Hair Loss Treatment Options
ADVANCED HAIR TRANSPLANTATION & THE LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY
By: Dr. Newman
MALE & FEMALE HAIR LOSS
Thinning hair on the scalp is a common problem in both men and women. Although there are many causes for alopecia (hair loss), the most common is called androgenetic alopecia or commonly referred to as male pattern hair loss, or female pattern hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is a hormonally induced phenomenon that is genetically predetermined. The male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is found in both men and women and acts on a specific of hormone receptor found on hairs. These receptors have a different distribution and a different level of sensitivity to DHT in men and women. Men experience hairloss on the front and top of the scalp but retain their hair on the back and sides of the head. In women hair loss tends to be more evenly spread out on the scalp with general thinning and no areas of complete baldness.
ASSOCIATED MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Androgenetic alopecia in men has been associated with several other medical conditions including heart disease and enlargement of the prostate. In women, androgenetic alopecia is associated with an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is characterized by a hormonal imbalance that can lead to irregular menstruation, acne, excess body hair (hirsutism), or weight gain. PCOS is a treatable medical condition that should be considered in all women with alopecia.
THE PROCESS OF HAIR LOSS
Hair grows about an inch every couple of months. Each hair grows for 2 to 6 years, remains at that length for a short period and then falls out. A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any one time, about 85% of the hair on your head is in the growing phase and 15% is not. Each hair sits in a cavity in the skin called a follicle. Baldness in men occurs when the follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. The end result is a very small follicle with no hair inside. Ordinarily, hair should grow back. However, in men who are balding, the follicle fails to grow a new hair. Why this occurs is not well understood, but it is related to your genes and male sex hormones. Even though the follicles are small, they remain alive, suggesting the possibility of new growth.
FDA APPROVED MEDICATIONS FOR HAIR LOSS
- Rogaine (minoxidil), a solution that you apply directly to the scalp twice a day to stimulate the hair follicles. It is available without a prescription for men and women.
- Propecia (finasteride), a prescription one-a-day pill for men that inhibits the production of DHT. It should not be taken or handled by women of childbearing age.
Both medications work in different ways and synergistically to stimulate hair growth. It may take up to 6 months before you can tell if one of these medicines is working. The hair loss will return to its baseline level when the medications are discontinued.
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that takes hair not affected by androgenetic alopecia from the back of the head and places it into the front and crown of the scalp. With today’s advanced techniques, the hair transplants are virtually undetectable and look very natural. The results are excellent and permanent. The draw back of this procedure is that it is limited by the amount of hair that you may have in the back of the scalp. The greater the amount and area of hair loss the more hairs will be needed to restore hair density and fullness.
NEW TREATMENT DEVICE FOR HAIR LOSS
The HairMax LaserComb uses Low Level diode Laser Therapy (LLLT). The Laser Comb is a safe and scientifically studied cold laser device that has shown to retard hair loss and promote hair growth. It does not have the side effects associated with the FDA approved medications and it is more cost effective.
Hair loss does not have to take over your life. With the appropriate diagnosis and treatment, hair loss can be slowed and even reversed.