men, Follinox-5 Hair Loss Treatment, Kirkland Minoxidil Extra Strength for Men 5% Topical Solution, Leminox for Men, Lipogaine for Men, Lipogaine for Men Sensitive, Men’s Rogaine Extra Strength, Nioxin Minoxidil 5% Hair Regrowth Treatment Extra Strength for Men, Perfect Hair 5% Minoxidil for Men, REDKEN Cerafil Retaliate 5% Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men
The third and fourth stages are known as telogen and exogen, respectively. In telogen, the hair is supposed to be at "rest" until it finally detaches itself from the follicle and enters the exogen or shedding stage. Once the hair is detached from the follicle, the follicle remains inactive for about three months, after which a new cycle begins again.
The Holy Grail remains a drug that will promote regrowth, but this might not be so far away. Earlier this year, Manchester University announced that an osteoporosis drug had been found to have “dramatic results” promoting hair growth when applied to tissue samples in pre-clinical trials. The resultant frenzy left the PhD student responsible, Dr Nathan Hawkshaw, a little dazed. “Every other week, something comes out about hair loss and it doesn’t generate as much media coverage as what I experienced,” he grumbles. He’s in this for the science – there aren’t many fields where you get to mess around with real human tissue – but such is the distress caused by hair loss and such is the potential customer base that interest is always high.

Follica is developing a wounding device that when coupled with a hair stimulant like minoxidil, is found to be more effective at triggering new growth. They like to call this wounding process ‘skin disruption’. The idea behind this treatment is that after the skin is wounded, cells migrate to that area to repair. They then must choose between two paths: healing the skin (making epidermis) or making hair. It is there where Follica sees the window of opportunity, where they can encourage the cells to do the latter and regenerate new and more hair.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). In this method, instead of taking out a whole sample strip, small, individual follicle grafts are cut using a machine and then transplanted. The process is more tedious and more time-consuming, but has been known to have a higher recovery rate and there are no risks of scarring because no cuts and stitches are required.
OK, we know what’s on your mind at this point, and the answer is no. Drinking massive quantities of coffee or other caffeine-laden drinks will not help make hair grow. As one scientist pointed out, you’d have to drink 40 to 50 cups of coffee for caffeine to have any kind of therapeutic benefit for your hair roots because caffeine is easily diluted and quickly excreted by the body. Besides, that amount of coffee would be toxic because caffeine is, well, kind of a drug.
"We developed a protocol to drive human pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into dermal papilla cells and confirmed their ability to induce hair growth when transplanted into mice," said Prof. Terskikh. The next step in their research is "to transplant human dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells back into human subjects."
The best hair loss shampoos are gentle enough so that you can use them multiple times a week. Nizoral, however, is most effective when used only a few times a week (and should be left on the hair for three to five minutes before rinsing). But you can also alternate Nizoral with another type of hair loss shampoo – such as the Lipogaine products or Alpecin’s Caffeine shampoo – for an effective one-two hair loss fighting punch. Use Nizoral twice a week while using your other hair loss shampoo on the other days.
1. Minoxidil. It’s the only FDA-approved topical nonprescription medication that can claim to regrow hair — and it should be part of any hair-loss plan if you have serious thinning, says Rogers. Minoxidil has loads of research to back it, but it requires commitment. If you quit using it, your hair will start to lose ground again. Use a 5 percent strength, like Women’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam ($30), once daily to see results in three to four months, says Rogers.

Women’s magazine ‘New Beauty’ recently featured several prospective hair growth therapies in a print article. The feature contains several interesting and worthwhile anecdotes. Check the Articles main page to read about Dr. Cotsarelis’ new research on setipiprant for female alopecia, Histogen’s view on the number of injection sessions which may be necessary to get the most out of HSC, and more.
A number of other shampoo and conditioner products are available that seem to be very popular with men and women suffering from thinning hair. These include a range of Shapiro MD and Nioxin hair loss shampoos. Also popular are Keranique and the uniquely named Bumble and Bumble thickening shampoo. Some of these do not have a sufficient number of reviews for me to consider adding them to my list of top shampoos.

