Hair loss is a common occurrence, especially in men. However, many people are insecure about thinning or balding hair and want to restore their hair with professional treatment.
Surgical hair restoration has been a popular option for years. The surgery involves removing healthy hair follicles from part of the scalp and transplanting them in the balding area. Although this surgery is usually very successful, not everyone wants to undergo an invasive procedure. It can be expensive, it takes time to recover, and it can be painful.
Surgical hair restoration is also not usually recommended for younger people. If a man in his 20s or early 30s has a hair transplant surgery, it may deplete the supply of healthy follicles before the hair loss has fully taken effect. Once the hair loss completes its course, he may not be able to have another surgery to fully correct the problem.
Fortunately, there are several nonsurgical methods of hair restoration available. Non-surgical hair restoration is a way to reverse balding or thinning hair without having to undergo a medical procedure. You can avoid the discomfort and recovery period of the surgery, and you can be discreet about your treatment if you feel self-conscious.
Candidates for Non-surgical Hair Restoration
Most people are candidates for most types of non-surgical hair treatments. There are very few side effects and risks associated with these treatments. However, you and your doctor should go over your medical history and any medications you’re currently taking before you choose a hair restoration method.
Young people who are experiencing the beginnings of hair loss are great candidates for non-surgical hair restoration. Undergoing hair transplant surgery at too young of an age can negate the benefits of the surgery. Many doctors recommend that younger people try nonsurgical treatments to slow or reverse the balding, then undergo surgery when they’re older if the nonsurgical treatments weren’t completely effective.
Most types of non-surgical solutions are ongoing treatments. Hair transplant surgery is usually a one-time fix, but many non-surgical treatments have to be used daily or weekly. Candidates for these treatments should be willing to make their hair restoration treatment part of their daily routine, even if the treatment is as simple as taking a medication.
There are two FDA-approved medications on the market that treat hair loss. Minoxidil, or Rogaine, is the most well-known hair loss medication. Male-pattern baldness is caused by the hormone DHT, which attaches to hair follicles and triggers an inflammatory response. The inflammation causes the follicles to shrink up, which makes it difficult for the blood vessels to deliver enough blood to the follicles to keep hair growing. Rogaine solves this problem by dilating the blood vessels, allowing them to deliver oxygen to the follicles.
The other medication is finasteride, or Propecia. This medication targets DHT directly to slow or reverse hair loss. Unlike Rogaine, Propecia fixes the problem right from its start. However, DHT is still an important hormone, and blocking it can cause side effects.
Coverups and Camouflage
Coverups and camouflage products mask bald or thinning areas and create the appearance of a full head of hair. Many of these products are non-prescription and are an easy short-term solution.
One popular camouflage product is Toppik, which is made up of tiny fibres that blend in with your hair and make it look fuller. You can apply the fibres directly to your hair and scalp. Caboki is a similar product made of natural fibres that stick to your hair.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, is a noninvasive, nonsurgical treatment that uses lasers to stimulate hair growth. It makes ageing cells more active, which strengthens hair follicles. It can’t fix hair follicles that have already died, but it can restore thinning follicles and stimulate the growth of the remaining hair. The treatment is best for people with mild to moderate hair thinning.
You can get an LLLT device from a surgeon to use at home. The devices often come in special hats that you’ll wear for a few minutes every day. After a few months, you should notice your hair looking thicker and fuller.
LLLT has become a very popular treatment in recent years because it’s comfortable and has no side effects. You can use the treatment in your own home and don’t need to visit the doctor frequently. LLLT devices for hair restoration are also usually battery-powered and easy to take with you and use on the go.
Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery in Charlotte, North Carolina provides cosmetic surgeries, non-surgical cosmetic procedures, and hair treatments. Dr. Andrea Garcia, MD and Dr. Josh Surowitz, MD are both certified in facial plastic surgery and in head and neck surgery, and they have years of experience with treating hair loss surgically and nonsurgically