Once male-pattern baldness starts, it’s not going to stop until every last hair on your head has shrunk or shed, though the rate at which this happens differs from person to person and depends on genetics. And since the grind of hair loss is unending, it’s important to start treatment as soon as your hairline starts bothering you. If you’re looking for a more quantitative metric, Dr. Paul McAndrews, clinical professor of dermatology at the USC School of Medicine and member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, assures me that “you have to lose half your hair before the human eye can tell.” (Of course, if you don’t care about losing your hair and are fine with going full Prince William and shaving your head, go for it. We’ve got some recommendations for razors and hair trimmers to help you out on that front.)
Laser treatments are the latest frontier in staving off hair loss, and they’ll be the first choice for fans of sci-fi. As silly as they may sound, these treatments do work — the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2014 reported a “statistically significant difference” in hair density with no “serious adverse events” or side effects.The bad news: Laser treatments tend to be expensive, progress is slow, and they don’t always produce stellar results.
Each hair develops from a follicle — a narrow pocket in the skin — and goes through three phases of growth. Anagen (A), the active growth phase, lasts two to seven years. Catagen (), the transition phase, lasts about two weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft moves upward toward the skin's surface, and the dermal papilla (the structure that nourishes cells that give rise to hair) begins to separate from the follicle. Telogen (C), the resting phase, lasts around three months and culminates in the shedding of the hair shaft.
Hair loss is more common than you think and it can happen to anyone. According to Michele J Farber, MD of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, causes range from, “androgenetic or hormone-related hair loss, stress related-hair loss, also called telogen effluvium, and dandruff. Medications, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disorders, excess styling, and autoimmune disorders can also cause hair loss and thinning.” But the good news is, there are viable solutions, starting with topical growth treatments.

Along with male pattern baldness, there is also a condition known as female pattern baldness, in which hair thins on the top of the head. Less is known about this type of hair loss, but it is more common in women who have been through the menopause. Female pattern baldness cannot be treated with finasteride (as with male pattern baldness), but it can be treated with minoxidil. Minoxidil is rubbed into the scalp once or twice a day and should start to show results after about four months. After ceasing treatment with minoxidil, hair loss should resume within a few months.


With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?


Dealing and coping with hair loss is a particularly important issue, especially for those who lost (or continue to lose) their hair because of cancer and other chronic conditions that require chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It can be a particularly trying time, and there are instances when the depression settles in that the patient is unable to even consider or think about hair loss options and cures.
If you have flakiness or dryness, Dr. Zeichner notes that it's a good idea to use anti-dandruff shampoos, rather than hydrating products, because they're specifically made to treat inflammation and yeast on the scalp — two underlying causes of dandruff. One ingredient to look for in these options is Zinc Pyrithione. "It's very important to choose the appropriate type of shampoo for your hair type," he says. "The wrong one may not get to the root of your scalp issue."
Disruptions in the normal length of each phase, which can cause hair loss and hair thinning, may be the result of a number of internal and external stimuli. These are also what we call the triggers and causes of your hair loss. As a quick example, dieting can leave the body stressed and in need of important nutrients. Because of this stress, hair growth may be cut shorter than usual and there is an early onset of telogen or shedding of hair.

Minoxidil and oral finasteride are the only treatments currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Both of these drugs stimulate hair regrowth in some men, but are more effective in preventing progression of hair loss. Although there are a number of other treatments listed in various texts, there is not good evidence to support their use.8

Some 30 million women in the United States have hereditary hair loss (compared with 50 million men), according to the American Academy of Dermatology, though that figure does not include the millions more who struggle with thinning hair because of pregnancy, menopause, stress and other health conditions. Barely 5 percent of women are said to be good candidates for hair transplant surgery because women lose hair everywhere, meaning that, unlike with men, there is rarely a luxuriant spot on the back of the head from which to harvest hairs unobtrusively.


Lately I’ve been receiving a few inquiries from readers about Shiseido and Brotzu release dates. So, I’m going to address the situation here and hope that this will be sufficient until more news comes from direct sources. I estimate that these companies would publicly address the release date of their products by the end of Q3 this year (end of Sept). As consumers we know there’s no guarantees for releases and if one or both of these products reached the market this year it would be a very fortunate situation. So, keep an eye out, but loosen the grip a little. The news will come when it comes. When there is news it will be visible here.


