Those concerned with any level of hair loss have likely tried at least one at-home product or procedure to tackle the problem. With all that is marketed for hair loss today, it can really be quite confusing. Men’s Health breaks down the top 6 treatments for hair loss to help us learn exactly how effective each one can be.
While diet alone certainly will not regrow your hair (we wish it were that easy), eating foods high in nutrients can strengthen your hair and reduce breakage. Foods that are protein rich with healthy fats can make the hair you have look thicker and shinier. B vitamins are particularly important in aiding in hair growth. Great sources include chicken, fish, eggs, pork, and leafy greens, such as spinach.
2) Nioxin Shampoo
You’ve likely heard of Nioxin, which includes a bunch of hair products aimed at fighting thinning hair. But does it really work?
Experts say there is no shampoo on the market that can actually stop hair loss. But what Nioxin does do is help keep your scalp in good shape to improve the quality of the hair you currently have.
3) Laser Light Therapy
There are many in-office or at-home handheld laser light treatments, such as the HairMax LaserComb, that supposedly grow new hair by stimulating blood flow to the scalp. These lasers are basically one step above what shampoos, like Nioxin, do to improve the quality of the hair you currently have and may also help you hang on to it a bit longer. Just don’t expect any of these types of procedures to actually grow new hair.
4) Hair Replacement Surgery
The best fix for hair loss by far is hair transplant surgery. Back in the day, doctors used plugs that looked incredibly unnatural. Today, there are a few different options that produce completely natural results with the right physician. The “strip-method”, or FUT, involved removing a short strip of hair from a thick area in the back of the head, dissecting every follicle under a microscope, and transplanting them into the thinning area in a natural hair pattern.
Some patient concerned with scarring in the back of the head will opt for follicular unit extraction (FUE), where grafts are harvested one at a time with tiny punches. They are then dissected and transplanted to the thinning area in the same fashion as FUT.
Propecia is an FDA-approved medicine to treat hair loss. It was originally created to prevent prostate cancer and works by blocking the production of a male hormone in the scalp called androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that shuts down follicles to cause male pattern baldness.
Propecia is a lifetime commitment and once you stop taking it, any hair loss that you would have had if you weren’t taking the medication will happen within 3-8 months. There are also report of sexual side effects, like impotency or lack of desire.
Rogaine, or Minoxidil, is the other FDA-approved drug for hair loss. It helps slow the hair loss process and is the best solution for now to help you hang on to the hair you have. Like the other options, it will not actually grow back thick hair. At best you may notice some peach fuzz, typically on the crown of the head. Once you stop with treatment, you’ll lose the hair shortly thereafter.
Side-effects are uncommon but may include itchiness and/or chest pain.
Dr. Thompson typically recommends a combination of medications with hair replacement surgery for maximum results. Learn more by calling (801)396-9775 for a free consultation in Layton, Bountiful, or Draper, Utah.