Normal, everyday hair loss equates to about 100 strands a day. While this number may seem high, this hair-loss rate doesn’t trigger detectable thinning because of simultaneous new hair growth.
But for approximately 80 million Americans, hair loss rates are significantly faster and much more life-altering.
While the ultimate cure for balding has yet to be discovered, there are several hair restoration treatments available today to help those suffering from the condition. So if you are unhappy about the prospect of looking like Vin Diesel, and would instead prefer to have locks like John Travolta, Matthew McConaughey or Bono (all of whom have had hair restoration treatments), you should consider consulting a local medical professional that specializes in hair restoration.
Here are some of the most common treatments prescribed today.
Several oral and topical medications have been approved by the FDA and have shown to be effective in treating certain levels and types of hair loss or hair thinning. Consider the following:
Minoxidil: A popular treatment for hair loss is the FDA-approved topical minoxidil or Rogaine, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) said. When this medicine is applied to the scalp, it can stop hairs from getting thinner while triggering hair growth on the scalp.
Finasteride: Another FDA-approved drug (for men only) is finasteride, or Propecia, which works as a testosterone hormone inhibitor.
“It works by preventing the breakdown of testosterone into a byproduct called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can fuel male pattern baldness because it quiets another chemical signal that acts at the hair follicle and fuels new hair cell generation and growth,” Live Science said.
Finasteride comes in pill form and has shown to slow hair loss by about 88 percent in men and stimulate hair re-growth in about 66 percent, the AAD said.
Corticosteroid: Hair loss that is related to inflammation in your body can be treated with a scalp injection of corticosteroid. Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair to fall out in small patches when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Corticosteroids have been shown to help reverse this, the AAD said.
Tofacitinib: Tofacitinib was initially approved to treat adults with arthritis, but is also being used to treat alopecia universalis, which causes bodily hair loss when the immune system attacks hair follicles, Live Science said.
Another high-tech hair restoration option involves the power of laser light for stimulating hair growth. This type of treatment comes in the form of brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices. But keep in mind that the long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known, the AAD said.
Hair transplantation has been a hair loss treatment option since the 1950s, but has come a long way since then, Harvard Health said.
The goal of hair transplantation is just like it sounds. Skin on the scalp that has substantial hair growth is removed and transplanted to areas of the scalp that are in need of more hair.
The reaction to hair transplants from patients and observers is immensely positive.
“Patients appreciate that others notice improvement but cannot tell they’ve had a hair restoration procedure because the hair grafts have been placed to the thinning area in a way that is completely natural,” Utah Facial Plastics stated. “Following hair transplant surgery, patients report greater confidence and self-assurance and are astounded at how simple and painless the process is.”
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) with Neograft
Follicular Unit Extraction is a transplant method that extracts, or harvests, individual follicular units directly from the donor area and then transplants them to areas of baldness or thinning.
This hair restoration technique gives full, thick hair results with less downtime than other methods, no linear scar, and a shorter recovery period. It is also deliverable with a minimally invasive automated hair transplant system called NeoGraft.
“NeoGraft is the only FDA cleared follicular unit harvesting and implantation system. The NeoGraft system delivers automation of the FUE technique, the most advanced technique in the hair transplant industry. It is unique from other FUE methods as it uses a vacuum-like suction to extract and implant follicles, which is much quicker and more efficient,” Utah Facial Plastics said.
NeoGraft currently has a 100 percent approval rating on RealSelf.com.
The traditional method of hair transplantation involves removing a small strip of scalp from the back of the head where the hair is resistant to loss from male or female pattern baldness. Those grafts are dissected and cleaned under a microscope and separated out depending on how many strands of hair are in each follicle. These grafts are then transplanted into the balding areas.
This treatment method surgically removes the bald areas of your scalp while moving hair-bearing scalp closer together to diminish the total balding surface area. Scalp reduction surgery is done both with or without a hair transplant depending on your unique needs.
This non-surgical treatment option restores the appearance of hair on the scalp with a process called micropigmentation. Natural and organic microdots are positioned with a single needle tattoo gun at the surface of the scalp to mimic a real hair follicle.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a revolutionary non-surgical hair loss treatment that works to preserve and thicken hair for patients with hair loss or thinning.
In the procedure, the patient’s blood is separated in a centrifuge which divides the platelets and plasma. Following this, the plasma is injected into areas of hair loss on the scalp for up to two years. During this time, the plasma works to repair blood vessels, encourage collagen production, and support cell growth, WebMD said.
ACell is a manufactured protein that is actually developed from the tissue of pig bladders this is chemically similar to human tissues. It is rich with naturally-occuring collagens and proteins and has been used for regenerative medical purposes for a number of years. When injected and micro-needled into the scalp in combination with PRP, it can provide a greater level of hair restoration than PRP injections alone.
ACell provides a scaffolding for the platelet-rich plasma growth factors to wake hair follicles that are shrinking and producing thinner, more brittle hairs. After micro-needling the scalp, ACell attracts the PRP to that area of trauma to regenerate follicular growth. Together, they can also help stimulate blood flow to the scalp, stimulating the hair follicles and produce stronger, thicker hair.
While scientists are still researching how to get non-working hair follicles to regenerate, they have learned how to manipulate these stem cells in the test tube, said WebMD, moving us much closer to finding a cure for hair loss.
Until a cure is found, the hair restoration options offered by Utah Facial Plastics give hair-loss sufferers the renewed look they desire now.