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Getting Your Hair Back

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Getting Your Hair Back

If accepting and living with thinning hair is not for you  and you want to try to stop any further loss, or regain the  hair already lost, here are the options.

 

Medications

Two medications are available with proven clinical success in achieving hair regrowth.  Each has their issues to consider, and a point of note, even though some medications are available without a prescription, it’s probably best to discuss any treatment with your own doctor before progressing down that path.

 

Minoxidil

Minoxidil was first implemented as a treatment for high blood pressure, when it was discovered that a side effect was hair growth, often in unusual places.  It is now used as a treatment for hair loss.  Minoxidil works best if the follicles aren't already destroyed, and so is less effective when there is a large area of hair loss. In addition, its effectiveness has largely been demonstrated in younger men who have experienced hair loss for less than 5 years.  Minoxidil is applied topically and is generally well tolerated, but common side effects include burning or irritation of the eye, itching, redness or irritation at the treated area, as well as unwanted hair growth elsewhere on the body, and some allergic reactions. 

The product needs to be used twice daily for at least 4 months before any result is seen, and if the medication is stopped hair loss will quickly restart.

Minoxidil will not work for everyone, one study puts effectiveness at approximately 39% of the men experiencing moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of the head.  Whether it works for a patient or not has a genetic consideration.

Minoxidil is available in Australia without prescription.  A couple of sources are:

 Regaine (Rogaine) Men Extra Strength Solution 5% 60ml (1 month supply) $79.99   $49.95 (38% discount)

 

Regaine (Rogaine) Men Extra Strength Solution 5% 60ml (1 month supply)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Image For Information

 

 

 Regaine (Rogaine) Men Extra Strength Solution 5% 60ml (3 months supply) - Bonus 4 Months For Price Of 3   $196.90   $119.95 (39% discount)

 

Regaine (Rogaine) Men Extra Strength Solution 5% 60ml (3 months supply) - Bonus 4 Months For Price Of 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Image For Information

 

 

Regaine Mens Foam  $57.99   $49.95 AUD (14% discount)  (1 month supply)

Regaine Mens Foam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Image For Information

 

 

 

 

 

Finasteride (Propecia)

Finasteride is a prescription only medicine blocks one of enzymes that forms the chemical which causes hair follicles to shrink.  In other words Finasteride helps prevent or slow hair loss, and taken in the early stages may even regrow hair.  Some clinical trials indicate a high success rate, but it can come with side effects, some potentially serious. 

Side effects may include:

  • Impotence
  • Breast cancer
  • Depression. 

The Impotence side effect has been reported as significant in some cases, so anyone considering using this medication may want to seriously weigh up the benefit of a better head of hair against the value of a healthy sex life.  In all cases obtain reliable medical advice from a trusted health professional before considering using a medication such as this.

Clinical trials have shown Finasteride to be effective in 90% of cases.

Finasteride has to be taken for at least a year to know whether it's proving to be effective.

Cost is about $30-40 AUD per month

 

 

Some Statistics (US Data) on Hair Loss Treatments (1)

Percent of male patients that use a minoxidil (such as Regaine)

85 %

Percent of male patients that use a finasteride (such as Propecia)

15 %

Percent of all patients that had a negative reaction to any hair loss treatment

7 %

Percent of hair loss sufferers who would spend their life savings to regain a full head of hair

47 %

Percent of hair loss sufferers who said they would rather have more hair than money or friends

60 %

Percent of hair loss sufferers who said they would give up sex if it meant they would get their hair back

30 %

 

 

Surgical Hair Restoration (Hair transplants)

Modern hair-transplant surgery implants individual follicles, rather than tufts of hair as was done in the past.  A surgeon cuts a strip of scalp from the side or back of your head, and the follicles are separated and inserted into the crown and temples. Sometimes, instead of a strip, individual follicles are removed and implanted.  Only your own hair can be implanted in your head.

The follicles are taken for areas of DHT resistant hair, which is typically from the back and sides for men suffering from Male Pattern Baldness.

Because the implanted follicles aren't susceptible to DHT, the hair growing from them is permanent. However, it's likely you'll need to use medication to maintain remaining DHT-susceptible hairs. 

There are many factors affecting the likely success of the hair transplants, for example some types of hair loss that mean that it may not be possible to find DHT resistant hair to transplant.

Research prospective surgeons thoroughly, as a failed procedure could leave you less satisfied with your appearance than before the transplant, or perhaps some other permanent problems such as scarring.  Ask for references of several patients that you can talk to. 

Cost of a hair transplant will depend on the amount of surgery needed, but typically is in the range of $11,000-18,000 AUD – about $6-9 AUD per graft, with 2000 grafts the typical scenario (see below). The process may also need to be repeated if hair keeps thinning.

Some statistics (US Data) on Surgical Hair Restoration (1)

Patients Under 20 Years Old

1.4 %

Patients  Ages 20 - 29

19,3 %

Patients  Ages 30 - 39

30.4 %

Patients  Ages 40 - 49

26.3 %

Patients  Ages 50 - 59

15.4 %

Patients  60 +

7.1 %

Percent who needed 1-999 grafts to achieve desired results

4 %

Percent who needed 1,000 - 1,999 grafts to achieve desired results

50 %

Percent who needed 2,000 - 2,999 grafts to achieve desired results

41 %

Percent who needed 3,000+ grafts to achieve desired results

5 %

 

In summary a hair transplant is not a procedure to be taken lightly, aside from the high cost there are risks involved in any medical procedure.

 

Are There Any Other Solutions to Regrow Hair?

Other methods are offered for hair regrowth, and information on these can be found by internet search.  However, unless independent sources could be found attesting to  a treatment  effectiveness they have not been included in this article.

 

 

 

Non-Surgical Hair Replication

Non-surgical hair replication, or hairpiece, is another option – where a partial wig or toupee is attached to the scalp by glue or double-sided tape. 

A modern hairpiece is well made to precisely match the remaining hair, both in terms of colour, thickness, density and is almost undetectable when worn.  Most major hair loss clinics offer hair pieces as a treatment option.  A quality hair piece can cost anywhere from $500 -2,000 AUD, and they will need to be replaced every year or two, and so is not a low cost option.

 

 

 

I'm Losing My Hair. What Do I Do?

Remember, if you do see that your hair is thinning, see your doctor early, as there are more options available when hair loss first starts and medication can be quite successful in the early stages. Your doctor can also rule out illness and other causes of hair loss.

There is no certifying body for medical professionals specialising in hair loss, so be sure to research thoroughly before committing to a treatment program.  Take any service contract home and read thoroughly, never sign on the spot.

However, a medication program can be adopted just with the support of your GP.  This will be a much a lower cost option than seeking out an expensive specialist clinic in the first instance.

 

What Else?

Learn to live with what you have.  Read the tmm article "So Your Hair Is Starting to Thin?"  

 

Prices quoted are at the time this article was posted.

 

References:

  1.  http://www.statisticbrain.com/hair-loss-statistics/

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article and other articles on this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute professional advice. Please seek advice from a professional in the relevant field, in relation to any specific matter. Refer to the website Terms and Conditions. 

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