What Is Hair Loss?
You may have heard of it as Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). The medical term is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA). It’s a monster of an industry and the sheer array of solutions and treatments is mind-boggling (and at times, eye-wateringly expensive). Just as your particular hair loss issue is not the same as the next guy’s, treatments vary wildly from man to man.
Losing your hair can be a real kick in the teeth. It undermines your self-esteem and self-worth and makes you question your identity. You might feel isolated, and even depressed.
There are men who have contemplated suicide and others who merely suffer in silence and withdraw from the social side of their lives. Not to say any of that is normal but some of it is to be expected, to varying degrees.
Hair Loss: Can It Be Reversed?
Yes – that’s the short answer.
The long answer is that it’s not a quick fix and the hair loss industry is a minefield of hair growth or hair replacement products and natural remedies. There are a vast amount of self-styled ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’, earnest therapists through to actual experts who are worth every dollar or pound they charge. It can be so easy to fall prey to those out there who promise the world and only relieve you of your money.
So how can you know who to trust? Well, as a hair loss sufferer myself, and someone who has endured 10+ hair transplants, as well as trying everything under the sun to grow back my own hair, I’m going to introduce you to some treatments that I’ve found do help.
Proven Hair Loss Treatments
What happens with Androgenetic Alopecia is that the hair follicles shrink and become inactive. They need to be woken up and rejuvenated and the following methods can help with this.
- Minoxidil – This is an FDA-approved topical treatment you can buy as a foam or liquid, over the counter at the chemist. It helps to increase blood flow around the shrunken hair follicles and helps them to grow. Additionally, it extends the growth phase of the follicles which, in turn, encourages the hair to grow again. Many online stores offer it and Kirlkand offer a very good minoxidil generic 5% foam.
- Finasteride (Propecia) – Also FDA-approved, Finasteride is a tablet you take once a day but you’ll need a prescription from your doctor. Clinical trials have proven that 66% of men who take it experience hair re-growth. Encouragingly, the studies showed that 83% of those on Finasteride held on to their existing hair as well.
For me, Finasteride has been working extremely well for more than 17 years. I’ve had hair transplants but I take it because it stops further hair loss and it’s also added volume to my crown and mid-region. Always speak to your own GP about the mediation and information on Finasteride side effects.
- PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) – PRP involves drawing your blood, processing it and then injecting it into your scalp. I know it sounds gruesome, and it’s not the most pleasant procedure but it’s considered to be quite effective and popular more with female patients. There’s a great deal of variability in results depending on the client, staff training and the equipment and processes used. Few PRP’s are the same and it’s not a permanent solution so it’s vital you choose a clinic who are consistent in the treatment they offer such as Dr. Alan Bauman at Bauman Medical, along with professional follow up care.
- Laser – Hair loss caps exist such as the CapillusRX 312 Laser Therapy Cap which is an FDA-approved device you can use at home. It can only be recommended and ‘prescribed’ by a medical specialist in hair loss therapies and is used under medical supervision. I personally didn’t find it helped me but some patients I’ve spoken with swear its helped them and their situation.
- Vitabiotics Hair Follic – These are no ordinary hair vitamin. They are high quality supplements designed to boost the health and strength of a man’s hair. Loaded with hair-enhancing nutrients including biotin, selenium and zinc, they work as additional weapons in the fight against hair loss. They won’t regrow hair or halt hair loss but they will enhance the health of your existing hair and help it to grow faster. They are even useful in helping with healing following hair transplant surgery.
- DHT shampoo – Various shampoo products exist that claim to support the growth of healthy hair, and I believe some may be in fact very helpful. But you’ll need to be in the very early stages of hair loss and get onto this pretty quickly for it to be of any value. I’m not saying don’t use it; just don’t expect immediate miracles. I’ve spoken with several patients of late and they have been having great success with Hair Restoration Laboratories shampoos and conditioners.
Alternative Hair Loss Treatments
If you’d prefer not to go down the hair transplant surgery route and/or you’re not convinced about the above treatment options, may I suggest the following:
- Tricho Pigmentation Tattooing – You can have your scalp tattooed to look like you have fuller hair. Natural pigments are used and the procedure is safe, to produce realistic results. I had this procedure, known as Advanced Tricho Pigmentation, or ATP and I’ve been thoroughly impressed. I found it an effective way to conceal the scars from my FUT and it also adds visual volume to my crown. It looks natural, it didn’t hurt at all, it only took two hours or so and no recovery time is necessary.
- CNC 3D printed hair systems – Medical-grade hair and scalp prosthetics such as the Italian ‘Capelli Naturali a Contatto’ are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Forget old-school rugs and weaves; with these systems on board, you can swim, exercise, shampoo your hair, do whatever you want. Natural, ‘virgin’ (uncoloured/untreated) European human hair is used, attached directly to the hair and scalp. A cast of the client’s scalp is made and an exact 3D-printed model is created. The ‘cap’ is made to replicate your own skin colour and then the donor hair is matched by colour, thickness, length and curl and hand-sewn into the cap. The CNC is secured to your scalp with a medical-grade adhesive.
- Concealers – Think ‘spray-on hair’. Concealers are shaker containers of keratin fibres that you sprinkle liberally onto areas where your hair has thinned. You then secure the fibres in place with the second product, the locking mist. You may be surprised at how realistic the results are! A well known product is Nanogen which David Beckham was recently questioned about wearing a few months back.
Hair Transplant Surgery: The Last Resort!
Hair transplant surgery is very invasive. It’s expensive, recovery is painful, you can expect to require a week or more of down-time, and scarring is involved. Will a hair transplant work for you? See here!
For further information on Hair loss visit : www.spexhair.com