How Is Hair Loss Treated?

How Is Hair Loss Treated?

Hair loss is a common condition that can be caused by aging, hereditary conditions, hormonal changes, cancer, injury, and infection. There are multiple treatment options for hair loss including shampoos, prescription medications, surgery, and transplant. In the following article we answer the question how is hair loss treated and what causes hair loss. We also discuss loss treatment for men and hair loss treatment for women. 

What Is Hair Loss? 

Hair loss refers to the recession or loss of hair from any part of the body. Most hair loss occurs on the scalp of the head and is caused by aging, hereditary conditions, hormonal changes, or medical conditions and diseases. Hair loss is more common in men than in women.

What Causes Hair Loss? 

Hair loss can be caused by hereditary factors, infection, chronic diseases, hormonal changes, and stress. Some conditions which cause hair loss affect men more often than women and vice versa. In men, most hair loss occurs over multiple decades as a result of a condition known as male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness can be exacerbated by an underlying medical condition. Like men, women also experience hair loss from aging, but also during pregnancy and after infection. Women are also more likely than men to lose hair from hair pulling and harmful hair products. 

How Is Hair Loss Treated?

It is possible to treat hair loss through prescription medication and Popular hair loss medications include finasteride and minoxidil. There are also many home remedies and practices that can help slow hair loss and initiate hair regrowth. These include the following:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Using combs with wider spaces 
  • Avoiding hairstyles that can put stress on the hair
  • Refraining from using medications that may cause hair loss including acne medications and certain antibiotics.
  • Avoiding pulling or twisting hair 

Hair Loss Treatment for Men

Most men lose hair as a result of male pattern baldness, a type of hereditary hair loss also known as androgenic alopecia. While there is no cure for this androgenic alopecia, it can be slowed and prevented through the use of hair loss medications such as minoxidil. Minoxidil is available as a solution and foam and has been shown to significantly reduce hair loss in men suffering from male pattern baldness. 

Hair Loss Treatment for Women 

Most people believe hair loss only affects men, however, over 50% of women experience age-related hair loss during their lifetime. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female pattern hair loss, which affects more than 30% of women in the United States. Women can also lose hair from harmful products, curling irons, injury, and cancer treatment. 

Minoxidil is the only topical medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss in women. Minoxidil works by prolonging the anogen, or growth phase of the hair cycle. Minoxidil should be taken once a day and can take as long as 4 months before its effects may be noticeable. 

Hair Transplants 

Hair transplants are a type of surgery that involves replacing or supplementing hair in one area of the body by taking hair from another part of the body. Doctors have been performing hair transplants in the United States since the 1950s. 

There are two common types of hair transplant surgery: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction. 

Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS)

Follicular unit strip surgery is a technique which involves taking a thin strip of hair-bearing skin and transplanting it to another part of the body. Most often, a surgeon will remove a 6-to-10 inch strip of skin from the back of the head which is set aside for later. Then, the surgeon divides the strip of removed scalp into as many as 2,000 tiny skin grafts. The number and size of the graphs depends on hair type, color, and quality, as well as the severity of hair loss. 

The procedure usually takes anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, though more severe cases of hair loss may take longer. Many patients who receive follicular unit strip surgery require another procedure later on to thicken the transplanted hair. 

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Follicular unit extraction, often referred to by the acronym FUE, is a type of hair transplant similar to FUSS. In recent years, it has become the more common and reliable method of the two. 

The FUE procedure begins with a surgeon’s team shaving the back of your scalp. Then, the doctor will remove hair follicles one by one from there. The area heals with small dots, which your existing hair will cover. Follicular unit extraction differs from strip surgery because it involves hair follicles being removed one by one. Hairs are removed in large chunks during follicular unit strip surgery. 

How Is Hair Loss Treated?: Summary

Hair loss is a common condition often caused by a combination of aging and hereditary factors. It can also be caused by injury, infection, stress, and certain harmful products. 

Hair loss can be treated through surgical procedures, hair growth products, or prescription medications such as finasteride. Some of the most popular and effective hair loss procedures include follicular unit strip surgery and follicular unit extraction. 

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