Taking a look at the history of non-surgical solutions to hair loss gives potential hair loss sufferers a look at the big picture . Sometimes when faced with this problem, individuals need to see things in a different light, to understand they are not alone, and to realize many others have shared the search for non-surgical solutions .
The many forms of non-surgical solutions to hair loss provide men or women with alternatives to surgical solutions . Covered in this section were the following options: minoxidil (Rogaine); finasteride; ketoconazole; scalp pigmentation; PRP (platelet rich plasma); stem cell treatment; and hair replacement systems also known as wigs and hairpieces . There are indeed a number of options that are shown to be effective .
Probably the most well known of the above-mentioned options is minoxidil or Rogaine . One of the first products that proved beneficial for pattern balding hair loss, Rogaine is still the most popular over-the-counter drug for balding . Prior to this product’s debut, balding was considered largely untreatable . while this drug does not grow much new hair, it nurtures weakened hair follicles so the hair will appear thicker and fuller .
Finasteride is a prescription medication known as Propecia and one of the few products that actually grows hair in men with pattern baldness. This product acts as a DHT-blocker reducing the amount of this hair loss hormone in the system. Women do not appear to benefit from this drug; however, more studies are needed. Pregnant or lactating women should never come into direct contact with this product as in that there is a risk of damage to a male foetus.
Ketoconazole is a synthetic drug prescribed for male pattern baldness. It’s used as an anti- fungal, anti-dandruff shampoo, topical cream, and oral tablet. Some researchers believe it works as a DHT-blocker, but others believe it’s the anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that protect from hair loss. Others believe that it works by removing the sebum fats that may clog hair follicles. The shampoo version is thought to be as effective as Rogaine when used two to four times weekly. There is a possibility that the oral form may cause damage to the liver. It is believed to more effective when used in conjunction with other products.
Micro Scalp Pigmentation is one of the hottest new ways men deal with pattern baldness. Since this solution usually requires a shaved head, most women do not benefit from this aid; however, for men it’s considered a hot, new sexy look. Skin pigmentation works similarly to medical tattooing, but is far more sophisticated. It must be administered by a professional in the field of MSP (Micro Scalp Pigmentation) as the results can be disastrous in the hands of someone that doesn’t know the technique well enough or doesn’t understand the shape and characteristics of hair and the hairline.
Some experts think that “platelet rich plasma” (PRP) may be the next major breakthrough in treating hair loss; others are sceptical. It’s believed this product works by “waking up” dormant follicle stem cells through a protein-enriched blood source. Developed in the 1970s PRP is still a recent discovery, but it is has been used in other areas of medicine with good results. Blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a centrifuging chamber and the result infused into the scalp. PRP is also used in supporting hair transplant recipients.
The controversial stem cell has been widely discussed and debated; however, the hoorah is about embryonic stem cells harvested from non-viable foetuses. Adult stem cells only are used in hair loss treatments, which alleviate the controversy. The stem cells act as progenitor cells that repair systems of the body. They are able to exactly self-replicate, producing identical hair follicles to the recipient’s original follicles. While the treatment is relatively simple, there are still potential drawbacks with stem cell treatment.
Another technique, laser or light therapy may prove beneficial in stimulating hair growth. Lasers have been used successfully for unwanted hair removal, varicose veins, and erasing wrinkles over the years. There are two types of lasers—high-powered and low-powered. It’s the low-powered laser called Low Laser Light Therapy (LLLT) that’s used in treating hair loss. Over the years the increased uses of lasers in medicine have done a lot to minimize the early anxieties of patients. LLLT is gentle and less invasive than high-powered lasers or surgery.
Perhaps the best-known and earliest non-surgical solution to hair loss is the hair replacement system, better known as wigs, toupees, rugs, units or hairpieces. Whatever you call them, they are all basically the same. A base is required to attach hair fibres onto; hair strands of varying qualities are harvested; and attachment systems hold the piece in place. These are available at varying costs and qualities. One of the advantages is the low cost compared to hair restoration surgery. Replacement systems are perfect for temporary baldness due to illnesses or treatments such as chemotherapy. But once all is considered such as time involved in caring for the piece, the costs of buying it, treating it regularly, replacing and maintaining a wig, these can make hair restoration a more viable option over the long term.