Hair Loss Treatments

Hair loss treatment varies based on what caused your hair loss or thinning hair. Some treatment options include taking medications, undergoing surgery or light therapy. A healthcare provider can help you determine what caused your hair loss to offer treatment that meets your hair growth goals.


What is hair loss treatment?

Hair loss is a common condition where you lose up to 100 strands of hair per day. Hair loss treatment focuses on diagnosing the cause of hair loss or thinning hair and creating a treatment plan that fits your goals. 

Hair loss or hair thinning treatment could include:

  • Managing the underlying cause.
  • Using medications to improve hair regrowth.
  • Undergoing procedures to help your hair grow, like a hair transplant.

The most effective hair loss treatment that works for you might vary from the treatment that works best for someone else. This is why there are a variety of treatment options available, both by prescription and over the counter (OTC).


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Why is hair loss treatment done?

Your hair is a major part of your appearance. You can style it, dye it and cut it to make a statement or tell your story of who you are. Hair loss can have an emotional impact on you because it affects the way you look, your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Some people choose to undergo hair loss treatment to remedy these factors. Other people might choose hair loss treatment for a different reason, like improving their overall health by managing the cause of their hair loss. A healthcare provider can help you meet your hair goals.

How common is hair loss treatment?

Hair loss is a common condition, which makes treatment for hair loss common as well. Because of this, you may see several over-the-counter hair loss treatments advertised on television. Surgical procedures for hair loss are less common than prescription or OTC medications for hair loss.

Who can get hair loss treatment?

Hair loss can affect anyone at any age, which is why hair loss treatment is available for men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB) and women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB).


Procedure Details

What are the treatment options for hair loss and thinning?

Treatment for hair loss and thinning hair includes:

  • Treating the underlying cause.
  • Medications.
  • Hair regrowth procedures.

The type of hair loss, as well as your overall health and desires, determine which hair replacement procedures are most suitable. A healthcare provider or dermatologist can help you navigate treatment for hair loss or thinning hair. 

Treating the underlying cause of hair loss

Before any type of treatment begins, a healthcare provider will perform a physical exam, get your complete medical and family medical history, and offer tests if necessary. This will help them learn more about why you have hair loss or thinning hair.

After they determine the cause, your provider will learn more about your hair goals, like whether you want it to regrow or not. If your provider detects any underlying conditions that cause your hair loss, they’ll offer a treatment plan to help you manage that condition. Usually, treatment for the underlying condition resolves hair loss or hair thinning.

Medications to treat hair loss

There are a lot of different hair loss treatment options available over the counter (OTC) or by prescription that you can apply to your hair at home. These products are usually topical and come in forms like a cream, lotion or shampoo.

Common ingredients in OTC hair loss treatment products include:

If OTC products aren’t working for you, a healthcare provider may recommend specific types of hair regrowth medications, including:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine®): This U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medication treats pattern baldness. Minoxidil is a topical solution that you rub directly onto your scalp. It’s available OTC and doesn’t require a prescription.
  • Finasteride (Propecia®): This FDA-approved prescription medication treats pattern baldness. Finasteride isn’t FDA-approved for women and people AFAB, but it’s approved for men and people AMAB to treat pattern baldness. 
  • Corticosteroids: This prescription medication helps treat sudden and extensive hair loss. It can slow the speed of your hair loss and potentially help with hair regrowth.

Hair regrowth procedures

There are different types of hair regrowth procedures and hair transplant surgeries available:

  • Grafting is a type of hair regrowth procedure where a surgeon will remove hair from part of your body and transplant it to an area of your scalp where you have baldness. Grafting is an outpatient procedure performed in the dermatologic surgeon’s office. It’s a painful procedure, which means you’ll receive an anesthetic so you won’t feel pain.
  • Scalp reduction is the removal of non-hair-bearing skin from your scalp so the remaining hair-bearing skin can be stretched to fill in the bald area of your head. Scalp reduction can reduce as much as half of the bald area. It’s a procedure performed to cover bald areas on the top and back of your head. It’s not beneficial for the frontal hairline.
  • Light therapy or low-level laser therapy uses medical-grade lights directed at your scalp for a short period of time to help regrow your hair. Light therapy can stimulate the hair follicles in your skin to help your hair grow. You may need several light therapy sessions before you see results.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a procedure in which a healthcare provider draws blood from a vein in your arm, and then spins that blood in a centrifuge machine to separate the components of your blood. They separate the platelets from your blood plasma and inject the plasma back into your body. PRP therapy is usually used to speed up your body’s healing process after injury or surgery, but it can also help regrow your hair.
  • Scalp micropigmentation is a type of tattoo, also known as a hair tattoo, which can cover bald spots or thinning hair without surgery.

Your healthcare provider will help you choose the type of hair regrowth procedure that fits best with the cause of your hair loss and your hair regrowth goals.

How can I regrow my thinning hair and stop hair loss naturally without treatment?

Some causes of hair thinning and hair loss aren’t permanent and don’t need treatment. Changes to your body can affect how much hair you’re able to grow and when your hair grows. Once your body adapts to the changes affecting it, your hair will naturally grow back without treatment.

Some of these causes include:

  • Having a baby.
  • Experiencing hormonal changes.
  • Recovering from surgery.
  • Receiving treatment for cancer.
  • Losing weight.
  • Stress.

A healthcare provider can help you determine what caused hair thinning or hair loss to help you manage it.


Risks / Benefits

What are the advantages of hair loss treatment?

The benefits of hair loss treatment include improving your:

  • Overall health by treating any underlying conditions.
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Appearance.
  • Scalp health.
  • Hair strength and texture.

What are the risks of hair loss treatment?

Before you begin treatment, talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects and possible risks of hair loss treatment. Potential side effects are rare but could include:

  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Dry scalp.
  • Loss of feeling of the skin at the surgical site.
  • Itchiness.
  • Infection.
  • Headaches.
  • Scarring.

Recovery and Outlook

How long does it take for hair loss treatment to work?

The length of time to see results for each type of hair loss treatment varies. It usually takes multiple or regular treatments for several months before you notice symptoms. On average, expect to start seeing results after three to six months.

During hair loss treatment, avoid using products that can harm your hair, like dyes, chemical relaxers or chemical straighteners. Not using these products can help your hair growth treatment work more effectively.

Can hair loss be cured?

There isn’t a cure for all types of hair loss. Hair loss is common and research is still ongoing to learn more about how to resolve the condition. Certain types of hair loss can be managed when you and your provider determine a treatment plan that’s right for your situation.

When To Call the Doctor

When should I see a healthcare provider?

Visit your healthcare provider if you:

  • Experience sudden and extensive hair loss.
  • Have severe pain or swelling at your surgical site.
  • Aren’t seeing results of hair loss treatment after several months.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you have hair loss, you’re growing fewer strands of hair than you’re losing. This can affect your mental health and self-confidence. But there are several treatment options available for hair loss. A healthcare provider will work with you to diagnose what’s causing your hair loss and offer treatment options to help you meet your hair growth goals.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 02/09/2024.

Learn more about our editorial process.

Appointments 216.444.5725