Lee Buckler, CEO of Replicel, stated in an interview this week that he expects Shiseido to release clinical trial results in 2018. This is great news that everything is still on track for the anticipated 2018 release of Replicel’s RCH-01 technology in Japan. Lee mentioned “It’s entirely up to Shiseido what they do in regards to this product. There’s certainly a possibility that they could decide if the data is positive, to launch the product in Japan…”. Yes, it seems likely that if the data is positive, Shiseido would go to market with one of the biggest technological breakthroughs of the century. Full interview here. 
Kuntzman described the “snake oil” era of hair restoration, in the early twentieth century, when salesmen offered nonsense treatments, often with horrific results. One involved “cylinders of skin taken from the abdomen and sewn into your scalp to function as a sort of belt loop” for new hairs, Kuntzman said; another used paraffin injections that left some customers with lifelong horn-like head bumps. Most of the really ugly stuff ended in 1938, when the Food and Drug Administration began regulating the industry.
Unfortunately, as with the aforementioned minoxidil, you’ll begin to lose your hair again if you ever stop taking Finasteride. Additionally, it may cause erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in men although that’s uncommon. Men who experience these side effects from taking this pill can reverse them; however, that can take up to three months to occur. 

Thinning hair in women is worth investigating for more than its impact on physical appearance. While many conditions that lead to temporary hair loss will go away without treatment or with simple lifestyle measures, others may be signs of potentially irreversible loss or health conditions. Others yet may respond well to treatments to promote regrowth, so starting sooner rather than later is key.
One of the longest running companies in the hair growth industry, Histogen, has been granted an IND from the US FDA for the use of its growth factor biologic (HSC) in female androgenic alopecia. The product will be called “HSC660” for use in women. IND stands for ‘investigational new drug’, and is a necessary permit that companies must obtain before starting clinical trials with a new medicinal substance. 
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.
The only nonchemical option offered up by the dermatologists I spoke with — short of a surgical hair transplant or platelet-rich plasma therapy, which is like Kim Kardashian’s vampire facial but for your scalp — was the laser comb. First cleared by the FDA in 2009, the HairMax LaserComb is a handheld laser device that is designed to promote hair growth. As the manufacturer explains in a letter to the FDA, “The device provides distributed laser light to the scalp while the comb teeth simultaneously part the user’s hair to ensure the laser light reaches the user’s scalp,” which, in turn, stimulates the hair follicles.
Minoxidil and oral finasteride are the only treatments currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Both of these drugs stimulate hair regrowth in some men, but are more effective in preventing progression of hair loss. Although there are a number of other treatments listed in various texts, there is not good evidence to support their use.8
The Rogaine rep we spoke to explained that the different packaging (and therefore different prices) has to do with the FDA-approval process: “We discovered in clinical trials that the hair loss patterns between men and women are different,” she said by way of explanation. “Men typically have that bald spot on the crown of their head, where women generally have a general thinning throughout, but concentrated more on the top of the head. So for FDA approval, we had to come up with two different, gender-specific products, so the directions were more explanatory.”
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Approved by the FDA and available in over-the-counter form for both men and women, minoxidil has been found to work in two out of three men. However, and this is a huge problem, if you stop using it, then your hair will actually fall out again and potentially faster than before. Plus, you might not even notice any changes until you’ve been using this medication for at least four months!


Female pattern baldness: Treatment and genetics While most women lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day, this hair is usually quickly replaced by new growth. When bald patches or thinning occurs, however, it may be a sign of female pattern baldness. In this article, learn more about the common causes and treatment of hair loss in women. Read now
Key features: Dr. Zeichner recommends the Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner by OGX for thinning or fine hair that needs the extra strength. This budget-friendly option uses keratin proteins mixed with argan oil to nourish, condition, and strengthen strands, and it's only $16 for the set. The smoothing formula can also increase elasticity for less breakage and split ends.
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