Hair loss is a common problem experienced by both men and women. Due to genetics or other reasons like skin/medical conditions, it can occur even in young people. In some cases of hair loss, treatment is not necessary and hair growth will resume naturally. However, in other cases treatments will make the hair growth process faster. There are also treatment options that hide hair loss.
Treatment Options for Hair Loss
If the hair loss is directly caused by an underlying disease, the disease needs treatment first. In conjunction with treating the underlying issue, certain medications can also be used to start or accelerate hair growth. Here are the hair loss treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- Minoxidil (Rogaine) – This is an over-the counter medication that comes in foam or liquid form. It is rubbed on the scalp twice daily to prevent further hair loss and promote hair growth. It takes around 12 weeks for new hair to begin growing. Minoxidil is available in a 2% and 5% solution. Take note that it may cause side effects like unwanted hair growth on the face/forehead and irritation of the scalp.
- Finasteride (Propecia) – This is a pill prescribed for treating male pattern baldness. It slows down hair loss and in some cases helps with new hair growth. The FDA warns that in some men it may increase* risk of aggressive prostate cancer slightly. It can also cause low sex drive and diminished* sexual function in a small percentage of men. This medication is not recommended for women of childbearing age.
The most common form of permanent hair loss involves only the top area of the head. There are surgical procedures that can utilize most of the hair left to cover the bald spot. The problem with surgical procedures is the high cost and the fact that these are painful. There is also a risk of scarring and infection.
- Hair Transplants – This procedure involves the removal of tiny plugs of skin that contain a few hairs taken from the back or sides of the scalp. These plugs are implanted to the areas of the scalp with no hair. Several transplant sessions may be required depending on the severity of hair loss and on how the problem progresses.
- Scalp Reduction* – This procedure involves removing* some of the areas of the scalp with hair loss. After it is removed, the space is closed with scalp that has hair. There is also a technique called a flap which refers to folding hair bearing skin over areas of bald skin.
Wigs and Hairpieces
There is a convenient, pain-free and more affordable option to medical treatment which is wearing a hairpiece or wig. There are different types of wigs to choose from with a broad price range depending on quality. You may have to invest a substantial amount of money if you want a high-quality hairpiece that looks natural. This option can be used to cover the hair loss quickly. You can even use them while taking medication for hair growth to hide the problem temporarily.
Simple Home Remedies to Control Hair Fall
Coconut milk is rich in plant derivatives that nourish tissues and help reduce* hair fall. Grind grated coconut and squeeze to extract the milk. Massage the coconut milk on the entire scalp to help control hair fall. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes before washing.
Aloe Vera juice is one of the most popular natural remedies for hair loss. You can use pure aloe gel to soothe dry, irritated and infected scalp. Apply directly on your scalp and massage gently. Leave it on your hair for about one hour before washing with lukewarm water. Do this at least two times a week.
Massage your scalp a few minutes each day with lukewarm oil in order to stimulate blood flow to the scalp. You can use coconut, jojoba, almond, mustard or lavender oil. Jojoba oil is recommended because it replaces sebum to prevent dryness and irritation.
Be Gentle with Your Hair
Among the things that promote hair loss are combing wet hair and rubbing it dry. When the hair is wet, it is more susceptible to damage and breakage. You also need to avoid harsh shampoos and hair products that may contain harmful chemicals.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is very important since it prevents dehydration and helps flush out toxins from the body. Dehydration can cause a dry scalp which promotes* hair fall while build-ups of toxins can contribute to the development of diseases that cause hair loss.
The Importance of Nutrition
Your diet also plays a very important role in keeping your hair healthy. Hair is made of proteins and requires certain nutrients for optimal growth. You need to get enough protein by eating lean meats. Avoid processed foods which may contain chemicals that can promote hair loss. You also need to get enough essential vitamins (A, C, E and B complex) which are vital for healthy hair growth. Also remember to get enough iron in your diet since iron deficiency is one of the main causes of severe hair fall.