Hair Loss Cure: Myth Or Fiction
There is a common mistrust towards hair regrowth treatments, to an extend that hair transplantation and masking the problem are often seen as the only viable ways to deal with thinning. This is often due to the common misconceptions about how hair loss solutions work and when they can help or not.
One of the best ways to combat female hair loss is to invest in products designed exclusively for female pattern baldness that are backed by science or at least have much evidence from personal experience. Let us review them all.
Which Treatment Is Best For You
Weve thoroughly tested the products and services in this guide and have analyzed data about the effectiveness of the treatment options. Along with this information, you need to consider what treatment path fits best into your life. The treatment should be a good, sustainable fit for you and the hair loss youre experiencing to enjoy lasting success. Here are some essential factors to consider.
Do Hair Loss Products Work
Thats the million dollar question, isnt it? The fact of the matter is, not all of them do. All our experts recommend focusing on tried and true, FDA-approved ingredients minoxidil and finasteride, both of which haven been shown through years of study to help control MPHL. For the record, these are the only two ingredients FDA-approved for hair loss. Thats not to say that other treatments, like supplements, natural remedies, and gadgets wont work at all, its just that the science supporting them isnt as robust . There is also something to be said about a multi-pronged approach, like using minoxidil and a supplement. The more ways you can act on the pathways contributing to hair loss the better and I often see patients on multiple types of therapy have better results, says Dr. Kash. But if youre using something and your hair loss isnt getting better or, yikes, getting worse, head to the dermatologist for an evaluation.
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Are Serums Or Supplements Better For Hair Growth
While serums work from the outside-in, supplements work from the inside-out. Ideally, youll be able to use both types of products at once for optimal results.
There arent yet studies that show the benefits of serums as opposed to supplements. However, in general, topical treatments tend to work quicker than oral treatments.
Which Hair Loss Treatment Is Best For Me
Talk with your doctor to figure out which hair loss treatment may be best for you. While OTC and home remedies may work for some, they arent for everyone.
If your hair loss is caused by an underlying medical issue, or if its a side effect from a medication youre taking, OTC treatments might not work.
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The Dangers Of Surgical Hair Restoration
As with any procedure which requires you go under the knife, there is always risk of complications and side effects. Surgical hair restoration is no exception, meaning it is important to understand all that can go wrong before proceeding.
Some of the most common side effects of hair transplantation, the most common surgical treatment method for hair loss, include:
Of course, another major concern is scarring. Learn more about hair transplant scarring here.
Aside from side effects, though, there are also misunderstandings surrounding the outcome of such a procedure.
- Hair transplants are not a cure for baldness.
- You will not see instant results.
- Ongoing medical care may be required.
- You may require more than one session .
As you can see, there are many side effects and unknowns associated with surgical methods of hair restoration.
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
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Ixyay Research Finanutride Natural Dht Blocker & Hair Growth Capsules To Prevent Hair Loss $25
Though Mack recommends finasteride which, she typically prescribes for certain individuals finanutride is an OTC capsule thats vegan, non-GMO and includes saw palmetto and biotin as well, locking in another dermatologist-recommended ingredient.
These capsules from IxYay Research are an Amazons Choice product, too.
Treatment For Hair Loss
Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:
- temporary and it’ll grow back
- a normal part of getting older
Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once you’ve recovered.
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
No treatment is 100% effective.
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Whats The Difference Between Hair Thinning And Hair Loss
Hair loss is usually sudden in onset and is caused by external or internal factors It may be caused bycertain drugs and treatments , tight fitting hair styles and harsh hair-care products, Mack explains. Hair thinning on the other hand is a very gradual process and does not cause discrete areas of baldness like hair loss does.
Whats more, individuals with hair thinning usually appear to have less hair, but no discrete patches of baldness, per Mack. Some causes include vitamin deficiencies, menopause or other hormonal imbalances like PCOS .
Advanced Remedies For Female Hair Loss
Laser therapy, hair transplantation, and platelet-rich plasma therapy are more advanced options available to men and women suffering from severe hair loss.
Laser therapy irradiates photons into scalp tissues to stimulate hair growth and is the least invasive of the three treatments. You can undergo clinical laser treatment or buy one of the various products, like brushes, bands and caps, for low-level laser therapy available in the market.
