With so many hair loss solutions and treatments on the market, it’s hard to separate the good from the bad. Before committing to any one approach, it’s essential you take the time to do your research and weigh the risks associated
A receding hairline. A spreading bald spot on top of the head. Painfully thin hair that is especially noticeable where the hair parts. More than 80% of men and half that amount of women will suffer from some form of hair loss during their lifetime.
As common as it is, it’s not any less distressing. While it can be a mere inconvenience for some, for many of us, hair is more than just a part of the body – it’s our identity. It’s no wonder individuals struggling with hair loss often experience symptoms of low self-esteem, anxiety and depression as well. What’s worse is that we’re always being told about the next great treatment on the market, and it’s difficult to separate the good from the bad. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but with 1 in 2 men being affected – who could blame you for believing these false promises?
That’s why we’re here to help you identify the right treatment for you, based on your unique situation and goals, and what to watch out for when considering your options. This way, there are no unsightly, frustrating, or (worse yet) dangerous surprises.
About Hair Loss
When it comes to hair loss, both men and women experience it. In some, it starts sooner in life, rather than later. For most people, hair growth slows dramatically after middle age; this is just one cause of hair loss. Genetics and certain types of alopecia play a huge role in hair loss as well.
It’s important to understand what’s causing your hair loss so that you can better determine what kind of hair loss pattern you’re experiencing (if it will continue to thin gradually or abruptly, regrow on its own, or require immediate attention) and what treatment options may be available to help you.
Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss can be caused by a range of factors, including genetics and hormonal imbalances. It can also be the result of certain medical conditions, medications and lifestyle factors (a poor diet). Some common causes include:
- Genetics – Some people are born with genes that make them more susceptible to certain types of hair loss than others. Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness are the most common causes of hair loss in the world.
- Hormones – Hormonal changes can cause temporary or permanent hair loss in both men and women; this is usually due to an imbalance or problem within the body’s endocrine system
- Medications – Certain medications—including some blood pressure drugs, chemotherapy agents, antidepressants and hormone treatments—can cause temporary or permanent hair loss for some people who take them.
- Stress/mental health – Issues like depression or anxiety, as well as autoimmune disorders including alopecia areata
Hair Loss Treatments
Once signs of hair loss arise, the search for product and treatment information begins. But as the hair loss treatment market grows, so does the number of choices. It is important to be thorough in your search and use reliable websites and doctors to find real products and real treatments.
There are numerous hair loss treatments available, from medications to surgery. Drug-based options include finasteride, minoxidil and spironolactone. Non-drug-based solutions include hair transplantation, scalp micropigmentation, and laser therapy.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Some baldness sufferers opt to undergo hair transplant or restoration surgery. This involves removing hair follicles from a loss-resistant area of the scalp (usually the back of the head) and transplanting them to an area where there is less hair (the hairline and crown). There are two different types:
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction): involves the individual extraction of hair follicles and then transplanting
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation): involves removing a long strip of the scalp, separating the follicles, and transplanting them. For maximum density, FUT is recommended.
If you’re considering a hair transplant, you’re not alone. The procedure is an effective way for men and women to restore bald, receding or thinning hair. But it’s important to note that hair transplants aren’t always successful. Sometimes more than one session is required over for optimal results (depending on available donor hair). If you decide that this isn’t right for you or your budget, there are other alternatives available that may work out better – including certain types of medications and treatments – so make sure you do your research before making any decisions.
Like any surgical procedure, it is advisable to do your research before making a decision. When choosing your surgeon, make sure they have experience performing this type of procedure, and are up-to-date on the latest techniques. Any questions you have should be answered with ease and confidence.
2. Medication for Regrowth
Finasteride and minoxidil are the two most prominent – and clinically proven – treatments for men’s hair loss. Although they both work to achieve the same goal (slowing down hair loss and promoting regrowth), they work in totally different ways. Let’s break down these two medications:
Minoxidil (Rogaine): Originally developed to treat blood pressure, developers of minoxidil discovered that the medication caused excessive unwanted hair growth as a side effect so they started using it as a hair loss solution. Minoxidil is a vasodilator. When applied to the scalp, the drug appears to widen blood vessels, which increases the flow of blood to hair follicles. This blow flow delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the hair, resulting in thicker, longer hair.
