You would think that it is only the elderly who look for hair loss treatment options. But being 30 and bold is not so uncommon these days. Unfortunately, the onset of pattern baldness can begin early in life, affecting men and women alike. The latest technological inventions offer plenty of temporary fixes and solutions. Some permanent options exist too. Here, take a peek at the most common hair loss remedies on the market. Hopefully, it will give you an idea of what you could go for.
Hair Loss Treatment Medicine to Try
The market is abundant in hair loss treatment drugs touted to bring back the mane on your head. There are mixed opinions about whether or not these are effective. Our objective is to provide an overview of the most popular options. It is up to you how you use the information below.
This type of medicine is well known around the world. Never heard of it? That’s probably because it is frequently referred to as Rogaine. Now, there are two separate packs for men and women, so make sure you choose the right one for you.
How does it work?
That’s easy. First, take it out of the box. There is a dropper included. Use it to transfer the solution to the scalp areas where hair has begun to thin. You want to apply one foam squeeze or 1 ml of the liquid (depending on which version you’re using). If you want to see results soon, you are advised to apply it twice a day. But using Minoxidil once a day is also an option.
Is foam better than liquid? Or is it the other way round?
Both work equally well. Yet, there are a few slight differences. While the foam is much faster and easier to apply, the liquid version is less expensive.
Want to know an interesting fact?
Originally, the medicine was designed to treat high blood pressure. But since some patients reported hair growth all over their bodies, companies used the “side effect” to their advantage. It wasn’t long before they came up with several hair loss treatments.
So, are there any side effects?
There may be redness, stinging or burning in the areas where the liquid has been applied. If you experience any of these for a while, don’t worry, it’s okay. However, if they persist, you had better contact your healthcare provider.
What are some advantages?
Minoxidil is claimed to yield results in three months, but only if used on the regular. If you are not pleased, you can have your money back.
Just like Minoxidil, Spironolactone is a drug used for high blood pressure. Or so it was designed. Many people use it in addition to other hair loss remedies because it blocks androgen action and discourages androgen production.
To clarify – this medicine is used mainly for female pattern baldness. The reason is that it may cause gynecomastia. The latter is when male breasts develop excessively. The other common side effects in men include impotence, decreased libido, and potassium accumulation in the body.
When it comes to women, Spironolactone may bring about mood swings, irregular menses, and breast tenderness. You should also know that taking this medicine may lead to male foetus feminisation. This is why if you have reached childbearing age, you are strongly encouraged to take effective contraception while on the drug.
Does it help with all kinds of baldness?
The medicine works for common pattern baldness.
How long before I see results?
It takes six months of constant use to notice the first results.
Are the results permanent?
Unfortunately, Spironolactone and other similar medicines are effective only when in use. Once you stop the treatment, baldness will return.
This is a medicine that inhibits 5 alpha-reductase (enzymes in the body). It is also referred to as Finasteride. What it does is it discourages the conversion of testosterone in DHT, a natural hormone. One thing to take into account – the drug is approved for use in men only. As a side effect, it may cause sexual dysfunction and decrease in sex drive.
What kind of baldness does it help heal?
Propecia is the only drug that received approval for treating the condition androgenetic alopecia. (Otherwise, more 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors exist.)
How long before the drug takes effect?
Usually three months or longer.
How should I take Propecia?
The drug is for oral use only. Take 1 mg on the daily or however prescribed by your doctor. Needless to say, you should not take medicine without consulting with your GP first.
Is there anything I should not do while on the medicine?
As it may make you dizzy from time to time, try not to get up too fast after lying down or sitting.
Hair Loss Remedies That Your Doctor Might Suggest
Now, if you have from a certain health condition, chances are supplements and good habits won’t have the desired effect. You want to consult with a doctor or specialized hair loss centre in Singapore about the possible treatments you could undergo. Let’s see what those might be.
Low-level laser therapy (LLT)
This is a safe and painless way to promote hair growth. It uses laser helmets or caps, which stimulate the hair follicles to become fuller, thicker, and more pigmented. There are a host of brands on the market. They come with different power, weight and size specifications, but pretty much they do the same work. Only some are more efficient than others.
Before you try any of the laser caps, here is what you should be aware of:
- Some of the units have built-in safety features – they will automatically shut off after 30 minutes of use.
- They are designed to fit almost all head sizes.
- Some of them have eye damage prevention; the cap will not emit laser when not in use.
- Most of them come with one-year warranty.
- Some units have built-in headphones enabling you to listen to music during the treatment.
- The majority of helmets need to be plugged in throughout the entire treatment. Opt for a product with a rechargeable battery pack if you want to be able to move around.
