It's a slightly worrying statistic that, as a man, you got a fifty-fifty chance of experiencing hair loss during your lifetime. Bearing this in mind it's hardly surprising that male hair loss treatment is big business. The good news is that, after a couple of decades of pouring money into hair loss research, the big pharmaceutical companies are beginning to see positive results.
Hair loss has been on man's mind for as long as history can recall, and consequently there's a diversity of weird and wonderful treatments out there. However, only two have been approved by the FDA.
Minoxidil was the first medication to receive the official 'thumbs up' and is currently the only one available without a prescription. It comes as a topical solution at concentrations of 2% and 5%. No one is exactly sure how it works, but it seems to in approximately 50% of men who use it.
Finasteride is a popular alternative, and as it comes in tablet form it's more convenient on a day-to-day basis. Many dermatologists argue that this is the more effective of the two, while 99% agree that a combination of the two provides the best results. However, it's really a matter of personal choice and it's understandable that some people aren't keen to commit themselves to taking a lifelong oral medication.
If you find that the two above treatments aren't effective there are other options which will work (such as hair restoration surgery), and there are enough alternative treatments available on the market to keep you busy for the rest of your life. However it's of paramount importance to remember that some treatments rely only on puffed up anecdotes and customer's insecurities, rather than hard scientific facts. For many going bald is bad enough and getting ripped of won't help. Dermatologists are well placed to give advice, but it's worth bearing in mind that they too may not be entirely objective.