By Olivia |
Hair loss affects millions upon millions of men and women world wide. There are numerous factors that can cause balding, but the most common is genetics. It is estimated that this is the case for as many as 95 percent of people suffering from hair loss in the United States. Other causes include medical conditions, stress, diet, medications and hormones. Fortunately, while there are many causes of hair loss and many hair loss sufferers, there are also many hair replacement options.
As with any issue, pinpointing the cause will help determine the best solution. You might think your thinning hair is hereditary because your mom and aunt also have thinning hair, but yours might in fact be due to a health problem you didn’t even know you had! So it is vitally important that you consult your doctor if you suspect your are losing hair excessively.
Hair Replacement Options
Minoxidil – Popularly known under the brand name Rogaine, the drug minoxidil is FDA approved for the treatment of balding. It is a topical hair loss remedy that must be applied to the scalp twice a day to achieve the best results. Minoxidil is available for men and women. But in order to maintain any hair growth or regrowth, you must continue to use it regularly.
Finasteride – This is the pharmaceutical name for Propecia, another FDA approved drug for the treatment of balding. But Propecia is an option only for men. In fact, women are advised to not even make contact with the pill! But for men, Propecia is now considered the therapy to try first when a man begins experiencing Male Pattern Baldness.
Biotin – Doctors often recommend biotin, a B vitamin, as a method of natural hair restoration to people with thinning hair. Biotin is crucial for the production of hair, and while it is a vitamin our bodies naturally produce, we don’t make nearly enough of it to benefit our hair follicles. A typical dose of biotin is 2 mg – 3 mg a day, to as much as 5 mg a day for patients with more severe hair loss.
Hair Implants – For those who are good candidates for the procedure, hair implants may be one of the best hair replacement options. It used to be that people undergoing hair transplant surgery would end up with a head that looked like a doll’s head – not a good thing. But these days, new surgical techniques allow a skilled specialist to create a completely natural look. However, it may take several surgeries to achieve the result you desire, and it takes three months or more for the transplanted hair to reach its full potential.
Scalp Reduction – Far more drastic than hair transplantation, a scalp reduction involves removing the scalp from the bald area on top and connecting the hairy areas from the side of the head. If the area to be cut out is large, the still-haired section that is going to be moved to the top is first stretched for two months or so by implanting balloons under the skin. Scalp reduction does not help to re-establish the front hairline, and is mainly used to eliminate bald areas on the back and top of the head.
Lace Wigs – Hair pieces with what is called a lace base provide a very natural-looking hairline. Many companies now offer lace wigs or lace front wigs with real human hair. These have to be adhered to the scalp with glue, but once attached you can shower, play sports, go swimming and no one would ever guess you were wearing a wig. For the most part, these lace front wigs cover just the crown, but if you are a woman who is completely bald, because of alopecia, say, you could get a complete lace wig with Remy hair, some of the highest quality hair available. How long these hair pieces will last depends on you. Some people wear out a lace wig in a month, while others can go for a year without needing a replacement. But average longevity is three to four months per hairpiece.
To find out which of these hair replacement options are right for you, consult your doctor.