Other Common Hair Growth Procedures
Hair transplants are procedures where a doctor relocates healthy, hair-generating areas to your balding scalp. The donor portions have active, hair-growing follicles, and can fill in the bald spots with much success.
The pros to hair transplant is that you may not need any other treatment or follow-up: once the transplant is done, the hair is yours and growing. Because youre donating the hair yourself, you know it will match in both color and texture, and also ensures uniformity in hair growth.
On the con side, there are minor surgical risks, including infection and, in some cases, hemorrhaging. There can also be scarring, and some people dont like the overall aesthetic look. Also, its unlikely that a procedure like this is covered by your insurance, so you may need to be prepared for a hefty bill.
A more invasive surgery, scalp reduction involves removing the parts of the scalp that do not produce hair and stretching the good hair-producing scalp to cover them. Because of scarring, this treatment is only recommended for the back and top of the head, not a receding hairline.
In addition, scalp reduction procedures usually dont cover the entire area thats affected by the hair loss, but rather just a portion. The stretching of the healthy scalp area can usually cover about 50% of the affected area.
Platelet Rich Plasma for Hair Loss
Minoxidil or Finasteride
Tips For Hair Loss Or Thinning
- Use gentle hair products such as baby shampoos.
- Don’t use perms or hair colours on thinning hair colours may not take well and perms can damage the hair.
- Use a soft baby brush and comb thinning hair gently.
- Avoid using hair dryers, curling tongs, hair straighteners and curlers on thinning hair and pat your hair dry after washing.
- If your scalp flakes or itches this means it is dry use oil or moisturiser, not dandruff shampoo.
- Protect your scalp by covering your head in the sun.
When To See A Board
If you have hair loss, its never too early to see a board-certified dermatologist. People develop hair loss for many reasons. Your hairstyle may be the cause. Its also possible that something else is causing your hair loss, such as stress or hereditary hair loss. A board-certified dermatologist can get to the root of the problem.
The sooner you find out whats causing your hair loss and take steps to stop it, the better your results.
Related AAD resources
ImagesImage 1: Getty Images
Image 2: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides
ReferencesAmerican Academy of Dermatology. African American hair: Dermatologists tips for everyday care, processing and styling. News release issued Aug 24, 2014.
Billero V and Miteva M. Traction alopecia: The root of the problem. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018 11:14959.
Haskin A and Aguh C. All hairstyles are not created equal: What the dermatologist needs to know about black hairstyling practices and the risk of traction alopecia . J Am Acad Dermatol 2016 75:606-11.
Sperling LC. Alopcias. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:1001.
Wright DR, Gathers R, et al. Hair care practices and their association with scalp and hair disorders in African American girls. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011 64:253-62.
About Hair Loss Or Hair Thinning
Hair loss is one of the most well known side effects of cancer treatment. For many people losing their hair can be distressing and devastating.
It can be a constant reminder of your cancer and what youre going through. But for most people, their hair will grow back once treatment has finished.
Cancer drugs can cause:
- mild thinning of your hair
- partial hair loss, or loss of patches of hair
- complete hair loss
Chemotherapy is the type of cancer drug treatment most likely to cause hair loss.
Complete hair loss is very unlikely with any other type of treatment. But some other cancer drugs can cause hair thinning. It is not possible to tell beforehand who will be affected or how badly.
Hair loss also depends on factors such as:
- the type of drug or combination of drugs you are taking
- the dose
- the route
- how sensitive you are to the drug
- your drug treatment in the past
Take Proper Care Of Your Thinning Hair
Avoiding products and tools that can damage your hair, such as a hair iron or curling wand, is the first step to taking proper care of your hair. If youve already gone through hair treatments, such as dyeing or bleaching, its essential to maintain good hair care to prevent more hair breakage like frizziness and dehydration.
Additionally, avoid washing your hair every day to prevent extreme dryness and damage, especially if you have colored hair.
