Best Old and New Hair Loss Treatments
The best hair loss treatments treat the cause of the hair loss. Since there are many causes of hair loss in men, women, and children, there are many different treatment options. Causes include autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata, thyroid disease, and inherited hair loss usually associated with aging. Some alopecia hair loss treatment may be combined depending on the specific condition and individual response to treatment.
Before choosing treatments for hair loss, do discuss with your doctor all the potential adverse side effects. None of the treatments are cures for alopecia, nor are they without risk. Be sure to understand those risks and which option best treats the cause of your alopecia.
Supplements for Hair Growth: Is There a Vitamin for Hair Loss?
The University of Maryland MedicCredit: Bigstockphotoal Center reports that in some cases, biotin and zinc aspartate have helped to treat children with alopecia areata. Another study showed that some essential oils promoted hair growth in some patients with alopecia areata. For men with inherited male patterned baldness, beta-sirosterol and saw palmetto have had some success in studies.
However, there’s no real there’s no quick fix vitamin for hair loss that will suddenly re-grow your hair, unless the hair loss is due to a nutritional deficiency. In addition, herbs and vitamins can have side effects, interfere with other medications, and may even be toxic if used incorrectly, such as the case with essential oils. If you are considering adding essential oils, herbs, or vitamins to your alopecia treatment plan, do so only under the direction of your doctor.
Thyroid Disease Treatment
If the cause is thyroid disease, a common cause of hair loss in women, then medications that treat the overactive thyroid or replace thyroid hormones as appropriate will lessen or even reverse all symptoms associated with the thyroid condition, including hair loss.
Medication Treatments for Hair Loss:
Cortisone is a steroid. Steroids suppress the immune system, making cortisone treatment most effective for autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata. Cortisone may be injected, taken as a pill, or used topically in a cream.
Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine and used to treat androgenetic alopecia, male and female inherited baldness. This topical cream comes in two formulations, one for men and one for women. Once a treatment for lowering blood pressure, patients reported a favorable side effect of an increase in hair growth. This lead to the development of the over-the-counter Rogaine, now on of the most commonly known receding hairline treatment options.
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The brand name for finasteride is Propecia. This is an oral prescription medication used to treat male pattern baldness. It works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. A high level of DHT is associated with male pattern baldness.
Anathralin can be used to treat alopecia areata. It’s a topical cream that disrupts the immune system’s response to the skin and hair follicles. Results are not evident for at least eight to 12 weeks of continuous use.
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Surgical Treatments for Loss of Hair
There are several surgical treatments for loss of hair to treat almost all types of alopecia. For inherited male pattern baldness and hair thinning in women, options include hair transplant surgery. With hair transplant surgery, hair is physically moved from one part of the head and surgically inserted into another part. Another type of surgical technique, termed alopecia reduction, is performed on the scalp itself. Depending on the needs of the patient, bald parts of the scalp may be removed to stretch parts of the scalp with hair to replace the removed bald section, or tissue may be transplanted from one area to another. The second option is generally used only for reconstructive surgery after a traumatic injury. Surgical hair restoration for eyebrows and eyelashes are also available, a good option for those suffering from alopecia areata when other treatments fail.
For some alopecia sufferers, the potential side effects and risks of treatments for hair loss outweigh the benefits. In these cases, the best option may be a well-made wig with natural hair. If you have a medical condition such as alopecia areata, then you may be able to get a custom made prosthetic wig designed to fit your scalp from one of the many hair donation organizations for free or at cost. This is especially helpful for children so they can have a wig that stays on and moves with them as they play.