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Consumer Reports: Hair loss remedies

TAMPA, FL — Two-thirds of men start losing their hair before they turn 35, according to the American Hair Loss Association. If you’re concerned about hair loss, Consumer Reports National Research Center’s new survey can tell you which remedies work best. Losing hair doesn’t seem to have hurt “cop out” movie star Bruce Willis’ career.  […]

Written by Gary Heron

Posted on: May 4, 2010

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TAMPA, FL — Two-thirds of men start losing their hair before they turn 35, according to the American Hair Loss Association. If you’re concerned about hair loss, Consumer Reports National Research Center’s new survey can tell you which remedies work best.

Losing hair doesn’t seem to have hurt “cop out” movie star Bruce Willis’ career. 

Bruce Willis

But hair loss is traumatic for many people, according to a Consumer Reports survey of more than eight thousand subscribers. Here’s Todd Marks, “We asked people a broad spectrum of questions as to what worked and what didn’t when it came to treating pattern baldness.”

A prescription drug was by far the most effective treatment for men – though not available for women. It’s Finasteride, also sold under the brand name Propecia. Marks says, “When it came to Finasteride, 27 percent of those men we surveyed said it was very effective, and another 41 percent said it was somewhat effective. So there’s more hope with Finasteride than there is with almost anything else.”

The only other FDA-approved treatment for hair loss is Minoxidil, also sold as Rogaine. It’s approved for men and for women in lower doses. “Only four percent of those surveyed said it was very effective at treating hair loss.”

Dr. Robert Bernstein treats many patients for baldness. “Of the two, Propecia is a lot more effective. But we use both in many patients.”   

And for hiding hair loss, wearing a wig or toupee won the most praise, and doing what Bruce Willis does – shaving your head – along with dressing better and exercising.

As for women, Consumer Reports says those who attributed their hair loss to stress found changing their diet and exercise were relatively effective. Those surveyed did not include people who were losing their hair due to chemotherapy or chronic illness.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help