- If you are completely bold (i.e. if there are no live follicles left on your head), LLLT won’t do the trick.
- The effects will appear a few months after the treatment has begun.
The standard way to do hair transplantation is called linear “strip” harvesting. It is more invasive than the other one and involves actual surgery. Here, hair follicles are moved from one area on the scalp to another. The surgeon uses a scalpel to take out strips of tissue-bearing hair. They have to be very precise so as not to damage the follicles that are being transferred from one area to the other. The transplant leaves a linear scar, which is covered by the rest of the hair.
The other method is called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). As it uses no scalpel, there are no stitches at the end of the procedure. Hence, the recovery time is faster. Besides, the patients are expected to feel less discomfort post-transplantation. The scar is smaller and less visible. Hair transplant seems to be a preferred method for combatting hair loss. In 2012 solely, around 90,000 transplants were executed around the world.
Am I suitable for a transplant?
You should ask a credentialed doctor. They will take into account your age, baldness pattern, as well as other factors. Some experts might offer taking Minoxidil as an alternative solution.
I’ve heard that it’s costly. Is it?
We’re not going to lie. Hair transplantation doesn’t come cheap. It is on the higher end of the price spectrum, starting at $10,000 and reaching up to $20,000.
Are the results permanent?
Yes. Keep in mind this type of hair loss treatment is for life. And if it isn’t performed well, it will stay like this for the remaining years. Use it as a last resort.
Changes in Your Lifestyle That May Work
Caution! This may work only if hair loss is caused by stress, poor diet, or bad habits. It won’t help if you have a certain health condition like thyroid abnormalities or hormone irregularities.
Let’s admit it. Life has become way too busy, difficult and at times unbearable. It is no wonder we forget to eat right and care for ourselves. We are prone to making bad food choices and we even skip meals, which strips our bodies of crucial micronutrients. We rarely think about the consequences, however, that doesn’t go unnoticed by our systems. And it sometimes affects hair growth, whether we want it or not.
The best source of vitamins will always be food. However, if your diet doesn’t involve as many nutrients as you actually need, you could try supplements.
Okay, so what should I go for?
Well, since the hair follicle is mostly made of protein, you may consider increasing your protein intake. Additionally, you need zinc, iron, vitamins D, C, B, E, and A.
Don’t carry it too far. Too much of anything is bad, even when it comes to vitamins. It is best to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They will be your guide in this.
Taking a break from the hairdryer and iron
Speaking of bad decisions, we often reach for the hair dryer to get that quick fix or tame our manes. But that has a terrible effect on the cuticles (the layer that is farthest from the centre of the hair). It forms bubbles, which can break the strands and stress them out. It not only makes your hair lifeless and dull but also causes breakage. If possible, limit the use of hot styling tools.
What if I can’t live without my blow dryer?
After a shower, wait until your hair is about 70% dry and use the cold setting to get the job done. It is not as harsh on the strands as the hot setting is.
What the Future Holds: Hair Cloning
The next step in treating hair loss could be hair cloning, also referred to as hair multiplication. A lot of money has been put into this new procedure, but unfortunately, it is still in research phase. Meaning no clinic currently offers this hair loss treatment yet.
Currently, scientists are trying to extract follicle cells from those areas on the scalp where hair growth is not affected. Then using different culturing methods, those cells will be cloned (multiplied) and put back into the scalp, around the bald areas. The results: the inserted follicles will, supposedly, produce new hair, restoring the original mane.
Why are they hoping this therapy will be effective?
In the past, they used to think that when complete baldness occurs, there are no follicles at all in the scalp. Which automatically translates they cannot be regenerated. Recently, experts have found that follicles are not entirely lost in the case of baldness. It turns out the stem cells, from which follicles are born naturally, are still existent.
When will hair cloning be possible?
The sad thing is, it will probably be available in 10-15 years’ time, if at all. The good news is that the research has been happening on a global scale and a lot of experts are involved. This means that the new treatment might be possible sooner than we think. For now, there are a lot of challenges to overcome. The main problem is that a very small number of cells can be taken out with a shaft of hair. Not to mention, only a few will survive after they are placed back into the scalp.
The scientists have run into other difficulties, but the research is ongoing.
What are some advantages of hair cloning?
- The results are permanent (providing that the procedure is successful)
- The treatment doesn’t take as much time as other therapies
- No hidden side effects are expected
- The chances of getting a visible scar are slim to none
Apparently, there are a great deal of hair loss remedies to go for if you are a hair loss sufferer. Unfortunately, that does not necessarily mean that they will prove effective in your case. The best way to go is to share your concerns with a doctor. Then do some examinations to determine what causes the problem and think of the best possible treatment.