Whether you’re experiencing hair loss already or you’re just doing your research, the topic can seem a little scary. For many, hair is tied to confidence or their conception of beauty. The thought of losing it can be worrying.
It’s understandable to feel self-conscious about hair loss. However, this is an extremely common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, but there’s also no shame in trying to treat or prevent the condition. Keep reading for effective hair loss treatment options to consider.
One of the most common and effective ways to treat hair loss is by taking medication. This is usually prescribed as a topical or pill, so they’re easy to use. Two of the most popular forms of hair loss medication are minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil is most commonly used as a topical, whether as a gel, shampoo, or foam. When applied topically to the scalp, it can increase blood flow to the hair follicles, encouraging growth with more nutrients and oxygen. Improved blood circulation can provide more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, promoting their health and encouraging hair growth. Minoxidil is also thought to extend the growth phase of the hair cycle, which means that hair follicles spend more time actively producing hair
Finasteride works quite differently than minoxidil does — instead of stimulating the follicles from the outside, this medication works from the inside. Most often used for male pattern baldness, finasteride stops the overproduction of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male sex hormone. When the body makes too much DHT, the hormone clings to the follicles, causing them to weaken and stop growing hair. Finasteride stops this from happening by controlling the amount of DHT in the body.
2. Laser Therapy
You’re probably wondering what lasers can do to help combat hair loss. And no, it’s not like a lightsaber to the head. Laser therapy is used for many different health conditions usually related to the skin, including the hair.
Laser therapy for hair loss works by stimulating the follicles, similar to minoxidil. However, this happens by using focused beams of lasers, which can penetrate the layers of skin more deeply. The light beams can cause improved circulation, which is necessary for healthy follicles.
The process of using laser therapy can be a bit time-consuming. You’ll have to go in for multiple sessions for this treatment option, but it’s FDA approved and proven to be safe. The lasers are also painless, unlike more invasive procedures.
3. Hair Transplants
Speaking of invasive procedures, hair transplants are another potential treatment to consider. However, this is a type of surgery that requires a longer recovery time than other treatments. While this is definitely the most pricey solution to hair loss, the results are usually well worth it. Hair transplants are the only permanent hair loss solution.
So how can hair be transplanted? There are a couple different ways that doctors perform this procedure — slit grafts and micrografts. These both require a portion of the skin with hair growth to be removed and placed into the area with hair loss. Micrografts are pieces with one or two hairs in them, while slit grafts are slightly bigger with four to ten hairs. If the body accepts the graft, you’ll now have healthy follicles growing hair in what used to be a problem area.
However, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. If you’re almost completely bald, there’s not enough hair to make grafts with. You’ll need to still have areas on the scalp with somewhat healthy hair growth.
4. Natural Remedies
Of course, there are also some more natural remedies you can try out. You can do these if you’re trying to avoid more invasive treatment, or you can combine them for extra power. There are effective ways you can stimulate your own scalp without using medication.
For example, scalp massages can benefit hair growth, and it feels great while doing so. This works because it improves blood flow. Growth serums are another effective option, and they’re usually pretty inexpensive. These are oil-based topicals you can rub into the scalp to hydrate and nourish the follicles. They can make your hair look greasy, though, so this is another one you should apply before bed.
Sometimes hair loss stems from your overall health. If you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals, your hair can suffer. For example, iron is essential for maintaining good blood circulation, which ensures that hair follicles receive sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Biotin is essential for the production of keratin, a protein that forms the structural basis of hair. And vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the body absorb iron. It is also necessary for the production of collagen, another protein that is crucial for hair structure. As a rule of thumb, make sure you’re getting a balanced diet to better your hair and overall health.
Don’t Forget to Love Yourself
There’s nothing wrong with doing what you can to help boost your confidence, as long as it’s healthy. Adding some extra vitamins or applying a topical to ward off hair loss are great starts to your hair health journey. Just remember that no matter the state of your hair, try not to let your confidence weaken. Since stress worsens hair loss, make sure you appreciate who you see in the mirror.