Hair regrowth may be the holy grail for men and women who know what it's like to lose their hair. There is good news and bad news on that front. Let's get the bad news out of the way first:
If you're losing your hair because of genetics, it will likely be permanent.
But there's a caveat to that: hair regrowth technology is improving by the year (1). Some of these technologies, which include laser therapy and hair transplant surgery, already exist, yet are becoming more effective.
And there are other hair regrowth options too, from medications and topical treatments to natural hair regrowth strategies, like Profollica – our preferred method for dudes losing their hair.
Let's look closer at what to do if you're among the estimated 85% of men with some form of hair loss by age 50 (2).
Testosterone and Hair Loss: It's Complicated
With dudes like Vin Diesel, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Jason Statham and, the baddest man in history, Die Hard's John McClane all sporting a chrome dome or something close to it, you're forgiven if you think bald dudes have more testosterone than men with more hair.
The link between testosterone and hair loss is a complicated one (3). We do know this: about 95% of men who lose hair can thank their genes. This is male pattern balding, and it's caused by sensitivity of your hair follicles to a form of testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
If your father, grandfather, uncle or the men in general have hair loss, it's likely because their follicles are sensitive to DHT – and it's likely why you're losing your hair as well.
Hair Regrowth Options
We can't all look like Vin Diesel or The Rock. Some guys rock the bald look like no one's business. If you do a test shave and like the results, you're on to something. Now ask your family and friends – and a few women too. Do they like it? Congratulations, there's your solution. You're good to go.
Now, what if you don't rock a shaved head?
Here's where we want to look at your hair regrowth options. These are:
Hair Transplant Surgery – This is a surgical procedure in which a team of surgeons take skin grafts of your hair follicles from an area not vulnerable to hair loss (typically the back of your head, just above the neck) and transplant them to balding areas.
Laser Therapy – This is a relatively new hair regrowth technology that consists of low-level lasers that stimulate weak cells and encourages follicles to grow hair again (4).
Hair Loss Medications – These include Rogaine and Propecia. Rogaine is a topical treatment and Propecia is an oral medication that helps to reduce the amount of testosterone your body converts to DHT, although it's linked to some rather scary side effects as well.
Natural Hair Loss Solutions – These are natural supplements and related products made with hair-friendly nutrients. They can be oral supplements, shampoos, conditioners or a combination of each of these. We like Profollica for reasons we'll discuss later in this article.
Now let's look closer at each of these options and help you create your hair regrowth strategy that considers your budget and degree of hair loss.
Hair transplant technology has come a long way since the early 'hair plug' results of the 1980s, in which doctors would take large grafts, with plugs of 12 to 20 hairs and implant them where needed. While this procedure had decent results at the time of operation, some men saw poles of hair jutting out as they got older and their hair loss continued (5).
Today's hair transplant surgery uses the same principle of those first hair transplants (taking grafts of follicles from a 'donor' area that doesn't typically see hair loss, like the hair just above the back of your neck, and implanting them in balding 'recipient' areas). But the technology has improved.
Rather than bigger grafts with more hairs in each one, today's hair transplants have one to four hairs transplanted very closed together in a 'follicular unit'. The result is hair regrowth that looks quite natural and more realistic than you could expect 30 years ago.
- Often Good Visible Results
- Hair Growth is Permanent
- Technology is Improving
- Different Results For Each Person
- Intrusive Procedure
Hair transplants are a good option for men who've already experienced moderate hair loss but has stabilized.
The good news is that hair transplants are typically for life. But it's important to manage your expectations with this option. Hair transplants aren't hair regrowth. It's simply a matter of shuffling around the hair you've got. You won't have flowing locks – but in many guys, more hair is enough hair. If that's where you're coming from, think about hair transplants.
Cost: $4,000 - $15,000+
Laser therapy is a relatively new form of hair regrowth. It's something you can do at home – laser therapy for hair regrowth is typically a cap worn on your scalp that stimulates weak cells within your hair follicles with photons to encourage better hair growth.
