Hair Loss Prevention & Thinning Hair Remedies
A variety of products and treatments claim that they can naturally prevent or reverse hair loss. Although many people swear by these products for hair loss and there may very well be some natural hair loss remedies out there that could work for some people, they are not FDA-approved and there are no scientific data on them. There has been no clinical research to prove that these remedies work in the long term.
Although there are many causes to hair loss, hereditary hair loss (androgenic alopecia) is genetic. Inherited pattern hair loss affects millions of people around the world, but effective hair loss remedies and treatment options are typically limited to four medically-approved options: a topical hair solution (minoxidil), an oral medication (finasteride, more commonly known as Propecia), low-level laser therapy and hair transplantation.
Non-Surgical Hair Growth Remedies/ Solutions:
There are two categories of drugs for common hereditary hair loss but only one drug in each category: hair growth stimulators and androgen modulators. The hair growth stimulators are applied topically. They act by adding a positive growth-enhancing substance to the hair follicle. Androgen modulators work by removing a negative substance. This substance is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the male hormone that is one of the principal factors in male pattern hair loss. DHT is not usually the cause of pattern hair loss in women.
The only direct hair growth stimulator currently FDA-approved for hair loss is topical minoxidil. A common brand is Rogaine®. This works to some degree in most patients. A 5% solution and foam have been approved for men and a 2% solution for women and men. Using the drug is simple: twice a day you apply a liquid or foam to your scalp.
The one drawback is that if you stop using the treatment, any benefits achieved will eventually be lost. You have to stay with it or your hair will revert to its previous pattern.
Finasteride (Prescription Propecia®)
Another FDA-approved treatment is the drug finasteride (sold as Propecia®). Finasteride, a synthetic 4-azasteroid compound, inhibits the enzyme type one 5 alpha reductase which converts testosterone in men to DHT. DHT in turn shrinks the hair follicle until it no longer produces visible hair. In short, Propecia® works to inhibit the formation of the DHT hormone that weakens hair and halts its growth, thereby reducing further hair loss.
Propecia® is a pill that must be taken daily, available by prescription only. It remains the only pill that has been FDA-approved to treat male pattern hair loss. An estimated one million men in the United States take this medication according to Propecia® manufacturer, Merck. Women are not eligible for this medical treatment. Most men taking the drug experience an increase in hair count, a decrease in hair loss and an improvement in appearance.
As with minoxidil, the effectiveness of the medication depends upon the type of hair loss and its location. Finasteride does not work well on receding hairlines. Also, men who are already "shiny bald" are unlikely to have positive results because the hair follicles may not be salvageable. Men who have moderate thinning in the back or top of the head have a better chance of obtaining some visible benefit, but only for as long as they continue taking the medication. As with minoxidil, the treatment must be on-going or the results will gradually reverse over the period of a year. Starting treatment early will help to ensure a better long-term result, and serve the purpose to an extent, of hair loss prevention.
You can get more information about Propecia and whether it might be right for you during your free consultation with a Bosley physician.
The laser comb is the first and only home-use medical laser device that has been clinically proven and FDA cleared, for men and women, to stimulate your scalp and promote hair growth. The device is a hand-held instrument used for 10-15 minutes a day, three times a week by the patient. With its cordless and easy to use features, the laser comb provides the convenience of treatment in one's own home.
The laser comb works via the principle of photo-biostimulation, a process which delivers low level cool laser energy to the hair follicle. The light energy emitted from the laser comb may increase blood flow and circulation within the scalp and in doing so, revitalize individual follicles and promote a general strengthening of the hair. Blood flow is crucial to promoting healthy hair growth; it brings important nutrients into the follicle, while allowing the follicular cells to effectively dispose of detrimental waste products.
The Bosley LaserComb® Elite is an ideal hair growth treatment for individuals with very early-stage hair loss where hair transplantation is not indicated. Although it is not intended to treat advanced hair loss, the lasercomb may be used either on pre-operative and/or post-operative patients to improve the results of hair restoration surgery. You can purchase the Bosley LaserComb® Elite online from the Bosley Store.
Surgical Hair Loss Treatment – Hair Transplantation
Surgical hair transplantation is widely considered to be the most effective option for restoring hair because it's a permanent, relatively simple procedure, and it achieves a natural look.
Hair transplantation involves transplanting hairs and follicles from one area of the head to another. Most causes of hair loss may be traced to the hormone DHT. In hair transplantation, DHT-resistant follicles are removed from the scalp and artfully placed in thinning areas on the top and front of the head.
There are many hair loss remedies and prevention treatments on the market, but not all products stand by their promises of being effective in re-growing thinning hair and stopping hair loss. Before trying anything, Bosley recommends that you seek your general physician to ensure that the hair loss treatments do not have side effects that could potentially harm you or bring about other medical conditions. Doing additional research does not hurt either. While Bosley can't vouch for the variety of hair growth remedies and solutions out there, we can talk about the excellent products and options that we offer for hair loss.
For those in the advanced stages of hair loss, Bosley hair transplantation is the most effective in restoring lost hair and hairline. For those suffering from genetic hair loss, such as male pattern baldness, other hair loss prevention treatments might slow down the hair loss but they cannot combat it entirely. The only known solution to permanently restore hair is hair transplantation. Success rates may vary from an individual to another, but Bosley hair transplantation is most often the final option for many suffering from hair loss.