Hair today…

Dear Lucy: I am a 22-year-old male and, unfortunately, I have already started losing my hair. I know this is irreversible, but there are many products out there that claim they can delay the time when I will have no hair on the top of my head. Do you have any recommendations? —Follicly Challenged

Dear FC: Lucy feels your pain, and with winter well on its way, she feels a sense of urgency in the quest to help you find a way to preserve as much natural cranial insulation as possible. For an answer to your question, she turned to MIT Medical primary care provider Patrick Egan, M.D. 

“Other than hats and resignation,” Egan cites two ways of addressing hair loss: medical and surgical. When it comes to medical interventions, he tells Lucy, “we have two prescription medications that slow hair loss. One, called Rogaine (minoxidil), improves blood flow to the skin, which stimulates hair growth. The other, Propecia (finasteride), works by blocking the testosterone effect that increases hair loss.” Though both of these medications slow hair loss, as you noted, the process is, ultimately, irreversible. 

Egan also mentions several surgical techniques that involve moving hair follicles from the back of the head to the front. “We don’t do any of that here at MIT Medical,” he says, but there are many places in Boston and elsewhere where this can be done.” 

Egan notes that all of these interventions have some side effects, so he encourages you to make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss your options. Lucy hopes this answer is helpful to you and other young men dealing with the early stages of hair loss. —Lucy

Back to Ask Lucy Information contained in Ask Lucy is intended solely for general educational purposes and is not intended as professional medical advice related to individual situations. Always obtain the advice of a qualified healthcare professional if you need medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Never disregard medical advice you have received, nor delay getting such advice, because of something you read in this column.