Hair Loss Advice


Choosing a Hair Loss Expert

If you are experiencing hair loss, you may have considered seeking expert help for your problem. But who should you turn to? And how do you know you're getting the best care?

choosing a hair loss clinic

Below, hair loss experts explain how you can find professional help that is reliable, and right for you.

What's the most common cause of hair loss in men and women?

NEIL SADICK, MD: The three most common causes of hair loss are genetic. The state of your parents hair can tell you a lot about whether you're going to lose your hair during your lifetime. In both men and women.

Who should a person turn to first when they're seeking help?

NEIL SADICK, MD: Dermatologists are experts in the field of hair disorders. All dermatologists are trained in the general knowledge and treatment of hair loss disorders, but not all dermatologists choose to do this.

A dermatologist will often refer to a specialist. Most dermatologists who are trained and have some expertise in this area usually deal both with men and women.

Should patients consider over-the-counter products or products that they hear advertised on the radio or television?

MICHAEL REED, MD: Over-the-counter minoxidil, which is the brand Rogaine, is FDA approved. It's been shown to be effective in scientific studies. Propecia is the new drug on the block, and that probably is more effective.

It's a pill that you take once a day, and that has been shown to slow down hair loss and grow hair in a significant number of individuals. Most of the other preparations that are heavily advertised or marketed are not proven to be effective.

Any product that is advertised as being effective in regrowing hair and absolutely devoid of side effects has got to be untrue, because there's a basic law of pharmacology that every drug that works has some side effects in certain circumstances. So I would just use that as a guide in using these over-the-counter preparations.

As a person searches for a hair loss expert for treatment, is there anyone he should be careful to avoid?

NEIL SADICK, MD: I would not turn to anyone who has no experience and no interest in treating patients with hair disorders. You need to be sure that the physician who you're consulting has a particular interest in treating your problem, because many dermatologists themselves are not particularly interested in treating hair disorders.

But how does a person realistically find out if that doctor is any good at hair replacement therapy?

MICHAEL REED, MD: If you want to get a referral, you can check with the American Academy of Dermatology. You can call the local medical centers, and speak to the department of dermatology to find out if they have a specialist in that area.

By: Michael L. Reed, MD 
By: Neil Sadick, MD

Published on: 2001-10-09

Choosing a hair loss expert - How to pick a hair loss clinic to help you