Life isn’t one-size-fits-all, so it’s good to have options. Each day we use items made to order just how we need them. From the food you order to the car you drive, the best choice is typically the one that suits your wants and needs. The medication you use to regrow your hair should be no different.
Hair Loss is Individual and Unpredictable
No one is immune to hair loss. The difficult truth is that anyone can lose their hair at any time in their life for a variety of reasons, both men and women. For example, androgenetic alopecia, the most common cause of hair loss, affects roughly 80 million US residents, with 50 million male and 30 million female. (01)
Although most reasons for hair loss have a hereditary component, others may experience a loss of hair because of other triggers like (01)
- Ongoing distress or anxiety.
- Diseases, including thyroid disease and lupus.
- Going through severe emotional and physical stress.
- Natural hormonal changes.
- Major surgery, childbirth, severe infection, and experiencing the flu.
- Cancer treatments.
- Alopecia areata, affecting all ages.
- Inadequate nutrients in the diet.
- Use of birth control pills.
- Ringworm on the scalp.
- Prescription medications like blood thinners, arthritis medication, hormonal drugs, and cardiovascular treatments.
Hair loss occurs because of complex genetic, hormonal, chemical, and physical reactions in a person’s body. Because of its complexity, factoring in a person’s unique needs is essential to treating hair loss safely and effectively.
Why Are Hormones Important?
You already know that men and women are anatomically different. But men and women differ on the inside, too. And when it comes to hormones, men and women are definitely not the same.
Two main sex hormones, androgens and estrogens are present in both men and women. Testosterone is a type of androgen produced in both the testis and ovaries. The body then converts this testosterone to estrogen — smaller amounts in men and much larger doses in women.
It’s the ratio of these two hormones that make the distinct differences between men and women. Men typically have a testosterone to estrogen (estradiol) ratio of 3 to 1, while women cut a close-ratio of around 1 to 1 (depending on her age and her menstrual cycle). Keep in mind that estrogen is also measured differently and is much more powerful in small amounts than testosterone. Furthermore, men produce about 20 times more testosterone, but women convert 200 times more testosterone into estrogen than men. (02)
This cascade of hormones does much more than influence an individual’s sexual characteristics. These hormones impact a person’s bone density, cognitive processing, mood, digestion, muscle mass, skin, and — hair. Because hormones are so interconnected with the body’s processes, small changes in hormonal levels can significantly affect.
Hormones and Hair Loss
You may have heard that high levels of testosterone cause hair loss, but that’s not necessarily the case. Hair loss is more nuanced than simply having high testosterone levels. A person’s hormone levels can be impacted by stress, environmental pollutants, medications, illness, age, and genetics.
Male pattern baldness, for example, starts with a genetic component. However, this genetic component makes some men susceptible to DHT (a testosterone byproduct), which damages hair follicles and leads to hair loss. Men with a genetic predisposition towards hair loss will, most likely, lose their hair. (03)
Women also become more susceptible to hair loss as they age. As estrogen levels drop later in life, their hormone level ratio changes, leading to increased testosterone levels and hair loss. So, hair loss isn’t just a “guy thing.” It happens to women, also. (03)
Effective Hair Loss Treatments
Can hair loss be treated? Yes! Most definitely. But hair loss treatments should have both safety and effectiveness in mind.
- A 2019 literature review published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology found that topical finasteride delivered improved haircounts and a reduction in DHT levels within the scalp. (04)
- A recent 2022 study in the journal Advanced Dermatology and Allergology, found that topical minoxidil improved hair growth 57.33% in participants with androgenetic alopecia, the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. (05)
- A 2015 study from the American Academy of Dermatology showed hair growth improvement in 74% percent of research participants when treated with spironolactone. The authors concluded that spironolactone works successfully as a treatment for females hair loss, in particular in women with high levels of androgen hormones. (06)
Finasteride, minoxidil, and spironolactone are the most effective hair growth treatments in the industry, but they all work by impacting hair follicles and the hormones that affect their function. Because hair loss and hormones are linked so closely, it’s essential not to disrupt the body’s natural balance while providing treatment. Assessment and monitoring by a healthcare professional is vital for any safe hair loss solution.
Side-Effects of the Most Widely Available Hair Loss Treatments
Here are the most common side effects for the topical versions of the most widely used topical hair loss medications.
Side-Effects for FDA-approved Topical Finasteride (07)
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Increased liver enzymes
- Contact dermatitis
- Depression or anxiety
- Testicular tenderness
- Scalp irritation
- Reduced sex drive
- Difficulty urinating
- Dizziness or weakness
Side-Effects for FDA-approved Topical Minoxidil (08)
- Itching or skin rash
- Facial hair growth
- Inflammation or pain at the hair root
- Facial swelling
- Acne (at the application site)
Spironolactone is a women-only hair loss treatment, which means that it’s recommended only for use with women. Topical spironolactone generally has fewer side effects than oral spironolactone.
The possible side effects of oral spironolactone in women include: (09)
- Painful periods
- Painful cramping
- Irregular periods
- Breast tenderness
- Breast enlargement
- Reduced libido
- Menstrual irregularities
The most effective hair loss treatments on the market, like minoxidil, finasteride, and spironolactone, are all dose-dependent. This means that higher doses lead to better results — and also more side effects.
Why Customization is the Best Approach to Hair Loss
When it comes to treating hair loss, a variety of factors have to be considered. A person’s age, sex, and medical history play significant roles in which type of treatment and what doses would be best for their situation. Therefore, taking these factors into consideration when deciding treatment can slow — and even stop — hair loss and also keep side effects to a minimum.
Customizing Your Order at Happy Head: Just for You
Achieving hair growth with finasteride, minoxidil, or spironolactone with minimal side effects is managed through:
- A topical combination of both finasteride and minoxidil, which are currently the only two FDA-approved medications for hair loss treatment.
- A women only topical spironolactone is formulated with each woman in mind.
- Customizing hair loss treatments according to each customer’s sex, age, health history, and needs.
Customization for hair loss treatments not only makes the treatments safer, but also makes it more likely that customers will adhere to treatment. Regrowing hair takes time, after all. If a customer experiences side effects like the loss of libido, decreased sperm count, or (in women) painful periods, they may stop the treatments before any hair growth occurs. Catering each treatment makes it more likely that customers will complete the treatment and experience satisfying results.
At Happy Head, every order is customized according to your sex, age, health history, and your individual needs. Any health information submitted is private and secured at high industry standards. We are HIPAA compliant and take your privacy seriously.
Happy Head’s customized approach involves four easy steps:
- Subscribe and pay for the first month on happyhead.com, then complete a health questionnaire.
- Upload photos of your hair and your ID/driver’s license for verification.
- A Board-Certified Dermatologist will review your information and follow up with you if they have any questions.
- A physician orders your personalized prescription, which is then freshly compounded and sent through 2-day shipping with FedEx. All products are discreetly packaged.
What makes Happy Head truly unique? It’s the only customizable hair loss solution on the market today. Contact Happy Head and regrow your hair safely and successfully.