WHEN IT COMES TO HALTING MEN’S HAIR LOSS, “THE SOONER THE BETTER” IS THE GOLDEN RULE. GET STARTED BY LEARNING WHICH COMBINATION OF HAIR LOSS TREATMENTS MAY BE BEST FOR YOU.
Because a single hair grows in a cycle of active growth, fall-out and replacement, when hair fall-out exceeds hair growth and replacement, then hair thinning or baldness may become noticeable. Hair thinning is a common sign of natural aging in men (male pattern baldness) as production of hormones reduces, causing an attack on hair follicles and a predictable pattern of visible thinning.
There are many other factors that can cause hair fall-out and hair thinning, such as stress, poor diet, follicle diseases and side effects from many commonly prescribed medications; these types of hair loss conditions may be resolved by your physician. If your diagnosis is more complicated, however, your physician may refer you to a hair loss treatment specialist. The good news: No matter what you find out from your doctor, there are many hair loss treatment solutions available to men.
Basic hair loss treatments: Reduce stress, eat well and maintain a healthy scalp
Physical traumas to the body or scalp as well as mental traumas can cause hair loss and thinning, sometimes even three to six months after the trauma occurs. Also affecting hair loss are daily diet and stress, just as they negatively affect the heart and blood pressure. If you suspect a follicle infection or other scalp problem, a dermatologist can diagnose and successfully treat product buildup, excessive sebum production and fungal or other infections. These conditions can reduce cell respiration at the bulb and cause hair loss, shedding and thinning; so if this is the case, make some changes to your diet and stress levels and take care of your scalp.
Your doctor can prescribe effective, approved pharmaceutical hair loss treatments
Choose only FDA-approved and doctor-prescribed hair loss treatments because many advertised treatments do not prevent and treat hair loss. Pharmaceutical hair loss treatments fight the two main causes of hair loss and thinning:
- Depending on genetic factors, the chemical produced in the human body as men age — DHT (dihydrotestosterone) — can shrink hair follicles until they no longer produce hair.
- With less efficient blood circulation in aging men, hair follicles are often robbed of the nutrients and blood flow necessary to produce healthy hair growth.
The FDA has approved the once-daily prescription pill finasteride (Propecia) for men to work internally to block the DHT from attacking follicles and thereby allowing hair to grow. Finasteride treats mild to moderate male pattern hair loss on the top and middle scalp areas, although it is not effective on receding hairlines. It is a long-term treatment that can be safely combined with any other hair loss approach, but if halted, hair loss will resume.
Minoxidil (Rogaine), prescribed at 5 percent for men (available over the counter) and applied externally, increases blood flow to the follicles, which can improve hair growth, but it doesn’t stimulate dead follicles to regrow. This product is often used safely and successfully with other hair loss treatments to amplify effects. Again, if the treatment is halted, the hair loss will resume.
Hair transplant surgery, a successful hair loss treatment for men
Using either of two current techniques — trichophytic closure or follicular unit extraction — hair transplant surgery is a viable option for men because their hair loss falls into a predictable pattern. Success depends largely on ethnicity, age and degree of hair loss, although hair transplant surgery can come with difficulty, challenge and cost because it is an invasive procedure and can involve local infection and scarring. Donor hair follicles come from the lower back portion of the head, so having enough of these follicles to complete the procedure is a factor, as are a man’s degree and pattern of hair loss, which may continue unabated in untransplanted areas. African-American hair is less transplantable owing to the nature of the hair follicles, and this procedure requires a specialist. Hair transplant surgery can be safely combined with finasteride, minoxidil or laser hair therapy to help halt additional hair loss.
Laser hair therapy can be an external, noninvasive hair loss treatment
For men showing signs of male pattern baldness who are not ready to consider a hair replacement system (see below), laser therapy is a safe, effective and viable option. Laser hair therapy treatments stimulate shrinking hair follicles to help them widen, repair and regain the ability to grow. Men who use laser hair therapy during the early phases of hair thinning will experience the best results because once follicles are dead, they cannot be stimulated to grow again. Laser hair therapy need not be accompanied by hair loss medications, such as minoxidil or finasteride, although many patients claim a synergistic effect from combining either with laser hair therapy.
Laser hair therapy can be a do- it-yourself, at-home treatment, or it can be administered by a hair loss treatment specialist through various strength levels of light diode exposure and time increments. Typically, laser hair therapy is administered three times per week, and sticking to a regular treatment schedule is essential to hair growth success.
A hair replacement system is a man’s best choice for restoring natural appearance
Because current techniques and technologies are so exacting, a hair replacement system can naturally and semipermanently address thinning, patches or even advanced hair loss, and the solutions can be adapted to any man’s head, individual hair loss condition, age, style, budget and lifestyle. A non-surgical hair replacement system is the most natural, realistic way of giving a man back the hair he once had, and this approach to managing men’s hair loss is also noninvasive; however, periodic appointments for professional maintenance are necessary for the best appearance.
Hair replication is the newest hair loss treatment using tattoos
Modern tattoo artists and practitioners have such exacting tools, technologies and inks that they say they can replicate the “look” of hair follicles … permanently. But this tattooing technique is still in its infancy, so, buyer beware!