Hair loss is a condition both men and women have the possibility to contend with as early as puberty. In fact, it is so prevalent that according to the statistics presented by medical journal American Family Physician on its research on hair loss, close to 50% of men and women are affected by this with long-term physical and emotional impact. The good thing is that there are already many medical treatments that are available that can counter hair symptoms. Here are details about possible hair loss cure options that you can have and if they really do work.
Hair Loss Overview
Hair loss is a common condition that affects millions of people in the US alone. Medically known as alopecia, it can be caused by a whole host of mitigating factors. While genetic predisposition is the usual culprit in many cases, there are other causes that can spur hair loss symptoms. Among them are certain types of drugs, illnesses, stress, surgeries, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and so on. Part of the diagnosis is for the doctor to identify what caused the hair loss. This is one of the essential steps to identify the appropriate hair loss cure that will best fit your situation.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of hair loss are pretty straightforward. Here are some of them:
- Receding hairline
- Exposed crown of the head with a pattern that resembles a horseshoe
- Sudden loss of hair usually in patches
- Persistent and noticeable hair fall or excessive hair shedding
- Complete loss
- Unexplained loss of hair
One has to take note that there is a condition called trichotillomania. It is hair-pulling disorder where people living with it has this compulsion to pull out hair usually from their head, eyelashes, or eyebrow. If you notice hair breakage or loss of patches of hair in any of these parts especially among your children, consult the doctor immediately. Medical help may not be the only hair loss cure for this condition. It would need holistic treatment including psychological therapy to address the compulsion.
There are different ways that doctors can pinpoint the cause of hair loss apart from initial patient consultation. They might employ the following:
- Hair pull test: In advanced stages of excessive hair shedding, patches of hair come off easily even when pulled gently. This will tell the doctor how serious the hair loss case is.
- Light microscopy: This is used to determine possible disorders in the hair follicle or the bases of trimmed hair.
- Biopsy: If the doctor suspects infection as the cause of hair loss, he or she might have to require getting a few hairs from your scalp. Laboratory tests will determine if there is any infection that is causing excessive hair shedding.
From these tests, the doctor can prescribe the best hair loss cure for you.
Hair Loss Cure: Do they really work?
Many patients are quite suspect when it comes to hair loss cure. This is probably because it takes a lot of patience to see noticeable results, at times, it takes months. Here are some proven hair loss cure including a quick note on how effective they are.
- Minoxidil (Rogaine or Theroxidil in generic form): This is usually prescribed to slow down hair shedding NOT cure baldness and is most effective at the earliest stages of hair loss. You use it like shampoo since it comes in liquid form. However, you should not wash it off and you have to apply it on dry hair. Many people would attest to this drug’s effectivity but results only manifest usually about three or four months of consistent use. Quick to note that while yes, this is the only FDA approved over-the-counter hair loss cure in the market today, you might experience adverse reactions when you discontinue using it. Make sure you have made proper consultations before committing to the use of Minoxidil.
- Pills for hormones: If the doctor pinpoints that the cause of hair loss is due to hormonal concerns, he or she might prescribe pills that would address such a problem. Women who suffer from hair loss, for example, might be given birth pills to counter the symptoms. For men, dutasteride might be the pill of choice. This would be effective if the doctor’s diagnosis is accurate. If not, hair loss might still continue.
- Propecia (Finasteride in generic form): Another hair loss cure comes in the form of this potent drug. Not only does it stop hair loss, it also promote hair regrowth. It is very effective especially if taken during the early stages of hair loss when symptoms have just manifested. This drug is gender-specific since it only address male pattern baldness. The downside of this drug is the fact that it may cause erectile dysfunction since it stops your body from making dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes baldness among men. Unfortunately, the same hormone also supports healthy sex drive so that may be affected as well but only in rare cases.
- Laser Therapy: Yet another treatment touted as hair loss cure is laser therapy. The good news is that the use of low-laser technology on men and women is actually FDA approved. The bad news is that outcomes are still inconclusive. More research is needed to attest to its effectivity in curbing male and female pattern baldness.
- Surgery: If topical or oral medication considered as hair loss cure work does not work, your doctor might go for the last resort: hair transplant surgery. Here, the surgeon moves parts of your skin with hair to targeted bald spots. This particular hair loss cure can be painful and is expensive. The downside is that if your hair loss is genetic in nature, hair will still fall off eventually.
Hair loss, given both its physical and emotional effects, is quite a complicated condition to handle. The best thing is to see the doctor once the symptoms manifest. Early detection and intervention are the best hair loss cure tools that you have.