Hair loss affects approximately 55 million men and almost 30 million women in the U.S. Though hair transplant surgery was long thought to be for men only, more and more women are opting for this type of hair restoration surgery. The proliferation of hair transplant clinics and new over-the-counter hair loss drugs, including prescription hair loss pills, have provided many alternatives for people seeking treatment for their hair loss. As new hair loss medications, pills and replacement therapies are introduced, prices have become more competitive and men and women have resuscitated their interest in hair loss treatments.
Hair loss restoration products have varying results on different people. What works for one person may not work for another due to the underlying cause for hair loss, physical make-up and medical history. If you’re suffering from any kind of scalp infection, seek medical treatment before you embark on hair transplants, replacement or hair loss restoration therapy.
Learn more about hair loss drugs and hair transplant treatments from our valued contributors. Curtis James of Las Vegas, Nevada discusses hair loss medications and Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York talks about the latest surgical procedures for hair loss and laser hair loss therapy.
Are Hair Loss Drugs like Pills and Medications Right for You? By Curtis James of Las Vegas, Nevada
Along with herbal shampoos and ayurvedic hair care, hair loss drugs, pills and medications are an inexpensive way to approach hair loss. Hair loss pills typically work as DHT blockers. DHT, or DiHydroTestosterone, is a naturally occurring hormone that inhibits the growth of hair follicles in men. DHT blockers inhibit the enzyme that the male body converts to DHT. The hair loss drugs help you regrow lost hair and often result in new hair growth.
Hair Loss Drugs
There are a variety of hair loss medications that have been proven in clinical trials to maintain and improve hair growth in men, but very few options available for women. One of the most effective hair loss drugs is Propecia®. Propecia is FDA approved to treat male pattern baldness by reducing DHT levels. Propecia can take up to six months to begin showing hair growth results. Propecia is available by prescription and costs about $60 a month.
Rogaine® is an over the counter hair loss medicinal foam that’s applied to the scalp. Unlike the DHT blocker hair loss pills, Rogaine doesn’t alter hormones. Rogaine is the only FDA-approved hair loss medication for men and women. Both men and women usually start seeing results from using Rogaine in about four months. Rogaine costs an average of $40 a month.
Procerin® is an over the counter hair loss drug that works best on men younger than 35, who still have new hair growth. Procerin takes only two to three months to begin seeing results, so users claim to experience a faster hair growth than Propecia or Rogaine can provide.
Permanently Restore Hair with Hair Replacement Surgery By Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York
Though traditionally thought of as a solution only for men, women are beginning to flock to hair replacement surgery clinics to find new ways to permanently restore hair. And the numbers of women seeking out hair replacement methods are rising quickly- 70% more women had hair restoration surgery in 2006 than in 2005.
Hair replacement surgery is also on the rise for men of all ages. About 17% of men ages 20-29 had hair transplant surgery in 2006, compared to 15% in 2004. And 31.6% of men ages 30-39 had it in 2006, compared to 28.7% in 2004. I’ve outlined a few of the popular hair restoration procedures available today: Follicular unit extraction, hair transplant surgery and laser hair loss therapy.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a Non-Invasive Hair Replacement Method
Follicular unit extraction, or FUE, is a pain-free hair replacement method for male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). FUE works without scarring the scalp and has a short recovery time. Natural hairlines are restored with this hair replacement treatment, which redistributes hair to the area of the scalp experiencing hair loss from other areas of the scalp or the body. Follicular unit extraction removes only a limited amount of tissue and moves it to the area that needs hair replacement. FUE then transplants the harvested tissue and hair wherever it’s needed on the scalp. The tool used in follicular unit extraction is small, and the scalp heals basically without scars. The recovery after FUE is quick and usually painless. The process is customized to each individual’s specific needs for replacing hair and results are seen within a couple of months, when hair growth in the grafted areas begins. The cost varies because overhead varies as does the number of grafts received. In all, your hair loss treatment could run several thousand dollars. People who receive FUE treatment don’t mind paying more, because the treatment is permanent. The costs for hair loss drugs and medications can add up over time, but with follicular unit extraction you pay only a one time fee, unless you decide more treatments are needed at a later date.
Hair Restoration Surgery – A Permanent Way to Restore Hair
Hair restoration surgery, like FUE, grafts hair onto areas of the scalp that do not have hair. The hair used in hair restoration surgery is removed from the back of the head and then follicles from that hair are removed microscopically and then placed surgically into the scalp. An anesthetic is used and some patients experience discomfort during this hair restoration surgery. The hair transplant surgery results in scabbing, which usually disappears within a week. The stitches in the back of the head are covered by existing hair. Patients who undergo hair restoration surgery are advised to take a couple of days off of work to recuperate after this procedure. New hair growth usually begins in the transplanted area within four months and grows at the rate of 1/2 inch each month. Hair transplant surgery is a permanent hair restoration treatment and usually costs a minimum of $10,000. As with FUE, the results are expected to be permanent, which helps negate the high cost.
The Newest Laser Hair Loss Therapy Promotes Hair Restoration
Laser hair loss therapy is one of the newer ways to promote hair restoration. Lasers produce a light energy which stimulates hair growth. Less expensive than hair transplant surgery, but more expensive than hair loss medications, laser hair loss therapy offers a lot of flexibility. Laser combs and brushes used in the home to combat hair loss have a 20% improvement rate according to manufacturers. Laser hood procedures are administered in hair loss clinics and must be repeated often to maintain results. Prices for laser hair loss therapy range from $500 to several thousand dollars, depending upon the type of treatment received. Lasers claim to beat out Rogaine results and claim hair growth can be seen within three months of the first procedure. Candidates for laser hair loss therapy like its non-invasive approach to hair loss; there’s no scarring or painful recovery time.
We thank our contributors:
- Curtis James of Las Vegas, Nevada
- Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York