2022 was a big year for advancements in the medical field. Scientists learned how to track rapidly changing Covid variants, promising medications for prostate cancer were identified, and breakthroughs were made in diabetes management. JAK inhibitors were found to be successful in helping patients with severe alopecia areata regrow their hair. (01)
We’ve been busy too. In addition to seeing patients throughout the year, Dr. Ben Behnam and Dr. Sean Behnam, board-certified dermatologists and hair specialists, were behind the scenes developing, testing, and marketing stronger treatments for male and female pattern hair loss based on scientific data and their clinical experience.
If bald spots, thinning hair, or hairballs in the shower are stressing you out, now is the time to stop the shedding and start regrowing your hair. Here’s our guide to the Top Hair Loss Treatments for 2023. We’ll also share the science behind the formulas so you can make smart decisions about the products you use.
Top Oral Medications for Hair Loss
The most effective hair loss medications are prescription drugs discovered by accident. During testing for high blood pressure and benign prostatic hyperplasia, researchers found that the medicines had a peculiar side effect. Balding men suddenly started to regrow their hair. Further research was conducted, and sure enough, the findings were confirmed. Finasteride is now FDA approved to use by men with male pattern hair loss. Although all the other medications listed below have been tested for efficacy, they are currently prescribed off-label at low doses. Oral hair loss medications are easy to take and are relatively inexpensive.
Oral Minoxidil was recently touted in the New York Times as a “cheap treatment” that “restores hair in many patients.” (02) Minoxidil works by opening the blood vessels. More oxygen flows to the scalp, expanding the blood vessels and enlarging the hair follicles. Topical liquid or foam works for many people, but it does not work for some. People who do not respond to the topical formula may have better luck with the pill. A specific enzyme must be present in the skin and hair roots to convert topical Minoxidil to an active form. Oral Minoxidil does not need to be converted.
Low-dose oral Finasteride is a first-line DHT blocker that can be used by both men and women who are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant. DHT blockers prevent testosterone from converting to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT binds to your hair follicles, makes them shrink during a process called miniaturization, and makes your hair fall out. When DHT production is blocked, your hair follicles remain healthy. Oral Finasteride has minimal side effects on women who qualify to take the medication. Although not common, some men report sexual side effects from the pills. Switching to topical Finasteride is a good solution for men who are concerned.
Oral Dutasteride is similar to Finasteride. The main difference is the number of isoenzymes inhibited. Finasteride inhibits Type 2 isoenzyme of 5a-reductase (5AR). Dutasteride inhibits Type 1 and Type 2. 5AR is the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Research indicates that Dutasteride reduces more serum DHT than Finasteride. (03) Should you skip the Finasteride and go straight to Dutasteride? Not necessarily. Finasteride is effective for many users and can be taken at a lower dose. It’s typically recommended to step up to stronger medications as needed. Of course, there are always exceptions, so your dermatologist should guide you.
Oral Spironolactone, a medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, is used off-label at low doses to treat hair loss. Spironolactone falls into the category of mineralocorticoid receptors (MRAs). The medication slows the production of androgen to block DHT production. It’s usually only prescribed to women because it can cause side effects such as enlarged breasts in men.
Combination Oral Medications
Over time, dermatologists have discovered that treating male or female pattern hair loss requires multiple approaches working simultaneously. Many people need a cocktail of medications to stop their hair loss and to grow new hair. However, taking numerous medications usually isn’t convenient. That’s where SuperCapsules play a role. These medications combine a Minoxidil (a vasodilator), Finasteride or Dutasteride (a DHT blocker), and vitamin D.
Why Vitamin D? Because the number of people with Vitamin D deficiencies is more significant than you would imagine. Vitamin D deficiency affects about 40 percent of the people who live in the U.S. (04) Vitamin D is metabolized in the skin by cells that process keratin, the protein found in your hair, nails, and skin. When your body has a Vitamin D deficiency, your body has trouble regulating hair growth and shedding.
Top Topical Medications for Hair Loss
Oral medications are effective, but they’re not ideal for everyone. Although rare, oral hair loss medicines can sometimes cause side effects such as low blood pressure or decreased libido. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo hair loss treatment, though. Topical treatments can penetrate the scalp and have been found equally effective, without the same risk of side effects. (05)
All of our oral medications are available in topicals. For your convenience, topicals are also available in combinations. After all, it’s much easier to apply one medication than two, three, or four. Combined topicals also allow ingredients to be added, such as retinoic acid and cortisone. Retinoic acid improves the absorption of the formula. Sometimes, topicals that include higher percentages of Minoxidil can cause irritation. Cortisone proactively alleviates the issue. If you don’t see the exact formula you need, it’s not a problem. We can customize a formula for you.
Can you get topicals over the counter without a prescription? Minoxidil, yes. The only catch is that the foam and liquid available at the store is a lower dosage. Percentages higher than five are only available by prescription. Topical Finasteride, Dutasteride, and Spironolactone are only available by prescription.
Here are the topical formulas available:
- Finasteride & Minoxidil
- Finasteride & Minoxidil (Aqueous Formula)
- Dutasteride & Minoxidil
- Finasteride & Dutasteride & Minoxidil
- Spironolactone & Minoxidil (Women’s Formula)
Thickening Shampoos & Conditioners
Shopping for the right shampoo and conditioner can be overwhelming. Store shelves are packed with different options for every hair type. There are shampoos and conditioners for dry hair, greasy hair, curly hair, straight hair, dandruff, and more. What do you use if your hair is thinning or falling out? Well, there’s a plethora of options for that too. When developing their shampoo and conditioner, Dr. Ben Behnam and Dr. Sean Behnam were very particular about the ingredients they chose. Here are some of the natural ingredients they selected and why:
Research indicates that aragan oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Aragan oil can protect your hair against elements and make it look shinier.
Biotin, vitamin B7, is known for stimulating keratin production and increasing follicle growth rate. It was added to help make your hair stronger.
Collagen is used to increase your hair’s ability to build protein. It can help make your hair longer and thicker. If you have gray hair, collagen may help improve your hair’s appearance by supporting the hair follicle where your hair’s pigment is produced.
Want smoother, shinier hair? Keratin will help. The hair cuticle absorbs keratin, a structural and protective protein which helps keep your hair under control.
Saw palmetto is a member of the palm family. The powder is made from the shrub’s berries. Saw palmetto not only has anti-inflammatory properties, but it also acts as a DHT blocker.
Remember that no shampoo or conditioner alone will prevent hair loss or regrow your hair. The right ones will, however, help keep your hair and scalp healthy and healthy looking.
Nutritional deficiencies, hormonal issues, and stress all contribute to hair loss. Daily hair supplements with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Ashwagandha, probiotics, and other natural ingredients included in our hair supplements help offset the effects to give you stronger, healthier hair.
Researched and Tested Prescription Hair Loss Treatments
Most people are upset when they realize that they’re losing their hair. If that’s you, it’s time to usher in the new year with a fresh approach to managing your hair loss. Thanks to telemedicine, you can quickly, easily, discreetly access the prescription hair loss treatment you need. Our caring, licensed dermatologists are available to help you along the way. There’s even a special edition holiday pack to help you get started.
Remember, it can take six to twelve months to see the full results, so make sure to celebrate your milestones along the way. You may not think that you’re making much progress. After all, you see yourself every day. However, taking photos monthly will make it easier to see new growth. Cheers to new beginnings!