Did you know that androgenetic alopecia (AKA pattern hair loss) affects around 50 million U.S. men? Approximately 30 million women also experience this hair-related condition.
That makes male/female pattern hair loss highly prevalent in the country. But, sadly, it’s not the only type; alopecia areata and telogen effluvium are others, to name a few. Worse, all can cause aesthetic and psychological issues, such as anxiety.
Luckily, effective hair growth treatments are available.
This guide covers hair regrowth options for thinning or balding hair, so read on.
Minoxidil is a topical treatment for balding or thinning hair. As a topical, it requires direct application on the scalp. It also belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators.
Vasodilators, in turn, dilate or widen blood vessels. So with minoxidil, the goal is to enhance blood flow to the scalp. That may help bring more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles and roots.
Thus, the intended result of minoxidil is to help slow or stop hair loss to promote hair regrowth.
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved product for male and female pattern hair loss. After all, clinical studies found it’s effective for alopecia, particularly the 5% solution.
The primary drawback is that you must continue using minoxidil to keep your regrown hair. Otherwise, the strands will fall again, prompting new hair loss.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen believed to contribute to pattern baldness. For example, people with thin hair or have balding woes often have higher levels of DHT. The androgen seems to shrink the hair follicles and shorten the hair’s growth phase.
If high DHT levels are behind your hair loss woes, finasteride might help. This drug inhibits the androgen, which may then slow or prevent its hair loss effect.
However, finasteride can take at least three months to start working. Moreover, it’s like minoxidil, in which you must continue its use to maintain its effects.
Stem Cell Treatment
Stem cell hair regrowth involves using your very own stem cells taken from body fat or bone marrow. A qualified practitioner then injects the stem cells into your scalp.
Stem cells are like the “mother” of all cells in your body, giving birth to cells with unique functions. When they divide, they create new cells called “daughter cells.” Daughter cells can then become new stem cells or cells with specific uses, such as bone or muscle cells.
The goal of stem cell treatment for hair loss is to replace lost hair follicle stem cells. After all, it appears that stem cells in the hair follicles diminish due to chronic stress and aging.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
PRP treatment for hair loss involves drawing your blood and extracting its platelets. Once processed, a qualified practitioner injects the PRP back into your scalp.
PRP promotes hair regrowth by extending the hair cycle’s growing phase. Moreover, studies found it can be more effective than minoxidil or finasteride. However, its effects still depend on the actual platelet concentration in your plasma.
So the more platelets you have, the higher the chances of PRP treatment working for you. By contrast, having lower platelet counts may not yield your desired results.
Consider These Hair Growth Treatments
As you can see, you can choose among several science-backed hair growth treatments. However, before deciding which one to use, see a board-certified dermatologist first. The doctor can determine the cause of your hair loss and, from there, help you choose the proper treatment.
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