Alopecia (Hair Loss)
Hair loss is rarely something you need to worry about, but it can be very upsetting and cause you to be very self-conscious. Female and male pattern baldness usually runs in the family, while other forms of hair loss can be temporary. Hair loss (alopecia) can affect your whole body, not just your scalp. As well as being hereditary, you can also suffer hair loss as a result of medical conditions, hormone changes or ageing. You can buy hair loss treatments from Medicine Direct following an online consultation. Find out more below.

Alopecia (Hair Loss)

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  1. Finasteride
    Finasteride
    From As low as £22.99
    • Used to treat Male pattern baldness
    • The generic version of Propecia
    • Visible results in just 3 - 6 Months
    • One of the world's most widely prescribed hair loss treatments
    • Reduces the production of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which causes hair follicles to shrink, causing hairloss
  2. Propecia
    Propecia
    From As low as £48.99
    • Effective treatment for hair loss and male pattern baldness
    • Noticeable increase in hair growth in 3 - 6 Months
    • More than 80% of men experience renewed Hair Growth

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia Areata is the medical term for hair loss. The condition usually begins by causing small patches of baldness and, although it most commonly effects the scalp, it can also lead to hair loss in the beard, eyebrows and across the limbs. In some cases, sufferers can experience complete body hair loss.

Hair lost to alopecia can regrow, but it may take months or even years. In some cases, it cannot be guaranteed that any regrowth will happen. Early signs of alopecia are not consistent across everyone. Hair thinning may begin gradually over time, or the follicles could suddenly all be lost.

Medicine direct have a range of hair loss treatments available. Begin an online consultation with one of our doctors today, to be prescribed the best hair loss tablets for you.

Alopecia Symptoms

Depending on the type of hair loss, symptoms can appear in different ways.

They may include:

  • Full-body hair loss, which can be the result of certain medical treatments like chemotherapy for cancer. This hair normally grows back.
  • Thinning on the top of the head, which is the most common form of hair loss. It affects many people as they age. Men's hair usually begins to recede at the forehead's hairline, while women's parting usually broadens. Women may also have a receding hairline.
  • Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp, which is a sign of ringworm.
  • Sudden loosening of hair, which can be the result of a sudden physical or emotional shock. This is normally temporary.
  • Circular or patchy bald spots.

What types of hair loss are there?

There are various different types of this condition, which can affect different people at different stages of life.

  • Alopecia areata, which is common among teenagers and young adults, although it can affect people of all ages. Around six in every 10 people will have this problem before they are 20. This is where you suffer bald patches that come and go; the theory is that this is the result of a problem with the immune system.
  • Anagen effluvium, which is a common reaction to chemotherapy. This affects hair all over the body.
  • Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, is often the result of a medical condition. This involves the hair follicles being destroyed and not growing back.

Male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) is the most common cause of hair loss. This is hereditary and will affect around 50% of men by the time they turn 50. This condition is when your hairline recedes from the forehead and thins on the temples and crown.

Male pattern baldness is the result of the sensitivity of the hair follicles to testosterone. Hair follicles shrink when exposed to testosterone, causing them to stop functioning altogether, eventually. Male pattern baldness is mostly genetic and no cause for concern. It can be treated with various surgical and medical treatments to help the problem.

Although less common, female pattern baldness is another type of hair loss, which is normally shown by the hair on the top of a woman's head thinning. There are less treatment options for this condition compared to male pattern baldness, but there are still various treatments a woman can use to help ease the problem.

Causes of Alopecia

Not all hair loss is a sign of alopecia. People naturally lose between 50-100 hairs a day. Moreover, gradual hair loss is a normal part of the ageing process. However, some hair loss may be a medical condition caused by illness, stress, anaemia or chemotherapy.

Other reasons for hair loss may run in the family, such as male pattern baldness. Understandably, experiencing hair loss can be upsetting, so you should seek help if your alopecia begins to affect your well-being. You should also consider getting a medical consultation if patches of your hair are going completely bald, you’re losing hair in clumps or your scalp has a burning sensation.

Understandably, experiencing hair loss can be upsetting, so you should seek help if your alopecia begins to affect your wellbeing. You should also consider getting a medical consultation if patches of your hair are going completely bald, you’re losing hair in clumps or your scalp has a burning sensation.

Alopecia Diagnosis

Before your doctor diagnoses you with a condition, you will likely have a physical exam. They will also ask you about how you take care of your hair, your diet and your family and medical history.

They may conduct the following tests to help reach a diagnosis:

  • A scalp biopsy, where the doctor will scrape samples from skin or a few hairs they pluck from your scalp. This will be examined under a microscope to see if you have an infection that is causing the hair loss.
  • A blood test, which will show if you have any medical conditions causing the problem.
  • A pull test, which involves the doctor gently pulling several hairs to see how many come out at once. This checks the stage of the shedding process.

A light microscopy, where your doctor will use an instrument to examine hairs that have been trimmed at the base. This helps to identify any problems with the hair shaft.

Alopecia Treatment

How can hair loss be treated?

If the hair loss is mild, then treatment is not needed. The hair is likely to grow back over time, especially if it was caused by a medical condition. For more severe hair loss, there are a variety of treatments available to stimulate hair growth. For instance, there are scalp steroid creams which can be applied to the bald patches twice a day.

For complete baldness, some people invest in wigs to cover their heads. Tattooing is also an option for those who have lost short hair, for example, their eyebrows. Some people have also invested in hair transplant surgery, in which hair follicles from healthy areas are moved to the patches of baldness. Tablets can also be prescribed.

