Making Sense of Hair Loss Drug Stats

Dr. Rassman, you have said before that minoxidil works for about half of men. The box says that minoxidil has only been proven to work for men experiencing hair loss at the apex/top of head and not for men that are balding from the front. Are these clinical studies made up of men that are already “good candidates”, meaning they have the right kind of balding for the drug to work? Or are all types of balding patterns included in the trials?

I am 34 years old, been on finasteride for a year and noticed that it slowed things down, but didn’t stop it completely. I have since added minoxidil. I would appear to be a perfect candidate from what I have read. I caught it early, I don’t think most people would even realize I am losing my hair, it is still pretty thick. I am losing my hair at the apex/top of head area, my hairline looks good. Is someone like me almost guaranteed to get a good result? Or am I still just a 50/50?

Thanks so much, your site is a huge help!

There is no guarantees in life (other than death and taxes). If it works for you it’s 100%. If it doesn’t work for you it’s 0%. Statistics do not apply when it’s you… and you won’t know until you try. That being said, I’ve found that these medications tend to work best in the early stages of hair loss. So while I’m hesitant to “guarantee” anything from the medications, I’d suspect you’d have a better chance at seeing benefits than someone that started the medication after losing hair for 20 years.

Selective patients for these studies would discredit the studies. Minoxidil is very effective in about 15% of patients and mild benefits can be seen in half of those who are thinning in the crown (more stats here). With regard to the frontal area, the reports indicate it is less effective than when used on the crown.

Tags: finasteride, propecia, rogaine, minoxidil, hairloss, hair loss, statistics, stats
Get a virtual consultation with Dr. William Rassman and Dr. Jae Pak for hair loss options. You can learn more by scheduling an appointment.

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