Did you know. In the USA alone it is reported over 3.5 Billion Dollars is spent on hair loss products a year. It was also reported that something like 99 percent of all products being marketed are completely ineffective. Meaning, for the majority of those who use them. How many effective hair loss treatment are there? What are the most effective hair loss treatment available. Are treatments suitable for all hair loss conditions, age and gender?
Hair loss affects over 50 percent of women. Well over that percentage of men. But, to date no cure exists for hair loss. Advances have been made in medical and surgical hair replacement and hair restoration. Hair loss conditions and causes vary between men and women. The most common being male and female pattern baldness. But how effective are the hair loss treatments available for male pattern baldness?
On average there are 100,000 – 150,000 follicles on the scalp. If there are fewer than 90,000 hairs on the scalp, the hair density is considered thin. Hair loss is progressive and although can be slow once it starts it will generally continue. Normally following the genetic patterning within the family.
Time to plan your hair restoration
When hair starts to thin. Or there is an increase in hair falling. Especially at a young age it can lead to a change in self esteem, and confidence. A decreased satisfaction with personal appearance. A feeling of aging, getting older. This is often the best time to start a hair loss treatment. But don´t just rush down to the local chemist or online-store. Start your research.
There are a only three approved hair loss treatments for male pattern baldness available in 2019. They all work differently and results will vary from person to person. The earlier you start a treatment generally the better results are achieved. The longer you allow your hair loss to progress the less you can keep. Hair loss treatments can work very well on the right candidate but they need to be used correctly.
For many the first thought is to a permanent option of hair replacement. This often leads to a hair transplant. A hair transplant is not a hair loss cure. If your hair loss pattern has not fully matured you will continue to suffer hair loss. A hair transplant can only be performed a small number of times so planning is important. As a result, a hair transplant and medications together often achieve the best result. It is important to understand that surgical hair replacement without medical therapy may not provide a suitable result.
Stages of hair loss and treatment
Before making any recommendation a hair loss specialist will want to assess your current hair situation with a consultation. They will look at a number of factors. Such as your age, current hair loss stage and hair loss in your family. If you use any treatment as well as your expectations. The early hair loss stages, especially in a younger male the recommendation will be a hair loss treatment. Although hair loss cannot be reversed it can be stabilised. Hair growth can also be strengthened. As a result a better thicker head of hair is possible from treatment. The most effective use of hair loss treatment therefore is starting as early as possible.
Treatment can still be used in the later more progressive hair loss stages. Some are happy to maintain the hair they have. Even if they have receded and thinning a little. Treatment can take a few months before showing any benefits. Some, for example, minoxidil, you may even shed more hair initially. Check with your Doctor for the side effects of any treatment you take.
It can take at least two – four months before you will notice less hair fall. Possibly around six – seven months to see hair re-growth. Usually, this re-growth will be fine, short (vellus) hairs. Treatment needs to maintained over the long term in order to sustain the beneficial effects. If you stop using the medication, the hair loss will recommence.
Approved hair loss treatments
Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is a topical application applied to the scalp twice daily, 1ml each application. Available over-the- counter in 2% or 5% lotion. , Also available in foam form. The active ingredient is thought to increase blood circulation locally, acting as a vaso dilator.
Finasteride (Propecia®) is a tablet taken daily, and acts by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestos- terone (DHT). This is the cause of male pattern hair loss. It is available only on prescription and cannot be taken by women. It slows hair loss and stimulates some new hair growth.
The most recently approved treatment uses low level red laser light which stimulates hair follicles. This is available in varies forms from a comb to a cap.
Hair transplant as an effective hair loss treatment
A hair transplant result is permanent. if you have your first hair transplant to rebuild a thinning hairline that hair will never move. But, your hair can still thin behind. Leaving you with an unnatural hair loss pattern. A hair transplant relies on you having healthy strong hair around the back and sides of your head. This hair will run out at some stage. The timing of your first hair transplant is very important.
Your Doctor will examine your hair characteristics along with considering your age and the potential for future hair loss. A new hairline will take all these considerations into the design to ensure you can achieve a balance coverage of hair.
Often there is a compromise, especially with the hairline design. On occasions there is a tendency to want the hairline too high or too low. This needs to be addressed for the long term benefit of the patient. The low rounded adolescent hairline will look fine on a younger man. But not match the age and facial features of an older man. The younger man still has vivid memories of his hair line. Generally wants to create the same appearance. Whereas the middle-aged man may fear that a hairline that is not adequately receded at the temples may seem unnaturally low for his age.
The most effective hair loss treatment
The key is to research and maintain realistic expectations. On the right candidate an approved hair loss treatment can help to maintain a good head of hair for many years. Treatment can complement a surgical option also. A hair transplant can replace lost hair. Rebuild hairlines and improved hair coverage.