Hair loss is an incredibly common condition, especially as people age. However, younger individuals may also become subject to hair loss. Whether this is due to a genetic trait, personal habits, or environmental factors, sudden hair loss is often a difficult thing to manage.
How do you know where to start when it comes to managing hair loss? Every head is a little bit different. But fortunately, there are some common approaches that have proven to be effective for hair loss of varying types and severities. Let’s take a look at your options:
One of the most common and effective ways to treat hair loss is through an external treatment. For example, a shampoo that promotes hair regrowth can be added to your daily routine to try and combat hair loss. Not only is this an effective strategy, but it adds little to no extra effort to your regular behavior.
When selecting a hair treatment product, you need to be aware of the key ingredients. Products that contain minoxidil, for example, are a good call. It’s an FDA-approved medication for hair loss. It’s the active ingredient in Rogaine because of its ability to slow hair loss and promote hair growth through vasodilation. You can find it in shampoos, topical creams, and foams that are applied directly to the scalp.
Just as important as picking the right ingredients is steering clear of the bad ones. Look for additives such as parabens, formaldehyde, and sulfates. These can damage strip natural oils that keep the hair and scalp healthy, leading to dryness, irritation, and potential hair damage. If you’re unfamiliar with a certain ingredient, give it a quick internet search before purchasing a new product.
You can also approach hair loss from the inside out, sometimes in conjunction with your external treatments. There are medications that you can take that are engineered specifically for hair health. Think of it as a daily vitamin, meant to improve your hair health.
Oral medications will take awhile to become effective. However, once they do, they will be a powerful ally in your fight against hair loss. Minoxidil can also be found in pill form, but if it is prescribed as a pill for hair loss, this is an off-label use. FDA-approved finasteride is more commonly prescribed for hair loss. This medication is taken once a day, and most men report results after a few months. It’s important to note finasteride is only to be used by men, as it’s been associated with some complications for women.
Of course, the best option for choosing the right medication is often to consult with a medical professional. They can help you identify the root cause of your hair loss and direct you to a medication that is best for treating that particular condition.
There are more drastic measures that can be taken to reduce hair loss if you choose to pursue them. Surgical procedures can artificially implant hair, covering up bald patches. While more expensive and associated with more risk factors, one can say that this is the most effective way to treat hair loss for good.
The most common surgical treatment for hair loss is a hair transplant. This is often called a permanent solution to hair loss. During hair grafting, pieces of the scalp with healthy hair follicles are placed in balding areas. These new hairs can take root and continue to grow, filling in areas of sparseness.
For large bald patches, multiple procedures may be recommended. In these cases, a hair transplant team will work in stages, transplanting hair between periods of recovery. It’s important to say that the decision to get surgery should never be made without first consulting with a medical professional. Not all people are eligible for hair transplants, and, in many cases, less invasive treatment options can still help you get your desired results.
Many people fail to realize just how big of an impact their daily decisions have on their hair health. Certain lifestyle choices can seriously harm your hair and accelerate hair loss. Recognizing these habits then changing them are essential for truly fixing your hair loss problem.
Smoking is probably the number one offender. While also damaging your heart and lungs, smoking can dry out your scalp and constrict the blood vessels that nourish your follicles. This lack of circulation and nutrition can be one of the major causes of hair loss. If you’re a smoker, who’s been thinking about quitting, hair loss is just another reason to stop.
Diet and exercise are other factors that can contribute to hair loss. Over processed food and a sedentary lifestyle aren’t doing your body or hair any favors. Healthy hair requires blood flow and proper nutrients, which are achieved through exercise and a well-rounded diet. Staying on top of these habits does wonders for your mind and body. You’ll improve the nutrition and blood flow your hair needs for starters. On top of that, you’ll enjoy other health benefits like clearer skin.
Some people will swear by natural remedies, and many of them have the results to back up their claims. Most scientific research involving hair loss medication has been done in laboratories, but that doesn’t discredit the values of natural ingredients. You may be concerned about adding too many chemicals to your body, especially if you already take a host of medications. Trying a natural remedy can be a worthwhile first experiment before you resort to other methods.
Many recommendations revolve around a variety of oils. Coconut oil, fish oil, rosemary, and geranium oil are some examples. Other recommendations cover everything from aloe vera to rice water. Make sure to do some proper research before consuming anything or applying it to your hair.
Perhaps the most natural remedy is a simple scalp massage. This promotes blood flow to the scalp, a common theme among hair loss solutions, and can be combined with natural oils. A few scalp massages wouldn’t be a bad idea, but make sure you observe any reaction. This is true for any treatment option you choose. Consistency and frequent monitoring are the best ways to see if a treatment is working for you.
While hair loss is not something that anyone wants to deal with, being aware of your options can help. Knowing what’s out there means you can begin treatment as soon as the signs start to show.