Hair Regrowth Treatment – Hair Loss Treatment

Introduction – Hair Regrowth Treatment, Hair Loss Treatment

Although natural hair loss rarely needs to be treated, many people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons.

Many cases of hair loss are usually temporary such as due to chemotherapy or a natural part of ageing and don’t need treatment. However, hair loss can cause emotional trauma, so it is best to seek treatment if you are uncomfortable with the appearance.

However, if hair loss is caused by an infection or another condition, such as lichen planus or discoid lupus, treating the underlying problem may prevent further hair loss.

Male-pattern baldness

Male-pattern baldness is not usually treated, as the treatments available are usually expensive and may not work for everyone.

Two medicines that may be effective in treating male-pattern baldness are:

  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil

Patient can also consider wearing a wig or having surgery.

Finasteride

Finasteride is available on prescription from the general physician. It comes as a tablet to be taken every day. 

It works by preventing the conversion of hormone testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink,therefore blocking its production allows the hair follicles to regain their normal size.

Various studies have suggested finasteride can increase the number of hairs people have (called as hair count) and can also improve how people think about their hair.

It usually takes three to six months of finasteridetreatment for beginning of any beneficial effects. The balding process usually resumes within 6 to 12 months after stoppage of treatment.

Side effects for finasteride are uncommon. Less than 1 in 100 men who take finasteride experience a reduced sex drive (libido) or erectile dysfunction (the inability to get or maintain an erection).

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is available as a topical lotion that should be applied on the scalp every day. It is available in pharmacies as over-the-counter drug. It is not exactly clear how minoxidil works, but evidence suggests that it can cause hair regrowth in some men.

Immunotherapy may be an effective form of treatment for extensive or total hair loss.
The medication contains either 5% or 2% minoxidil. Some evidence suggests the stronger power of the drug (5%) is more effective. However, the stronger version may cause more side effects, such as dryness or itching of the scalp.

Like finasteride, minoxidil usually needs to be used for several months before any effect is seen. The balding process will resume if treatment with minoxidil is stopped. Even any new hair that regrows will fall out two months after treatment is stopped. Side effects are uncommon.

Female-pattern baldness

Minoxidil is currently the only medicine available to treat female-pattern baldness.

Minoxidil lotion may help hair to grow in around 1 in 4 women who use it. It can slow or stop hair loss in other women. In general, women respond better to minoxidil than men. As with men, minoxidilneeds to be used for several months to see any effect.

Other treatments for hair loss include wigs and surgery.

Minoxidil lotion

Minoxidil lotion is applied to the scalp and can stimulate hair regrowth after continuous use for about 12 weeks. However, it can take up to a year for the medication to take its full effect.

Minoxidil is used to treat both male- and female-pattern baldness, but is not specifically used to treat alopecia areata. This drug has not undergone thorough medical testing for this purpose.

Minoxidil is not recommended for people under 18 years old.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy may be an effective form of treatment for extensive or total hair loss. However, only a few people who are treated with this therapy usually see worthwhile hair regrowth.

A chemical solution called diphencyprone (DPCP) is applied to a small area of bald scalp. This is repeated every week, using a stronger dose of DPCP each time. The solution eventually causes an allergic reaction and results in developing mild eczema (dermatitis). In some cases, this results in hair regrowth after about 12 weeks.

- Link of interest: Website American Hair Loss Association

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

 

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