More good research coming from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that a certain gene affecting mitochondrial function can dramatically reverse signs of aging in mice. The aging factors which were shown to be reversible include skin wrinkles, gray hair, and hair loss. Next comes the important phase where the researchers continue forward to translate this discovery to human use. Full article on the front page.
For those of you who only check the Updates page, there was a new Brotzu Check-In article published yesterday. Giovanni Brotzu will be presenting data pertaining to his lotion’s use in androgenetic alopecia at an Italian hair research Congress this Saturday, April 14th. We hope to see photo results from the presentation. Check back to the Brotzu article next week for updates.
Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs most often in women of African descent. It begins in the center of the scalp. As it progresses, the hair loss radiates out from the center of the scalp. The affected scalp becomes smooth and shiny. The hair loss can be very slow or rapid. When hair loss occurs quickly, the person may have tingling, burning, pain, or itching on the scalp. Treatment may help the hair re-grow if scarring has not occurred.
There have also been studies on the effects of 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo and a 5% minoxidil solution. In one study, 200 men between the ages of 18 to 49 who experienced baldness between type III and type IV on the Norwood scale were given this treatment for a six-month period. They found that minoxidil, when used on its own, was approximately twice as powerful as pyrithione zinc at stimulating hair growth, but that both products were successful at increasing the amount of visible hair when used over a 26-week period.
Retin-A, or topical tretinoin, is sometimes used as a combination therapy with minoxidil for androgenic alopecia. It’s important to use this type of medication under the guidance of your doctor. In some circumstances, tretinoin can actually cause hair loss. Some people who have used it at home report that topical retinol creams, serums, and lotions may make hair loss worse.
“Once that hair has stopped shedding, it does regrow, at a rate of about a centimeter a month,” said Dr. Senna, who suffered from the condition after each of her pregnancies. She shares photos of herself with patients, to show she can sympathize. In one, her entire frontal hairline clearly is growing back in. “If I’d used a treatment, I would have thought it was a miracle drug,” she said.
Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

A few weeks after the Air Force One incident, while addressing a crowd at the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump caught himself on a giant monitor. Immediately, he checked his hair. What secrets were these camera angles exposing? Then—as far as I can tell, for the first time ever—he admitted to hair loss. “Oh, I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks,” he said. “I work hard at it. Hey, we are hanging in, we are hanging in, we are hanging in there. Right? Together, we are hanging in.”
Argan oil is loaded with A, C and E vitamins, all of which have been linked to hair growth. When you use argan oil externally as part of a hair loss shampoo, it can help to boost your scalp’s and skin’s cell production, thus causing healthier hair and skin. Argan oil is good for dry, brittle and thinning hair since it guards against you losing more follicles than you’re capable of growing (which makes hair loss noticeable).
Unlike The Big 3 Shampoo from Lipogaine, The Big 5 does not contain ketoconazole or copper peptides. However, it does have everything else The Big 3 has + 17 natural hair stimulating ingredients. We view this shampoo as more of a natural thickening shampoo whereas The Big 3 is going to be a little harsher on the scalp but better at nuking scalp DHT. Both shampoos are excellent products from trusted brand Lipogaine. We do know of some users that had had success rotating the Lipogaine shampoos and use The Big 3 every 3rd day or so and incorporate The Big 5 into their daily routine. 

decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Finasteride can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking Finasteride because Finasteride decreases PSA levels. Changes in PSA levels will need to be evaluated by your healthcare provider. Any increase in follow-up PSA levels from their lowest point may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if the test results are still within the normal range for men not taking Finasteride. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you have not been taking Finasteride as prescribed because this may affect the PSA test results. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.
You might be surprised to know that some of those shampoos, conditioners, and styling agents have harsh chemicals that do a number on your hair. You may want to consider switching to softer hair care products that are designed to slow down hair thinning in men. DHT-blocking shampoos and conditioners containing ingredients such as ketoconazole and pyrithione zinc have shown some promise in helping reverse hair loss by potentially disrupting the production of DHT, the hormone linked to male pattern baldness. These

I’m so grateful for stumbling across this post, so thank you, Dormen! It is exceedingly difficult to find articles like this where there isn’t an obvious kickback in play, They tend to recommend products (.e.g, Pura d’Or) that are clearly not ideal for hair loss and thinning. One product to avoid, if you haven’t previously referenced it, is Pronexa. They have been increasingly exposed as a semi-scam since they offer free products in exchange for 5-star Amazon reviews. Though the shampoo/conditioner are fine as just that, after 3 months of use I seriously doubt their efficacy relating to hair loss and thinning.
HairMax is known for their lasercomb products — an FDA approved hair loss treatment. They’ve started to branch out and now they offer a supplement, topical, and this shampoo (as well as a matching conditioner). One of the standout ingredients in this shampoo is the gotu kola. We have a full write up about gotu kola and its relationship to hair loss here.
Last fall, the San Francisco startup Hims began a small publicity blitz. Its ads were all over in-boxes and social-media feeds and TV screens; they were even out in real life, on paper placards. Above a picture of a handsome young man with long, luscious dark hair, there was a bold claim: “Thanks to science, baldness is now optional.” Hims, which also sells shampoos and erectile-dysfunction medication, has a minimalist aesthetic, designed by Partners & Spade. (The agency has done work for famed disruptors such as Warby Parker and Casper.) It also has an in-house journal called Savoir Faire. And, within all that attractive packaging and identity branding, the company was very casually offering the holy grail. My latent obsession led me to ask some questions of the ad campaign. It turns out that Hims’s baldness pills are just finasteride, and their topical solution minoxidil. Thanks to expired patents on those products, Hims is able to sell them cheap. And yet ultimately they’re providing the same old solution. Another false prophet.
Hair transplant surgery – which works by painstakingly moving grafts of hair (typically two to four follicles at a time) from the back of the head to the temples and crown, the first parts to drop – is becoming mainstream. Wayne Rooney was frank about his 48-hour, £30,000 follicular unit extraction at Harley Street Hair Clinic in 2011, and is widely credited with changing attitudes towards the procedure. Actor James Nesbitt had one as he feared he’d lose out on roles as a bald man. “It was something I struggled with,” he said, “and that was probably the vanity in me.”

