Hair Loss treatment
Although hair loss is fairly common, it can be a tough thing to live with, especially when it changes how you look. Baldness, whether permanent or temporary, can't be cured. But hair loss treatments are available to help promote hair growth or hide hair loss. For some types of alopecia, hair may resume growth without any treatment.
Doctors current use a number of methods to treat hair loss. Some people choose to treat hair loss with medicines or surgery, such as hair transplantation. Others choose to wear hairpieces (wigs or toupees) or use different methods of hair styling (dyeing or combing). The approach you use depends on the cause of your hair loss. Many conditions causing hair loss, alopecia or reduced hair density may be reversed or minimized with prompt intervention.
The choice of therapeutic intervention for hair loss will depends upon:
If you prefer an alternative to medical treatment for baldness or if the body is not responding to treatment, you may want to consider wearing a wig or hairpiece. Wigs can be used to cover either permanent or temporary hair loss. Quality, natural-looking wigs and hairpieces are available.
The effectiveness of medications used to treat alopecia depends on the cause of hair loss, extent of the loss and individual response. Generally, treatment is less effective for more extensive cases of hair loss.
Anthralin (Dritho-Scalp) - Anthralin is a synthetic, tarry substance that you apply to your scalp and wash off daily as either a cream or an ointment. Anthralin may stimulate new hair growth for cases of alopecia areata, although it may take up to 12 weeks for new hair to appear.
Corticosteroids - Cortisone injections into the scalp or corticosteroid pills can be prescribed to help treat alopecia areata for extensive hair loss. Treatment is usually repeated monthly. New hair can appear as early as four weeks after the injection. Additionally, ointments and creams also can be prescribed but they tend to be less effective than cortisone injections.
Finasteride (Propecia) - Finasteride is available by prescription and is taken once daily in pill form. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Finasteride for use in women and has not been proved effective in women. Women who are or may become pregnant should not take or handle crushed or broken tablets, because the medication can cause birth defects.
Minoxidil - Mioxidil is a spray or lotion (2% or 5% solution) that you apply directly to the scalp twice daily and is available without a prescription for both men and women. Minoxidil appears to increase hair follicles and increase the diameter of hair shafts.
Hair loss prevention can be the best defense against hair loss. Adapting a stress free lifestyle, getting the proper vitamins, and taking care of the hair are all good ways to start. Keep in mind that the body is a system, improper nutrition and environmental causes are very common causes of hair loss. Through returning the body back to its natural state, hair loss can be prevented and restored. It is through these measures that you can best combat hair loss that is not genetic.
Hair transplant surgery is usually done by dermatologists or plastic surgeons. In most cases, a surgeon removes pieces of hair (along with the skin that is attached to it) and replants it in areas that are missing hair. Surgery is a generally slow process, but it is not useful for everyone. A combination of extreme cost and possible side effects are recommended only for people who cannot necessarily improve hair over the long term, or who are in advanced stages of hair loss.
Hair transplantation surgery - During this surgery, your doctor will move small grafts (pieces of skin with hair follicles) from areas of the scalp with full hair to areas of the scalp that are bald or thinning. The grafts may include single hairs or up to 30 hairs in one graft. This is the most common type of surgery used to treat hair loss.
Scalp flaps - The scalp flaps procedure involves moving a large section of scalp containing hair from the side and back of the scalp to a bald area. Bleeding, scarring, and infection after surgery are possible, and these complications make this surgical option more risky than others.
Scalp reduction - During scalp reduction, doctors remove large areas of bald scalp from the head. Sections of the scalp with growing hair are then stretched and sewn together to fill in the bald areas.
Above all, remember that the restoration of hair growth is not an overnight process. The process takes time regardless of the method chosen. Be patient, even the most effective hair loss products will take at least 3 months to show signs of improvement. Don't give up; many people have had great success with their hair loss prevention.