Man looking at his thinning hair line in a mirror.

Treatment Options for Hair Loss Available Online

Men may experience certain types of hairloss regardless of age.

Hair loss is common and far more widely accepted now than it was in the past. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept it if you don’t want to. Read on to learn about the causes of hair loss, how it’s commonly treated, and how to find treatment online.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss commonly falls into one of four categories (excluding chemical or radiation exposure):

Male-Pattern (MP): This type of hair loss occurs from the vertex of the scalp, the hairline, or both. Despite the name, male-pattern can happen to women as well, it’s just that it is simply more common in men. MP hair loss is caused by an excess of male sex hormones, called androgens.

Female-Pattern (FP): Female-pattern hair loss is an overall thinning of the hair over time. Typically, the person does not end up being completely bald. Both men and women can experience FP hair loss. Male-pattern and female-pattern baldness are sometimes classed together as androgenic alopecia.

Alopecia Areata: Also called “spot baldness”, this is believed to be caused by hair follicles losing their “immune privilege” and being attacked by the immune system. Less common is alopecia universalis, the loss of hair over the whole body.

Telogen Effluvium (TE): This is when large numbers of hair follicles enter into their telogen (resting) phase due to external factors such as stress, fever, thyroid disorders, or giving birth. TE can be acute (temporary) or chronic (ongoing).

Should I See a Doctor If I’m Losing My Hair?

While there’s some evidence that male-pattern baldness may be associated with other health concerns, generally you’ll speak to a doctor to confirm a diagnosis and to rule out any more unusual causes. There are currently no effective medications for alopecia areata or TE, but there are options for both types of pattern hair loss. If hair loss is sudden, immediate, and unexplained, go to the doctor immediately even if you feel no other symptoms.

Woman looking at her thinning hair.

Hair loss is not a “men-only” problem.

What are Common Treatments for Hair Loss?

There are two medications commonly used for hair loss in the US:

Finasteride (Propecia): Available only by prescription, finasteride works by preventing the body from turning testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which can affect the hair follicles. For reasons not fully understood, finasteride is more effective for hair loss at the crown, rather than the hairline. Finasteride has not been shown to be effective for female-pattern hair loss.

Minoxidil (Rogaine): Available over the counter, minoxidil works by topical application (i.e. by rubbing it on your bald spot), increasing blood flow to the scalp. Minoxidil is often paired with other medications, such as antifungal treatments, in shampoo form.

Finding Hair Loss Treatments Online

If you have no endocrine or blood pressure concerns, securing a prescription for finasteride is a simple process and can easily be done online. Minoxidil is available without a prescription, but can be bought online if you’d prefer to do so for privacy reasons. You should still consult with your doctor before using any medication that could affect blood pressure.

Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies "beyond the headlines," reading the study to more closely examine the results.