It’s the conversation that nobody wants to have – am I going bald? The unfortunate truth is that the majority of men will experience male pattern baldness at some point in life. When the balding starts and how much hair we’ll lose is typically based on genetics. And while 9 out of 10 admit that balding is something they’re seriously concerned about, many men don’t take action while there’s still time.
The problem with hair loss is that the longer you wait, the harder it is to reverse the damage. If you start a treatment program right when your hairline starts to recede, you’ve got a greater chance of holding onto your hair. Once your hair has completely fallen out and all of your follicles have died, you’ve missed your opportunity with some of the more popular and cost-effective treatments on the market.
So, how do you know when it’s time to take action? Let’s take a look at some of the more common signs of balding.
1. Your hair is falling out
This may sound self-explanatory, but many people overlook excessive shedding. Part of the reason is because we tend to lose around 100 strands of hair any given day due to normal shedding, but some guys just don’t want to accept the fact that their hair is thinning. So, just because you find a couple of hairs lying about doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going bald. However, when you start noticing a lot of hair on your pillow cases, stuck in your combs and brushes, or sitting at the bottom of your shower, it might be time to look into hair loss treatment programs.
2. Your head is itchy
For some people, an itchy scalp can be a sign of hair loss. While this isn’t directly related to male pattern baldness, an itchy scalp could be linked to other dermatological conditions like psoriasis or dermatitis. The reason why this is relevant to hair loss is not because of the conditions themselves, but how you react. Excessive rubbing, scratching, and brushing your scalp can do irreversible damage to your hair follicles over time. Your best plan of action is to see a doctor who can help you find treatment for your condition, otherwise, you could end up scratching your hair away – quite literally.
3. Your hairline is receding
Hairline recession is a big sign of potential balding. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those things that a lot of guys just ignore, which is sad considering that they could potentially reverse the effects if they took action. You’ll really start to notice that your hairline is receding when you brush your hair and it just isn’t styling the way it used to - the direction that you comb it isn’t working as well as it did in the past. One of the most common signs of hairline recession is the thinning of hair around your temples. And for most people, this pattern continues to spread over time until it leaves you with the M-shaped hairline.
4. Your scalp is noticeably visible
Did you used to have a thick set of hair that covered your scalp like the Amazon Rainforest? A couple years back, you probably could’ve wet and brushed your hair and barely seen any scalp. But these days, giving yourself the slightest part exposes your skin! That’s because you’ve lost a significant amount of hair on the top of your head, and chances are, you’re going to continue losing more hair over time until you start developing bald spots.
Another thing to consider is whether your scalp is getting sunburned. As your hair thins, you lose more and more of that protection against the sun’s UV rays. A couple of years back, you might have been able to spend the entire day at the beach without worrying about burning the top of your head, but now you have to wear hats or put on sunscreen. It’s because you’re losing your hair.
Ready to Prevent Hair Loss?
Now that you know a little bit about what to look for, it’s time to cover some of the ways to stop male pattern baldness from spreading. For starters, don’t allow yourself to become stressed and upset about hair loss. It’s something that happens to the best of us, and with breakthroughs in medicine, you can keep your head of hair without breaking your bank.
The biggest problem surrounding male pattern baldness and hair loss isn’t coming up with effective treatment plans, it’s the ignorance and misinformation floating around. You’d be surprised how many guys feel powerless when they notice the signs of balding. They’ve been told that homeopathic "remedies" like rubbing cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar on their head will cure them of their baldness – it won’t! But that doesn’t mean that you have to accept that your hair is falling out. There are a variety of different scientifically-proven treatment methods that have passed the scrutiny of the medical community and are viable solutions to baldness.
Two of the most popular treatments against balding are minoxidil and finasteride. Both can be used together and can successfully prevent hair loss from getting worse in the majority of men. With that said, there is no one-time fix for male pattern baldness – if there was, we would be seeing a much fewer balding men walking around! When starting a treatment regimen, it’s important that you understand that results take time. You probably won’t start seeing the effects until a few months into the treatment, and even then, you’ll need to commit to long-term usage to ensure that you get the optimal results.
Important Safety information
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Finasteride is for use by MEN ONLY and should NOT be used by women or children.
Read this Patient Information before you start taking Finasteride and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia).
It is not known if Finasteride works for a receding hairline on either side of and above your forehead (temporal area).
Finasteride is not for use by women and children.
Who should not take Finasteride?
Do not take Finasteride if you:
- are pregnant or may become pregnant. Finasteride may harm your unborn baby.
- Finasteride tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the medicine during handling, as long as the tablets are not broken or crushed. Females who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not come in contact with broken or crushed Finasteride tablets.
- If a pregnant woman comes in contact with crushed or broken Finasteride tablets, wash the contact area right away with soap and water. If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in Finasteride, a healthcare provider should be consulted. If a woman who is pregnant with a male baby swallows or comes in contact with the medicine in Finasteride, the male baby may be born with sex organs that are not normal.
are allergic to any of the ingredients in Finasteride. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Finasteride.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Finasteride? Before taking Finasteride, tell your healthcare provider if you:
have any other medical conditions, including problems with your prostate or liver
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
How should I take Finasteride?
- Take Finasteride exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.
- You may take Finasteride with or without food.
If you forget to take Finasteride, do not take an extra tablet. Just take the next tablet as usual.
Finasteride will not work faster or better if you take it more than once a day.
What are the possible side effects of Finasteride?
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.
There may be an increased risk of a more serious form of prostate cancer in men taking finasteride at 5 times the dose of Finasteride.
The most common side effects of Finasteride include:
- decrease in sex drive
- trouble getting or keeping an erection
a decrease in the amount of semen
The following have been reported in general use with Finasteride:
- breast tenderness and enlargement. Tell your healthcare provider about any changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge.
- decrease in sex drive that continued after stopping the medication;
- allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives and swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, and face;
- problems with ejaculation that continued after stopping medication;
- testicular pain;
- difficulty in achieving an erection that continued after stopping the medication;
- male infertility and/or poor quality of semen.
in rare cases, male breast cancer.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Finasteride. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA1088.
How should I store Finasteride?
- Store Finasteride at room temperature between 59˚F to 86˚F (15˚C to 30˚C).
Keep Finasteride in a closed container and keep Finasteride tablets dry (protect from moisture).
Keep Finasteride and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about the safe and effective use of Finasteride.
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in this Patient Information. Do not use Finasteride for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Finasteride to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.