Hair loss affects a majority of men in the US, with over half experiencing some form of hair loss before turning 50. But it’s not just men — about 40% of hair loss sufferers in the US are women. For most of the 20th century, the only options for treatment were hairpieces, filler sprays, or just shaving your head. Many more possibilities exists today, including prescription treatments backed by plenty of positive clinical research.
Happy Head is one of those options, and they offer a combination of the two most successful hair loss treatments available: minoxidil and finasteride. You might know them by their brand name versions, Rogaine and Propecia. These drugs consistently perform better together than apart in clinical trials.
However, Happy Head’s treatment uses up to an 8% concentration of minoxidil, whereas most of their competitors stick to the well-studied 5% solution. They also employ a topical form of finasteride, retinoic acid, hydrocortisone, and spironolactone. Do these differences make Happy Head’s products any more effective or less safe? Read on to find out.
- Combined treatment increases efficacy
- Prescriptions available through the website
- Six-month growth guarantee
- Flexible dosages
- Bottles compounded fresh monthly
- Doctor consultations and follow-ups are free
- Good phone support
- Recurring orders ship every 25 days
- Free shipping on all orders
- Pricier than competitors
- Most retinoic acid studies are outdated
- No live chat feature
With so many combinations of six mostly effective ingredients, Happy Head might be able to put a solution together that works better for you than others. A complimentary doctor consultation will help you figure out which combinations to start with, and fast, free shipping gets your order to you quickly. If their prices were as flexible as their products, it would be easier to recommend them over companies like Keeps or Hims. However, with that added expense comes the ability to tailor drug concentrations to suit your individual needs. If you’re able to pay the higher prices, this could spell more effective treatment for your hair loss than “one-size-fits-all” approaches.
Happy Head offers custom solutions for hair loss that utilize six proven ingredients, including minoxidil and finasteride.
Happy Head has both oral and topical solutions available after a quick doctor consultation. Shipping is free, and your purchases are covered by a 6-month growth guarantee.
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Hair loss can sneak up on you when you might not expect it. There are several common causes of hair loss, though one is far more common than the rest: androgenetic alopecia. This affliction is commonly called male (or female) pattern baldness. It happens when the body converts an excess amount of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which makes its way to the scalp and damaged hair follicles.
Other causes of hair loss include
Happy Head is a hair loss solution company offering several of the most well-known and thoroughly tested hair loss treatments available. They offer some of them in various concentrations based on your doctor’s recommendations.
Here’s a quick look at the six active ingredients available in topical solutions from Happy Head:
|Available doses||Target area||Safe for women|
As part of the questionnaire you fill out for your doctor, you’ll have an opportunity to request certain medications or ask that one or another not be part of your prescription. You can also adjust your prescription in conversation with your doctor to start with something more robust or less intense.
To help you make those decisions, let’s look at each of the available active ingredients in Happy Head solutions.
Patented in 1984 and approved for medical use in 1992, finasteride is commonly prescribed in pill form for hair loss. It’s also well known for treating an enlarged prostate in the form of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Finasteride works best for men with receding hairlines and is safe to combine with minoxidil and other treatments. However, it interacts with testosterone, so it isn’t safe for use by most women. It also has some potential sexual side effects, but most studies that show these employ the higher dose that targets BPH.
As another BPH drug, dutasteride has a similar mechanism of action as finasteride. It has a longer half-life and performs better than finasteride in studies looking at its influence on DHT levels. But dutasteride is only approved by the FDA for use as a BPH treatment, making its prescription for hair loss strictly off-label. It also exhibited a slightly higher incidence of sexual side effects than finasteride, but not by much.
Minoxidil is one of the oldest and most thoroughly tested hair loss treatments. It’s particularly effective in treating hair loss at the crown and vertex of the head, and it’s less effective at addressing receding hairlines. The most common concentration used in trials is 5%, but Happy Head employs concentrations of 6% and 8% where necessary. That might increase the risks of side effects like an irritated scalp for some people.
Most of the available research touting retinoic acid’s (RA) potential to treat hair loss is outdated, reaching back to the 1980s. Many studies since then have investigated whether retinol might cause premature hair follicle regression resulting in hair loss. However, a much more recent study looks at how a small enough dose of topically applied RA could act as a booster for minoxidil. It’s a compelling study of a mechanism that demands further investigation, but it’s also up to you whether or not this ingredient ends up in your solution.
Hydrocortisone is a steroidal drug that reduces redness and swelling. Inflammation can contribute to hair loss, especially in cases of telogen effluvium, but the addition of hydrocortisone here can target potential side effects. On its own, minoxidil can create irritation, and chances of irritation spike when you add other drugs like finasteride or dutasteride to a topical solution. Hydrocortisone helps prevent those side effects from occurring.
Spironolactone is an anti-androgen normally prescribed to treat acne, but it has an off-label use to treat pattern hair loss in women. It could be effective in men, but it might not be as powerful as finasteride or dutasteride. Since those two medications are dangerous for most women to take, spironolactone is the next best thing.
