The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that nearly 50 million men suffer from hereditary baldness or hair loss. Without a hair loss cure, millions of men are left to baldness treatments that range from the really effective to the ridiculous. Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has outlawed some of them, including hair transplants with artificial fibers and suturing hair pieces to the scalp - both of which caused serious infections.

Here are five baldness treatments currently recommended by several reputable organizations, including the International Society or Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the AAD, and the Mayo Clinic.

Hair Transplant Surgery

During this procedure a surgeon removes narrow strips of scalp with hair from the sides and back of your head (the donor region) and transplant them into the balding areas. The transplanted hair sheds in about a month and a few months later new hair starts to appear. By about six months after transplantation the hair should have a natural appearance, explains the AAD. The most suitable candidates for this surgery are people who have thinning hair, well-defined baldness, or hair loss caused by injury or burns.

Scalp Reduction Surgery

For this baldness treatment, a surgeon removes the balding scalp and stretches hair-bearing scalp at the sides and back of the head to cover the excised bald scalp area. In some cases the doctor may simultaneously perform a scalp expansion to stretch the hair-bearing scalp so that it covers more of the bald area, according to the ISHRS.

Scalp reduction surgery and scalp expansion work best if you have a healthy supply of hair on the sides and back of your scalp. If you have very tight skin on your scalp, this isn't the best option for you.

Minoxidil (Rogaine®)

Often the first baldness treatment that men turn to is minoxidil. This topical solution is applied twice daily to treat male pattern baldness and noncicatricial alopecia. Minoxidil has a success rate of about 30 percent, but it's more effective when hair loss first begins. Unfortunately, it's only temporary, so if you stop using it, hair loss will resume.

Minoxidil was originally prescribed for high blood pressure, and exactly how it works to treat baldness is still a bit of a mystery. Some theories suggest that it affects the structure and function of hair follicles. Oral minoxidil is not recommended for hair loss. Possible side effects of the topical lotion include skin irritation and itching.

Finasteride (Propecia® or Proscar®)

Propecia is the only pill currently approved to treat male pattern baldness. It was originally prescribed for treating benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finasteride inhibits 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into 5- alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are responsible for male pattern baldness.

It takes about three months before you see any results from this baldness treatment. Also, the National Institute of Health states that once you stop taking finasteride, you'll probably lose all hair growth within a year. Side effects include impotence, ejaculation problems, decreased sexual desire, testicular pain, rashes, lip swelling, hives and a swollen face.

Laser Treatment

In 2007, the FDA approved the HairMax LaserComb, a handheld laser device used to promote hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness in men). In a clinical trial conducted by the manufacturer, 93 percent of participants between ages 30 and 60 experienced an increase in the number of thick hairs and the average number of hairs per square centimeter.

This baldness treatment uses laser energy to stimulate the scalp and hair follicles, and promote hair growth. You don't need a prescription to buy the HairMax LaserComb and you can use it at home for 10 to 15 minutes three times per week to see the effects.