Recently, I had a guy call me about hair loss. This guy was losing hair on the front of his head, but still had enough in the back to sport a pony tail. He was wondering if he could do anything to avoid losing the pony tail too.
I told him that, at the moment, there’s no way to cause hair to re-grow where it’s already been lost. But that there is a medicine that can slow the loss of hair you already have. It’s called flonasteride, which is marketed as Propecia, for hair loss, or as Proscar, for prostate disorders. The reason the drug works for both conditions is that it decreases a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which is a cousin of testosterone that can stimulate prostate cancer cells and also causes hair loss. So it turns out that if you take this medication to limit hair loss, you’re also going to reduce your risk of prostate cancer by 24%.
I’ll tell you another secret. If you use Propecia, it also may slow the normal growth of the prostate as men age. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, and it can lead to bothersome problems like having to get up a lot at night to urinate. With flonasteride, you’ll be slowing your hair loss while also cutting your risk of prostate problems.
Now, like I said, if you’re already bald, flonasteride won’t grow your hair back. So if you’re worried about hair loss, start using the medication as soon as you notice hair clogging the drain of the shower you use. But there is another option: just come to terms with your baldness.
If you’re already bald in the front, like the guy who called me, just man up about it and don’t try to keep your freak flag flying with a pony tail in back. This is similar to a syndrome I call “menoporsche”—when guys try to compensate for signs of getting older by doing things like buying a sports car or, in this case, growing the little hair they have long, like the hippies they used to be. My advice? Relax, accept aging as a natural process, lose the pony tail, and be happy with who you are.
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