Put aside your thoughts of Luke Skywalker's light saber. These are low level lasers, sometimes called 'red light therapy' or 'cold laser therapy'. Most guys find it's relatively painless, and the fact that it's non-invasive also makes laser therapy of interest as a hair regrowth option.
- Relatively Painless
- 'Hit and Miss' Results
- Relatively Expensive
- Can Interact With Medications
While it sounds promising, evidence suggests that laser therapy is effective for some men with hair loss, but does little for others. A 2014 study found laser therapy was both safe and effective for men and women looking for hair regrowth (6). A 2013 study of 41 guys from 18 to 48 found it boosted hair growth by 39% over 16 weeks.
But more studies are needed before we can conclude whether laser therapy is an effective option for hair regrowth over a more intrusive but promising option like hair transplants.
Cost: Around $2,000
Hair Loss Medications
These are exactly as they sound. Hair loss medications help stimulate hair regrowth, either topically or with an oral medicine. The two most well-known hair loss medicines are likely Rogaine (Minoxidil) and Propecia (Finasteride).
Rogaine is a topical application applied to the scalp. While it appears to be effective for guys with moderate hair loss, it's more of a hair preservation tool rather than a regrowth option.
This brings us to Propecia. Unlike Rogaine, Propecia does appear to help hair regrowth. That's because it appears to inhibit the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. The caveat? Propecia comes with risk of side effects (7) that may include a slightly higher risk of prostate cancer. You may also have erection problems with Propecia, along with less semen.
In some cases, these side effects can linger – even after you've stopped using the product.
- Fairly Effective
- Risk of Side Effects
- Rogaine Does Not 'Regrow' Lost Hair
Rogaine appears to work best for hair loss at the vertex (crown of your head), and with best results in men under 40 (8). It's not meant for a receding hairline, and because it opens shrinking follicles (rather than those that are dead), it won't help if you've already gone bald.
Propecia appears to work better as a hair regrowth method, with roughly 88% of men having slower hair loss and roughly 66% of guys having new hair grown (9). This takes time – expect to use Propecia for at least six months, every day, before you see results.
Note that you will a prescription to buy Propecia, and be mindful of those potential side effects. Also, you'll likely lose hair again once you stop using either product.
Cost: About $30 - $50 per month
Natural Hair Loss Supplements
A natural hair loss supplement is designed to help slow hair loss and encourage regrowth. They can take many forms: supplements, shampoos, conditioners, or combinations of them.
They're typically made with hair-friendly nutrients, like biotin, that may help reduce the effects of DHT on your follicles. The fact that they're natural means you do not need a prescription to buy them – and while they may not be quite as strong as prescription hair regrowth medications, they may not be quite as scary either.
- They're Natural
- You Don't Need a Prescription to Buy Them
- Can Be Quite Effective
- Varying Quality
- Not As Strong as Medications
That depends on the product you use. You've got every right to be wary of natural health supplements – an industry with plenty of products that don't work at best and come with undisclosed toxins in their formulas at worst.
Still, that should not necessarily scare you off from considering a natural hair regrowth supplement. One product we like is Profollica – a two part system that consists of a daily oral (herbal) supplement made with biotin and millet and a conditioner that is made with a compound called 'Trichogen'.
One study found that 90% of men who used Trichogen had less hair loss – and over 80% of them rated their hair growth as 'medium, good or quite good'.
Our point? Don't rule out a natural hair regrowth supplement. We like Profollica because it has Trichogen and it's made by the same company that makes GenF20 Plus, one of the best-known and most-established natural Human Growth Hormone supplements in the anti-aging industry.
What is the Best Hair Regrowth Strategy?
You're losing your hair. Now what?
As a general rule, deal with it quick. Thinning hair thanks to genetics means that your follicles are shrinking, but they're still alive.
