The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is genetics. In fact, heredity accounts for 95% of all the cases of alopecia (baldness) in this country. The remaining 5% of the cases can be due to a number of things, including diet, stress, illness, and medications.
Factors that can cause hair loss include:
Medications, vitamins, or minerals. Drugs used to treat high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, or gout; chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer patients; unusually high levels of vitamin A or low levels of iron or protein; for women, birth control pills can cause hair loss.
Illness.Thyroid disease, severe infection, or flu; fungus infections such as ringworm of the scalp
For women, childbirth may cause temporary hair loss due to the changes that take place in the body. In some cases, adults or children may have a condition known as trichotillomania, in which there is a compulsion to pull out scalp hair, eyebrow hair, or eyelashes.
What is a Hair Transplantation?
Hair transplantation is a type of surgery that has advanced over the decades, providing permanent results to those who suffer from hair loss. The focus of the technique is to remove quality hair follicles from one part of the body to transfer it to another area of the body.
Aside from the scalp area, hair transplant can also be used to restore eyelashes or to fill in scars.
Men suffering from hair loss are usually associated with this procedure, but women can also have the procedure done to remedy their receding hairline. People with severe hair loss can opt to consider hair transplant instead of over-the-counter medications and ointments.
What Are the Treatment Options for Hair Loss?
Rogaine (topical minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are the only drugs approved by the FDA to treat pattern baldness (hair loss as a result of hereditary causes).
Rogaine is a topical solution that is applied by directly rubbing it onto the scalp where hair growth is desired. Only about 10% to 14% of the people who try this lotion experience hair growth. However, Rogaine lotion can help to slow hair loss.
Propecia is the first pill that can treat male pattern hair loss. Like all prescription products, it should be given under a doctor’s care. While effective, if treatment is discontinued, results may not be maintained.
Permanent hair loss can also be treated by hair replacement procedures, such as hair transplantation methods (like micro-grafting, slit grafting, punch grafting) and by scalp reduction. The type of hair loss as well as the patient’s circumstances and desires determine which hair replacement procedures are most suitable.
How Can Hair Loss be Treated in Women?
The first step in rebuilding hair is to evaluate the underlying causes of the increased shedding and correcting the medical problems, if present. Next, using hair products that have been clinically proven to strengthen the hair, prevent shedding and nourish the scalp are essential to restoring a healthy amount of hair. We recommend the Hair Medica products to all of our patients.
For women with thinning hair, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel treatments may be used to stimulate hair growth. PRP is full of growth factors that keep more hair follicles in the active growing phase, anagen, creating thicker appearing hair and covering the scalp more evenly. PRP is injected into the scalp in three sessions one month apart. To maintain fullness, PRP injections are performed every six months.
Mesotherapy is a noninvasive technique in which active substances are delivered just below the epidermis via superficial microinjections. Various substances including vitamins, medications, plant extracts, and other bioactive compounds including vasodilators, finasteride, and minoxidil can be injected intradermally or subcutaneously to reach the target tissues in mesotherapy.
There is evidence regarding the clinical efficacy of mesotherapy in the treatment of thermal burns, local pain, local fat contouring, and skin aging.
Although evidence‐based studies regarding the efficacy of mesotherapy in different types of alopecia are lacking, in recent years, mesotherapy is increasingly being used in the treatment of telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, and alopecia areata.
Before starting hair mesotherapy, informed consent should be taken from the patient. After cleaning the scalp with antiseptic solution, the substances can be given by intraepidermal, papular, nappage, or point‐by‐point technique. In hair mesotherapy usually 4–6 mm, 27–32 G special mesotherapy needles are applied a depth of 4–6 mm about 1–2 cm apart. Although superficial intradermal technique is most commonly used, nappage technique can also be used manually or by mesotherapy gun. Hair mesotherapy can also be applied by using mesoroller device. Each session lasts for 10–30 min. There is no standardized protocol for the frequency of sessions and it depends on the decision of the applier and the indication it is done for. Hair mesotherapy is commonly applied at intervals of 1–4 weeks. Frequently accepted schedule is once a week for the initial weeks then with longer intervals and maintenance treatment in every 2–3 months. Some clinics prefer to apply mesotherapy once in two weeks for at least 10 sessions and then once a month for 5 months.
Alternative to Hair Transplant: Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a unique biological medicine that uses the patient’s blood to reduce inflammation, promote natural healing and accelerate the process of hair regrowth.
The process involves drawing blood from the patient’s arm and placing it into a centrifuge, which is a machine that separates blood into three different layers: red blood cells, platelet-poor plasma, and platelet-rich plasma.
The platelet-rich plasma is then directly injected into every half inch of the scalp area that needs treatment. Although the whole process must be carried out scrupulously, it usually takes less than half an hour.
To achieve the best results, treatments are initially done once a month for the first three to four months, and then once every three to six months after.