In our appearance-focused society, hairthinning can be frustrating for those that it affects. Fortunately, treatmentsthat slow further hair loss and promote hair growth are available to helprestore confidence in one’s physical appearance.
Androgenetic alopecia, the most common patternof hair thinning, is linked to a genetically-programmed, hormone-dependentprocess that causes the transition of mature scalp hairs into miniaturizedhairs. Other triggers of hair thinning include cigarette smoking, stress, andnutritional and metabolic deficiencies.
Sun-damage to scalp skin also leads to hairloss. Hat-wearing, therefore, slows the hair thinning process by protecting thescalp from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays on hair-producing cells.
Haircare products influence our scalp health,and in turn, hair growth. Frequent washing with acidic-based (salicylic andglycolic) shampoos and conditioners promote hair growth by reducing scalp oiland bacteria. Daily hair washing does not cause greater hair loss.
Nutrition plays a key role in maintaininghealthy hair. Hair is mainly composed of keratin protein, therefore ahigh-protein diet and protein supplements can improve hair growth in those withlow intake. Biotin, however, has poor evidence for affecting hair growth and isnot recommended.
Customized scalp foams and oral medicines thatpromote the growing phase of hair are available. One of these medicines hasbeen shown to halt further hair loss in up to 90% of male patients with 65% ofpatients experiencing hair regrowth.
Low-level laser light therapy caps, althoughappearing as sham products, are effective for hair maintenance but not for hairregrowth.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), exosome, and stemcell therapy utilize simple blood draws to obtain platelets that contain highconcentrations of hair growth factors that are then comfortably injected intothe scalp. These growth factors help thicken existing hair and push dormanthairs into the growing phase. PRP slows hair loss with few side effects andhigh patient satisfaction.
Surgical hair transplantation using robotictechnology allows for the transfer of thicker, healthier hair from the back ofthe scalp to areas devoid of hair yielding a natural, effective result withminimal downtime.
Hair loss can be emotionally stressful topatients, and although no perfect treatment yet exists, options to reducefurther hair loss and improve hair appearance are available.