Countering Hair Loss: Treatment and Transplant

Hair loss is treatable with various treatments and procedures. It can be done via topical or supplemental treatment and through surgical means like a hair transplant procedure, but success differs for everyone.

This is because the onset of hair loss has lots of factors involved from causes related to heredity, hormonal changes, gender, hairstyle habits, and more.

Furthermore, there’s a multitude of permanent or temporary hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, involutional alopecia, anagen/telogen effluvium, and traction alopecia just to name a few.

Narrowing it Down

Heredity is the common cause of hair loss in men and women, and WebMD even states that 95% of all alopecia cases (in the United States) are linked to genetics. And the most common condition we’ll tackle is pattern hair loss which is a form of androgenetic alopecia.

The Best Option: Topical or Surgical?

Taking hair loss treatment or undergoing a hair transplant would be a matter of how fast you want your hair to grow, your commitment, and if you can afford either of the two. There’s no end-all, be-all solution to pattern hair loss so we have to differentiate between the two methods.

Hair Loss Treatments

Topical and supplement-based treatments require consistent application spanning months to take effect, though it only slows hair loss, not necessarily curing it. It’s cheaper, but the costs may eventually accumulate to that of a single hair transplant session and you also have to know that these treatments vary in efficacy and side effects.

There are two popular choices which are Minoxidil and Finasteride.

Minoxidil

This is an over-the-counter, FDA approved medication more commonly known as Rogaine or Theroxidil. It’s safe for use for men and women, works well for thinning hair, but not for a receding hairline. It’s best used if you’ve only recently lost hair and if you’re under age 40.

Side effects may induce, though uncommon, redness, dryness, flaking, itching, and varying levels of scalp irritation.

Finasteride

This pill is otherwise known as Propecia. Finasteride blocks the production of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), the root of male pattern baldness. It’s effective and works in nearly 90% of men. Dermatologists may even recommend using it alongside minoxidil to maximize efficacy.

Although it’s unlikely to happen, it may cause erectile dysfunction and other sexual side effects. Consult with your dermatologist before use.

Hair Transplant

Easily, a hair transplant would yield significant results for the most part compared to a hair loss treatment. It’s expensive, but the results look natural and are permanent because the transplanted hairs are resistant to DHT.

It’s done in two ways which are Follicular Unit Extraction or Follicular Unit Transplantation.

FUE takes a bit of time to finish since the extraction of individual follicular units needs precision work. The end result would be a lot more healthy follicular units and upon transplantation, the procedure doesn’t leave any noticeable scars.

FUT, however, requires the removal of skin from the back of your head to harvest follicular units. It’s faster but it will leave a noticeable scar on the donor area.

One thing to note about hair transplant is not everyone may be able to undergo a hair transplant procedure. Age, health issues, and donor hair density are some factors to consider in being a good candidate for a hair transplant.

The Right Treatment at the Right Time

The right treatment for your hair loss depends on the severity or degree of hair loss. If the stage of hair loss is early, then hair loss treatment might suffice.

If medication doesn’t work or if the hair loss is extensive, then you’ll want to consider undergoing a hair transplant.

Remember that this is mainly about combating pattern hair loss. Consult with a dermatologist and research about the other conditions and probable causes to avoid misdiagnosing your condition. Be smart, be safe, and have a successful hair restoration journey.

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