Hair Loss Treatments Range from Conservative to Permanent
Several types of topical treatments are available to slow thinning and stimulate hair growth. The most popular, minoxidil, is known by the brand name ROGAINE®. This non-prescription solution is applied to the scalp as a liquid or foam. It is most effective at treating female and male pattern baldness, takes at least six months to show results, and only works as long as it is continuously used. Some users may experience skin irritation and a rapid heart rate.
Prescription oral medications are also somewhat effective at treating hair loss. Finasteride, or Propecia, is approved for men and taken daily in pill form. Patients will need to continue taking the drug in order to maintain their results. Side effects, although rare, are serious and can include decreased sexual function and an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Patients who would prefer a conservative treatment free of side effects are often interested in laser therapy. The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved devices including a specialized cap, called Capillus®, which is worn for a short amount of time each day. These low-level lasers have shown limited results and further studies are needed.
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, isolates the healing properties found in your own blood. The advanced technique has seen a range of recent uses, from boosting collagen through facials to promoting faster recoveries after dental surgery. PRP therapy is thought to increase blood supply to the hair follicles, producing thicker, healthier hair. The hair loss treatment is required roughly every four to six months and so far, research has failed to show promising and consistent results.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Surgically placing hair into the affected areas is simply the most effective way to address hair loss for a number of patients. At the Hair Restoration Institute of Georgia in Peachtree City, GA, we specialize in surgical care and prefer follicular unit extraction, or FUE. Candidates for hair transplant surgery must be in good health and have a sufficient amount of thick, healthy hair to harvest and transfer to the donor site. Some hair transplant patients may require touch-ups but the results are considered permanent.