Man Checking Hairline in the mirror

Key Features

  • Receive a free doctor's assessment
  • Doctors will aim to review your form within one hour
  • Appropriate treatments will be prescribed immediately
Perfect if you're not sure about your options.
Dr Sameer Sanghvi

About Hair Loss

Hair loss – in the form of male pattern baldness – is a genetic disorder. Male pattern baldness occurs when hair follicles convert testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Affected hair follicles (typically at the sides and the top of the head) become more sensitive to DHT, which causes the hair follicles to shrink, weaken, and eventually die. This slows down hair production and can stop hair growth altogether.

Hair Loss Treatments

Whilst there is no hair loss cure or baldness cure, hair loss treatment can prevent further hair loss and even lead to renewed hair growth.

The two most effective hair loss treatments available in the UK are finasteride (branded as Propecia) and minoxidil.

Finasteride comes in the form of an oral tablet and needs to be prescribed by a doctor (this treatment is available via our online doctor service). Minoxidil is a topical lotion or foam which can be obtained from most pharmacies without a prescription.

How Hair Loss Treatment Works

Our hair loss treatment Propecia contains finasteride, and works as a long-term method of decreasing the effect of DHT on hair follicles. We also sell the generic form of Propecia (Finasteride), which contains exactly the same active ingredients.

Finasteride works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into the hormone DHT, thereby reducing the negative effects of DHT on hair follicles.

It remains unclear how minoxidil works but it appears to have a temporary stimulating effect on hair follicles.

Effectiveness of Hair Loss Treatment

Both finasteride and minoxidil have high success rates in those with mild to moderate hair loss, but may need to be taken for several months before any effect is seen.

Evidence suggests that two thirds of men who take finasteride (either Propecia or its generic form) will benefit from renewed hair growth. Finasteride halts hair loss for the majority of men who use it, and more than 90% of our hair loss patients see desirable results. Men normally need to take finasteride for at least 3 months before any effect is seen, and the balding process will usually resume if treatment is stopped.

For Minoxidil, studies suggest that the balding process will slow in about half of men who use it, and that about 15% of men who use it will experience some hair regrowth.

Since available evidence suggests that finasteride causes hair growth in a higher proportion of men than minoxidil, we here at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor believe that finasteride is the more effective treatment.

Our doctors prescribe finasteride to suitable patients through our online hair loss treatment service.

Types of Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia)

The most common form of hair loss is male pattern baldness, in which the hairline recedes and hair on the top of the head and temples thins. Male pattern baldness affects around half of all men by the age of 50. This is the condition that Propecia and generic finasteride are licenced to treat.

Female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia)

As with male pattern baldness, hair gradually thins from the top of the head. This type of hair loss tends to run in families, and can often get worse after the menopause.

Telogen effluvium

This is a shedding and thinning of the hair. Telogen effluvium typically occurs after you have suffered an illness or your body has undergone a stressful event, such as childbirth, surgery or sudden weight loss. Luckily, this kind of hair loss is usually temporary.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is characterised by patchy hair loss, and is most common in teenagers and young adults. In many cases hair grows back in a few months. In the UK, alopecia areata affects one or two people in every 1,000.

Alopecia totalis & alopecia universalis

Alopecia totalis is a complete loss of hair on the head, and alopecia universalis a complete loss of hair on the head and body. In the case of both, hair is unlikely to grow back unless the loss of hair has been caused by a traumatic event such chemotherapy.

Alternative Hair Loss Treatments

Alternative therapies exist to treat hair loss, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. However, there is little evidence that these are effective, and no clinical evidence to suggest that herbal pills have any effect on hair loss.

Alternatively, you may wish to try wigs, hairpieces or shaving your head.

Hair transplants have shown rapid improvement over the last few years, but they can be expensive and success rates vary greatly.

Hair Loss Products