NON SURGICAL HAIR LOSS OPTIONS
Available at The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1997 the FDA approved the oral medication, Finasteride, for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Finasteride inhibits the production of an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), reducing DHT levels by as much as 60%. Since DHT shrinks the hair follicles, leading to baldness, blocking its production helps slow the balding process. Finasteride is available in two concentrations, Propecia® (a 1mg daily dose) and Proscar® (a 5mg dose). In clinical trials, finasteride stopped the progression of hair loss in 86% of men, and 65% had a “substantial” increase in hair growth.
Promising headlines about “miracle” hair tonics have enticed many people into buying lotions that only lead to disappointment. Despite extravagant claims, these products have been proven time and time again to be useless. However, the first proven effective topical drug, Rogaine® (2% minoxidil) and Extra-Strength Rogaine® (5% minoxidil), increase the size of shrunken hair follicles and can keep them in the growth phase longer. This slows the progression of hair loss and in some cases regrowth may occur. An estimated 30-60% of men see decreased hair loss or some amount of regrowth. However, since it has no effect on the underlying hormonal process of hair loss, its effects can be temporary.
Many people purchase these topical medications envisioning a quick fix, but re-growth is a slow process that can take six to twelve months of consistent daily usage to see any results. It is possible to add Retin-A® to topical solutions in order to increase the rate of their absorption into the scalp. Rogaine ® has found its greatest effectiveness with those who are just beginning to lose their hair, because it actually slows down the balding process. Continued regular application is required and can be easily fit into a daily routine. With almost no side effects, it has become an effective treatment for many patients.
In addition to minoxidil, Dr. Griffin and Dr. Curtis will formulate custom blends of topical prescription medications to meet specific patient needs.
Red Light Therapy exposes the patient’s scalp to focused, red-spectrum light which increases the energy production around the hair follicles, waking cells from dormancy into an active growth phase. Red Light Therapy has also been shown to inhibit inflammation and increase the metabolic activity within the skin cells of the scalp. Red light treatment is used primarily to maintain the hair on the head and prevent further thinning, however many patients see regrowth as well. The initial course of exposure usually takes 4-6 months to show results, and additional “maintenance” sessions 1-2 times a week for the next 6-12 months are strongly recommended for maximum benefit. In many cases this is used indefinitely as an adjunct therapy to topical and oral medications.
There are two forms of Red Light Therapy, a hood type device (similar to the commercial hair dryers you might find at a hair salon) or the LaserCap® that can be worn under an ordinary baseball cap. In either case, treatments last 15-30 minutes, two to four times per week.
Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth by helping in the formation of red blood cells; Common food sources of vitamin B12 include various animal products, such as eggs, meat, milk and dairy products, shellfish, and poultry Folic Acid, another B vitamin, helps the body make healthy new cells; Foods with folic acid in them include: leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas, and nuts, and enriched breads, cereals and other grain products Omega 3 fatty acids help lower inflammation and create a healthier scalp. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include nuts and seeds, eggs, and fish in their diets. Biotin: people with low levels of biotin generally have thin or brittle hair and nails, so biotin supplements have been used to strengthen hair, preventing breakage and hair loss.
A hairpiece covers baldness instantly and densely. A high-quality wig attached to the hair (by clips, weaving, and snaps) or to the scalp (by surgical rings, glue, or tape) is a costly commitment in both time and money. However, no hair restoration surgery is as instantaneous, produces hair as thick, or is as painless as a hairpiece. Improvements in hairpieces over the years have made them a more viable option than ever before.
A variation on the traditional hairpiece is the hair weave. Countless celebrities have increased the popularity of hair weaves in recent years. A weave can either be glued, heat-bonded, or braided into natural hair and usually lasts about two months.
Some people camouflage their hair loss with colored sprays, rub-on dyes, or even long lasting tattoos of the scalp. Some shampoos can even thicken the hair shaft. Styling techniques or hair dyes that color the “peach fuzz” give a fuller look. And powder-like colorants have been marketed to sprinkle on the scalp to help decrease the scalp-to-hair contrast.
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is an exciting treatment option that uses the patient’s own blood to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, accelerating healing and recovery from injury. For years, the hair restoration specialists at The Griffin Center have been using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment to help patients recovering from hair transplantation surgery or suffering from certain forms of hair loss. READ MORE