More Chinese Men Seek Help for Hair Loss

More men are turning to oral medications to treat baldness.
The number of men seeking treatments for thinning hair has increased in recent years, but it’s not just American men who are looking for hair loss solutions. Chinese men are now seeking hair loss treatments as well.

More men turn to medications

A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek says young Chinese men are seeking an answer to thinning hair. In their culture, a full head of hair is seen as a sign of youth and vitality.

“When we started our hair-loss clinic in 2000, we probably saw three patients a day, and now I get about 30,” says Yang Shuxia, a dermatologist at the Peking University First Hospital in Beijing. “There is increasing awareness that baldness is a medical condition that can be treated.”

Yang says she commonly prescribes Propecia, a medication proven to treat male pattern baldness.

She says many men, some of whom are college-age, ask for the prescription because they see their thinning hair as a serious problem. Yang says her patients say hair loss could hinder their ability to get a job or find a meaningful relationship.

More education needed

A recent study shows 47 percent of men have used some kind of hair-growth treatment. From at-home remedies to clinical options, the study shows men aren’t sure about the success rates of various treatments.

Propecia is commonly prescribed for male pattern baldness.

“China’s hair-loss treatment market is still in the development stage, and patients have many misconceptions about the treatments available,” Jane Wu, Merck’s communications director for China.

While better education about the condition is needed, it seems that men are finding out about medications through word of mouth. Medications like Propecia have soared by 90 percent in China in the last five years.

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