A healthy head of hair is very desirable for both men and women for many reasons. Your hairstyle can be a big part of your sense of identity and a significant source of self-confidence; plus, the appearance of your hair can affect your success in dating, relationships, and even some professional endeavors.
Though it can be easy to forget about your hair when it’s healthy and growing normally, most people start to notice immediately as soon as it starts to thin or become brittle. Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness, refers to genetic hair loss that can take effect at any age and occurs in both women and men. While a majority of hair loss stems from a genetic predisposition, there are many other catalysts for the condition including stress, poor diet, overuse of heat treatments and dyes, and even pregnancy.
Comparing Different Hair Loss Treatments: Which One is Right for You?
There is a wide variety of hair loss products available on the market today. Though certain treatments are designed to target specific types of hair loss, there is something out there for everyone when it comes to rejuvenating your hair and scalp and getting your thickness and shine back.
Not sure where to start with treating your hair loss? Here are some of the most effective hair loss treatments and what they can do for you:
1. Minoxidil. This FDA-approved medication typically comes in the form of a topical cream or gel applied once or twice daily to prevent the spread of genetic hair loss. Though minoxidil isn’t generally known to promote new hair growth, it can slow or stop the spread of pattern baldness and prevent further hair loss.
Minoxidil has been around for decades, so it’s one of the most tried and true forms of hair loss treatment. However, some side effects can include itching and burning of the scalp.
2. Finasteride. Also designed to slow pattern baldness, finasteride is dispensed by prescription only and is taken in pill form. This medication works to restrain the enzyme that creates DHT, a testosterone byproduct that causes hair loss, particularly in men. Unlike minoxidil, finasteride is designed to support healthy hair growth in addition to slowing or stopping genetic hair loss.
Both minoxidil and finasteride are known to achieve results after a few months of use. However, customers that use both in tandem report maximum effectiveness from both products.
3. Laser hair caps. For those who prefer a treatment method that works without the use of any medications or substances, laser hair caps are the perfect solution. FDA-cleared and completely safe to use, laser hair caps utilize low-level light therapy, or LLLT, to rejuvenate stalled hair follicles and increase blood flow to the scalp. This improves hair growth and protects against genetic hair loss.
Laser hair caps aren’t only effective, they’re extremely easy to use and work very efficiently. Fitting under a standard ball cap, these devices can be worn while walking the dog, going shopping, or any errand you could think of, and only 30 minutes of wear every other day is required to see amazing results.
4. Hair transplantation. In some cases, those experiencing extreme hair loss will turn to surgical procedures in order to restore the appearance of their hair. Hair transplantation is one such surgical procedure that installs healthy hair follicles from a part of the body that is unaffected by hair loss, called the “donor site,” into the balding area with dead or damaged follicles known as the “recipient site”.
This procedure is minimally invasive but does require some recovery time afterward. Recipients of hair transplants are known to experience drastically improved hair growth due to the new presence of healthy follicles where pattern baldness had previously damaged follicles beyond the point of function.
5. Change in medication. Millions of people take medication regularly to treat common conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and cancer. In fact, though their function isn’t to treat a specific illness, birth control pills are also known to cause hair loss in women due to their hormonal interference. Hair loss is a common side effect of a variety of medications and treatments. If you think your medication may be causing thinning hair or interrupting your natural hair growth cycle, talk to your doctor about your options. In some cases, there may be an alternative medication to treat your condition that isn’t known to cause hair loss. However, even if you’re experiencing hair loss from a mandatory medical treatment or medication, hair loss treatments like minoxidil, finasteride, hair loss caps, and hair transplantation can bring about amazing results—just make sure to check with your doctor first.