Hair Loss Treatment For Men and Women
Treatment For Men
Male Pattern Baldness affects 70% of men all over the world some time during their lifetime. For some men, it starts as late of in their 40’s or 50’s while for others, it starts with puberty. What if you got the short end of the stick? Are you not concerned that you may soon lose all your hair? Don’t worry. Unlike any other time in human history, we have quite a few treatments available for hair loss in the 21st century. Let us have a look at few of them.
1) Use of Minoxidil (Rogaine)
Minoxidil was an oral drug, initially used to treat high blood pressure. It had a unique side-effect. Use of Minoxidil was resulting in hair growth too. Seeing this as an important opportunity, UpJohn Corporation created a new 2% minoxidil solution that would be used to treat baldness. This solution is what is today known as Rogaine.
Rogaine, the only FDA approved medication, has been found effective in stopping further loss and in many cases, causing regrowth of lost hair. The results vary between people. Some experience significant gain, while others experience no more further loss. But, most of them see results.
When used as instructed, people first see some hair fall (resting phase paving way for new hair). In the next 1 or 2 weeks, new growth in place of fallen hair and some regrowth takes place. However, discontinuation of Rogaine leads to loss of regained hair in 30 to 60 days. Hence, you may have to use it indefinitely.
2) Use of Finasteride (Propecia)
Propecia (5 mg Finasteride) is a medication that is approved by FDA for the treatment of enlarged prostate. Interestingly, studies have shown that out of every 3 men who took 1 mg Finasteride daily, 2 experienced hair regrowth.
The study showed visible regrowth in 48% of the men and no visible loss in 42% of men. While men using the medication daily stopped further loss and even regrew some of the previously lost hair, men in the placebo group kept on losing it.
Propecia works in the long term as men experienced continued hair growth even after 5 years to 10 years. Just as is the case with Rogaine, hair regrown by Finasteride is lost within 6 to 12 months after discontinuing the medication.
When Rogaine is used with Propecia, the hair regrowth is increased showing synergistic effects. If that doesn’t work for you, you can always try a more natural approach with Procerin.
Anti-androgen medications are used to block excess DHT or avoid conversion of testosterone into DHT. Men lose hair when the follicles become sensitive to male hormones, especially DHT. Blocking it with medications can help men stop this.
However, blocking of male hormones can have many possible side effects (sexual dysfunction one of them). Hence, you need to consult your physician before starting on any such medications.
4) Hair Transplantation
Hair Transplantation is exactly what it sounds like. Individual hair follicles are taken from donor places and they are planted into your scalp.
5) Experimental Treatments
There are many promising treatments in the experimental stage which should be available to us in the coming few years. Some of them are as follows:
- Laser light, when used in some wavelengths, promotes hair growth.
- Some Copper complexes such as Tricomin have been shown to to be effective.
- Some dietary supplements have also been shown to be effective.
Treatment For Women
Loss of hair is commonly associated with men and this is the main reason why women feel ashamed when it happens to them and try to avoid the topic. However, thinking that baldness is a “male thing” is a myth. Approximately 40% women worldwide will face ‘Female Pattern Baldness‘ sometime in their life. If you are one of them, here is how you can stop your hair loss and even regrow some of it.
1) Use Rogaine for Women
Rogaine uses 2% Minoxidil solution for treatment of baldness and thinning. Initially used to control blood pressure, Minoxidil had an interesting side effect: Hair Growth. Seeing a good opportunity, Rogaine was developed as a treatment, and it is the only FDA approved treatment in USA.
Note that some hair fall is to be expected in the initial few days of applying Rogaine. It is a sign that the product is working. New strands will replace the fallen ones and you will also see some regrowth.
However, hair gained through Rogaine is lost within a month or two if usage of the product is discontinued. Hence, if you are using Rogaine and seeing regrowth, you may have to use it indefinitely to keep it.
2) Hair Massage and Change of Hairstyle
Sometimes lack of blood flow towards hair follicles can be the main cause. Doing a proper head massage can help you direct some blood towards your follicles and stop the process.
Another important cause, more so in African American women, is loss due to Traction Alopecia (constant pressure due to pulling). This happens mainly due to hairstyles like ponytail, pigtail and braiding. Changing your hairstyle to one that does not put pressure on your hair can help you with your condition.
3) Anti-androgen Medications
One of the main reasons of hair loss is due to the sensitivity of the follicles to DHT, a male hormone. Anti-androgen medications work by blocking these hormones thus preventing the effect. This leads to reduction in the loss of hair. There are many such medications available over the counter.
These medications may be harmful to men as they can reduce their sexual function. Some of these medications, especially Flutamide, are known as chemical castration but have positive effects on women who are losing their hair.
4) Hair Transplantation
Hair Transplantation is exactly what it sounds like. It is a surgical process whereby hair follicles are taken from other parts of the body such as eyebrows, eye lashes, etc. and implanted into the scalp to increase the number on your head.
Remember though that this is an expensive option.
5) Hormonal Treatment (Estrogen / Progesterone)
Quite a few women experience hair loss after menopause as their hormonal activity decreases to very low levels. Hormonal treatment is very effective for such women. Consult your physician for more information on the same.
Don’t feel ashamed. Take action before it is too late. Best of luck.