Hormonal Therapy for Hair Loss: Benefits and Side Effects

hormonal therapy for hair loss

Hair loss can be upsetting, and some people would try just about anything to reverse their hair loss. Over-the-counter hair loss products work for some but not others. So, what about hormonal therapy for hair loss? Does it work and what are the side effects? Let’s look at both.

Hormonal therapy for hair loss has different benefits and side effects for men and women. Therefore, we’re going to deal with them separately.

Hormonal Therapy for Hair Loss for Men

Medications are available to treat male pattern baldness. These medications are also known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. These drugs are prescribed to treat men with enlarged prostrates as well as male pattern baldness.

These drugs are said to block the action of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that is more powerful than testosterone and is linked to hair loss. Studies have suggested that this medication helps to reduce the size of the prostate. What’s more, about half of the men taking the medication reported growing some new hair, while over 40% said their hair loss had stopped.

But what about the side effects? Well, new research has indicated that the side effect can be devastating and include:

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Growth of male breast tissue

Hormonal Therapy for Hair Loss for Women

Women can also suffer from hair loss, especially during the menopause. Hormones play a major role in hair growth, and to some, the good news is that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can work toward reversing hair loss too.

The side effects of HRT are also significant:

  • Increased risk of developing breast or uterine cancer
  • Higher risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Higher risk of blood clots
  • Sore breasts
  • Headaches
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Irritability

Final Thoughts

Hormonal therapy for hair loss is an option, but the side effects are rather severe, so be sure to consider them before starting them.