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Hair Loss (cont.)

What Is the Prognosis of Hair Loss?

The ability to stop hair loss most often depends on the underlying cause.

  • If taking a certain medication is the cause, stopping the medication should stop the hair loss.
  • The most common type of hair loss, androgenic alopecia, usually follows a pattern with hair thinning in the front of the scalp first and progressing on to involve the back and top of the head. This type tends to be progressive.
  • Finasteride helps stop hair loss in a majority of men, and minoxidil decreases hair loss in a significant percentage of men and women. It is important to realize that the beneficial effect of these medications is transient and if stopped the hair loss will continue.
    • The best prevention of hair loss is early treatment. Research has shown that minoxidil is most useful for people who have been losing hair for less than five years.
    • A doctor who can help determine if the medications are working and who can watch for side effects of the medications should follow up with people who are being treated with minoxidil or finasteride.

Hair Loss Pictures

This man demonstrates typical male-pattern baldness. Notice that the side and back regions are least affected.
This man demonstrates typical male-pattern baldness. Notice that the side and back regions are least affected.
This is a typical view of male-pattern baldness from the back.
This is a typical view of male-pattern baldness from the back.
This man has mostly frontal balding. Early treatment is the only prevention of hair loss.
This man has mostly frontal balding. Early treatment is the only prevention of further hair loss.

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology

REFERENCES:

Ahanogbe, Isabella, and Alde Carlo P. Gavino. "Evaluation and Management of the Hair Loss Patient in the Primary Care Setting." Prim Care Clin Offic Pract 2015: 1-21.

Rogers, Nicole E. "Medical Treatments for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss." J Am Acad Dermatol 59.4 Oct. 2008: 547-566.

Stefanato, C.M. "Histopathology of Alopecia: A Clinicopathological Approach to Diagnosis." Histopathology 56.1 Jan. 2010: 24-38.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/22/2016

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