Alternatives for Hair Restoration to Fight Baldness
Baldness is a term used for describing loss of hair, mainly from the scalp. The hair loss can be complete or partial. Several alternatives for restoration of hair are available to patients suffering from baldness.
Balding or hair loss can be seen in males as well as in females. Patients suffering from baldness usually suffer from low self esteem. Few decades back, baldness was more common among old people, but today more and more number of young people are suffering from this due to changes in lifestyle. It is estimated that Approximately 35 million males and 21 million females suffer from this condition in United States alone.
Baldness can be of different types depending upon the causative factors, gender of a person and the part involved in hair fall. The different types of baldness are male patternbaldness or female baldness, alopecia areata, scaring alopecia, toxic alopecia and frontal balding. The factors causing baldness include chronic illnesses, aging, genetics, environmental factors, faulty or unhealthy lifestyle and some medications. Tumors of brain, fungal infections and hormonal changes can also be responsible for baldness. Several modes of treatment are available to manage this condition effectively.
Few natural or herbal medications can be very beneficial for fighting baldness. Berry of Saw Palmetto, a herb; contains high level of nutrients, which can help in fighting against DHT, a hormone responsible for baldness. This herb also contains high levels of fatty acids and phytosterols that help in blocking the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Thus, the herb can help in treating baldness effectively. Apart from this, a diet rich in minerals and vitamins is also helpful in treating hair loss. Zinc can boost the immune system of a person and hence can be very beneficial for treating baldness. Some fatty acids such as primrose oil, salmon oil and flaxseed oil are helpful in improving the texture of hair and can treat brittleness and dryness of hair.
Some medicines are very effective in fighting baldness. Rogaine and Propecia are medicines that help in slowing down male type baldness and in re-growth of hair. However, if patients stop taking these drugs, hair fall can return; hence, patients need to take these medicines regularly as long as they wish to get rid of hair loss. These drugs are approved by FDA. Finasteride is a very efficient drug for treating hair loss in both men and women.
Electromagnetic stimulators can help in hair re-growth by exciting the hormones responsible for growth of new hair. The treatment involves injecting tiny acupuncture like needles in bald areas of scalp. Then the device is activated and mild electromagnetic pulses are passed through scalp. Over a period of time, the growth hormones for hair are activated, causing growth of new air.
Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT can be very beneficial for reducing hair loss and stimulating hair re-growth. It boosts the flow of blood to scalp tissue and leads to stimulation of natural processes under skin. It also causes acceleration of hormones responsible for hair growth. Thus, patients can observe thicker hair after the treatment with LLLT. The therapy can cost approximately US$ 4500. Patients can also use a device called laser comb that is approved by FDA for treating hair loss. This device administers phototherapy to scalp, causing re-growth of hair. The prices of these devices range between $395 and $545.
It includes redistribution of hair follicles from hairy parts of the body to the bald parts. The therapies available for hair transplantation are Follicular Unit Transplantation, Scalp Reduction and Follicular Unit Extraction.
- Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT: In this technique, a strip of scalp tissue is peeled off from back portion of head followed by suturing of the wound. Then, this portion of scalp tissues is divided in small pieces of grafts. After this, these graft tissues are transplanted on the areas having thinning of hair. The therapy is done under local anesthesia. This therapy needs a recovery period of 2 weeks and the cost of this procedure is $4 – 5 for each graft.
- Scalp Reduction: In this technique, the skin over bald parts of scalp is removed. Then the skin of the scalp bearing hair is pulled over these bald spots. This procedure is difficult to be performed over scalps having tight skin as it becomes difficult to stretch the skin over bald areas in these patients. This procedure can be effectively used for treating small patches of baldness. The therapy costs approximately $2000-$10,000 depending upon the size of bald areas.
- Follicular Unit Extraction: In this procedure, hair follicles are detached from the sides and back of scalp individually, using tiny punches having size of 0.6-1.25 mm diameter. This procedure is done under local anesthesia. Then, with the help of micro-blades, each follicle is pushed in the areas of scalp having thinning of hair. The small holes in donor part are filled up in a week after the procedure, leaving behind small scars that are visible on close inspection only. The procedure costs $6 – 10 for each graft.
Products for Hair Restoration:
Several products are available in market for restoration of hair. Patients are advised to buy those products that contain saw, pro-vitamin B-5 and palmetto-zinc as these ingredients can be very helpful in preventing hair fall and in re-growth of new hair.