Taking an anti-androgen – that is, a drug that reduces or blocks testosterone and therefore di-hydro-testosterone or 5-alpha-reductase – can certainly be beneficial to your hair. The amount needed to have an effect, though, can cause side effects: tender breasts, loss of libido and lower sperm counts. And sometimes even large doses do not sufficiently reach the target of the hair follicle.
Applied topically in the correct vehicle – a solution that enables penetration to the hair follicle – they can be very effective. With men, an externally dilute solution including cyproperone acetate (a very potent anti-androgen) and medroxy progesterone acetate has been found to have very good results. Recendy, we included in the solution 3 per cent Minoxidil for some men. Not that the Minoxidil itself is beneficial, but it does help to dilate the blood capillaries, as explained when I was discussing Minoxidil. In this way the penetration of the anti-androgens can be more effective. Their use is long-term too, but there is no doubt about the therapeutic effect, whereby the hair loss is at least slowed, very often stopped and sometimes improved in overall thickness. Also, there are no side effects.
Many men want to try everything combined – Propecia, Minoxidil and topical anti-androgens – to cover all bases. This can also be good, not only because of their combined effect, but because it gives a feeling of satisfaction – almost euphoric – that they are doing everything possible.
The number of over-the-counter and mail order baldness cures is extraordinary. You would think, if you believed them, that everything is so easy. I wish it were. There is no over-the-counter product that is going to grow your hair once it’s gone. Minoxidil may slow it down, but even that in the long-term may be debatable.
I urge you not to waste your money pursuing the promised dreams from often spurious claimants. It is difficult enough with an ethical and knowledgeable professional, so don’t believe the ‘tests’ and the ‘results’ of non-scientific, incorrectly perused and unsubstantiated claims – even if they say they have met all the criteria of proof. I assure you that they haven’t. Avoid them all.
Hair Treatment Clinics
These should be viewed similarly unless they have an experienced, qualified professional in attendance – a Member of The Institute of Trichologists. If they ask for payment in advance, and this can run into thousands of pounds, leave! That is, if you’re tempted to go in the first place. Unethical and ‘cowboy’ clinics are the bane of my life, and I have seen so many people taken for a ride that I can’t emphasize strongly enough the necessity to avoid them.