I read an interesting stat the other day that claimed finasteride either stopped or grew hair in 99% of the people who took it. That number dropped to 90% after five years. That means 9 out of 10 people will maintain their hair (finasteride’s ability to regrow hair is limited) if they begin a course before adrogenic alopecia begins.
With the recent advent of a test to determine one’s genetic suseptability to MPB and drugs currently available to retain hair in those who may be destined to lose it, would a more sensible approach to MPB be better education on MPB and widespread testing for those who may suffer from it? Such an approach wouldn’t help those who already suffer from it (and really, given the current state of things, those folks are basically doomed anyway), but it would certainly help prevent hairloss in a much greater percentage of the public.
If I were Merck, I’d buy the rights to the MPB test, get Dut cleared for the treatment of MPB, and push a two-pronged campaign aimed at informing men about hairloss and the ability to prevent it in most people.
I know that I am one of those who has greatly benefited from finasteride, and it was only by luck (or rather, an informed doctor) that I came acrossed it in the early stages of my hairloss. I am a diffuse thinner, and while my hair is not as thick as it was when I began to loss it, it looks normal cosmetically (though I can’t grow it out too long). I began losing my hair at around 19, and 10 years on I have kept a great majority of it while so many others who started losing their hair at the same time are now NW3-5s.
Education and available medications may be the real “cure” to this problem. If I ever have a son, I’ll have him tested early in life and on a course of dut, finasteride, or (hopefully) something even better by his 18th birthday. That way, he’ll never have to worry about hairloss.