Buy Hair Loss Tablets

At Medicine Direct, we offer a range of hair loss tablets available on prescription. Simply complete an online consultation with one of our doctors, and they can recommend which treatment is right for you.

We offer two types of hair loss medication:

Propecia

Propecia is the brand name for Finasteride.

A single 1mg tablet is to be taken daily without any breaks. You can order it in boxes of 28-168 tablets.

Finasteride

1mg tablet to be taken daily at the same time. Boxes of 28-168 tablets can be purchased.

Finasteride is a prescription-only medicine for men. It may take a few months to see results, but many men who use this medication notice a significant slow in their hair loss, and some also notice new hair growth. It blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which causes hair follicles to shrink. This allows the follicles to return to their normal size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I lose my hair?


Male pattern baldness will affect two out of every three men in the UK, although how much it affects you will differ from person to person. Your family history can increase your chances of losing your hair too; hair loss is commonly linked to the mother's side of the family. However, if you have a father or grandfather who is bald, that does not guarantee that you will go bald too, although the risk is increased. Caucasian and Afro-Caribbean men have a higher chance of male pattern baldness than East Asian men do.

How can I tell whether I am losing my hair?


Hair loss can be a serious sense of worry for some men, while others are in denial and do not accept that they are losing their hair. Baldness usually happens slowly over a long period of time, meaning it can be difficult to identify hair loss. Most commonly, you will notice that your hairline has receded, or that your hair has thinned.

If you notice that significant amounts of your hair is coming out in the shower or on your pillow, these are also warning signs.

How can I tell if I have male pattern baldness?


This condition will show if you lose hair on the top of your head. It will not affect the back or sides of the hair; it can start at the crown, the hairline or at both places.

Is there a cure for male pattern baldness?


There is currently no cure or a way to definitely prevent hair loss. However, some conditions that cause it may be preventable and treatable.

Can baldness be prevented?


There is no way to prevent hair loss from occurring, but treatment and techniques can help to delay or suppress it.

Do women experience pattern baldness?


Women lose their hair if they are sensitive to DHT in the scalp, it is most common for postmenopausal women to experience this due to a decrease in female hormones and an increase in male ones. It is rarely as severe or noticeable as it is for men.

If you are anaemic, you may also lose some hair due to the iron deficiency. However, you can reverse this by adding foods which are high in iron to your diet. If you are pregnant, you may experience some hair loss due to an increased amount of progesterone in your body. This is only a temporary problem.

What is Minoxidil?


Minoxidil is the only lotion to treat hair loss that is approved in the United Kingdom. The trade name is Regaine and it normally bears results after around four months. It is ineffective for around one-third of men who use it. Only one-third of users will experience full hair regrowth.

What is Finasteride?


Finasteride is a prescription-only medication for men who are losing their hair. It normally takes a few months to see a difference, but it can significantly reduce the speed of hair loss and also promote new growth. You can purchase Finasteride from Medicine Direct after an online consultation with a certified doctor.

What other treatment options are available?


Other options include hair replacement surgery, which is a complex procedure in which skin is grafted from the back of the head, where hair still grows, to the top of the scalp. Anti-androgen hormone therapy is another option, but you must do this under the advice of an endocrinologist.

Will I go completely bald without treatment?


How much hair you will lose depends on the individual. Most men who have hair loss early in life will likely become completely bald. If you have symptoms after your mid-twenties, you will probably still have hair in your old age, although it will probably be thinner.

If you are concerned about going bald, you may wish to find out how much male pattern baldness has affected older men on both sides of your family, particularly your maternal grandfather.

At what point should I seek treatment?


The earlier the treatment, the easier it is to promote new hair growth and reverse the symptoms. Leaving it until later on down the line will make it harder to reverse the problem.

How can I minimise my hair loss?


Certain things you can do to minimise the risk include:

  • Not wearing tight-fitting headwear
  • Cut your hair short, making bald patches less noticeable
  • Treat your hair gently, such as using a comb rather than a brush

Use shampoo and hair products that make your hair look thicker

What is DHT?


DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone, which is a hormone present in a man's hair follicles in his scalp. This hormone shortens a follicle's lifespan, which can result in hair loss. Most follicles can grow for almost eight years without DHT.

At what age does hair loss start?


Most men notice this starting between the ages of 25 and 35, although it can begin as early as the late teens for some people.

Are hair loss treatments effective?


Various treatments are available, and how effective they are depends on the medication you are taking and the reason why you are suffering from hair loss. Finasteride is around 90% effective.

Are stress and hair loss related?


Losing your hair can be a result of chronic stress, which can occur any time between 3 weeks and 6 months after a stressful event. However, it will normally grow back after you reduce your stress levels.

Which vitamins are good to combat hair loss?


The following vitamins are shown to combat hair loss:

  • Biotin
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Iron

Why does hair loss occur at a young age?


Hair loss can happen at any age. If you are affected at a young age, this is known as androgenic alopecia, which is normally passed down from genetics. Alopecia areata can also result in young people losing hair. However, your hair should grow back after a few years.

When is hair loss normal and no cause for concern?


All people lose hair to some extent, but it is hard to tell when it should concern you. If you are worried about how much hair you are losing, you should speak to your doctor, who can assess if you need to be worried or not.

Doctor Notes

Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.

This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.

We are fully regulated

All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.

doctor's profile

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840


Superintendent Pharmacist

Hussain has been a Pharmacist since graduating from The Liverpool John Moores University in 2015 and has been the superintendent Pharmacist of Medicine Direct since our launch in 2018. 

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