Realizing that you have thinning hair can be quite devastating and anxiety producing. And who can blame you? Hair, after all is our crowning glory. A head full of thick, lush hair is sexy. It is associated with good health and of course, youth.
If you have been dreaming of reclaiming the hair you once had, read on. There are things you can do to recapture those glory days. The sooner hair thinning is addressed, the better your chances of treating it successfully.
The FDA has found 2% Minoxidil safe for women. This form is available over the counter. There is a higher percentage Minoxidil, 5%, that only your doctor can prescribe. Doctors tend to prescribe it only if they can be fairly certain that you will not be pregnant in the near future. This higher percentage does give better results. Minoxidil works by stimulating the hair follicles. It does re-grow hair and helps you keep the hair you have. You must continue applying it to the scalp as directed for the rest of your life or thinning will resume.
Finasteride works by reducing the production of DHT, the hormone largely responsible for hair thinning and hair loss. It is available only via prescription. For many, this does a great job at restoring the lushness of their hair. One caveat is that Finasteride is never given to women who could possibly become pregnant as it is linked to severe birth defects.
Red Light Laser Therapy does seem to be effective for some people. It works by controlling DHT which chokes off the hair follicle, causing hair to thin and eventually fall out. Follicles become more defective until they eventually die off. You can see why it is important to attack thinning hair before the follicles die.
This technology has come a long way. The FDA has even approved a version called the Lasercomb. It is a hand held laser devise. You can find a variety of at-home laser treatment devices on Amazon including the aforementioned Lasercomb.
Perhaps the best at home device, I believe however, is the Lasercap. I recommend this because it is a device that fits into any hat that you already own, ensuring that treatment is evenly distributed over the entire scalp. The lasers in this device - all 224 of them - attack every millimeter of the scalp with the same intensity as opposed to using one of the handhelds where human error can cause you to irritate areas of your scalp more so than others or to miss areas that need to be treated. You simply charge the cap with battery pack and slip it into your hat. This device has more lasers, 224, than the normal hand-helds. At about $3,000, however, it doesn’t come cheap. However, if you are serious about your hair restoration and are not quite ready for a transplant, this may be the answer for you.
Anti Androgen Treatments
There are a handful of prescription drugs that are not originally or predominantly used to treat hair loss. However, when other traditional hair re-growth medicines cannot be tolerated or would conflict with other prescriptions – or when other treatments have failed, they are used as hair loss treatments. In this capacity they are called off-label. The FDA has not approved them for use in this manner, but in practice, they do work. These are Aldactone, Tagamet and Cyproterone Acetate. They each work by blocking DHT from corrupting the hair follicle.
Estrogen and Progesterone
Estrogen and Progesterone are given to help ease the transition into menopause . It so happens that this combination is also effective at blocking DHT from interfering with the healthy hair follicle. For this reason, this treatment is reserved for women who are menopausal, who would require this treatment anyway
This is an antifungal and is yet another drug that can be used off label to treat hair thinning and hair loss. Ketoconazole works by suppressing the production of DHT. You can find Ketoconazole in an over the counter shampoo called Nizoral. Although Nizoral contains less active ingredient than the prescription, it still is effective at halting hair loss and re-growing hair.
The last stop on the quest to re-grow hair is having a transplant. It is not cheap and is painful. However, the techniques used by the best hair transplant doctors achieve very real and lasting results. Hair transplantation involved taking your own healthy hair and implanting them surgically into the areas of thinning or hair loss. If all else fails, a hair transplant may be for you.
Camouflaging Thinning Hair
None of the methods of re-growing hair mentioned above is immediate. While you wait for your hair to grow, there are things you can do to in order to disguise the thinning areas and help you feel better about yourself.
Thickening shampoos are a great start. Applying the right hair color is another great option. Hair color thickens the hair shaft so it appears that your hair is more dense. A Deeper color may also further enhance the illusion of more hair. If your face shape lends itself to bangs, this may be an excellent option for you. A shorter cut, perhaps with blunt ends may create the illusion of fuller hair. I must also add that constantly applying heat can acerbate hair loss. Reduce the use of heat to a minimum.
There is a products called Toppik that's made from keratin fibers, the same protein in hair. These keratin fibers adhere to your own naturally occurring hair, creating a fuller appearance.
If you are adventurous, a wig is another great option. Even people who are not experiencing hair loss enjoy the versatility of wigs. They are available in synthetic and human hair and in every style imaginable. I love wigs.
One of the ways you can keep your scalp healthy is by eating a healthy diet. Your goal should be to eliminate junk food and empty calories. Have a full blood panel done to reveal any deficiency in your nutrition. Biotin, iron and zinc deficiencies can all contribute to thinning hair. Be sure you get your daily required dosage of these nutrients. Water is also an essential component in keeping your scalp and hair healthy.
Begin massaging your scalp twice daily. With the pads of your fingers, move across your scalp in a circular motion. Use a bit of rosemary oil or coconut oil to help stimulate the follicles and bring fresh blood to the thinning areas.
Which Treatment Is Best
Which choice of treatment is best for you? I have found and studies have shown that a combination of various treatments is most effective. You and your doctor can determine the best mix and form the right treatment protocol for you.
Live every day as though your life depends on it...because after all, it does!