This is a very broad question and the first thing that needs to be determined is what the exact cause of the hair loss/thinning is. It can be associated with so many different things and thus the therapy can change depending on the cause.
Here are my comments on drug induced hair loss:
There are many ways drugs can cause hair loss and the most common type of hair loss is androgenic caused by excessive androgen (which is a side effect of many drugs). Other types of drug-induced hair loss generally involve an interruption of hair growth and the hair loss generally occurs within two to three months of therapy initiation. It is usually reversible upon discontinuation of offending drug. Hair re-growth can be noted two to three months after the trigger has been removed.
Here Are Some Drugs That Are Known To Cause Hair Loss
- ACE Inhibitors
- Benazepril (Lotensin), Captopril (Capoten), Enalapril (Vasotec), Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil), Quinapril (Accupril), Ramipril (Altace), Trandolapril (Mavik)
- Warfarin (Coumadin), Heparin, etc
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Terbinafine (Lamisil)
- Voriconazole (Vfend)
- Itraconazole (Sporanox)
- Mood Stabilizers
- Gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Tiagabine (Gabitril [U.S. only])
- Topiramate (Topamax)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
- Pregabalin (Lyrica)
- Valproic Acid (Depakene)
- Divalproex (Depakote)
There are many other drugs as well. If you are taking medication, you could certainly email them to me and I can let you know if a known side effect is hair loss.
There is no specific treatment for drug-induced hair loss. There is both prescription drug therapy, and mineral supplementation. The value of mineral supplementation for drug-induced hair loss is unknown.
Here are some prescription treatment options:
- Finasteride (Propecia)
- Minoxidil 2%, 5% Topical (Rogaine)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Flutamide (Eulexin [U.S.], Euflex [Canada])
- Ketoconazole 2% Shampoo (Nizoral)
- Oral Contraceptives
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
Here are some OTC supplements that may help:
Aromatherapy refers to many different therapies that use essential oils. The oils are sprayed in the air, inhaled, or applied to the skin. Essential oils are usually mixed with a "carrier" oil, usually a vegetable oil or alcohol. Massage is often used to deliver oils into the body because it is considered the most effective method. A well-designed study in patients with hair loss examined the effects of massaging a mixture of essential oils into the scalp daily for seven months. The mixture included oils of cedarwood, lavender, rosemary, and thyme in carrier oils of grapeseed and jojoba. A significant improvement was seen in photographs of the skin of patients using the mixture of oils compared to patients using carrier oils alone.
Beta-sitosterol is found in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, soybeans, breads, peanuts, and peanut products. It is also found in bourbon and oils, such as olive oil, flaxseed, and tuna. Early research suggests that beta-sitosterol may help treat androgenetic hair loss.
Cedar is native to the mountains of the western Himalayan and the Mediterranean regions. In one clinical study, patients with alopecia who were massaged with a combination of cedarwood oil, other aromatic oils, and carrier oils had significantly improved symptoms.
Lavender is grown around the world. Oils from the flowers are used in aromatherapy, baked goods, candles, cosmetics, detergents, jellies, massage oils, perfumes, powders, shampoo, soaps, and teas. Small studies have shown that patients who massage essential oils (thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood) into their scalps daily experienced an improvement in alopecia.
Onion juice applied topically was shown to increase hair regrowth in alopecia patients, especially women.
I would be happy to give you more specific advise if you could email me your medications, when you started having the issue, and what you may think the cause may be.