No one really wants to lose their hair, and yet, it happens to the majority of people. More than half of the male population will have some amount of hair loss in their lifetime and a significant number of women will also lose their hair.
Although a hair transplant is typically the only way to permanently restore lost hair, particularly hair lost due to male or female pattern baldness, burns or scarring, there are several options available that help treat hair loss or stimulate hair growth, without the need for surgery.
If you’re not quite ready for the time or expense of surgery, it might be worth your while to discuss the following options with your surgeon.
Minoxidil, sold under the brand name of Rogaine, is often one of the first treatments people think of when they think about hair loss. The product is available in two concentrations, 2% or 5%, and is applied directly to the area where the hair is thinning. It can be used by both men and women and is usually most effective younger patients who are just beginning to see signs of hair loss.
There are some important things to know about Minoxidil. One is that it’s not a cure for hair loss. While the product does stimulate hair growth and can slow the progression of baldness, it won’t fully prevent hair loss. Additionally, minoxidil only works for as long as a person uses it. If you stop using the product, you will see your hair loss continue.
It takes some time for the results from Minoxidil to become visible. Some people might notice some improvement after four months. It might take a year for others to see any change or difference. There is a slight chance of side effects when using the product, too, mostly in the form of itching, redness or irritation on the scalp. To continue to see results from Minoxidil, you need to continue to use it. Once you stop applying the ointment, your hair loss will continue to progress.
Finasteride, an oral medication often marketed under the name Propecia, is another hair loss treatment option. Unlike minoxidil, which can be used by both men and women, finasteride is only recommended for men. It originally came to market as a treatment for an enlarged prostate, but it was soon found out that it had a positive effect on male pattern baldness.
The medication is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which means that it helps block the production of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, the male hormone that causes the hair follicles to shrink and for the hair to fall out.
Finasteride doesn’t work for everyone. Typically, you can expect not to see any change within the first three months of taking the medication. Many patients see some slowdown in their hair loss between the first three months and the first year of using it. If there is no improvement in the hair loss after a year, it’s highly likely that there will be no improvement at all, and your doctor might recommend a different course of action. Any improvement in your hair loss will be lost if you stop taking the medicines.
You may already know that laser energy can help improve the appearance of your skin. Did you also know that it might also help when it comes to hair loss? Low level laser therapy (LLLT) can help slow down hair loss by making the hair you already have stronger and by stimulating new growth.
One simple way to take advantage of LLLT is with the Capillus272. The Capillus272 is a small device, covered with 272 laser diodes. You place the device inside your hat, cap or scarf, and wear it for a 30 minutes at a time, every other day. It can be used by men and women between the ages of 25 and 65. Unlike many other hair loss treatments out there, the Capillus272 is ideal for women, as it reaches the areas of the scalp where women typically see hair loss.
There are several benefits to trying the Capillus272. For one thing, it can be used along with other forms of hair loss treatment. You can be taking finasteride and wearing the device or use the device along with minoxidil. Unlike other hair loss treatments, there are no side effects to using the device.
Hair restoration specialist Dr. Kyle Choe offers the Capillus272 device at his practice in Virginia Beach. To learn more about the device and to see if it will help you with your hair loss issue, call (757) 389-5850 for a consultation today.