Negative side-effects of hair loss treatments for men

With all the potential health risks involved, is it really worth fighting for your hair? Can male hair loss be treated without the risk of negative side-effects? 

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a common condition that affects many men as they age. While there is no definitive cure for male pattern baldness, there are several treatment options available to help slow down hair loss and, in some cases, promote regrowth.

Unfortunately, many treatments and procedures for male hair loss come with the risk of negative side-effects, some of which can be serious, and long-term.

Let's take a look at some of the main treatment options for male baldness, and the common side-effects associated with them:

Finasteride (Propecia)
This prescription medication works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that contributes to hair loss. It's taken orally and has been shown to be effective in slowing down hair loss and promoting regrowth in some men.

finasteride male baldness treatment pill

Negative side-effects of finasteride can include: Erectile dysfunction, low libido, depression and anxiety, allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, and brain fog. There have been concerns raised about potential long-term effects of finasteride, particularly its impact on prostate health and the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Many side-effects can be long-term, even after the stoppage of use. 

Minoxidil (Rogaine/Regaine)
Available over-the-counter, minoxidil is a topical solution or foam that is applied directly to the scalp. It works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and stimulating hair growth. Minoxidil is typically used twice daily and may help slow down hair loss and promote regrowth in some men.

minoxidil hair growth treatment

Negative side-effects of minoxidil can include: Scalp irritation, increase in hair shedding, heart rate changes, dizziness or light-headedness, allergic reactions, weight gain. While topical minoxidil is generally well-tolerated and has minimal systemic absorption, some individuals may experience systemic side effects such as headache, nausea, or changes in blood pressure.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP therapy involves injecting a concentrated form of the patient's own blood plasma, which is rich in platelets, into the scalp. The growth factors in platelets are believed to stimulate hair growth by promoting the proliferation of hair follicle cells.

PRP hair loss treatment for men

Negative side-effects of PRP can include: Scalp irritation, bruising or swelling, infection, allergic reaction, nerve damage, and failure to achieve desired results. Overall, PRP therapy is considered a safe and well-tolerated treatment option for various musculoskeletal and aesthetic conditions. However, the effectiveness of PRP is still not clear, and therefore more research and testing needs to be carried out in order to establish its exact effectiveness. 

Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplant surgery involves harvesting hair follicles from areas of the scalp where hair is plentiful (the donor site) and transplanting them to areas where hair is thinning or balding (the recipient site). This surgical procedure can provide a permanent solution for hair loss, although multiple sessions may be required for optimal results.

hair transplant surgery

Negative side-effects of hair transplantation can include: Extreme pain and discomfort, swelling, scarring, excessive bleeding, shock loss (extreme hair shedding), unnatural looking results, poor growth or unsatisfactory results, long recovery period. Hair transplantation surgery is very expensive, and it requires a number of key facets to work in your favour in order to achieve the very best results. A lot of men are left feeling unhappy with their transplant. 

What are the safe alternatives to medications and surgical procedures, and do they work? 

If you're seeking alternatives to harsh medications and expensive surgical procedures for treating hair loss, then there are several options you can consider:

Vitamins and Minerals
Certain vitamins and minerals play a role in promoting healthy hair growth. Consider taking supplements such as biotin, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, it's advised to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, as excessive intake of certain nutrients can have adverse effects.
hair growth vitamins
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
LLLT devices, such as laser combs or helmets, emit low levels of light that stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth. LLLT is considered safe and non-invasive, although results may vary from person to person.
hair laser comb
Micro needling
Micro needling involves using a device with fine needles to create tiny punctures in the scalp, stimulating collagen production and increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. This can promote hair growth and improve the effectiveness of other hair loss treatments. Micro needling is considered safe when performed by a trained professional.

micro needling for hair growth
Hair Care Products
Using gentle and nourishing hair care products can help maintain the health of your hair and scalp. Look for shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that are free of harsh chemicals and contain ingredients like biotin, keratin, and natural oils.

hair care products for men
Scalp Massage
Regular scalp massage can improve blood circulation to the hair follicles and promote hair growth. You can use your fingers or a scalp massage tool to gently massage your scalp for a few minutes each day. Scalp massage shower brushes are particularly popular for these types of practices.  
Scalp massage shower brush
Specialist Hair Supplements
Specialist hair supplements are without doubt the most popular and effective solution for thinning hair. Specialist hair supplements, which contain a combination of key additives, mainly in the way of extracts, are marketed as a way to support hair health and potentially promote hair growth. 
hair specialist supplement
Some potential benefits associated with specialist hair supplements include: Promoting hair growth, strengthening the hair, improving hair texture, supporting scalp health, and reducing hair loss. 

The top specialist hair supplements on the market include Viviscal, EP43, and HR23+

It's important to note that while these alternative treatments may help promote hair growth and improve the overall health of your hair, results will vary from person to person, and it's essential to discuss any treatment options with your healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you.

best hair loss treatment for men