If the men in your family have hair loss, be it your father, brother, grandfather or uncles, that's a sign your hair loss is not reversible unless you do something about it.
1 – Shave Your Head and Test the Look
Your first step is to shave your head. Do this – and give the look at least two weeks. Ask your family, friends and some women in your life whether they like the look.
Does the shaved head work for you? Not all guys can pull this off, but if you're among the few who can, congratulations. You don't have to worry about hair regrowth ever again. You're bald, you're bold and if you get your butt in the gym, someone not to be trifled with, either.
2 – Consider Profollica or a Hair Loss Medication
You can think about Rogaine to help save hair at the back, although it doesn't really work for a receding hairline, and it's pointless to use Rogaine if you're already bald.
You can also think about Propecia, which is generally more effective than Rogaine, although it does come with a concerning list of side effects that can affect your sexual wellness. In some cases, those effects may linger – even after you've stopped using the product.
If you don't want to go down the whole prescription route, you may want to try a natural hair loss supplement. We recommend Profollica because it's made with Trichogen, millet and biotin, among other nutrients that encourage hair regrowth.
And it's got a 67 day money-back guarantee if it doesn't work.
3 – Think About Hair Transplants
If you're a little further down your hair loss journey, you can also consider hair transplants. This should probably not be your first hair loss strategy option to consider because if you get hair transplants in your early stages, you're still going to see a lot more hair loss, whether you get transplants or not.
That's not to say you should not look into hair transplants, at the very least, because the technology continues to improve, and while they don't actually grow new hair, they do add your existing hair to where it's needed.
In short, hair transplants are a good option to think about after you've done a test shave, tried a hair loss medication, you've already lost much of your hair and you have at least $5,000 to commit to the process – and possibly north of $20,000.
The hair regrowth strategy you choose depends on a variety of factors, from your age, degree of hair loss, facial structure and the funds you've got to deal with it.
Our suggestion? Use Profollica as soon as you see the first visible signs of hair loss. Then think about hair transplants later when you've got the means.
FAQs About Hair Regrowth
Still have questions about your hair regrowth options?
I'm Going Bald – What Should I Do?
Your first step should be to speak with your doctor. He or she should first rule out whether there is a non-genetic reason you're losing your hair. Deal with that first – it's your top priority.
Assuming it's genetic, and your doctor says it is, it's time to deal with your hair loss. Shave your head and see how it looks. If you like it, there's your solution. If you don't, we would try Profollica, and keep using it to maintain your hair regrowth.
Can I Actually Regrow Hair?
The two best methods to regrow hair will likely be Propecia, or possibly Profollica. Rogaine simply preserves existing hair and does not help with new growth (and it does not help a receding hairline).
Propecia appears to encourage new hair growth, although we don't like those side effects. We'd go with Profollica, which is made with a natural compound, called Trichogen, that reportedly helped 90% of men who used it reduce hair loss in a clinical trial.
Is It Going to Be Expensive to Keep My Hair?
If you fight hair loss with a medication, you will need to keep using it each day. Expect to pay in the range of $30 - $60 each month, although Profollica has discounts on 3 and 6 month packages that may be a little more affordable.
Hair transplants will cost at least $5,000 and you may need more than one procedure.
Are These Methods Dangerous?
Of all the hair regrowth options we've talked about, we like Propecia the least. That's not because it doesn't work. It's because it's a prescription medication that has been known to lead to semen issues and erection problems. As we've said, occasionally those side effects can stick around (10).
When Will I See Results?
Other than shaving your head (and Rogaine, which simply preserves hair), you should expect to wait at least 6 months to see noticeable results. That's a good timeline to expect for Propecia or hair transplants if you go that route. The same goes for hair regrowth Profollica – use it daily and wait about 6 months. You won't see it immediately, but when you do, you'll likely feel your confidence come back in a big way.
Hair regrowth options include transplants, medications or a natural hair loss system like Profollica. Here's why we feel Profollica is your best option.