Finasteride, Biotin or Hair Transplant

Q:

I went to a couple different hair transplant doctors for evaluations when I was 24/25 and was told I have a juvenile hairline and that i have a good donor area and scalp laxity. The doctors recommended around 2000 grafts to fill in the diffused area at the time.

One of the doctors I visited told me to give propecia another try which I did for an additional six more months, but stopped because it seemed to have no effect and from my understanding it doesn’t really help with hair in the frontal area which was my main problem. I also did not want to risk getting any more health side effects from taking propecia.

During this time I was also taking biotin supplements which I had read are good for hair but they didn’t have any noticeable effects. I decided against getting a hair transplant because of my age and I wanted to see if the hair might grow back naturally (some people who have lost hair from accutane reported regrowing their hair several years after taking the medication).

I have a history of MPB in my family but it seems to be hit or miss. My grandfathers both had full heads of hair, my dad and 1 of his brothers are completely bald but another brother has a full head of hair. My mom has 1 brother who is bald and another with very thick hair and a low hairline (which my hair most closely resembled before taking accutane). I also have a brother who is 21 and has extremely thick hair like I used to with no signs of hair loss whatsoever.

A:

Male patterned baldness (MPB) is a progressive condition and it generally won’t get better without treatment.  The medications that are being used for the treatment of hair loss are generally for maintaining your existing hair and have preventative effects rather than restoring your hair at its full thickness like what you had in previous years.

A good hair transplant surgeon can help you realize what the best options for hair restoration are; whether it is a surgery or medication.  Using Accutane could cause hair loss as one side effect, but that is reversible within a few months after stopping it.  That is the most common case for medication related hair losses.

It is important for you to develop a good relationship with a qualified hair transplant surgeon whom you can trust.  Then let him walk you through this process.  Using medications for a while is a good idea and some patients respond well to using them.  Unfortunately the results are not permanent and most hair loss sufferers continue losing hair, but at a slower rate.

You can use medications such as Propecia or Rogaine to minimize the speed of hair loss. When it is the time for a hair transplant you can consider that as another option as well.