More than one hundred million Americans struggle with hair loss. Although more common in males, about forty percent of sufferers are female. But regardless of sex, almost all cases of baldness (about 95 percent) are caused by genetic factors. In other words, most folks are destined to lose their locks from birth. With that said, there are steps you can take to slow, stop, even reverse the process. Here are four proven hair loss solutions.
Oftenought by patients with advanced cases of alopecia (baldness), transplantation is a surgical procedure performed in a doctor's office. The operation involves removing a section of permanent hair from the back of the scalp and using it to fill in areas with no or thinning locks. Although these transplanted strands soon fall out, about 60 percent of them will grow again, leading to a thicker, fuller hairdo. Because the surgery itself is performed by a doctor and takes many hours to complete, it can be quite pricey. It is actually not at all uncommon for patients to spend over $ 10,000 on the procedure. With that said, most people are satisfied with the results.
While there's certainly no shortage of home remedies, only two drugs are considered hair loss solutions by the FDA. Minoxidil is a topical treatment that slows or stops alopecia in about 40 percent of users. Affordable and broadly available, it is the only over-the-counter treatment for the common condition. The only significant drawback of using minoxidil is that it must be applied for life.
The second FDA-approved medication is a prescription pill called finasteride. Considered by some users to be slightly more effective than minoxidil, it must also be taken indefinitely. We should also note that finasteride has not been approved for use by women. In fact, one study found it to be no more effective than placebo for female users.
Easily the oldest solution on our list: wigs. Wigs have been around since the ancient Egyptians. Just as they were back then, hairpieces are fashion accessories that can also be used to conceal total, substantial, even partial baldness. Affordable and easy to find, they can be purchased at most salons and even some drugstores.
Whether they are clipped, sewn, glued, fused, or taped in place, extensions can add volume to any hairdo. Although often applied for a fashionable effect, extensions can also be used to cover and conceal thinning areas and bald spots. But because some systems can damage remaining strands, it is important to tell your stylist that you are losing your locks. She can then select extensions that will not endanger your natural hair.
All of the hair loss solutions we discussed today are open to any person struggling with alopecia.