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Hair Loss Treatment

Hair loss is a natural process that can affect anyone at any stage of life. In fact, roughly 8 million women and 6.5 million men in the UK suffer from hair loss. Although it is a common affliction most associated with ageing, when it happens to you, it can feel quite worrying.  

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and many people around the world experience the same issue, and the cause can vary dramatically between people. 

Hair loss can also happen naturally; we can lose up to 100 hairs on our heads each day, which is nothing to worry about. However, more severe cases of hair loss can be caused by a medical condition or a recent illness. 

Losing hair can spark feelings of worry, anxiety and stress. All of which is not good for hair loss. So, to help you combat those feelings, we are going to discuss how hair loss occurs and what we can do to treat and prevent it.   

What causes hair loss in men & women?

Hair loss in men

You may be surprised to know that hair loss and thinning hair can be caused by many different factors, male pattern baldness being one of them. It is a very common condition amongst men, and it affects around 6.5 million men in the UK.  

It is thought that 40% of men will experience noticeable baldness by the age of 35, with this figure increasing to 50% by the time they reach 50 and 65% by the age of 60. Balding tends to happen as a result of hormone level changes throughout a man’s lifetime. It can also be hereditary or occur due to a medical condition. 

Male pattern baldness occurs when the hair follicles shrink over time. This results in hair getting shorter and thinner. Each follicle can produce on average 2-5 units of hair. After a while, the follicle stops producing new hair, causing baldness. Despite not growing new hair, the follicles remain alive, indicating that there is still a possibility to grow new hair.  

One of the main reasons for this process is your genetics. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a by-product of the hormone testosterone. In males, it is responsible for stimulating the development of male characteristics such as genitals, deeper voice, increased muscle mass, bodily and pubic hair.  

If you are genetically more vulnerable to hair loss, DHT attaches to receptors in your hair follicles. This causes them to diminish in size to a point where they will not produce anymore hair.  

Hair loss in women

Women also experience hair loss but not in the same fashion as male pattern baldness. Hair loss in women occurs when there is no longer new hair growing through to replace the hair that falls out. 

Women suffering from hair loss may experience loss of hair originating around the top of the head as it slowly starts to move outward. Whereas male pattern baldness usually occurs around the temples and hairline first. You can refer to the Ludwig Scale for guidance on the different stages of female hair loss.  

Causes of hair loss in women may include: 

  • Family history 
  • Age 
  • Hormonal imbalance 
  • Stress 
  • Medical conditions 
  • Hairstyles 
  • Side effects of medication 
  • Scalp conditions 
  • Hair care 
  • Sexually transmitted infections 
  • Nutrient deficiencies

Illnesses that cause hair loss

There are many illnesses that can cause hair loss. One of the most common that we associate with hair loss is alopecia areata.  

This is an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to fall out in clumps. The hair falls out of your scalp and other areas of the body. It can often grow back, but usually this leads to another bald patch forming on another area of your body.  

Alopecia can be caused by a number of factors like a person's genetics or nutrition deficiencies. If you think that you might have symptoms of alopecia, then it is advised that you speak with your local GP. 
Stress and anxiety can also play a part in male pattern baldness. When our body is under stress, it can cause hair follicles to stop growing prematurely. The hairs stay in what is known as the resting (telogen) phase, for a few months, before they fall out. This is usually temporary, and hair grows back. 

Thyroid disease is also a common illness associated with hair loss. This is a general term for a medical condition that prevents your thyroid from making the correct number of hormones. The hair loss will affect the whole scalp rather than in specific areas. It can be treated, although this will take several months, and is not always successful. 
Scalp infections such as ringworm can affect not only animals but humans too. It is a fungal infection that affects areas of your skin and can spread throughout the body. Ringworm of the scalp develops into itchy, scaly bald patches. So, if you notice these sore patches forming on your scalp, then you must consult your doctor as soon as possible. Luckily, ringworm can be treated with medication like antifungal skin creams. 

A poor diet can also contribute to hair loss. Good hair growth requires healthy levels of certain vitamins and minerals. A good source of iron is required as it transports oxygen around the body. A lack of iron will result in less oxygen being transported around the body. To preserve the body’s oxygen, it shuts down non-essential functions and often the first process to be affected is hair loss.   

Zinc plays an important role in building healthy cells and regulating hormones. Zinc helps to ensure strong and healthy growth and reproduction of hair follicle cells. B vitamins are important in regulating bodily functions. It has been suggested that they play an important role in helping to maintain a healthy and strong hair growth. 

Medication that causes hair loss

Although hair loss can be genetic, it can also be a side effect of certain medications used to treat illnesses. For instance, cancer treatments, high blood pressure medication and depression medication are just some of the medicines which can trigger hair loss. Certain medications damage the individual hair follicles, which disrupt growth at different stages. Luckily, the hair loss caused by this is often temporary. 

You may be surprised at the long list of medications that cause hair loss. Some of them are listed below. 

