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Receding Hairline

Q: I'm a 19 years old man and I have a receding hairline. It started to recede about a year ago and it got worse since then. It got so bad to the point where it's getting me self conscious. I just want to improve my hairline and stop my hair from falling out. I'm currently taking {deleted} but its not helping. I'm considering talking to a hair doctor about propecia but I can't find one and am shy to do so. Please help me the best you can. Thank you.
 
A: As a man myself who began experiencing hair loss at an early age, I can understand your feelings on the receding hairline. I tried using all sorts of “home remedies” and “cure alls” which amounted to nothing more than snake oil. When I was your age, we didn’t have the medical advances we have today.
 
      The product you mention is an herbal supplement that claims to block hair loss by reducing the DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels in the scalp. The product may or may not work for some people. However, the evidence of its effectiveness is largely anecdotal and not backed by significant clinical trials.
 
      The only clinically proven treatments for hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical lotion applied to the scalp in the areas of loss, while finasteride is the medication found in Propecia, and is an oral medication.
 
      I realize that its a sensitive subject for you, but you should try speaking to your doctor (or if you have a dermatologist) about this situation. Doctors are acutely aware of the emotional impact of hair loss on an individual, and are typically happy to help you cope with the problems. Your doctor may help you himself, or he may refer you to a dermatological specialist to confirm that your hair loss is indeed something that medications can help.
 
      I do advise you to speak to your doctor as soon as you can, since these treatments are usually most effective when begun in early stages of hair loss. If for some reason, you are not comfortable discussing this with your family d octor, look for a dermatologist in your area (or call your health insurance provider for an approved referral). Sometimes, a “stranger” is easier to talk to about sensitives issues.
 
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