Normal hair loss is a common occurrence. At any given time, approximately 10% of your hair is dormant and susceptible to normal shedding. The problem is when the shedding is excessive. It is when thinning hair becomes obvious that most people become concerned with hair restoration options.
Some of the reasons of abnormal hair loss may include:
+ Health concerns such as major illness, fungal infections, hypo or hyper thyroidism, and hormone imbalances;
+ Reaction to medications used to treat cancer, diabetes, lupus, gout, birth control, and anti-depressants;
+ Improper hair care, including excessive use of chemicals and blow-drying;
+ Poor diet, including too much fried and fatty foods, a lack of fruits or green vegetables, and dehydration.
What are the options?
While an estimated 95% of all excessive hair loss is generic, there is a chance a family doctor or a professional hairstylist can provide the quickest and least expense answer to hair restoration. A medical doctor can do a full physical, do the appropriate blood work, and review medications and diet. He can recommend changes that may help with hair regrowth. The hairstylist can look at the condition of the hair and work up a hair care routine that may correct the damage. This routine may include hot oil treatments, scalp massage, and a change of conditioner and shampoo. The stylist may also recommend a haircut to reduce the appearance of thinning hair.
In the event the doctor or hairstylist is unable to assist in reducing the hair loss back to normal levels, topical minoxidil, marketed as Rogaine, was the first FDA approved method of regrowing hair. To be effective, minoxidil is applied to the scalp twice a day. It works best for those who are young and have only recently begun to experience abnormal hair loss, according to Pharmacia & Upjohn. Skeptics question whether the product actually promotes as much new growth as it does reduce the amount of loss.
Also available to sufferers of hair loss is the FDA-approved finasteride, which is marketed as Propecia. Propecia works best on male pattern baldness. Not only has it been proven to restore hair growth, it also improves the thickness and strength of each hair strand.
Often, Propecia, Rogaine, or a combination of both is used in conjunction with hair transplants to optimize the hair restoration process. The process of hair transplants involves removing hair from the densely covered areas of the head and, using a needle, implant those hairs to the thinning section of the head.
Those suffering from male-pattern baldness may also choose a scalp reduction. A scalp reduction is the surgical process of removing large sections of the bald scalp, then the skin from the densely haired sections of the head are stretched to replace the area of scalp that is removed.
If medications and surgery seem too extreme, those suffering from abnormal hair loss still have the option of wearing a hairpiece. While no two toupees, or hairpieces, are created equally, a toupee can look natural. Many who opt for the hairpiece option join a « hair club, » which offer members service that will keep their hairpieces cleaned, colored, and offering the optimal fit.
Remember, all medications and surgical procedures involve a certain amount of risk, and no hair restoration solution is guaranteed to work. Before agreeing to a hair restoration regime, consult with a doctor and know your risks.
Making the right hair restoration decision
Deciding whether hair restoration is right for you is a personal decision. Some people are more concerned than others with hair loss. Deciding which hair restoration method will work best for you is something to discuss with a doctor who specializes in treating hair loss. Many issues such as health, habits, budget, and tolerance to pain will need to be considered before creating a plan of action.