Hair loss is increasingly becoming a common problem in men and women. Hair fall is something that is not restricted to age, gender, race or ethnicity. So is baldness preventable?
An overwhelming number of products, shampoos, devices, and prescription supplements claim to prevent hair loss. Unfortunately, only a few of them have undergone clinical trials proving they prevent hair loss in men and women.
It is important to consider whether the hair loss prevention product has been shown to be effective in clinical studies or not.
If you are in search of proven ways to avoid hair loss, there are different treatments ranging from non-surgical hair loss treatments to the most advanced hair transplant procedure.
Non-surgical Hair Loss Treatments
Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil) are the inky two FDA approved treatments for hair loss. Other drugs include Spironolactone and dutasteride and are found effective in preventing hair loss in men and women. However Finasteride and dutasteride are not recommended for women who are or plan to become pregnant.
Let’s understand how these medications prevent hair loss.
Finasteride can be found in two forms -Proscar and Propecia and both are of a different composition. This medication inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone to follicle destroying dihydrotestosterone or DHT. FInasteride works effectively for genetic male pattern hair loss. It should be consumed orally once per day at a recommended dose of 1mg for at least one year for noticeable results.
Finasteride has been clinically proven to halt the progression of hair loss in men however, it is not recommended for pregnant women because of its effects on certain hormone levels.
Minoxidil is available with the brand name Rogaine. It is an external application solution in a liquid or foam that needs to be applied to the balding scalp 1-2 times a day. It is available in 2 strengths i.e. 2% and 5%. For noticeable results, we recommend patients to use Rogaine Foam, which contains 5% minoxidil with a superior delivery system. Moreover, it doesn’t contain the propylene glycol like the liquid version that’s know to irritate the scalp.
In a study with minoxidil used in a group of 100 men affected by male pattern baldness, it has shown a noticeable increase in hair follicles.
It even encourages the follicles to produce thicker hair, while prolonging the growth phase of the natural hair growth cycle. However, it is less effective in areas where hair growth has stopped completely.
The common brand name for dutasteride is is Avodart and is one of the safest drugs used for treating benign enlarged prostate. However, certain studies showed that it is effective in treating male pattern baldness. It works in a way similar to Finasteride but inhibits both type I and type II 5-alpha-reductase enzymes as opposed to only one type. This essentially makes dutasteride even more effective than finasteride in stopping and reversing the effects of hereditary hair loss. To treat pattern baldness, individuals are typically prescribed .5mg Dutasteride.
Dutasteride is also effective in blocking decreasing serum DHT by 90%.
Spironolactone is used for treating high blood pressure, hormone aldosterone, fluid retention, heart failure, and other related health conditions. It acts as an inhibitor of androgen production and hence is also used to treat hair loss, acne, pimples etc. it works by blocking androgen signaling, which can potentially block the formation of DHT.
Spironolactone is recommended instead of Propecia or Avodart to prevent female pattern hair loss. Due to its potential negative effects in men (erectile dysfunction), it is generally not used to prevent male pattern baldness or hair loss in men.
Low-level laser therapy
LLLT for men and women is effective in energizing the cells present in hair follicles. It can slow down hair loss by increasing the metabolism of cells in hair follicles. The sebaceous glands are stimulated to create soft and lustrous hair.
The effect of laser on hair follicles has shown an overall increase in blood flow, potentially reducing DHT and impurities. This system is marginally effective in both men and women and results of this therapy are typically seen within 4-5 weeks.
There are many other ways to treat hair loss in men and women. However, very few are as effective as the ones mentioned above.
At the Hair Transplant Network, we have a specialized team to customize prescription medications and combine them with other forms of hair restoration techniques to address individual needs.
•Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP has become popular recently and has provided by many hair restoration physicians at their clinic. Whether or not it can slow down, stop or reverse hair loss is debatable.
PRP involves the use of the body’s natural growth hormones that stimulate the hair regrowth. During this procedure, a blood sample is taken from the patient to separate the platelets from other elements of the blood. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the treatment area to stimulate new hair follicles.
Some PRP patients are satisfied with this treatment especially if Don in conjunction with others. However, other PRP consumers feel that this treatment was a waste of their time and money. Those who undergo Platelet Rich Plasma may need a booster 5-6 months after initial treatment, when the hair growth tends to slow down.
Surgical Hair Restoration
Hair restoration surgery or hair transplant surgery is the only proven hair loss treatment that can grow hair in completely bald areas.
Hair transplant surgery is a procedure where hair is transplanted from one area of the scalp or body to another by extracting the grafts from the donor area (typically the sides and back of the scalp or elsewhere on the body).
There are two distinct donor harvesting techniques used by today’s world renowned top hair transplant surgeons. This includes follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and Follicular unit extraction (FUE). Both donor harvesting procedures come with a set of advantages and disadvantages.
If hair loss is significant, then hair transplant surgery is the best option. Many people wonder if hair transplantation can really prevent hair loss. Well, the truth is that it provides new hair where you have already lost it but it doesn’t stop the progression hall of genetic boldness. Therefore, a combination of surgical hair restoration and non-surgical hair loss treatments may be the best way to restore a full looking head of hair.
Hair loss can be experienced at any age. Although it is hard to get noticed, it is better to start hair restoration treatment as soon as you notice it. Hair transplantation can give a permanent solution for hair loss and is best when combined with non-surgical treatments.
If you are interested to learn more about hair restoration, find a hair loss specialist through Hair Transplant Network. You will be able to explore all the considerable ways to avoid hair loss and stimulate new hair growth.