Just a few questions.
Does rogaine and finasteride really work in restoring hair loss?
Would it be advisable for me to shave all my hair off, start using rogaine and finasteride while wearing a wig until my hair grows back? If so, where in South Florida can I buy high quality wigs made from real human hair?
Rogaine and Finaseride do work. 85% of men who take Finasteride stop losing their hair and 2/3 of those men noted increased density of hair after one year- most of that hair stayed for the next 5 to 10 years. Rogaine makes the hairs grow longer and thicker and may help finasteride bring back recently lost hair.
Hair pieces are not my area of expertise and I suggest you call various companies in So Florida to find one you feel comfortable with.
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QUESTION: So, as long as I keep using Rogaine and Finasteride for forever, I will keep my hair for life?
Also, would a transplant also be necessary?
ANSWER: I am unable to predict what degree of loss you will have. It depends on many factors, such as how bald your father is, how much balding there is in the men on your mother's side of the family, how thin your mother's hair is, how old you are and what degree of baldness you now are showing. Even with all of that information it is still an educated guess as to how bald you may go and whether the medications will work for you for life. For some men the answer is YES, it will work for life. But as I wrote to you before 15% keep losing hair while on finasteride so there is no way to know whether you fit in that group unless you actually take the medication for at least a year.
Hair transplants can be done on most men as it is simply a matter of moving hair from where you still have it in back to a bald spot on top. For some men it is not possible because they have gone too bald and do not have enough donor. This is why Propecia is so important. It really does work in a large majority to preserve what hair you now have and may make it thicker over the course of the first year or two.
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QUESTION: I'm an orphan and I have no knowledge of my family history, but is there a way to find out if there is a family history of thinning/balding?
I attached two photos of my thinning hair. The back and sides of my hair is full and dense.
Will I require a transplant as well?
And lastly, why is it that the sides and back of the head remain unaffected by hair thinning/balding?
There used to be a genetic test you could get to check for the balding gene through www.hairdx.com and they could check to see if you would most likely be responsive to Propecia. I was told that program was discontinued last year. So the test may still be available somewhere but I do not know who might do it.
The type of thinning you show in the photos should respond well to 1mg Finasteride. I would suggest you take the pills once a day for at least 6 months to a year and I would bet you will note increased density. In the studies done 15 to 20 years ago they found 99% of men were as dense or denser at the one year mark. You may never need transplants but the density on the sides and back look more than adequate.
The hairs on the sides and back have many more life cycles than those on top and front- preprogrammed into their genetic structure. Why is it the back and sides stay thick is an evolutionary issue, and no one knows the answer.
You can read about normal life cycles and about male pattern balding at these two chapters in my book "Hair Loss Answers" which you can read for free online at www.hairdoc.com