Although the therapy is proven to be safe and tolerable, it is quite expensive. The is scientific research suggesting that the treatment results are promising, yet inconsistent, meaning that it provides good results for some people and little to no result for other.
When choosing a hair loss treatment, remember that not the price, but the ability to address the cause of thinning makes it effective. If your hair loss is due to hormone imbalance, supplements wont work. And if your hair loss is due to nutritional deficiency, hormone therapy will do more harm than good.
In some cases, regrowth can be achieved by managing stress, refusing from harmful hair routines, and stimulating hair growth with DIY remedies. In some cases, it might be better to invest in minoxidil treatment and laser therapy in the initial stages of hair loss rather than waste precious time hoping home remedies can help. Ally with an expert trichologist to help you find the best route to take.
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How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
Vitue Flourish Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment $28
As one of the only dermatologist-backed hair growth formulas sold at Sephora, its worth picking up Virtues Flourish Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment if youre a beauty junkie who also wants an effective formula.
Wonderfully, it contains minoxidil, along with being vegan, suitable for all hair types. Plus, it doesnt contain any fragrance and is cruelty-free.
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Should I Comb My Hair Before Or After A Shower
Most people assume they should comb hair after washing it, but in fact the best way to ensure tangle-free hair is to brush out knots before even getting in the shower. Then, rather than scrubbing you should apply the shampoo close to the roots and gently massage the product onto your scalp and into your hair.
Taking Care Of Your Hair To Encourage Hair Growth
Male pattern baldness is a natural consequence of age in the majority of men. However, that doesnt mean that you can be lax in your hair care routine. The better you take care of your hair, the longer it will last.
Some men may find that the occasional scalp massage is both stress-relieving and rejuvenating. Since a scalp massage helps open the scalps blood vessels and increase blood flow, regular massages may help you grow hair over time.
You may also see results with gentle shampoos and treatments that target male pattern baldness. Aside from professional products, home remedies such as coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil are also anecdotally known to help encourage hair growth. However, theres less clinical research to support them.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
Is The Topical Combination Just As Good
Hims offers a topical finasteride and minoxidil combination. Its a great choice if youre determined to include finasteride in your treatment plan, but you have reservations about potential side effects. Unfortunately, topical finasteride wont work quite as well as oral finasteride. Its also more expensive to compound in topical form, and it costs more for consumers as a result.
The good news is that studies show an increase in effectiveness for the topical finasteride and minoxidil combination over simple minoxidil. So, if you want to spend the extra money to work with a topical formulation of finasteride, it will certainly have its benefits.
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What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Hair Loss
With an accurate diagnosis, many people who have hair loss can see hair regrowth. If you need treatment for regrowth, the earlier you start, the more likely you are to see regrowth.
Its important to understand that:
Not every type of hair loss can be treated, but a dermatologist may be able to prevent further hair loss.
It can take months before you see results from treatment.
No one treatment works for everyone, even two people with the same type of hair loss.
Sometimes, hair loss is stubborn and requires trying different treatments before finding one that works.
Self-care also plays an essential role in preventing and treating hair loss. To find out what dermatologists recommend, go to Hair loss: Self-care.
Images1,2: Getty Images
3: Property of the American Academy of Dermatology, A to Z Video Series
4: Image used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 39:578-89.
ReferencesAdil A, Godwin M. The effectiveness of treatments for androgenetic alopecia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 77:136-141.
American Academy of Dermatology:
Research demonstrates potential of platelet-rich plasma therapy for hair loss News release issued March 1, 2019. Last accessed May 22, 2019.
New generation of laser and light therapies could provide future treatment options for skin, hair and nail conditions, News release issued March 16, 2012. Last accessed May 22, 2019.
What To Keep In Mind
Some people find hair loss upsetting. Others arent bothered by it at all. No matter how youre affected by hair loss, there are others who feel exactly the same way you do.
Since there are several conditions that can affect hair growth and loss, seeing a doctor prior to self-treating is important. You can also choose to use an online pharmacy or buy products that dont require a prescription.
Since medications for hair loss only produce active results while youre taking them, you can also consider surgical hair restoration, like a hair transplant. This procedure is typically permanent but expensive, costing $10,000 or more.
Theres no wrong choice. Its up to you to decide which strategy makes the most sense for you.
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