Considering that nearly half the population experience hair loss at some point, it's surprising that most people don't know where to go to find the right advice. However that's only the half of it; the fact is that most people actually go to the wrong place.
Hair loss is a sensitive subject and often people find it easier to confide in family and close friends. It's the logical first step, but not the right one. Admittedly it's likely to make you feel better, but you can only kid yourself that 'you're imagining it' or that 'it doesn't matter anyway' for so long. Anyhow it's really up to you to decide whether it matters or not, after all it's your follicular future that's at stake.
Hair loss affects people in different ways, but can spark feelings of shame and inadequacy. Certainly there aren't many people who want to advertise the fact that they're going bald. In a bid to keep their hair loss 'under their hat' people often make a beeline for the pharmacy as soon as they find a few stray hairs on their pillow. Again this isn't the smartest move. The FDA has approved Rogaine for treating hair loss, and it is available over-the-counter. However, there are a number of causes of hair loss and by 'diagnosing' yourself you may be ignoring some underlying medical complaint or unnecessarily treating temporary hair loss. The most likely outcome is that you're simply not getting the best treatment available.
The best starting point is undoubtedly your doctor or physician, and the sooner the better. As with most medical conditions; the sooner the treatment is started, the better the results. While most health care professionals aren't hair loss specialists they will be able to put you in touch with a dermatologist who is. They'll also be able to check whether your hair loss is symptomatic of another medical complaint, or even the side effect of a prescribed medicine.
The rest is up to the dermatologist, who is ideally placed to explain the exact cause of your hair loss, as well as give advice on the pros and cons of each method of treatment. If you are in any doubt that you're getting the right advice, get a second opinion. Hair loss is a lucrative business and unscrupulous clinics have been known to recommend cupboards of shampoos, gels and dietary supplements with profit (rather than hair re-growth) in mind.