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Deep Cleanse And Detox Weekly
Even if washing hair is a nightmare because it leads to hair fall, it cannot be skipped. It is essential to get rid of the debris from the scalp in time to guarantee that newly applied products can penetrate the hair shaft properly. Thats why most hair care professionals recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a week to detox and purge impurities from the hair and scalp properly.
What Types Of Health Conditions Can Lead To Hair Loss
Hair loss itself is sometimes treated as a diagnosis, but it is often asymptom of something bigger. “Hair loss can be a sign of an underlying health issue and act as an early warning system,” says Richard Firshein, an expert in integrative and precision-based medicine and founder of the Firshein Center. “The health of hair follicles is directly related to health and the functioning of our endocrine system.”
For conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome , which is often difficult to diagnose, hair thinning is often one of the first tell-tale signs along with acne and body hair caused by the increased levels of testosterone. “Patients with PCOS can have overall elevated testosterone leading to androgenetic alopecia,” explains Henry. Talking about it openly with your dermatologist, OB-GYN, or general health provider can help get you to a diagnosis and treatment plan earlier.
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Treatments For Hair Thinning That May Actually Work
Want to do something about your thinning hair? The first thing you should do is talk to a dermatologist or trichologist. They can figure out whatâs causing your hair loss, and they can recommend treatments that might be right for you. They may suggest options including:
1. Minoxidil . This medication is a foam or a liquid that you put on your scalp. You can buy it over the counter without a prescription. You may have to use it for several months before your hair starts to thicken. If you do regrow hair, youâll lose it again if you stop taking minoxidil.
2. Finasteride . This prescription medication is a pill you take by mouth. You may have to take finasteride for months before you see results, and youâll lose new hair if you stop taking it.
3. Microneedling. A device with hundreds of tiny needles that you use on your scalp may help hair grow, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The site says research suggests that microneedling may work better if you use it along with another hair loss treatment. You can buy one of these devices without a prescription, but talk to a dermatologist first. They can let you know if itâs safe for you, and they can recommend a specific microneedling device.
5. Low-level laser therapy. The American Academy of Dermatology says research suggests that this scalp treatment may help the following conditions:
- Male-pattern hair loss
- Hair loss from chemotherapy
- Healing and hair growth following a hair transplant
Final Thoughts On Natural Treatments For Thinning Hair
I hope you find these natural treatments for thinning hair to be effective. Remember that change wont happen overnight and consistency with natural treatments for thinning hair are key to optimal results.
If youre a woman experiencing hair thinning, hair loss experts recommend getting tested for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances as a good starting place. If you can get to a fixable cause of your hair thinning, the great news is that hair will often grow back and continue growing at a healthy rate once the underlying cause of your hair thinning is addressed. If youre a man or woman and youre afraid that its all just genetics, dont throw in the towel. While a family history might not be in your favor, you can still do a lot through your diet and lifestyle to slow down hair thinning and preserve your mane for as long as possible.
With a consistent, patient approach, natural treatments for thinning hair can help your scalp get back to work growing your hair as it should as often as it should or, at the least, help to to thin out at a slower pace. I know hair thinning is not easy to deal with, but I encourage you to give natural treatments for hair thinning a try and not put vanity before health because the conventional options can cause seriously alarming health issues that are a lot more concerning and damaging than a thinning head of hair.
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What Are The Common Causes Behind Hair Thinning
One of the most common and frustrating factors behind hair thinning is your genetics. No matter how hard you try to fix this, you cant control it if its in your genes to experience hair thinning as you age.
According to research published by Harvard Medical School, about four in ten people experience hair loss due to genetics. In men, this is often referred to as male pattern hair loss.
Another cause of hair thinning is stress and anxiety. When youre under a considerable amount of stress at work or in your personal life, the burden can project through your hair health. However, this hair loss is often temporary, and its natural thickness will return once youre no longer under too much stress.
Significant diet and lifestyle changes can also cause hair thinning, such as a deficiency in protein and other nutrients that your body and hair need. Research proved protein deficiency and a lack of Zinc, Vitamin D, and other nutrients can cause hair thinning.
Constantly getting hair treatments, such as dyeing and bleaching your hair, can also cause hair thinning as these can actively damage and result in rapid loss of moisture from your hair.
