There are 56 Million people experiencing hair loss in the United States. The change in appearance can cause complicated feelings about one’s self image and a loss of self-esteem. The abundance of people searching for a solution to this situation creates a huge marketplace for hair loss remedies. There are many different hair loss products and procedures on the market, but most people try either chemical hair restoration or hair transplant surgery.
The two most widely used chemicals that combat hair loss are Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine and Finasteride, marketed as Propecia. Minoxidil is a foam that is applied topically. Finasteride is administered in pill form. Both have been shown to slow male pattern baldness, with continuous use, but the way each accomplishes this feat is different.
Minoxidil has been proven to slow hair loss and increase regrowth. It does this by reactivating dormant follicles and lengthening the hair growth cycle. It isn’t an immediate fix, though. Users may see increased hair loss, in the short term, while the older, weaker hairs are lost. Most people should see results within four months. These results can only be maintained by continuous twice daily use of Minoxidil. Some doctors recommend that Minoxidil be used post hair surgery for best results. Rashes and other skin irritations have been reported.
Finasteride was originally designed to use in treatment of enlarged prostates. During clinical trials researchers found that many participants were showing increased hair growth. It was determined this was caused by the lowering of DHT levels in the scalp. Clinical studies have shown a very high rate of effectiveness in halting hair loss progression and in hair regrowth. The effectiveness comes with the potential of some serious sexual side effects, up to and including male infertility. While some of these symptoms resolve once the use of Finasteride has ceased, some users never return to full sexual function.
Hair transplantation surgery is neither as easy as popping a pill, or as tedious as applying foam twice daily. What it is, however, is a long-term solution with very few side effects. The method involves moving hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another. The donor follicles come from areas of the scalp that are not likely to be affected by hair loss. The procedure can be done in one or two sittings. Pain relief is provided, so the discomfort is minimal.
As with any minor surgery, patients should take care not to over exert themselves soon after the procedure. Some risk of infection and scarring has been observed, but these risks can be significantly lowered by proper post-surgical care by the patient. When completed by a competent, dedicated doctor, hair transplant surgery is a permanent solution to your hair loss problem.