Q: The last few months my friend and I experimented with andro gel thinking it would make our T levels go up and make our work outs better. We got the andro gel online with no prescription (which I know is really stupid on our behalf). The past couple of months I have been experienced a lot of acne and hair loss. I went to the doctor and confessed and said what I did, and he was very disappointed and lectured me on how dangerous it was and stupid on my behalf – which I totally agree. He told me the rise in testosterone from andro gel contributed to the acceleration of hair thinning and acne. I had mild hair loss prior but the andro gel seem to have accelerated it. The doctor put me on Propecia and gave me some acne cream for the acne. He said the Propecia will undo some of the damage it did for the hair. In your experience, can Propecia reverse some of the damage? I am 28 years old.
A: Your doctor is giving you the right course of action. Testosterone supplements can accelerate hair loss, particularly in those with underlying genetic hair loss. Finasteride 1mg (Propecia) should help you to grow your hair back. You may also want to consider using minoxidil (Rogaine) in addition.
Q: Can Nioxin be used if I am taking Propecia? — G.H., Chicago, IL
A: Yes, they can be used together (Propecia is an oral medication and Nioxin is a topical hair product), but remember that only the medications minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia) have been shown to prevent hair loss.
Read more about Hair Loss Medications.
Read more about Nioxin.
Q: Can I use Toppik if I had a hair transplant? — C.M., Chicago, IL
A: Yes, but I would wait at least 5 to 7 days after the hair restoration procedure before applying Toppik, Couvre, Derm Match or other cosmetic camouflage products to the transplanted area. For the first 9 days after hair transplants, the cosmetic should be washed out very gently so as not to dislodge the grafts. At 10 days following the hair restoration, the grafts are permanently in place, so you may shampoo as vigorously as you would normally do when showering.
Q: Scalp Med is supposed to unclog pores. How does this prevent hair loss? — O.P., Trenton, NJ
A: The active ingredient of Scalp Med is Minoxidil, which will help reverse miniaturization, the process that causes androgenetic hair loss. Hair loss is not caused by clogged pores, so unclogging them will not prevent going bald. Minoxidil, which is also the active ingredient in Rogaine, is over-the-counter so it is a less expensive way to use the active ingredient.
Q: Can using Kevis prevent hair loss? — H.T., New York, NY
A: Kevis has a line of natural products including shampoos, accelerators, lotions and conditioners claimed to treat hair loss by blocking DHT. The primarily ingredient is HUCP, or hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid has not been shown to prevent hair loss.
Q: What are the fibers in Toppik made from? — A.P., Toronto, Canada
A: Toppik is made from an organic protein called keratin – the same protein that comprises one’s hair and nails. It works by thickening the hair and adding color to the scalp, making the hair appear fuller in those with hair loss or general thinning.
Read more about Toppik and other products on our Cosmetic Camouflage Products page.
Read more about Hair Loss page.
Q: I have been using Rogaine and Propecia, but recently purchased a bottle of Nioxin Cleanser/Shampoo. However, I am reluctant to apply it because I have noticed that the Nioxin website recommends against mixing Nioxin products with Rogaine products. The website does not give a chemical/medical explanation, and I have read that the admonishment may be a function of the fact that the two brands have competing products. Do you think that it is safe or advisable to use the Nixon shampoo? Is there any indication that this product is even effective? Also, I have biotin supplements but I’m also reluctant to take them because I’m beginning to feel like a human pharmacy laboratory. Any advice?
A: Nioxin has no active ingredients that can grow hair. There is an increased incidence of scalp irritation when used with Rogaine – i.e., the likely reason for their warning. I would stick with the medications that are proven to work, i.e. finasteride and minoxidil.
Q: I have a question about one of the products referenced under the Camouflage section of your website. As you suggested, I have begun to use DermMatch as an alternative to a hair transplant as I have diffuse thinning and been told that hair restoration is not an option right now. I have been very impressed with the results of DermMatch. However, I am concerned that the product might be damaging my existing hair or impeding future growth. Should I have any concerns about this product?
A: None of the well-known cosmetic camouflage products will damage hair or inhibit its growth.
The products come in a variety of forms, including sprays, creams, powders.
A list of these products, their descriptions, and the telephone number where you can obtain them can be found on the Cosmetic Camouflage Products page of the Bernstein Medical website.
Q: Are camouflage agents harmful to newly transplanted follicles after a hair transplant?
A: Cosmetic camouflage products are not harmful to grafts per se, but they may make it difficult to keep the transplanted area clean right after the hair restoration procedure.
They may be used safely as early as one week following a hair transplant, since at this time they can be gently washed out without disturbing the newly transplanted grafts.
These products are useful in reducing any residual redness and can make the transplanted area appear fuller until the new grafts grow.
There are a number of products that can be used and they come in a variety of forms: creams, sprays, powders and gels. To find out where to get them, go to the Camouflage page.
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