Coping with hair loss

April 13, 2010 10:08:33 PM PDT
Two-thirds of all 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.

The survey asked 8,000 subscribers what worked best and what didn't. Those surveyed did not include people who were losing their hair due to chemotherapy or chronic illness.

The prescription drug finasteride was by far the most effective treatment for men - though it's not available for women. It's also sold under the brand name Propecia. Of those surveyed, 27 percent said it was very effective and an additional 41 percent said it was somewhat effective.

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. But only 4 percent of those surveyed said it was very effective at treating hair loss.

And for hiding hair loss, wearing a wig or toupee won the most praise, followed by shaving your head, along with dressing better and exercising.

As for women, Consumer Reports says those who attributed their hair loss to stress found that changing their diet and exercising were relatively effective.

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site.