WHEN CHOOSING A HAIR LOSS TREATMENT, COST ISN’T THE ONLY FACTOR TO CONSIDER. FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO DETERMINE THE RIGHT HAIR LOSS TREATMENT FOR YOU.
Whether you just noticed your hair loss or have been dealing with it for years, you have a variety of different hair loss treatments to choose from. When selecting a hair loss solution, your age, gender, budget, hair loss history and other factors come into play. Let’s examine the most common hair loss treatments to find out which one is right for you.
Hair loss medications
If you have just begun to notice hair loss, hair loss medications may be your first method of treatment. Talk to a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss to see if you are a good candidate for hair loss medications. Both Propecia (finasteride, generic) and Rogaine (minoxidil, generic) are most effective for those under the age of 40 — the earlier into your hair loss, the more effective the treatment. Propecia, which is taken orally, is prescribed to men only because of the potential for birth defects. About 86 percent of users see results; half of them actually regrow some hair, while the hair loss just stops advancing for the other half. Rogaine, which is applied topically to the scalp, is available over the counter to both men and women; however, only about 50 percent of those who use it see any results. With both of these medications, hair loss resumes after you stop using it.
Hair systems are non-surgical, affordable hair loss solutions for both men and women. They aren’t old-fashioned, obvious toupees but, rather, state-of-the-art, virtually undetectable solutions to your hair loss problem. Whether your have male pattern baldness or are a woman with thinning hair on the top of your head, a hair system may be the answer for you. This isn’t a wig that comes off when you come home from work — it is hair that is applied to the scalp in the areas that you need it. It’s semipermanent and removed only when it needs to be replenished and maintained by your provider. If you have tried hair loss medications without results, schedule a consultation with a hair loss professional to discuss the possibility of a hair system.
Wigs are another option for those experiencing hair loss. Synthetic wigs require minimal maintenance and care and are low cost. On the downside, they aren’t always the most natural-looking solution, they can’t be styled with heated tools and, of course, they are temporary. On the other hand, 100 percent human hair wigs are of the highest quality and normally cost upward of $3,000. They take the longest time to create and require high maintenance, but they are the longest lasting, they can be styled like your own hair and they can even be slept in. Remy hair wigs are created from minimally processed human hair and are a great option for those with temporary hair loss due to chemotherapy or other conditions. They are less expensive than human hair wigs but last only about six months. Also keep in mind that machine-made wigs are much less expensive than those that are completely hand-tied.
If you are not in the midst of progressive hair loss, have plenty of healthy hair left and are just missing a few permanent patches of hair (such as with alopecia areata), then hair extensions may be a good option for you. Hair extensions can be attached in a variety of ways — with chemicals, adhesives, heat, sewing, knotting and more. Try to avoid damaging your hair further and steer clear of the chemicals, adhesives and heat. Keep in mind that with hair extensions, you will need to visit the salon regularly for maintenance and upkeep. The price of hair extensions varies tremendously depending on the type and amount of hair used. Expect to pay between $500 and $3,000.
Hair loss concealers
You’ve probably seen the commercials for “spray on hair,” and while we wouldn’t recommend using these types of concealers if you have advanced hair loss, they could be an option for those in the early stages. Hair loss concealerscome in a variety of forms, including aerosol sprays, granular sprinkles, lotions, liquids, and solids that are applied with a brush. If you have just begun to lose your hair and don’t want to take medication, hair loss concealers are an inexpensive option for hiding minimal hair loss.
Laser hair therapy
For those who are showing the initial signs of hair loss and aren’t ready for a hair system, laser hair therapy could be the answer.
“When it comes to laser hair therapy, the more hair you have, the better candidate you are,” says Dave McKenna, senior image consultant for National Hair Centers of Phoenix. “If you are a classification 5, 6 or 7 on the Norwood Scale, you aren’t a good candidate. As odd as it sounds, the best candidate is someone who doesn’t need it.”
You can administer laser hair therapy yourself at home or have it professionally done in a studio, or you could use a combination of both. You must have treatment at regular intervals, generally two or three times a week, to stimulate hair growth and see results.
Hair transplant surgery
Hair transplant surgery is an invasive and often expensive procedure for treating hair loss.
“The cost of hair transplant surgery ranges from about $3,000 on the low end for a minimal procedure to $12,000 or more on the high end,” explains McKenna.
Although both men and women can undergo hair transplant surgery, it’s generally a better option for men because of their stable donor area on the back and sides of the scalp as well as their distinct, predictable pattern of hair loss. With women, there is not normally a stable donor area and thinning of the hair is often all over the head. Donor hair follicles are harvested from the lower back portion of the head and transplanted using trichophytic closure or follicular unit extraction techniques. Younger men are not the best candidates because they could continue to lose hair as they get older and transplantable donor hair may be depleted. Therefore, hair transplant surgery is generally recommended for older men. With hair transplant surgery, there is the risk of scarring, infection and other complications. Be sure to talk extensively with your hair transplant surgeon before deciding to undergo surgery.