Blood pressure medications - There are a variety of medications when it comes to blood pressure, from Beta-blockers to ACE inhibitors. Beta-blockers such as Metoprolol, Timolol, Propranolol, Atenolol and Nadolol have all been associated with hair loss. Whilst ACE inhibitors like Enalapril, Lisinopril and Captopril can also have the same effect. 

If you are worried about your blood pressure medication thinning your hair, then it is advised that you consult with your doctor as they may be able to put your mind at ease. Often this hair loss is temporary, and your hair will be encouraged to grow back. 

Immunosuppressants - If you have an autoimmune condition such as Lupus, then you may be taking immune-suppressing drugs like Methotrexate, Leflunomide, Cyclophosphamide and Etanercept. These medications can cause the hair to thin and fall out. 

Antidepressants and mood stabilizers - For some people, taking antidepressants can cause hair loss. There are five antidepressant and mood stabiliser drugs that can cause this. They are Paroxetine Hydrochloride, Sertraline, Protriptyline, Amitriptyline and Fluoxetine. 

It is important to remember that all medications can have side effects. Although hair loss can feel unnatural, when it comes to medication, sometimes it can’t be helped. You should try not to let it get you down as stress also contributes to hair thinning and loss. Try to remember that most medications will cause temporary hair loss, and it will grow back over time. 

Types of hair loss

As well as there being different causes of hair loss, there are also different types of hair loss. Alopecia areata is a type that we previously discussed. There are also others, such as telogen effluvium, traction alopecia and anagen effluvium, to name a few. 

You may be familiar with telogen effluvium, as this is a common cause of temporary hair loss. This occurs when more hair is shed than usual. It can be caused by a number of factors like a recent stressful event, trauma and even extreme weight loss. This type of hair loss can be treated and typically takes six to twelve months for the hair loss to reverse. 

Signs of hair loss

There are a few signs to look out for regarding hair loss. The most common are gradual reductions of hair on top of the head, round bald spots or patches of hair loss, loss of hair across the body, hair suddenly coming loose and patches of scaling that spread over the scalp.   

If you think that you are going through the early stages of male pattern baldness, then you can check your symptoms alongside the Norwood Scale. This is the leading classification system that measures the extent of any case of male pattern baldness. 

How to prevent hair loss

Not all forms of hair loss can be prevented, particularly in instances of genetics, illness and age. However, there are some ways in which you can help to prevent further hair loss. Heat damage from hair appliances like dryers and straighteners can be damaging to hair follicles alongside chemicals such as bleach. 

Many of us don’t realise that our shampoo and conditioners can also cause damage to our hair as they may contain harsh ingredients. It is advised that you try to switch up your hair products if you notice that you are losing more hair than normal, and using a soft brush on your hair can be kinder to your scalp and promote healthy sebum levels on your hair.  

Inherited male pattern baldness is nothing to worry about. Hair loss treatment has been and is currently being used by many men, who find the treatment to be effective for them. It is important however, to see a doctor if your hair loss is does not gradually follow a pattern of a receding hairline accompanied or followed by thinning and hair loss on the crown, or if you experience:  

  • Bald patches 
  • Sudden unexplained hair loss 
  • Hair shedding in large amounts or clumps 
  • Any skin changes around your head such as itchiness, rash, burning, scaly texture 
  • Hair loss after having started a new medication or therapy (such as chemotherapy) 


Hair loss which is characterised by any of the above can be indicative of an underlying health condition and your doctor may need to carry out an assessment. However, this is unlikely and over 95% of hair loss in men can be attributed to genetic male pattern baldness.

Hair loss treatment

Luckily, there is a range of hair loss treatments available, both surgical and non-surgical.  

Hair transplants are a common surgical treatment that helps to re-introduce hair growth to thinning/balding areas of the scalp. Hair transplant surgery is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly and should serve as a last port of call. Before opting for surgery, you should always try all non-surgical options first as there are plenty of treatments available.  

Finasteride, also known by its brand name Propecia, is the most effective treatment for male pattern baldness. Finasteride works by blocking DHT (the hormone responsible for damaging hair follicles and causing baldness), reducing its levels in the body This protects the hair follicles responsible for hair growth (for more information on Finasteride, take a look at our article that explores if Finasteride works). 

This treatment has been shown to stop and reverse balding. Finasteride is available as a generic (unbranded) version which is cheaper than its branded counterpart, Propecia. They both contain the same active ingredient (Finasteride) and both work in the same way.  

Both Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Regaine) and Finasteride are often effective treatment courses for hair loss, and users can see dramatic results over time without the need for surgery.  

At Chemist Click, we provide a range of hair loss medication that is available to buy through our online pharmacy. Once a quick online consultation has been completed and approved by one of our medical professionals, we will swiftly send you the medication in discreet packaging.   

Remember to always consult with your chemist or doctor as they will be able to give you trusted, expert advice on the various forms of non-surgical hair loss treatment available and suitable for you.

Additional Resources

For more information on hair loss related topics, take a look at our blog section. Chemist Click is a leader in the provision of non-surgical hair loss medication and as such, has a host of resources pertaining to hair loss and supporting medications: 




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