Check out the small ads columns in old newspapers and magazines, and you’re likely to find several adverts for hair restoration products. This is one of the areas in which most medical quackery has arisen over the years. The remedies prescribed in the past varied from magnetic and electric hairbrushes to snake oils. They claim that after you “just brush your hair with our product,” or “grease your unhappy pate with this oil,” then your hair will immediately start growing again! Unfortunately, no such result from such medically unverifiable promises could be achieved. If they did have any positive effect, it is most likely from a placebo! Now, with the increasing spread of more reliable and trustworthy medical knowledge, such outlandish claims cannot be made so publicly anymore. The Supreme Court’s clampdown on such marketing also clearly paved the way for the advancement of scientifically verifiable knowledge.
Medical hair restoration options
At first, when you notice that you are losing an excessive amount of hair, you will most probably try to cover up the fact by combing your remaining hair over those areas of your scalp where hair loss is more clearly visible. You might become quite skillful at camouflaging the balding areas. However, unless the condition is merely due to short-term factors, you will most probably have to ultimately accept the fact that you need to restore your hair.
For hair restoration, you can go one of two ways: medication or surgery. If your hair loss is, as yet, minimal, you will most probably first choose to take medication. Surgical restoration, at this stage, is not recommended. The two FDA-approved medications for treating male pattern hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil (with the brand name Rogaine), which is a topical treatment that is applied directly to the scalp, only brings limited benefit; while finasteride, which is the generic form of Propecia, has proven efficacy. Taking a pill once a day can reduce the amount of genetic hair loss to a substantial degree, especially if you start using it as soon as you notice you are losing more than the usual amount of hair.
Opting for hair restoration the surgical way
If you have one continuous area of hair loss that stretches from front to back, you (and other people) are likely to notice it most markedly in front (which brings to mind those prevalent stories about receding hairlines). Even if your hair loss is at first minimal, it is highly likely that you will quickly pick up on it. For hair restoration, you might then try out the medications discussed above. However, your frontal area will probably not respond very well to such treatment. In addition, the thicker hair at the back and sides of your head is likely to contrast sharply with those areas where you are experiencing substantial hair loss. If you choose to opt for hair transplant surgery for your hair, you can have the assurance that after one or two weeks, hardly anyone will notice that you’ve had such surgery.
Female hair loss is more common than you probably think. Fortunately, treatment for women's hair loss is very similar to that of men.
Hair restoration is especially useful for those who are most conscious of their appearance. If you are a woman experiencing an excessive widening of your middle parting and you notice that the volume of your hair is substantially decreased, you might opt for hair transplant surgery. If your hair is thinning all over your scalp, you might, however, already not have enough hair to allow for such transplantation.
If you are wise, no matter what your age is, you will bear in mind the emotional impact that making such a decision will likely have on your life. Get all the accurate information that you can and find a doctor that you trust. Don’t rush into any decision; remember that surgery is an invasive procedure and that you cannot undo it once it is done. However, you know yourself best, and if you decide that in order to be successful it is always important for you, and your hair, to look your best, then go ahead with the procedure.
The ultimate solution – seek professional help and counseling!
The last word on hair restoration is, don’t be afraid to ask. Seek professional guidance, no matter your query, and go for psychotherapeutic counseling if you think that will help.
Please note: It’s never a good idea to exclusively trust something you read online. While there are many great resources on the internet, there are also many bad ones that will provide bad or incorrect information that could negatively affect your health and well-being. ALWAYS consult your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about particular hair loss treatments or procedures.
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Colin, Sr. Editor