When hair loss starts, you need to act quickly.
Any delay in treatment can lead to a permanent loss of hair follicles. Although common balding - called androgenic alopecia - is the most common cause of hair loss, women in particular may have an underlying physical condition that is causing their hair to thin. For this reason, it's very important to see a doctor to ensure you get the best treatment for your thinning hair.
5 of the Most Effective Ways to Treat Hair Loss - Without Surgery:
1. VIVISCAL is a dietary supplement specifically made to support hair growth. It is backed by 7 double blind placebo-controlled clinical trials, considered the highest standard in clinical research. People love this product! As always, consult a doctor before taking any type of supplement.
2. MINOXIDIL TOPICAL TREATMENT – Also known as Rogaine, the FDA approved 5% Minoxidil foam for female pattern hair loss in 2014. Effectiveness varies from patient to patient, but many people see improvement.
Minoxidil does not stop the effect of androgens (which cause follicle shrinking and miniaturization of hair). This cream increases cell division in epidermal (top layer of skin) and hair cells allowing hair to spend more time growing and lengthening.
Clinical trials have shown 5% Minoxidil is more effective than 2% at week 48 of treatment. Increased hair growth is noticeable within 6 – 8 weeks after the start of treatment and peaks between 12 – 16 weeks in men and women with androgenic alopecia.
3. DHT / ANDROGEN BLOCKERS prevent hair loss and encourage hair regrowth in androgenic alopecia.
- Aldactone / Spironolactone is a diuretic used to treat swelling, high blood pressure and heart failure. It works by decreasing production of androgens in the adrenal glands and ovaries. It also keeps androgens from binding to receptors.
- Tagamet / Cimetidine is used to treat ulcers. It also blocks DHT from binding to receptors. High doses work best, but can have feminizing effects. For this reason, this medication is not recommended for treatment of androgenic alopecia in men.
- Nizoral / Ketoconazole – This medication is an antifungal that has anti-androgenic effects. It decreases production of testosterone and other androgens by the adrenal glands and by the male and female reproductive organs. The best way to use this medication is in a shampoo.
- Finasteride / Propecia / Proscar was made to treat prostate disease. It keeps 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme, from combining with testosterone to make DHT. Finasteride is often used in men, but because it has been associated with birth defects, it is not recommended for use in women of child bearing age.
SHOWN IN THE PHOTO ABOVE: Capillus82 Low Level Laser Therapy Cap
4. Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) uses visible red light to help to retain hair and adds an average 20% regrowth.
LLLT is thought to increase blood flow. It stops hair loss in 85% of cases while stimulating new hair growth in 55%. LLLT is FDA approved for use in the U.S. and has been used in Europe and Asia for decades. This treatment isn't painful and doesn't cause burning or scarring.
There are several different systems available including the Capillus Laser Cap System and the iGrow. Many doctors recommend them to their hair transplant patients because these caps make hair grow faster and thicker.
Light use needs to be ongoing because results stop when use stops.
5. PRP / Platelet Rich Plasma is a relatively new treatment for hair loss that works best for hereditary androgenic alopecia, the most common type of hair loss for both men and women. It's a great option for people who are not good candidates for hair transplant surgery or those who want a more aggressive non-surgical approach to treatment. Patients with thinning hair - who do not have areas that are totally bald - are the best candidates.
PRP gets good results in areas such as dentistry, surgery, dermatology, aesthetics, and wound care. The injections are thought to bring platelets and white blood cells to the injection site, increasing the body’s ability to heal itself. In hair restoration, PRP is thought to naturally stimulate hair follicles - reversing the hair miniaturization typically seen in androgenetic alopecia. It increases the number of hair follicles and epidermal (the top layer of the skin) thickness. It may also prolong the hair growth phase.
In the medical treatment of male and female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), PRP is injected into areas with thinning hair to stimulate miniaturized hair to grow into thicker hairs. PRP can also be used in combination with with minoxidil, DHT blockers and LLLT. It is not a permanent solution to hair loss - maintenance sessions are needed every four to six months.
Although some clinical studies do exist, anecdotal and case reports are the primary sources showing the positive results achieved with PRP.
People do seem to like the results. PRP / Platelet Rich Plasma for hair loss has a 83% “Worth It” rating based on 82 ratings over the last 2 years on RealSelf.com.
Want to learn more about PRP? Read our blog post, What is platelet rich plasma (PRP)? To learn more about androgenic alopecia (common baldness) and hair loss, read our blog post, What causes hair loss?
Platelet rich plasma is often used when healing and tissue growth are essential. It is an exciting new option for hair restoration that shows great promise.
“PRP is the future,” says dermatologist Dr. Doris Day in an interview with New York Social Diary. “It will become a mainstay of our rejuvenation treatments. But, buyer beware because in this country, we’re still figuring out the different techniques and protocols,” she cautions. “Expectations have to be realistic. PRP won’t tighten up your skin, but it should improve its quality and result in long lasting hair growth if that’s what you’re after.”
Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery. Amy loves research and constantly watches for new products and treatments to help you improve your skin’s health – because healthy skin is beautiful! To reach Amy, visit our contact page.
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If you liked this post, you'll LOVE these:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15034503 A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 5% and 2% topical minoxidil solutions in the treatment of female pattern hair loss.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/838002 5% Minoxidil: Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/760709/ The Effect of Autologous Activated Platelet Rich Plasma (AA-PRP) Injection on Pattern Hair Loss: Clinical and Histomorphometric Evaluation
V. Cervelli, S. Garcovich, A. Bielli, G. Cervelli, et al. “The effect of autologous activated platelet rich plasma (AA-PRP) injection on pattern hair loss: clinical and histomorphometric evaluation,” BioMed Research International. Volume 2014.
The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some - like melanoma - can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!