There is a large population of men and women that experience hair loss. In fact, according to the American Hair Loss Association, approximately 25% of men will begin to suffer from hair loss around age 21, and by age 50, approximately 85% of men will have significantly thinning hair. Hair loss is not just a “man’s disease;” women actually make up about 40% of American hair-loss sufferers. Hair loss for these men and women can be devastating and have negative effects on their confidence and self-esteem. There are many hair loss treatment options available to help prevent thinning hair; today, we will review a few different treatment options.
Commonly known by its brand name, Rogaine®, minoxidil is a topical treatment that can be used by both men and women. It is one of two treatments that is FDA-approved and has been clinically proven to increase hair growth by targeting hair follicles to reactivate your hair’s growth cycle. Minoxidil works best when hair loss has been present less than five years and the balding spot is fairly small. If you are already bald or mostly bald, this product will not have an effect. An important note to consider is if you begin using minoxidil and start to see regrowth of your hair, you must continue to use the product or you will risk losing the hair you’ve grown. Some side effects of this product, though fairly uncommon, include scalp irritation and chest pains.
Propecia, whose medical name is finasteride, is the other FDA-approved drug. Propecia comes in tablet form and must be prescribed by a doctor. It works by blocking the production of a hormone (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp that stops hair growth. Taking Propecia will stop the hair from thinning, while some find they also have hair growth. Men who have already experienced severe hair loss cannot expect to see results by using this product. The result is not immediate; most men will begin to notice a change after about 3 months. It’s important to continue using Propecia once you have started or you’ll risk losing the hair that was regained. *Important note: Propecia is a product only to be used by men.
Laser Light Therapy
Many men and women who are experiencing thinning hair have opted for laser light therapy. Laser light therapy works by encouraging protein synthesis, which is need for hair regeneration. It also stimulates blood flow, which leads to better growth. Laser light therapy may help to maintain the hair you have and could potentially cause some regrowth. Low-level laser therapy is a safe alternative to taking prescription drugs or topical solutions. Laser light therapy is typically administered by trained professionals, but personal at-home options are also available. In order to see results, it is important to have the treatments on a regular basis.
Cell therapy, also known as Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is a technique that has been used in other cosmetic procedures, but was found to also help with hair restoration. Your blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge, which separates the platelets and proteins that help with healing. The platelet rich plasma is then injected into your scalp. This process increases blood flow to the scalp and can stop hair loss by reawakening dormant hair follicles. Many men and women will use these treatment in conjunction with a hair transplant surgery to increase the healing process. For additional information, please see our blog specifically regarding PRP for Hair Loss.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplants are one of the best options for hair restoration. While it is the most expensive, it is also the most effective. The idea of hair transplant surgery may make people feel a bit uneasy due to the scarring from some types of procedures. Scarring can be avoided by what’s known as follicular unit extraction, or F.U.E. It is an advanced surgery that takes more time, but it is one of the most trusted surgeries with regard to hair restoration. With this procedure, each unit of hair follicles is taken out one at a time from the back of the head where hair loss does not occur and transplanted one by one in the areas where hair loss has occurred.
If you are experiencing hair loss and unsure which option might be best for you, contact us to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Broadway. This Denver-area plastic surgeon and hair transplant specialist will help you to determine which treatment will be best for you. Call 303.680.8989 or email [email protected]