Would you believe that approximately 50 million men and 30 million women experience early hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss and is an inherited condition that usually occurs after the age of 50 but it can begin as early as young adulthood.
As if it isn’t bad enough dealing with the hair loss alone, many people who suffer find their self-esteem is affected, feeling embarrassed how their hair looks. For women in particular it can be devastating as a good head of hair is often perceived as the foundation of a women’s self-identity and femininity.
There are two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pharmaceutical products for Androgenetic Alopecia. Minoxidil is a lotion or foam which is applied to the scalp once or twice a day. The other is Oral Finasteride which is FDA approved for men but not for women as it can cause birth defects.
Laser combs, laser helmets and other laser devices for hair loss have also proved helpful by emitting a low level of laser light to help stimulate hair growth.
Of all the treatments hair transplants seem to be the most effective resulting in the greatest amount of hair regrowth. Hair is transplanted from one part of the scalp to the areas where there is thinning or baldness. It can take up to four to eight hours to complete and six to nine months for patients to see significant hair growth.
The quality of wigs are improving all the time and there are also powders and spray-on topical hair fiber products on the market that make thinning hair appear fuller.
Most studies have still not found any serious benefits associated with using supplements and shampoos that are marketed to thicken and improve hair growth.
The good news is that research is still continuing to find new treatments for hair loss with stem cell therapies and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy leading the way.