Hair loss is common among women and men and stems from various reasons, including hormone imbalance, age, disease and genetics. Losing one’s hair can lead to
- Social isolation
Fortunately, there is a wide range of treatments to prevent or reverse hair loss for many people. The most common ones include the following.
Both men and women can find relief from hair loss with topical solutions, like Minoxidil. Although it is unclear how it works, this non-invasive treatment successfully stimulates hair growth. It is cost-effective and accessible without a prescription, although a doctor’s supervision will lead to the best results.
Children that suffer from hair loss due to autoimmune alopecia may also benefit from topical treatment using steroid creams.
Doctors may prescribe hormone-inhibiting drugs like Finasteride to stall hair loss in men. Oral contraceptives and medications like Spironolactone can suppress unwanted production of male hormones that damage hair follicles in women. Oral steroids are useful when autoimmune diseases like Alopecia and Lupus destroy hair follicles, causing hair loss.
Adults with autoimmune diseases that destroy hair follicles can also receive steroid treatment by injection. Doctors commonly inject steroids directly into the scalp every few weeks to calm down the immune system and restore healthy hair growth. Most health insurance policies will cover these treatments, making them a generally affordable solution.
Restoration surgery can achieve significant long-term. Most patients who opt for this treatment are men who have hormone-related baldness with substantial amounts of healthy hair remaining on their heads. Women who have hair loss due to an excess of male hormones are the best female candidates for this approach. There are two approaches to hair transplants.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) involves surgically removing a strip of skin from an area of the scalp with adequate hair growth. The surgeon grafts this skin onto another portion of the scalp, where the hair will grow to fill in sparse patches. This method requires stitches to close the donor area.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) requires the removal of individual hair follicles from areas of dense hair growth and transplanting them one by one into hair loss areas. Surgical cuts are tiny enough to heal on their own without stitches.
Health insurance rarely covers the cost of hair transplants. Prices depend on the level of hair loss and the number of grafts needed.