In either sex, hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, a hair's growing phase, and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. (See "Life cycle of a hair.") That means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called "follicular miniaturization." As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived "terminal" hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs called "vellus."
From the top of my head, I don’t remember if the Lipogaine’s Big 3 Shampoo contains ketoconazole but if it does, then that’s a definite plus. Another thing you can do is buy Nizoral and use it in conjunction with The Big 5 Shampoo. So for example, use Nizoral on Mondays and Thursdays and The Big 5 in all the days in between. That way you’d get all the benefits.

A substance produced by bees, Propolis was found to help hair growth in mice. A group of scientists from Hokkaido University in Japan caused a good deal of hype in hair loss circles following their discovery. However, it appears that this may only cure hair loss that is a result of inflammation such as alopecia areata. Little is known about its benefits for treatment of androgentic alopecia.
In-office laser light treatments or at-home handheld devices, such as the HairMax LaserComb, supposedly grow new hair by stimulating blood flow to the area (think: an amped-up version of a scalp-stimulating shampoo). Just don’t expect the device to make your noggin go from looking like George Costanza’s to Jerry Seinfeld’s. “These lasers won’t grow any new hair. If anything, they may just help you hang on to some of the hair that you already have a bit longer,” says Dr. Joyce.
A separate study, published in Skin Therapy Letter — a professional reference site for dermatologists — found that women also benefit from using the more potent 5 percent minoxidil treatment. “Patient-reported improvement in hair volume and coverage appears to be greater with 5 percent minoxidil foam,” reads the report. Plus, because the 5 percent treatment is stronger, women only have to apply it once a day to get the same results as they would with the 2 percent treatment applied twice daily.
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. Its applications are many, and some researchers believe that it may help with hair loss from alopecia areata. How? The needles inserted into the scalp may help stimulate hair follicles and promote regrowth. More research needs to be done in this area, but consider asking your doctor for a referral to a licensed acupuncturist if this treatment sounds appealing to you. (Learn more about acupuncture for hair loss.)
“Once that hair has stopped shedding, it does regrow, at a rate of about a centimeter a month,” said Dr. Senna, who suffered from the condition after each of her pregnancies. She shares photos of herself with patients, to show she can sympathize. In one, her entire frontal hairline clearly is growing back in. “If I’d used a treatment, I would have thought it was a miracle drug,” she said.
In February, though, Ms. Telford, 46, flew from her home in London, Ontario, to Sarasota, Fla., for a new $1,400 hourlong treatment known as platelet rich plasma (P.R.P.), which is said to stimulate dormant hair follicles. The procedure involves drawing blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to extract the plasma, adding various nutrients (like more protein), then injecting the resulting mixture in one-inch intervals in a grid on the top of the scalp, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic.
I’ve just come across the official press release from Organ Technologies (the biotech company which is developing Tsuji’s methods) regarding their recent advancements in hair follicle cloning. It contains the important information which has already been listed on Follicle Thought, though it  also includes many more details. The press release is titled Organ Technologies and RIKEN Launch Preclinical Tests in Hair Follicle Regenerative Medicine. 
Hair changes about as fast as grass grows, which is to say it’s extraordinarily slow and not visible to anyone checking impatiently in the mirror every day. But during regular follow-up appointments, Harklinikken uses high-tech equipment to photograph and magnify the scalp and count new hairs and active follicles, which motivates users to adhere to the regimen. Too many people give up on treatments like Rogaine and low-level-light devices before they’ve had a chance to work, Dr. Senna said.
You can also get a hair-loss kit from Hims, which comes with both minoxidil and finasteride. Keeps has one, as well. And though it might seem like overkill to take two different hair-loss treatments at once, this is one of those rare instances where more is actually better. McAndrews calls the combination of orally administered finasteride and topically applied minoxidil a “full-court press” against hair loss. “That’s doing the most you can for preventative medicine.” Rieder notes that taking both drugs together is more effective than taking either one alone.
