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Hair transplant has become very popular amongst people in dare need a solution to reverse their hair loss. And this urgency is very much understood. We are all aware of the daunting effect of hair loss or even baldness. But why be in a rush? Why spend so much effort, time, energy, and huge dollars for a transplant when there are other alternatives you can explore?
In this article, we have outlined some of the best-known and widely used anti-hair loss treatment options. You should carefully read and see which will best suit your need.
In terms of nonsurgical hair loss treatments, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is one of the most effective options. Your blood, which is high in the concentration of platelets, is used to make platelet-rich plasma (PRP). For patients suffering from thinning hair, cytokines and other growth factors found in this therapy are beneficial since they promote hair growth and repair.
The doctor takes a small sample of your blood and spins it in a special centrifuge to separate your platelets from the rest of your blood components to conduct PRP therapy. Afterward, a concentrated PRP solution is injected directly into the scalp in a series of injections.
Upon completion, you don’t have to worry about recovery times because you can be sure to get back to your normal activities immediately. However, avoid putting too much tension on the injected site for a few days after the surgery.
Steroid injections are a corticosteroid drug, most often triamcinolone acetonide. Corticosteroids function by reducing inflammation. A corticosteroid (steroid) shot can help your hair regrow by reducing inflammation surrounding your hair follicles—though not in all types of hair loss.
Although primarily used to treat alopecia areata, Corticosteroids can also treat other forms of hair loss, such as traction alopecia, CCCA, discoid lupus, etc.
Corticosteroid injections are typically performed in the office in less than 20 minutes and are generally well tolerated by most people. But while the injections can be uncomfortable, physicians utilize multiple strategies to lessen the discomfort, such as numbing medicines and even distraction techniques. In general, we found that most patients tolerate the injections well and can even carry on a conversation while the operation is being performed.
Corticosteroid injections are typically administered once a month, though your doctor may advise you to receive them more or less frequently, depending on the severity of your problem.
There is usually no downtime following the procedure, and most patients may resume their daily activities and work schedule immediately after receiving their steroid scalp injections.
Whether as oral drugs or topic products, are several prescriptive and OTC medications are available to treat hair loss effectively. Let’s go over a few of them.
Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, can be treated with medications that suppress androgens, the sex hormones that damage or kill hair follicles. Spironolactone and estrogen-containing oral contraceptives, such as birth control pills, are among the prescription-only antiandrogen drugs.
For the most part, antiandrogens have a four-month half-life, and to avoid recurrence of hair loss, a long-term therapy regimen is required.
Side effects, however, include irregular menstrual cycles and insomnia. Antiandrogens are also not recommended for already pregnant.
Minoxidil is one among the two only FDA-approved drugs for androgenic alopecia. It was initially used for the treatment of high blood pressure. However, medical discoveries later found it an effective alternative for hair loss.
Minoxidil is said to work by increasing blood flow on the hair follicles. That way, oxygen, and other dissolved nutrients will flow to the follicle, causing it to be well-nourished and functional once again.
Generally, Minoxidil is known to induce the hair follicle into entering the anagen (active growth) phase faster, which means a reduction in the time spent at the telogen (resting) phase.
To further grasp this, it’s helpful to briefly review the cycle of hair growth, shedding, and regeneration.
In the course of its growth, your hair goes through several various phases. Combined, these phases are known as the hair growth cycle.
- The first is for the anagen of the growth stage. Here, you’ll have continuous hair growth for two to six years on average.
- Toward the end of the anagen phase, your hair passes into the catagen phase, where the follicle separates from the scalp and sheds.
- The last phase is the telogen, or the resting phase begins, where the entire hair structure hibernates for around six months, to which the growth process starts again.
Minoxidil, however, will cut short the cycle’s telogen phase, thereby increasing the time the hair spends at the anagen phase. In addition to lengthening the anagen period, it also encourages the early onset of the anagen phase.
These combined nutrient supply and growth phase extension actions define Minoxidil’s action.
Also, note that Minoxidil is a long-term medication; hence, it must be used twice daily to be effective. Skin irritation or itching are the most common side effects and if they persist or become severe, do well to visit your doctor.
Finasteride, sold under the market name of Propecia, is the other FDA-approved medication for hair loss. It is a prescriptive oral drug best fit for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness.
Tablets of finasteride are designed for daily use and commonly administered at a daily dosage of 1mg.
It belongs to the 5-ARI class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. The enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, which is involved in the conversion of testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is inhibited by this supplement.
It is important to know that DHT is crucial in male pattern baldness. DHT can attach to receptors in the hair follicles and cause them to shrink, resulting in hair loss along the hairline, crown, or all over the scalp, especially for people who are genetically predisposed to it.
Therefore, by inhibiting the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, finasteride reduces DHT levels in the blood, protecting hair follicles from damage caused by DHT.