Perhaps one of the earliest efforts of man to defy nature’s omnipotence includes hair loss prevention treatment. We humans by default are rigid about accepting change and have thus undertook tremendous scientific feats in an attempt to reinstate our youth or to rectify any physical aspect deemed as inappropriate. Hair loss is a distressing condition to experience, regardless of gender, age and financial status. It can root from a myriad of causes: hormonal or chemical imbalances, poor lifestyle choices,genetic makeup etc. Due to the confidence shattering impact of baldness on the affected and its commonality, hair loss prevention treatment is one of the most sought-after procedures globally.
Ranging from herbal do-it-yourselves in the kitchen to spending your hard earned money at doctors’ clinics, there is a great variety in hair loss prevention treatment to choose from; The first practical step towards hair fall prevention is to scientifically determine the underlying cause behind it. This includes performing blood tests, a detailed assessment of your lifestyle, mainly diet, stress or any pre-existing health conditions and a physical exam of your hair and scalp so that an efficacious course of action can be adopted. The most widely prescribed treatments are either use of prescribed drugs or hair transplant. For less devastating and temporary cases, change in diet and lifestyle choices is advised alongside immediate termination of any medication that is causing unnatural and premature hair fall. Once abnormal hair fall is tackled, medication for augmenting hair growth is introduced. Broadly speaking, for hereditary hair loss (commonly referred to as ‘pattern baldness’), two most extensively used drugs are as follows:
Minoxidil: This is an over-the-counter, usually non-prescribed medicine that comes in a serum or shampoo form, suitable for use by both men and women. It is reported to slow down hair loss among users whilst simultaneously fostering growth of new hair follicles. Results usually take months to be apparent. Some possible side effects are scalp irritation and possible hair growth on nearby areas.
Finasteride: This is a prescription drug for men only to be taken orally. It de-accelerates hair loss gradually while new hair naturally starts appearing. The success rate diminishes as age advances in patients. This drug can possibly diminish sex drive and function and more dangerously, enhance the risk of prostrate cancer.
Moving on to invasive options, we have the renowned hair transplant surgery, which falls into two subcategories of:
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT):Whole strip of scalp from donor area is removed from which later individual hair strands are extracted to be replanted into balding area to regenerate hair growth. It involves use of local anesthesia and entails a somewhat uncomfortable, longer recovery with a visible scar.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Individual hair follicles are extracted with minimal invasion from donor areas and transplanted into recipient areas. Having the upside of use of local anesthesia, minimum discomfort, shorter recovery and invisible scarring, FUE is the most preferable way to go for hair restoration today.
Hair loss prevention treatment today has come a long way from primitive times when the only hope was either a hit or miss and questionable herbal concoctions or comical looking wigs for only those who could afford one. However, even in the advent of safe declared and clinically administered procedures, one must approach any prevention and restoration method with utter caution and only after satisfactory inquiry from professionals as side effects can be devastating and permanent.