Hair Loss Solutions
In Medical science there are only two treatments approved specifically for hair loss; medication and transplantation. Each comes with its own pros and cons which you must consider fully with the professional help of your GP and surgeon before making any decision on which route may be right for you.
There may be other forms of treatment like Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), Caffeine, Green tea, some protein shakes etc that may be helpful, but the exact science behind them is not known.
Female hair loss can be related to several medical conditions.
You should always see your family GP or a qualified Skin Specialist first before considering a hair transplant, so any medical cause of hair loss can excluded first.
Finasteride is a tablet which is given to slow further hair loss in men. It is DHT (Di-Hydr-Testosterone) inhibitor.
It’s not the testosterone that causes the hair loss but its converted form DHT which causes it. For this to happen, an enzyme by the name of 5-Alpha-Reductase is needed which then facilitates this conversion. Finasteride blocks this enzyme and hence the conversion of testosterone to Di-Hydro-Testosterone.
You can hear all the ins and outs of Finasteride but the question on many men's mind is will it work? Is it a miracle drug that will stop my hair falling out and cover my head in hair? Well, Finasteride is very successful, but it does not have a 100% success rate.
There have been lots of studies into the success rate of the drug and one study shows that 83% of men taking Finasteride did not experience any more hair loss since the start of the prescription. Furthermore, 66% of the men noticed that they had regrowth.
Another study showed that when compared to men who were not taking Finasteride, men using the drug did not experience hair loss and had hair regrowth within the first year. Men who did not use Finasteride continued to lose their hair. After five years of treatment with Finasteride, 48% of men had increased hair growth, 42% experienced no change and a small 10% experienced hair loss. This is quite a success when you compare it to the 75% of men not taking the drug who experience hair loss.
Finasteride is a drug that you have to be patient with as it can take three months to notice any change and, in some cases, up to a year before hair loss is prevented and hair regrowth initiated. Some men experience hair regrowth whereas in others it is just hair loss that is dealt with. Finasteride does not work for every man and the chances are that if you have been using the drug for a year and seen no change, then it is unlikely to be an effective treatment for you. However, if you are experiencing the desired effects, then in order to maintain them, you will have to use Finasteride in the long term as once you stop using it, your hair loss will return to its original state before you started treatment after 12 months. It has also been found that Finasteride is not as effective for older men as it is for younger men.
Minoxidil was actually first used as a drug to treat extremely high blood pressure. Taken orally in pill form, it dilates (or widens) small arteries in the body causing the resistance to blood flow to decrease. Unfortunately for some, particularly for female patients taking the drug, it has a high tendency to cause hypertrichosis, or excessive hair growth. Recognizing that this effect would be welcomed by other patients, drug manufacturers developed a topical formulation so that the hair growth could be enjoyed while avoiding the arterial dilation of the oral drug.
Minoxidil appears to work by widening the hair follicle, causing a thicker strand of hair, and by prolonging the anagen stage of hair growth which results in longer and a higher number of hair strands. The exact physiological basis for these effects remains unknown, but it has been shown to be safe and effective when used properly. According to "Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine," studies have shown that "up to 60 percent of men show improvement in vertex balding...with a mean increase in hair density of 10 percent to 12 percent."