Treatment for the most common problem faced all around the world
- Skin & Hair Care Consultant
Hair loss is one of the most common problems people across the globe face. Having those bald patches on your head can be a distressful feeling for anybody.
Though like other conditions prevention is the best cure when it comes to hair loss, there still is hope for people who have suffered hair loss already. With amazing developments in medicine and technology, solutions for hair loss have now been made available to all age groups, from the young to the old. These range from prescription medicines and platelet rich plasma therapy to tissue expansion and hair transplant procedures.
Some of the available options to deal with hair loss are:
There are some prescription medicines that have been found to be useful in improving scalp hair density. Dermatologists usually rely on Minoxidil and Finasteride to stimulate the anagen hair phase.
Prescribed to: Stimulate hair growth and slow down hair loss
Application: Usually 1 ml of Minoxidil, twice a day to dry scalp with a dropper. Leave it for one hour and then shampoo.
How does it work: The only androgen-independent medication in common use, Minoxidil affects hair cycle, terminates the telogen phase prematurely and prolongs the anagen phase.
Precaution: Do not apply to irritated or sunburned scalp
Prescribed to: victims of male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss
Application: It is available as a tablet to be consumed orally. Dermatologists advise to take Finasteride at around the same time every day.
How does it work: Finasteride restricts total circulating androgen and suppresses overall androgen activity.
Precaution: It is usually well tolerated. Infrequent side effects may be reported in female patients including breast tenderness and increased libido. However, the side effects tend to disappear over time with continued use.
• Hair Transplant: In this procedure, hair from the fuller parts of the scalp is distributed and placed in the areas where hair growth is scarce. This process often carries the risk of infection and slight scarring but is quite effective and usually successfully carried out.
Patients and physicians are quite satisfied with the outcome of contemporary hair transplantation. And that’s the reason, physicians these days are recommending hair transplant without reservations.
• Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRPT): This procedure involves the use of Platelet rich plasma, which contains essential factors and other nutrients essential for growth. It stimulates the growth of hair follicles, hence, stimulating overall hair growth.
Researchers attribute the effectiveness of PRPT in the treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) to various platelet-derived growth factors responsible for improving the function of hair follicles and promoting hair growth. PRPT is found to be a safe, cheap, and non-allergic treatment for hair loss, which can be a useful adjuvant in managing AGA.
• Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM): It is a biological method where cellular material is implanted in the place of damaged tissue to trigger better hair growth. It also helps the scalp to heal faster after the transplant.
• Tissue Expansion: This is extremely helpful for those who have suffered scarring due to past injuries or burns.
Tissue expansion involves the insertion of tissue expanders, which are placed beneath a portion of the hairy scalp and slowly filled with saline water over 6-8 weeks. This causes an increase in the area bearing hair. The water bags are removed and the extended scalp is then adjusted in place of the scarce-hair scalp, which was removed or excised.
Tissue expanders have been found to be a great technique in the sphere of reconstructive surgery including hair regeneration and in replacing unsightly scars with normal tissue.
Practiced in every household for years, some home remedies may help deal with hair loss problems. It must be emphasized that evidence for these methods is at best empirical and these should not be seen as expert recommendations. Most of these are simply solutions that a lot of people have found to be effective over the years.
Some of the home remedies include:
• Aloe Vera: Applying aloe vera gel or juice on the scalp and leaving it there for a few hours before washing it off is known to greatly improve hair growth. Aloe Vera contains enzymes that can stimulate hair growth. There is some research to support the effectiveness of aloe vera in hair loss.
• Onions: Onions are rich in sulphur and applying onion juice on the scalp is believed to enrich it by improving circulation. It is also known to help revive hair follicles. Crude onion juice has been found to be an effective topical therapy for patchy alopecia areata, a non-scarring hair loss condition.
• Amla or the Indian Gooseberry: Amla is one of the tried and tested remedies for healthy hair growth as it is believed to have antibacterial properties and contains antioxidants. It is rich in Vitamin C and helps maintain a healthy scalp.