Skip to content Skip to footer

Thinning hair is a common concern, impacting many people’s self-esteem and appearance. With a range of treatments available, from over-the-counter solutions like Minoxidil to prescription medications, surgery, and laser therapy, it’s vital to explore these options. 

Understanding their effectiveness, potential side effects, and how they match individual needs can guide those affected towards making informed decisions. This article aims to provide an overview of these treatments, offering insights into their pros and cons, and helping individuals navigate their choices with confidence.

Over-the-Counter Solutions: Minoxidil

Minoxidil, available over the counter, is a widely used treatment for hair thinning. It’s offered in various forms, including liquid, foam, and shampoo. For optimal results, men should apply it twice daily, while women should use it once. 

This treatment can either encourage hair regrowth or slow down hair loss, but it requires at least six months of use to evaluate its effectiveness. Continuous use is necessary to maintain any gained benefits. Some users might experience side effects like scalp irritation or unwanted hair growth on nearby areas of the skin.

Prescription Medications: Finasteride

Finasteride is a prescription medication specifically designed for men experiencing hair thinning. Administered as a daily pill, it aims to decelerate hair loss and, in some cases, stimulate new hair growth. 

Observing its effectiveness requires a few months of consistent use, and ongoing treatment is necessary to maintain any positive results. 

While relatively rare, some side effects include a decrease in sexual interest and a potential increased risk of prostate cancer. It’s also important to note that women, especially those pregnant or potentially becoming pregnant, should avoid handling broken or crushed tablets due to risks of absorption and harm to a male foetus.

Other Medication Options

For treating thinning hair, besides Minoxidil and Finasteride, there are other options:

  • Spironolactone: Often used by women, this medication blocks the body’s production of androgens, which are known to reduce hair follicle size and can lead to hair loss. It’s taken as a pill and may offer a beneficial treatment for those affected by hormonal-related hair thinning.
  • Dutasteride: This pill, similar to Finasteride, is employed to combat hair loss in men. It works by obstructing the hormones that trigger hair thinning. Its use and effectiveness can be determined through consultation with a healthcare professional, ensuring it aligns with individual health profiles and hair loss conditions.

These alternatives have their specific uses and can be effective for some people. It’s important to talk with a doctor to see if these options are right for you and to understand the potential benefits and side effects.

woman holding spray bottle

Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair Transplant Surgery offers a significant option for addressing permanent hair loss, utilising the individual’s existing hair. This procedure involves relocating hair from denser areas to balding spots, employing either small grafts or larger strips of hair. 

As Dr Edward Maitland Ball says, “hair restoration is a life-changing experience, and not just another medical procedure”

Although it’s an outpatient surgery, meaning hospital stay isn’t required, it comes with its discomforts, for which pain relief is provided. Potential risks include bleeding and infection, and achieving desired outcomes may necessitate multiple surgeries. Importantly, while it can restore hair appearance, it doesn’t halt the underlying cause of hair loss, which may continue over time.

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy for hair loss involves using a low-level laser to treat thinning hair. The Food and Drug Administration has approved this method for both men and women. Studies suggest it can make hair thicker. Yet, more research is needed to understand its long-term effects fully. It’s a non-invasive option, which means it doesn’t involve surgery or pain. 

This makes it an interesting choice for those looking for less aggressive treatments. Always talk with a healthcare professional to see if it’s right for you.

Living with Hair Loss

Living with hair loss involves several strategies for managing both the physical and emotional aspects:

  • Joining Support Groups: Finding a community through support groups can offer comfort and understanding. Sharing experiences and coping strategies with people who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly supportive.
  • Seeking Professional Advice: It’s crucial to talk to doctors or hair care specialists. They can provide guidance on treatment options or ways to manage hair loss, ensuring you have professional input tailored to your situation.
  • Emphasising Self-Care: Taking care of your overall health can positively impact your hair. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management can all contribute to better hair health and personal well-being.

These steps can help in navigating the journey of living with hair loss, highlighting the importance of community, expert guidance, and self-care.


While no treatment guarantees full hair restoration, options like Minoxidil, Finasteride, other medications, hair transplant surgery, and laser therapy offer hope. Consulting with healthcare professionals can help determine the most suitable path based on individual conditions and preferences. Patience and persistence are key, as results can take time and might require ongoing treatment.