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Balding Hair Growing Treatments Compared

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I have a bald spot at the top of my head that has gotten larger. Do any of the hair growing products work?


Bald Ego

Dear Bald Ego,

The two most popular hair growing treatments for male baldness are Propecia and Rogaine. Both are FDA (Federal and Drug Administration) approved for male pattern thinning hair or hair loss (Propecia, 2009; Rogaine, 2009). However, one is a pill and the other a topical solution, respectively.

Do not expect miracles. Neither treatment works for everyone. Propecia claimed 66% of the men regrew hair; Rogaine claimed 85% of the men regrew hair using foam.

In addition, both products will only work on the crown area of the head and not receding hairlines.

Do not expect miracles. Neither treatment works for everyone. Propecia claimed 66% of the men re-grew hair; Rogaine claimed 85% of the men re-grew hair using foam.


Propecia is a daily prescription pill for men only. The pill contains finasteride that stimulates hair regrowth. Rogaine is a nonprescription foam or solution containing Minoxidil that is applied directly to the scalp twice a day for either men or women.

Propecia or Rogaine must be used continuously and indefinitely in order to continue its effectiveness, but do not use the products together. When treatment begins, results may not show up until 2-4 months later. However, if the product is not effective after a year for Propecia or after four months with Rogaine then they recommend discontinuing its use.


According to Propecia (

"In clinical studies for PROPECIA, a small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects, such as less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen. Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men and went away in men who stopped taking PROPECIA because of them."

For Rogaine, there are minor side effects such as scalp irritation, itching, and dandruff (


Cost: Propecia may cost $50 to $60 for a month supply. Rogaine may cost about $20 to $30 for a month supply. Generic drugs are available for less.

Please note that the Propecia and Rogaine should not be used together. More research is needed to determine if combining Propecia and Rogaine is safe and effective.