Top treatments for hair loss

For many people, hair is an intrinsic part of who they are as a person – it provides a sense of identity and losing it can badly affect a person’s confidence and sense of self. With this in mind, it is no wonder that an increasing number of people are seeking aesthetic treatment for hair loss that has occurred, either as a result of ageing or an underlying condition.

Types of hair loss

There are different types of hair loss – it can take the form of ‘thinning’ or involve the total loss of hair. It can be gradual or sudden and can affect people of all ages, however hair loss is more common with age. Hair loss can be genetic, a result of stress, or a medical condition like alopecia areata. Interestingly, research has shown that seasonal hair loss can occur in the late autumn and winter months. It is thought that in the summer months, hair is less likely to fall out to provide increased protection from the sun, but a few months after, those hairs make a transition into the shed phase, which may make hair loss more noticeable.

Hair loss treatments

There are a number of techniques and procedures available to restore thinning and declining hair.

Medication

Medication can be effective to slow or halt the progression of hair loss in both men and women and is often the first line of treatment. There are two medications available: minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is an over the counter (OTC) medication approved for both men and women, whereas finasteride is for men only. Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone which stimulates the development of male characteristics including hair. It has been shown to promote hair growth and prevent further loss.

Hair transplant

A hair transplant is suitable for people with permanent baldness, for example genetic hair loss, rather than hair loss that causes bald patches such as alopecia areata. There are two types of hair transplant treatments – follicular unit transplantation (FUT or strip method) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). The main difference between FUT and FUE hair transplants is that in FUT, the surgeon removes a strip of donor skin from which to extract individual follicular units, to be transferred to the areas of hair loss. Whereas in FUE, individual follicular units are removed directly from the scalp. A hair transplant is normally carried out using local anaesthetic and recovery time is around three days – the new hair will usually start to appear after around six months, with full results expected between 12-18 months.

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Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is an injectable procedure that nourishes layers of the skin where there is cell repair and growth. The term ‘meso’ comes from the mesoderm, also known as the middle layer of the skin (approximately 1 mm deep). Mesotherapy neutralises the excess of DHT and stimulates the blood circulation. The solution injected usually contains a wide range of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and co-enzymes that can be tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Mesotherapy is an effective treatment option as it is virtually painless and is incredibly safe when done professionally – no anaesthesia is required, and patients can even go back to work on the same day.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

PRP for hair loss is a treatment which uses a biological product prepared from the patient’s own blood. PRP contains growth factors and bioactive proteins, nutrients, vitamins, hormones and electrolytes, which speed up tissue repair and regeneration. Through separating the plasma, the cellular components of the blood, including the red and white blood cells, are removed and it is these components that inhibit the repair and regeneration process. Hair density is increased, and hair loss is reduced. Improvements are usually seen within 90 days, with hair growth continuing to improve in some patients over six months. PRP can be combined with other hair loss treatments including topical or oral minoxidil, oral finasteride, hair transplants, and supplementation.

Hair loss can be a source of great insecurity for both men and women. But with the latest developments in aesthetics, practitioners who are trained in hair restoration treatments are in a great position to help give patients their confidence and identity back.

 

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