Ask An Expert: Is It Actually Possible To Regrow Hair
Every guy is at risk of losing his hair, some more quickly than others. It sucks. The follicle itself shrivels up and is rendered incapable of regrowing anything. This type of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, often referred to as male pattern baldness. This plays out in two ways: the thinning of each hair and the overall loss of density. But, in certain cases of alopecia, these losses are not truly permanent. At least, not right away. Sometimes, it can be slowed down or delayed.
So there’s hope! If youve been losing hair or if you think youre at risk of hair loss of thinning, then read on for some possible fixes. The insight and advice comes from Dr. Francesco Fusco, MD of Wexler Dermatology in NYC. His main point? You’ve got to be proactive.
Fusco says that theres something called miniaturization happening at the follicular level when a hair falls out. Miniaturization refers to the slow shrinking of the hair follicle and the diminution of the hair within, until eventually the follicle no longer exists, she says. The remaining tiny hair falls out and nothing grows back. She says that this is often genetic and caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone , which is a byproduct of testosterone. DHT clings to the follicle and then slowly shrinks it. This most commonly happens at the temples, the crown, and the front of the head.
There are some common solutions and some uncommon ones:
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Other Factors Of Hair Thinning
There are a host of factors that cause hair thinning. Consider if you have recently experienced any of these triggers:
- Hormonal or Chemical Imbalance — hair thinning can occur when your hormones are being produced in different quantities. Think: new medicine, cessation of prescription, etc.
- Thyroid Problems — if you have also noticed memory loss, depression, sudden weight gain, dry skin, or fatigue and frequent muscle aches, your hair thinning might be due to a thyroid problem.
- Vitamin B or Iron Deficiency — hair thinning can happen when you’re not getting enough of certain vitamins.
- Dramatic Weight Loss — hair thinning is normal when you have dramatically lost a lot of weight.
- New Hair Product — if you are using a new hair product, it might be too harsh for your hair.
Remember, hair grows in cycles, so if you are only noticing heavy hair loss now, the catalyst might have happened up to three months prior.
If you can attribute one or more of these factors to your hair loss, your hair is probably just thinning, and you’re likely not going bald.
Ayurvedic Herbs That Can Help Grow Back Your Edges
Ayurvedic science provides herbal medicines and various lifestyle regimens that can help you regrow your edges. Ayurvedic concepts such as Dinacharya and Ritucharya can go a long way in ensuring a host of health benefits.
Dinacharya means organizing daily activities around two cycles of change that occur every day. Dinacharya routine includes waking up early, hygiene, exercise, meals, relaxation, sleeping, etc. Ritucharya involves a lifestyle regimen to be followed each season.
Here are some herbs that can naturally boost your hair growth and thicken your edges:
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Choose A Thickener Shampoo
The shampoo you use regularly is one factor that can either improve or worsen your hair condition. Several shampoo brands contain a lot of toxins and chemicals you may not be aware of and are harmful to your hair and even skin. If you want the best care for your hair, its best to go with thickening and strengthening shampoo products free from harmful chemicals.
Shampoos with volumizing factors also contain fewer ingredients, so it doesnt weigh your hair down as much. However, you should take note that while thickening shampoos can counter hair thinning, it will not help if the main reason behind your hair loss is hereditary or factors you cant control.
Try Regular Scalp Massages
While some options might be expensive and require a professional, like hiring a dermatologist, there’s one approach to regrowth that can be done by yourself and won’t cost you a dime. Cervando says, “in most cases, frequent scalp massages can stimulate new hair growth.” Although the hair that grows back “won’t be super thick, scalp massages could help lightly fill in the area.” However, he does mention it won’t work in every case , but it’s worth trying. Friese agrees that “massaging the scalp at the hairline will increase circulation and encourage hair growth.”
When you massage your head, it’s important only to use the pads of your fingers don’t rake over this sensitive area with fingernails. Move fingers in a gentle, circular pattern for a few minutes every day. Try not to press down firmly on your hairline, as this can stunt growth.
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