If you’re one of the 50 million men in the U.S. suffering from male pattern baldness, you know the helplessness of discovering thinning hair and expanding bald spots. With GRO hair loss treatment options from Oklahoma Men’s Clinic, your hair loss doesn’t have to mean the end of thick, healthy hair. GRO products combine the best in proven hair growth medications to halt or even reverse your hair loss.
GRO: A New Way to Treat Hair Loss
More than half of men over the age of 50 will experience the effects of male pattern baldness, a genetic condition that causes hair thinning and loss in the form of receding hairlines or an overall decrease in hair thickness and density. Men with the baldness trait produce certain hormones that affect hair follicles in a particular way, and signs of hair loss will become evident after puberty, either as a rapid decrease in the population of hair or as a slow, chronic progression of thinning hair, depending on a person’s sensitivity to the hormones.
GRO is an exclusive line of specially compounded topical products from Oklahoma Men’s Clinic scientifically formulated to treat hair loss resulting from androgenic alopecia. With three prescription-strength solutions to choose from, there is a GRO product to treat your unique hair loss problems more effectively and consistently, even if you haven’t had success in the past.
Understanding Hair Thinning and Hair Loss: DHT and 5-AR
Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is the primary hormone responsible for accelerating hair loss and the process of male pattern baldness. DHT is one of the more powerful androgens and is essentially a more potent version of testosterone, playing a role in many of the same physiological and sexual functions as testosterone like acne, prostate growth, and facial hair growth. In men, DHT is converted into testosterone through action of the 5 alpha-reductase, or 5AR, enzyme, which is present in the liver, skin, and prostate. About 10% of testosterone is normally and naturally converted into DHT.
Because it is stronger, DHT can amplify the impact of testosterone throughout the body. When DHT binds to hair follicles—up to five times more aggressively than testosterone—it shrinks the hair follicles, shortens the growth phase of the hair growth cycle, and lengthens the dormant, phase all of which prevents the follicles from being able to support healthy hair from growing as long. Eventually, it will also prevent new hair from even breaking the surface of the scalp.
The key to managing male pattern baldness is balancing DHT levels so the hair growth cycle can function properly. This is done by controlling 5-AR activity. When 5-AR is suppressed, the amount of DHT in the body decreases. If 5-AR levels begin to increase, more testosterone is converted into DHT and more DHT is circulating through the body.
While increases in DHT levels don’t necessarily cause hair loss, genetics can prompt hair follicles to become more sensitive to DHT molecules, making the follicles weaker, shorter, thinner, and less capable of supporting healthy hair. This means that if you are already genetically inclined to male pattern baldness, the effect of increased levels of DHT is more pronounced, resulting in more dramatic hair loss and baldness.
GRO Treatment Options at Oklahoma Men’s Clinic
Most hair loss medications work by blocking the 5-AR enzyme to reduce or halt the conversion of testosterone into DHT. What makes OMC’s GRO treatments different is the unique formulation designed to improve efficacy, stability, and usability while reducing irritation. By combining high-quality, complementary ingredients of varying strengths, OMC can provide customized hair loss treatment solutions for all stages of hair thinning and loss.
All of OMC’s prescription-strength GRO products contain at least minoxidil (a common hair loss treatment medication), tretinoin (a retinoid), and fluocinolone (a steroid).
Topical minoxidil has been the #1 FDA-approved topical therapy for male pattern baldness in the U.S. for over 35 years. It works by widening and loosening the blood vessels to improve blood flow to the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. Unlike other hair growth treatments, topical minoxidil does not act on the androgen hormones, making it safe for both men and women over the age of 18 and an excellent option for people concerned about the potential hormonal side effects of other hair loss treatments. Topical minoxidil does have its limitations, however—it doesn’t treat receding hairlines or baldness, and the effects of the medicine begin to subside when patients stop using it, causing new strands to start falling out again.
Tretinoin is a type of retinoid that stimulates hair regrowth by increasing the production of skin cells. Topical fluocinolone is a corticosteroid used to relieve itching, swelling, redness, or general discomfort caused by skin conditions.
In addition to lowering DHT, these medications also help expand the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and blood circulation to the scalp and giving hair follicles the nutrients they need to produce and strengthen new hair strands.
GRO Basic (Formula 82M) is intended for mild hair thinning and loss. Because it contains only minoxidil as its primary ingredient, it is safe for both men and women to use.
GRO Plus (Formula 82F) contains minoxidil and finasteride and is intended for moderate hair loss. Topical finasteride is a Type 2 5-AR inhibitor FDA-approved for hair loss treatment since 1997. Topical finasteride has a similar effect to oral finasteride, significantly improving hair count, but its lower systemic exposure and impact on serum DHT concentrates makes it better tolerated.
GRO Ultimate (Formula 82D) contains minoxidil and dutasteride and is our strongest GRO formula, intended for significant hair loss. Topical dutasteride is used off-label in patients for whom neither finasteride nor minoxidil have been effective. Dutasteride blocks both types of the 5-AR enzyme from breaking testosterone into DHT. Dutasteride has been proven to be three times more potent than finasteride at inhibiting Type 1 5-AR and more than 100 times more effective at inhibiting Type 1 5-AR, blocking up to 90% or more of DHT production in the scalp tissues for more consistency and less variability in treatment results.
Take Control of Your Hair Loss with GRO from Oklahoma Men’s Clinic
The time for settling for hair loss and thinning is over. With GRO hair loss treatments from Oklahoma Men’s Clinic, you can finally have the healthy, robust hair you’ve always wanted. Don’t let hair loss take over your life; schedule an appointment with OMC today to find out if GRO is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About GRO Hair Loss Treatment
Almost anyone observed with pattern baldness may be a candidate for GRO therapy, with the exception of pregnant and pre-menopausal women. Pregnant women should avoid any exposure to GRO products.
While GRO Basic (Formula 82M) can be prescribed for both men and women, products containing finasteride and dutasteride (GRO Plus and GRO Ultimate) are not recommended for females.
Once your OMC physician has determined that you are a good candidate for GRO, our medical team will draw your baseline hormone levels to determine the most appropriate GRO product and dosage and to serve as a measurement for tracking progress over time.
GRO products are formulated from a non-sticky propylene glycol-free base that is not messy and does not leave behind an oily appearance or residue after application. All products are dosed at between 20-30 drops applied directly to the scalp twice daily. Allow the product to air dry for at least 3 minutes, then style hair as usual.
Because GRO products are applied topically, the side effects are minimal. In general, topical solutions of these medications boast the same efficacy and effectiveness of oral versions but with risk of negative side effects because they cannot enter the bloodstream as easily. Patients with lighter hair and/or complexions may notice some redness on the scalp, but this is usually a result of the product stimulating blood vessels in the scalp and not a true side effect of the medication.
However, as with all medications and treatments, side effects are possible. If you experience any of the following, be sure to report it to your doctor:
- Changes in sperm parameters
- Decreased libido
Topical minoxidil may cause symptoms like fainting, trouble breathing, allergic reactions, or dizziness, while tretinoin may cause mild burning, scaling, stinging, itching, or redness of the scalp, mild skin color changes, mild dryness, and chapping or slight peeling of the skin.