Available topical concentrations
Finasteride, minoxidil, and dutasteride are available in several different concentrations. The company advertises its 8% minoxidil quite loudly, as it’s their highest concentration and well above the typical 5% you see in most minoxidil products. But you’ll arrive at a set combination of drugs in concentrations that are right for you with the help of your consulting physician.
Here are the available concentrations for each ingredient:
- Finasteride: 0.025%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.25%, 0.5%
- Minoxidil: 2.5%, 6%, 8%
- Dutasteride: 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.25%
Retinoic acid, hydrocortisone, and spironolactone are only available through Happy Head in set concentrations:
- Retinoic acid: 0.01%
- Hydrocortisone: 1%
- Spironolactone: 1%
Happy Head also offers oral versions of finasteride, dutasteride, minoxidil, and spironolactone in the following doses:
- Finasteride: 1mg
- Dutasteride: 0.5mg
- Minoxidil: 1.25mg*
- Spironolactone: 75mg
*Happy Head minoxidil comes in 2.5mg tablets that your doctor will ask you to break in half for daily use.
Happy Head’s topical solutions utilize an aloe base to offer extra soothing to the scalp.
Happy Head primarily employs a subscription system for their products. Per-month pricing for the following effective hair loss treatments with a Happy Head physician are as follows, including free shipping:
- Minoxidil: $59
- Finasteride: $79
- Dutasteride: $89
Monthly orders bill and ship every 25 days to ensure that you never run out of product. This is especially helpful in the first few months when you’re getting used to the application process and risk spilling or overapplying, which might make a month’s supply run out early.
One of the company’s most comprehensive treatments costs $119/month. It’s known on the site as “The Kitchen Sink” and contains:
- Dutasteride: 0.1%
- Finasteride: 0.1%
- Minoxidil: 8%
- Retinoic acid: 0.01%
- Hydrocortisone: 1%
You can purchase individual bottles of specific concentrations at a significantly higher cost than the subscription, but Happy Head buries this possibility on their website. You’d have to ask about it specifically, and we don’t recommend it. There are no penalties for cancellation, and you can cancel at any time, so the subscription model is the way to go.
Six-month growth guarantee
Happy Head guarantees that their products can stop hair loss and stimulate new growth. But even the most successful studies of finasteride, minoxidil, and other hair loss treatments don’t cure everyone. That’s why Happy Head offers a 6-month money-back guarantee.
After six months of use, if you’re unsatisfied with your results, you’ll have to contact the company with a written statement alongside before and after photos illustrating the product’s failure. You’ll incur fees intended to recoup shipping charges and then ship back any remaining product at your expense.
Insider Tip: Whether or not you worry about Happy Head working for you, take a picture of your head before beginning treatment. It’ll give you an easy comparison to see if the formula works and the option to return it after six months if it doesn’t.
There are a couple of different ways to place an order with Happy Head. The most straightforward route is to use their questionnaire. You can also locate topical solutions with specific concentration mixes by searching for desired ingredients in their blog’s search field and combing through the results. Or, you can find individual product pages to add a particular mix to your cart and circumvent the questionnaire.
That said, we recommend using the questionnaire. It’s a tool designed to make it easier for you, and you’ll get more informed input from the dermatologist assigned to your file.
You’ll have the opportunity to make specific requests for your formula at one juncture. This is an open-ended question with no guidance about what you can and can’t ask for. And since the site doesn’t directly advertise available concentrations or even all of its available ingredients, you might not know where to start.
We’ve provided those available ingredients and concentrations above, but most people would do well to leave the section blank and get into a conversation with the dermatologist afterward.
At the end of the questionnaire, you’ll check out. Don’t worry — this isn’t a final decision about your prescription. After you check out, you’ll have the opportunity to message a Happy Head doctor to fine-tune your prescription and ask any questions.
The ingredients in Happy Head’s topical solutions are well-researched and exhibit few side effects in clinical trials. So, for the most part, it’s safe. Access to a dermatologist for questions should any side effects arise adds an extra layer of protection. However, some people have had significant reactions to certain hair loss medications, and finasteride and dutasteride are specifically dangerous to most women due to their intended interaction with testosterone.
Happy Head has the most flexible topical concentrations on the market, but their products are also among the most expensive. If you’re interested in taking a simpler approach to your hair loss, there are plenty of alternatives. You can always come back to Happy Head for their combined treatments if you find that others aren’t getting the job done.
Keeps is generally our number one pick for oral finasteride and topical minoxidil. They offer a handful of other products like medicated shampoos as well. They also recently launched a hair restoration surgery clinic in New York City, with plans to expand the number of clinics around the country.
Hims is an outstanding choice for those looking to get topical finasteride and minoxidil mixed together. They offer a solution of 0.3% finasteride and 6% minoxidil. That’s a higher concentration of finasteride than you could find from Happy Head, and a recurring 3-month shipment comes out to a cost of just $50/month.
LLLT stands for low-level laser therapy. The technology is older than either minoxidil or finasteride, but it’s been explicitly used for hair loss for about the same amount of time. The therapy involves a number of laser diodes that stimulate the scalp and hair follicles to increase blood flow and deliver greater nutrient content. Evidence suggests that it’s about as effective as minoxidil.
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