Treatments for hair loss – What works and what doesn’t

Would a high protein diet stop or reverse hair loss? What to get – a wig or a weave? What would work – a scalp micro pigmentation or a transplant? 

Hair loss causes a lot of anxiety in patients – more so, if they are young. And questions like the above emerge as and when hair loss treatments are considered. All these questions and a lot more are definitely worth asking. And why shouldn’t they be? After all, you would like to know about all available treatment options and more importantly understand what works and what doesn’t. 

But before we detail the available treatments, lets list down the reasons for hair loss and balding. Androgenic alopecia, infections, auto-immune diseases, stress, nutritional deficiencies, crash dieting, weight loss, or thyroid and hormonal imbalances are some of the most common reasons. 

Whatever may be the reason, if you start losing hair in large volumes, or growing bald, here is what you need to do?

The sooner you schedule a visit to a doctor (a hair specialist) the better it is for your hair. The doctor will examine your medical history, do a scalp examination, run some tests and in a few cases maybe, do a scalp biopsy (a small procedure that involves examining hair follicles and skin around it to understand the cause of the problem).  

Depending upon the test results, the doctor will recommend a treatment – it may involve dietary supplements, medicines and transplant if need be. There is no reason for you to lose hope – there are some excellent treatments available that not only restore but also give you an aesthetically-pleasing look. 

The list of available treatments is as follows:

  1. Nutrition

Although diet alone will not ‘bring back’ the lost hair, eating healthy fats and protein rich foods will improve the quality of hair you have and will give them strength to fight any ailments. Food rich in B Vitamins such as eggs, chicken, fish and green leafy vegetables are essential for healthy hair. It is advised that you include them in your regular diet. 

  1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is used to slow the process of balding and hair loss. It is a topical solution that also enables hair growth. It is prescribed at an early stage of hair loss and is often essential to keep your existing hair healthy and in a good shape. Minoxidil is often used continuously for 3-4 months for it to show real results, however, the problem is that once you stop using it, hair loss may start again.

  1. Hair Transplant

Hair transplant is perhaps the only permanent solution for baldness. Be it pattern baldness or patches; transplantation of follicles from safer zones to areas of hair loss enables re-growth and rejuvenation. This process restores the facial and natural hair line as well. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are the two techniques used for harvesting follicles:

FUE Hair Transplant

For a short hair look, FUE hair transplant is a good option. Unit extraction is a minimally invasive technique. Micro punches are used to harvest follicles one by one from the donor site and are then replanted onto the areas experiencing hair loss. If the availability of donor scalp is not in large quantities, then FUE is a great option – especially with male pattern baldness. It allows harvestation of follicles from other sites such as beard and chest. It also heals rapidly.    

FUT Hair Transplant

For FUT, the site of follicular extraction is either the back or the sides of the skull. Scalp strips are extracted dissected into individual grafts and are then transplanted onto the balding areas. The follicular extraction methodology between FUT and FUE is the only differentiator. Other than that, the procedure remains the same.    

  1. PRP Therapy

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a non-surgical procedure used to treat hair loss and thinning. It uses the patient’s blood to make PRP’s that are loaded with essential growth proteins. This platelet rich plasma is then injected into the affected areas. Since plasma is extracted from the patient’s blood, chances of infections and allergies are also reduced. This procedure might sound complicated, but its quick and cost effective. 

It is best not to get anxious about what to do if you experience hair loss. Go see the doctor, seek expert advice and make an informed choice!  

About the author

Ross Cameron

Ross Cameron

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