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If you’ve noticed your hairline starting to recede or your hair beginning to thin, one of the most important steps you can take in stopping any further hair loss is getting in touch with a hair loss doctor.
Hair loss can start at any age. Most men experience the early signs of male pattern baldness in their 20s or 30s. With baldness, the earlier you take action and seek treatment, the more of your hair you’ll be able to keep.
Luckily, almost all male hair loss is treatable today. A hair loss doctor can work with you to find out what’s causing your hair loss and put together a hair loss prevention protocol that helps you minimize further loss and keep as much of your hair as possible.
Not sure if you need a hair loss doctor? Below, we’ve listed the key benefits of talking to a hair loss doctor, as well as some signs you can look for to know when it’s time to take action and do something about your hair loss.
The Benefits of Seeing a Hair Loss Doctor
With hair loss drugs like finasteride and minoxidil available over the counter, there are still plenty of reasons to see a hair loss doctor if you’ve noticed the initial signs of male pattern baldness.
Hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons. If you work long hours in a stressful environment, it could be the result of lifestyle stress. If you’ve just dealt with a serious injury or stressful event, there’s a risk that your hair loss could be telogen effluvium caused by shock or frustration.
There are also other reasons for hair loss. A diet that’s lacking in vitamins and minerals can lead to weak, thinning hair. Some men also experience hair loss as a result of skin conditions, certain medicines and lack of sleep.
Hair loss doctors specialize in identifying the root cause of hair loss and can quickly and easily tell you why your hair loss is occurring and what you can do about it.
They can also inform you about the effects you can expect from hair loss medications and other treatments, as well as the potential side effects.
If your hair loss isn’t genetic, a hair loss doctor can help you find out the root cause using one of
- Many hair loss doctors use a blood test to test for conditions such as thyroid disease, which can cause thinning and hair loss.
- Another tool used to diagnose health-related hair loss is a scalp biopsy, which can help your hair loss doctor identify skin conditions and infections that can result in hair loss.
For genetic hair loss, a hair loss doctor might be able to schedule a serum DHT test, which will detect the total amount of hair loss-causing dihydrotestosterone in your
Seeing a hair loss doctor isn’t essential. However, if you’ve noticed some or all of the common signs of hair loss and want an expert’s opinion backed up by real medical data, your best bet is always to talk to an expert.
Should You See a Hair Loss Doctor?
Simply put, you should see a hair loss doctor if you’ve noticed your hairline receding or thinning and want to do something about it.
The best time to see a hair loss doctor is when you notice any of the early signs of balding. If your hairline is slowly receding or you notice a lot of hair falling out when you shampoo or comb your hair, it’s probably a good time to take action.
One easy way of knowing that you’re losing hair is to compare several photos of you taken two or more years apart. If you can see a visual change in your hairline or hair thickness, it’s worth making an appointment with a hair loss doctor.
It can also be worth seeing a hair loss doctor if you haven’t noticed any of the common signs of balding, but just want to be prepared and have a plan for dealing with hair loss if and when you experience it.
What Treatment Will a Hair Loss Doctor Prescribe?
Your hair loss doctor will prescribe treatment based on the cause of your hair loss. If your hair loss is genetic (which is by far the most common cause of hair loss in men), the most common treatment option is finasteride and/or minoxidil.
These medications work by blocking hormonal hair loss and regrowing your hair for a thicker, stronger and healthier hairline. Each works slightly differently -- you can learn more about the differences in our Guide to Minoxidil vs Finasteride.
Sometimes, you might also be recommended a topical DHT blocker or anti-hair loss shampoo for extra protection.
If your hair loss is caused by stress or another health problem, your hair loss doctor might be able to prescribe something to treat the underlying condition. In some cases, they might refer you to a specialist for a specific treatment to end the underlying problem and the hair loss.
Talk to Our Hair Loss Doctors
Talking to a hair loss doctor is a quick, easy way to find out what’s causing your hair loss and what you can do to stop it.
Are you worried about hair loss? Take an online consultation with one of our doctors to learn what’s causing your hair loss, what treatment options are available and how you can prevent further hair loss.
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.