More than 50 percent of men over the age of 50 have some form of hair loss, making the hair loss industry worth a whopping $3.5 billion. Unfortunately, many hair loss solutions are worthless.
"Most of the products and services that are being sold in this industry don't work," says Spencer Kobren founder of the American Hair Loss Association and host of The Bald Truth podcast.
It's often difficult to separate the snake oils from the solutions because many people advocating for or against different products tend to have stakes in the industry too. There is also a lot of misinformation out there about what causes hair loss and how it can be prevented. We dug into the hard science to expose the myths, truths, and important information you should know about what you can actually do to keep (or get back) your hair.
Propecia (Finasteride) Works: Fact
The majority of hair loss falls in the category of androgenic alopecia – also called male pattern baldness. This is an inherited condition that makes a man's hair follicles stop producing aesthetically acceptable hair in reaction to hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Finasteride is an FDA-approved hair loss drug that works by blocking an enzyme that would otherwise change testosterone to DHT. It has to be taken every day and may take at least three months to take effect. It can have some side effects, including sexual problems, and it's worth noting that if a man stops taking finasteride, the hair he grew back will probably be lost.
Credit: Kristoferb / Wikipedia