Hair Loss Treatments That Can Cause Nasty Side-Effects

Hair Loss Treatments That You Probably Want to Avoid...

Suffering from baldness isn't much fun for anyone - in fact, it can be the most devastating thing a person can experience in life. The problem is, hair loss is almost impossible to treat without the risk of side-effects.

Any hair loss treatment that is medically approved almost certainly comes with the risk of side-effects - and some of those side-effects can be really nasty. Here. we look at some of the hair loss treatments out there that can come with horrible side-effects, and that you will surely want to avoid.


We've talked a lot about Finasteride on this website, and it is perhaps the most obvious hair loss treatment that you would want to avoid.  Finasteride, also branded as Propecia, is a prescription pill for male pattern baldness.

Propecia (finasteride) is a 5a-reductase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in men only. Side effects of Propecia can include:
  • Impotence - erectile dysfunction. 
  • Low libido - disinterest in sex.
  • Abnormal ejaculation.
  • Swelling in your hands or feet.
  • Tenderness in chest.
  • Dizziness and weakness. 
  • Headaches.
  • Skin rash. 
A safe alternative to Finasteride:  Multi-vitamin hair supplements offer a safe and natural alternative to Finasteride. They can be just as effective, but without the risk of the nasty side-effects.


Minoxidil is another well known treatment for hair loss that is also medically approved.  The main differences between Minoxidil and Finasteride is that Minoxidil is a topical treatment that is liquid/foam form, and you do not need a prescription to purchase it.

Minoxidil is branded under a number of names, but most commonly as Regaine, or Rogaine in the US. It is the only medically approved topical treatment for baldness in men (5%) and women (2%), respectively.

Minoxidil is a vasodilator used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is usually given together with two other medications including a diuretic (water pill). Common side effects of Minoxidil include:
  • Dizziness and headaches. 
  • Drowsiness.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy.
  • Temporary edema (swelling).
  • Weight gain 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breast pain and tenderness
A safe alternative to Minoxidil: If you're looking to avoid Minoxidil and its potential side-effects, then topical serums are your best bet. These types of products are safe, and packed with natural ingredients that can prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth.


If baldness is caused by inflammation, steroids are a treatment option. They can be injected or used topically to reduce the inflammation that leads to hair loss in alopecia areata.
Steroids can thin the skin with overuse or if injected at too high of a dose. It is important to see a board-certified dermatologist to discuss how steroids can be used appropriately during treatment.

Potential side-effects from steroids include:
  • Acne.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Cataracts or glaucoma.
  • Easy bruising.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increased appetite, weight gain.
A safe alternative to steroids: Steroid drugs like Prednisone are widely prescribed by doctors and are typically used to treat inflammation in the body, but there isn't really an alternative in the sense of treating hair loss. Hair surgery may have to be a consideration.

Hair Surgery

A hair transplant is a procedure in which a plastic or dermatological surgeon moves hair to a bald area of the head. The surgeon usually moves hair from the back or side of the head to the front or top of the head.

What was once a rare procedure is now one of the fastest growing hair loss treatments around, with many men (and women) getting hair transplants done for a fraction of the cost it was ten years ago.  The problem is, even hair transplants are not guaranteed to work.

Typical complications from hair transplants can include:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Swelling of the scalp
  • Bruising around the eyes
  • Headaches
  • A crust that forms on the areas of the scalp where hair was removed or implanted
  • Itching
  • Sudden loss of the transplanted hair
  • unnatural-looking tufts of hair


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