Topical Agents for Hair Growth Promotion

What Is Out There?

Omar S. Shamsaldeen, MD; Thamer Al Mubki, MD; Jerry Shapiro, MD, FRCPC


Skin Therapy Letter. 2013;18(4) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Hair loss is a widespread complaint that carries a significant psychosocial burden for affected individuals. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the predominant cause of hair loss seen in the dermatology clinic. Although a range of therapies are available, minoxidil remains the only approved topical treatment for AGA. Promising new topical agents are under current investigation.


Hair loss is a common dermatological problem that affects a large segment of the population both physically and psychologically. Although there are many different causes for hair loss, such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia (AGA), i.e., male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss, is the most prevalent form in both men and women. Onset of AGA can occur anytime at or after puberty, but incidence and severity increases with advancing age in both genders, manifesting in at least 80% of Caucasian men and 40% of women.[1] Because of its considerable psychological impact many patients actively search for new treatments.[2]