A Guide To Hair Loss

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What Is Hair Loss Treatment?

Hair loss treatment refers to any medical intervention intended to prevent or reverse the loss of the hair on the human scalp. Hair loss treatment runs the gamut from over the counter products like Rogaine to prescription hair loss medication such as finasteride, marketed as Propecia.

It is atypical for hair loss treatment to completely reverse hair loss. However, some patients see significant improvement through hair loss treatment. That may include the cessation of future hair loss along with limited regrowth of hair in areas of the scalp where it has already been lost.

Who Is at Risk for Hair Loss?

About 80 million men and women have hereditary hair loss, known as alopecia. Alopecia is more common in men than in women, with risk increasing with age. Many risk factors for alopecia are genetic: If you have close relatives with hair loss, you are more likely to experience it.

While several issues can cause hair loss, pattern baldness – which affects men and women differently – is the most common explanation. Unlike temporary causes of hair loss such as skin conditions, people who experience pattern baldness are unable to regrow hair without appropriate treatment.

Androgenic alopecia is the technical name for male pattern baldness. Experts estimate more than 50% of men over the age of 50 will be impacted. Male pattern baldness arises when male hormones called androgens affect hair follicles in harmful ways, limiting and ultimately terminating follicle growth cycles.

Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for female pattern baldness. Up to 66% of all women experience some degree of hair loss after menopause. However, just like male pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia can take place much earlier. Unlike men, women lose hair from all over their head, starting at the part line.

Women whose mother or father have had pattern baldness are more likely to develop it, but they are not guaranteed to. Hair loss in women can also be caused by underlying medical conditions that can be treated. Most commonly, these are endocrine-related, i.e. issues that affect your hormones.

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Hair Loss Symptoms

Hair loss symptoms vary in men and women. Male pattern baldness typically begins at the front of the head or the temples and develops over time, causing loss of hair further back on the head. Complete baldness is often the outcome. More rarely, bald spots can begin at the back of the head.

Women experience a greater volume of hair loss than men, often losing 50-100 hairs daily. When female pattern baldness sets in, hair loss across the scalp accelerates. Widening of the part line, along with thinning hair on both sides, are characteristic outcomes for women with hair loss.

Hair Loss Treatment and Lifestyle Changes

Hair loss treatments take a variety of forms. Early in male hair loss, changes in hairstyle can often conceal symptoms. Some men and women choose to use a wig, hairpiece, or weave rather than hair loss medication. Some male hair loss treatments affect the interplay between hair follicles and androgens, while others focus on stimulating growth of healthy hair follicles by increasing blood flow in a specific area.

Hair loss treatments may be topical or come in oral form. If you use hair loss medications, it is important to be alert to the potential side effects. Use hair loss treatments only as directed and be aware that if you choose to discontinue treatment, you may experience renewed hair loss.

Hair Loss Medical Research

Although effective hair loss treatments are finally available, even the best medications for hair loss have some drawbacks. Hair loss clinical trials aim to create new hair loss treatments that will be more effective or even permanent. Hair loss clinical studies also focus on reducing the potential side effects of hair loss treatments.

As recently as mid-2019, major studies reported by Columbia University showed significant hope for men and women with hair loss. One rodent-based study provided new insight into cellular structures that affect growth cycles in hair. In a separate hair loss clinical study, scientists were able to grow human hair in a lab.

Current Hair Loss Treatment Clinical Trials

This list contains all current hair loss clinical trials known to ClinicalTrials.gov. To submit new hair loss treatment clinical trials to our list, contact us.


Hair loss is an extremely common problem, and today’s hair loss treatment options do not offer the lasting and effective solution patients desire. To create a new generation of hair loss treatments, scientists are learning more than ever before about the biology of hair. Hair loss clinical trials are the easy and powerful way for almost anyone, male or female, to contribute to hair loss treatment research that could finally end hair loss for good.

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