Finasteride (Propecia): Finasteride was first developed to treat prostate cancer in men. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays a big role in male pattern baldness, binding to men’s hair follicles and damaging them which prevents growth. Finasteride is a DHT blocker. This medication works by stopping your body from converting testosterone into a natural body hormone, DHT, and therefore slows down hair loss. Finasteride stops hair loss and grows new hair, whereas minoxidil doesn’t stop hair loss but helps grow new hair thicker and faster than before.
Finasteride and minoxidil are the only two FDA-approved products to treat hair loss, but both come with potential side effects. Finasteride is only suitable for males, but even minoxidil has limitations for women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. It is advisable to speak with your doctor or medical professional to weigh up your options and potential risks.
3. Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is a non-surgical and painless way to encourage hair growth. The process irradiates photons into scalp tissues, which are absorbed by weak cells, and encourages hair growth. Because the results of laser therapy are inconsistent, the conclusion of the medical community seems to be that it appears to work for some people, but not for others.
The effects of laser technology are not yet fully understood. The FDA has classified laser devices as medical devices, which means they do not undergo the same level of scrutiny or testing that medicines receive before approval.
5. Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is a form of hair tattooing that involves the use of a small electric micro-needle to inject pigment into the scalp that mimics the appearance of short hair. The procedure can be used to add density to thinning or receding hair and to help camouflage bald spots or scalp scars. SMP does not stimulate hair growth or alter hair growth in any way. Instead, it acts as a solution for the appearance of hair growth. On average, SMP requires 3-4 sessions to achieve the desired density and depth, and the result resembles a closely shaved head (or buzz cut). Hair tattoos can benefit both men and women with all forms of hair loss – temporary or permanent – including male and female pattern baldness, alopecia areata, chemotherapy-related hair loss, scalp scars due to injuries or hair transplants. SMP is considered to be a long term solution for hair loss.
A Safer Alternative to Hair Loss Treatments
Scalp micropigmentation is a minimally-invasive, non-surgical cosmetic procedure that offers a safer alternative to hair loss treatments with virtually zero downtime. Unlike the very popular hair transplants, SMP doesn’t involve any actual cutting into the scalp or transplanting of follicles. Pain is minimal (more manageable than a traditional tattoo) and is very well tolerated by patients. The risks of scalp micropigmentation are only really associated with a poorly trained technician and the use of non-sterile tattooing equipment. These are the same risks that come with traditional tattoos.
Do Your Research Beforehand
If you’re concerned about the safety of hair loss treatments, know that there are safe and effective options out there. But, it’s also good to err on the side of caution. Here are some things you should keep in mind when considering treatment options for hair loss:
- Always talk with your doctor or dermatologist before starting any new treatment. They can help assess your particular situation and find the best approach for your needs and lifestyle.
- Take time to find a good practitioner to help guide you through this process before committing. It may seem like common sense but not all practitioners have the same level of qualifications or credentials in hair restoration, so finding someone with experience is key when deciding if they can be trusted with something as personal as your health/hair loss condition. Have multiple consultations to ask as many questions as you need until you feel confident and comfortable and look out for any bad reviews and check out their before-and-after images to ensure there are no surprises later down the line (which happens sometimes).
- Research and educate yourself on potential risks that might come along with each procedure. It’s better to be safe than sorry. In this case, that means waiting and not rushing into anything until you’re ready. Make sure any product you use contains ingredients that have been approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
- Be wary of “treatments” that over-market themselves and over-promise results. Snake oil, hair loss brushes and herbal supplements and ointments are all examples of falsely advertised solutions to hair loss.
Hair Loss Solutions at Foli Sim
As industry leaders in scalp micropigmentation, client safety and comfort is our main concern at Foli Sim. All of our SMP clinics are certified by the Australian Health Department. We use only medical-grade equipment in our sterile treatment rooms and wear proper PPE to ensure all possible precautions are being taken. Our experienced staff come from a background of extensive knowledge in hair tattooing and are certified in scalp micropigmentation artistry.
If you’re considering effective and safe solutions to your hair loss, SMP is a great option and our team would be more than happy to assist you on your journey. We offer free in-person, phone, and video consultations so that we can discuss your options and form a personal treatment plan to suit your lifestyle and needs.
Come visit us in one of our three locations across Australia today.