Hair loss can be a devastating occurrence. Stemming from several potential health conditions, such as a medical condition (i.e., cancer), hormonal changes, medication, heredity, or part of the natural aging process, hair loss and baldness can occur in both men and women and affect the head or almost any part of the body.
Heredity (or family history) is often the most common cause of hair loss (i.e., male pattern baldness) when it comes to a receding hairline or the top of your head. And while many individuals, particularly men, let hair loss take it’s natural course (or shave their heads completely), others prefer to opt for one of the following hair loss treatments:
1. Wigs and hairpieces
Many balding individuals find comfort in wearing a wig or a hairpiece (i.e, toupee) to cover their heads in the case of permanent or temporary hair loss. Temporary hair loss during cancer treatment can restore the look of natural-looking hair and is often covered under health insurance with a written prescription from a doctor.
2. Hair restoration shampoos
While a large majority of over the counter hair loss shampoos don’t work, Minoxidil (or Rogaine) remains the most promising and popular. This product is type of foam shampoo that individuals can apply to the scalp twice daily for about 16 weeks to trigger hair growth and prevent further hair loss. However, long term use can result in scalp irritation, accelerated heart rate, and
unwanted hair growth on the hand and face.
3. Hair loss medications
Certain oral drugs, such as Propecia (or Finasteride), can be prescribed to male patients to help restore hair growth and prevent further hair loss. However, negative side effects for male patients include lowered sex drive and heightened risk of prostate cancer.
4. Hair transplant surgery
For hair loss on the scalp hair restoration surgery removes tiny plugs of skin containing healthy hair from the back of the scalp and implants them into the balding areas. Hair transplant surgery, in addition to being very painful and expensive, can cause scarring and leave the patient prone to infection.