Kerastem, a company developing an autologous fat-derived stem cell therapy for hair growth, has reported positive data from their phase 2 trial. The results have come from a 6 month clinical trial involving 70 patients. In this study, the patients received a one-time injection of fat-derived stem cells, and purified fat, into their scalp. Kerastem reports an average increase of 29 hairs per cm2 from the treatment, or an increase of 17% from baseline. The press release does mention that the treatment “successfully stimulates hair growth in people with early stage hair loss”, so that is something to take into consideration when evaluating the results. For more info visit Kerastem’s website. 
David made this claim back in 2000. But fast-forward a few years and his enhanced compensation strategy begins to look a little quaint. Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, afflicts about half of all men aged 50 and they can’t all reinvent the sitcom. And significant advances in the £3bn hair regrowth industry mean that they have other, seemingly easier, options. The man who is “ideally bald” (to use Vladimir Nabokov’s description of his comic hero, Pnin) may soon become a rare sight.
Traction alopecia. Unlike the other two that are caused by genetic or natural factors, this condition is self-caused and occurs most in women. Hair loss happens because of the continuous and constant pulling on the hair that puts pressure on the follicles. Pressure on the hair, brought about by wearing tight hair styles, braiding, weaving, or even hair treatments like bleaching, causes the follicles to loosen their grip on the shaft and eventually cause hair to fall out, leaving bald spots on the scalp or very thin hair strands.
Coconut milk / coconut oil. Coconut milk/oil, like aloe vera, is one of the oldest and most common natural ingredients for promoting hair growth and growing healthy, shiny hair. Coconut is rich in protein, iron and other minerals that promote healthy hair and prevent breakage. Apply the coconut milk/oil on your bald spots or all over the scalp, and leave it on overnight. Rinse the next day with cool water. You can do this every time you wash your hair.
The most popular low-light laser therapy product is developed by Hairmax. They have a series of Hairmax Laser Combs. Treatment is applied weekly or more frequently. Notably, the Hairmax Laser Comb was the 3rd product to receive FDA approval for treatment of genetic balding. It followed Minoxidil and Finasteride. Though some scalps are very responsive to this laser treatment, others seem to only reap the benefit of slowing hair loss. Another downside is that each treatment session takes about 15 minutes, where the laser comb must be directed towards thinning and bald areas. Unless you have a handy device such as the one in the image, you stuck doing things manually.
Harklinikken does not advertise, but the 25-year-old multinational company is beginning an aggressive expansion into the $3.6 billion hair-loss market in the United States, meaning you’re likely to hear a lot more about it. A New York clinic opened in June inside the Core Club in Midtown (you don’t need to be a member to get an appointment); and in August, Harklinikken consultations became available at some 70 Women’s Care Florida obstetrics and gynecology clinics. (Roughly 75 percent of the company’s 50,000 active users are female.)
The Holy Grail remains a drug that will promote regrowth, but this might not be so far away. Earlier this year, Manchester University announced that an osteoporosis drug had been found to have “dramatic results” promoting hair growth when applied to tissue samples in pre-clinical trials. The resultant frenzy left the PhD student responsible, Dr Nathan Hawkshaw, a little dazed. “Every other week, something comes out about hair loss and it doesn’t generate as much media coverage as what I experienced,” he grumbles. He’s in this for the science – there aren’t many fields where you get to mess around with real human tissue – but such is the distress caused by hair loss and such is the potential customer base that interest is always high.
Researchers continue to strive for the holy grail of hair loss cures by trying to gain a better understanding of how the hair growth cycle is controlled. Rather than treating the symptoms of hair loss, scientists aim to target the cause, which, in turn, may yield fewer side effects. Recently, there have been numerous discoveries in the hair loss arena that may lead to new promising treatments.
However, ketoconazole is still not FDA approved for hair loss treatment, which means it cannot be endorsed or marketed as such. Put simply, ketoconazole likely curbs hair loss, but additional research is needed for the FDA to give it approval. While it is safe to use as a supplement to our top picks, we wanted to recommend products with as much scientific backing as possible. So, we stuck with FDA approved minoxidil or FDA cleared laser treatments. But we’ll keep a close eye on products like ketoconazole shampoos and update as new research appears.
After the groundbreaking 1999 study on mice, some researchers were mildly optimistic that SHH activation could also have positive implications on human hair growth in balding men and women. A new company that was formed in 2000 called Curis partnered with Procter & Gamble in 2005 to try and develop a topical Hedgehog agonist product for scalp hair growth.
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