by Dr. Alan Bauman, MD, ABHRS, IAHRS, FISHRS (from LivePure Journal)
Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, can start any time after puberty. You may be thinking to yourself that 20 seems early for hair loss to start, however that’s the reality for nearly a fifth of all men. For men, the risk of losing their hair is proportional to their age, in other words: 20% in your 20s, 30% in your 30s, 40% in your 40s, and so on. This “math” proves true for men all the way into their 90s.
One of the most worrisome aspects of hair loss is that the process is often well underway before you can see it in the mirror.
“Invisible baldness” is essentially the initial stage of a chronic hair loss condition such as androgenetic alopecia that is especially difficult to spot with the naked eye.
Scientific research confirms that it generally takes about 50% of the hair to be gone before baldness or lack of coverage becomes clearly visible (receded hairline, widening part, thinning on top, etc.).
In general, hair loss is a chronic, progressive condition that gets worse over time without treatment, making it essential for men to learn their risk and take a proactive approach to managing and treating their hair loss to reduce the need for hair transplantation later on.
The biggest takeaway for men should be that early evaluation and measurements by a certified physician, as well as appropriate intervention and follow-ups, are the key to preventing and managing hair loss. If a man who’s genetically prone to hair loss starts treatments early, he may be able to maintain a full and healthy hairline for many years to come.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest innovative non-invasive preventive and restorative medical treatments that could help delay the need for permanent restoration through hair transplantation.
Compounded prescriptions: what’s old is what’s new again
Drug compounding is designed to improve efficacy, mitigate side-effects, and improve compliance through combining, mixing or altering ingredients or altering the way the medication is taken to meet the needs of an individual patient. While pharmacy-compounded medications are not FDA-approved, they play an important role for many patients across nearly all areas of medicine.
Formula 82M Minoxidil: a compounded alternative
Minoxidil was the active ingredient in the first FDA-approved hair growth drug Rogaine originally approved in 1988 and is now available in a variety of generic over-the-counter versions.
However, these oily/greasy minoxidil mixtures are known to commonly cause major irritation in the scalp, and often a major disruption to your hairstyle.
Compounding techniques can now be used to create a powerful compounded prescription version such as the quick-dry, non-greasy Compounded Formula 82M Minoxidil. Formula 82M is a powerful, user-friendly “Rogaine alternative” with a sophisticated mixture of minoxidil, tretinoin, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, as well as hair and scalp conditioner ingredients in a non-greasy, propylene glycol-free base.
Formula 82M has an exceptionally long track record of decades of use in both the U.S. and Latin America. Formula 82M is only available via prescription.
It is recommended that at least 20 to 30 drops of Formula 82M be applied twice daily to the entire scalp, focusing primarily in the areas of concern and at-risk zones.
For maximum effect, 82M should be spread evenly and allowed to absorb for at least three hours before showering, swimming or participating in heavy physical activity. Results can be measured using a HairCheck trichometer in three to six months, with visible results noticeable shortly thereafter.
Formula 82M is often prescribed in conjunction with other hair restoration treatments like finasteride/Propecia, low level laser therapy, etc. but it can be used as a stand-alone treatment in the early stages of hair loss in both men and women. Applied correctly, hairstyling impairments and side effects such as skin irritation are rare.
Dr. Bauman Tip: If you have experienced hairstyling problems with over-the-counter minoxidil, scalp irritation or weak results, you are not alone. Compounded Formula 82M might be worth a try. Formula 82M is the most highly rated and positively reviewed compounded prescription topical medication for hair growth in North America.
In 1998, Propecia/finasteride became the first oral FDA-approved prescription medication for men affected by male pattern hair loss. Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase (5AR) enzyme blocker which has the effect of decreasing dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the primary trigger for male pattern hair loss. Rigorous peer-reviewed clinical trials showed a ~90% success rate in men with androgenetic alopecia. However, sexual side effects from oral finasteride, although rare (~2% in studies), are a concern for many potential and current users of the medication.
The innovative Compounded Formula 82F or “Finoxidil,” contains both topical finasteride and minoxidil in a powerful yet “palatable,” sophisticated topical mixture for the scalp to improve hair growth. Patients report it is a quick drying, less greasy, less sticky and more powerful alternative to over-the-counter hair growth treatments like Rogaine/generic minoxidil and has fewer systemic side effects than oral finasteride (Propecia).
For patients concerned about the risk of sexual side effects as reported from FDA-approved oral finasteride/Propecia, early research suggests that topical finasteride preparations, like Compounded 82F, may significantly reduce those risks due to a decreased amount of finasteride found in the bloodstream.
It is recommended that 30 drops of Formula 82F should initially be applied as directed—twice daily to the entire scalp that is “at risk” and focusing primarily in the areas of hair thinning. Formula 82F should be distributed evenly and allowed to absorb for at least three hours before showering, swimming or participating in heavy physical or other activity that may cause sweating.
Dr. Bauman Tip: Be aware that for some, topical finasteride may not be as powerful of a hair growth treatment as the oral version, so always discuss the risks and benefits with your qualified hair restoration physician and track your Hair Mass Index measurements using HairCheck trichometry every three months to monitor your results.
Dr. Alan J. Bauman, MD is the Founder and Medical Director of the Bauman Medical Hair Transplant and Hair Loss Treatment Center in Boca Raton, FL. At nearly 12,000 square feet, his clinic is the world’s largest and most comprehensive stand-alone treatment center dedicated exclusively to treating hair loss in both men and women.