Today, there are a number of “treatment options” available designed to halt the ongoing thinning and loss of hair, designed to regrow hair and designed to replace hair that’s already been lost. In total, there are over 2,000 topical and oral products, a handful of hair restoration devices and about 5 surgical procedures currently used throughout the U.S.
But what works? What doesn’t? What’s right for you? Which of these truly provides hope, and which are nothing more than hype?
Let’s first simplify things a bit. We’ll answer some basic questions we receive from time-to-time. Then we’ll describe what each of the “proven” treatment options are and what they are supposed to do for you. In so doing, we’ll uncover what’s worth investing your time, your trust, and your money.
Which of the current treatment options are permanent, natural and proven?
Only one. Surgical Hair Transplantation. Transplantation is a singular permanent solution where the results last a lifetime.
Which of the topical and oral treatment options are FDA-Approved?
Only two. Propecia (a DHT-inhibitor) and Rogaine (a “hair growth stimulator”). Hair restoration surgery does not require FDA approval.
Which of the treatment options have no side-effects?
Only one. Surgical Hair Transplantation.
Which treatment options can help prevent hair loss?
Only three. (1) Propecia is a DHT-inhibitor. It’s been successful at blocking the conversion of DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. (2) Rogaine is a “hair growth stimulator,” and it can help regrow hair in the crown and bridge by increasing blood supply to hair follicles. (3) Surgical Hair Transplantation. By “staying ahead of hair thinning and loss” with a surgical procedure, you can actually prevent the appearance of loss.
Which of the treatment options are safe for both men and women?
Only two. Surgical Hair Transplantation and Rogaine. (Rogaine’s 5% Minoxidil is generally recommended for men while 2% is recommended for women.)
Which of the treatment options benefit the hairline?
Only one. Surgical Hair Transplantation. Both Propecia and Rogaine work primarily in the crown and bridge areas of the scalp.
The Current Hair Treatment Options
Rogaine’s active ingredient is Minoxidil. Minoxidil was originally developed as a product to control blood pressure. Users found that they were growing hair in areas where hair didn’t exist previously. Minoxidil comes in a number of strengths, but the maximum non-prescription strength is 5%, which is generally recommended for men. The 2% non-prescription formula is generally recommended for women. The potential side-effects and skin irritation increase dramatically.
Rogaine is a “hair growth stimulator” which means that when it is applied effectively to the scalp, it absorbs into the skin increasing blood flow to the tissue and hair follicles underneath. It primarily benefits the crown and bridge area of the scalp, but some have seen minimal benefit in the front and along the hairline.
Rogaine must be used twice a day, every day. Compliance and skin irritation are the two primary frustrations users have with the product.
Propecia’s chemical name is Finasteride. Finasteride was developed nearly 4 decades ago as a treatment for prostate hypertrophy (enlarged prostate). Proscar, a 5 mg version of Finasteride, is still widely prescribed today for treatment of prostate hypertrophy.
Proscar users found that the hair in their crown and bridge areas of their scalps was getting thicker, and they weren’t losing hair at the same rate they once were. Propecia, in essence, is a 1 mg version of Proscar. At 1 mg, it benefits the crown and bridge and does very little (if anything) for the prostate.
Propecia is a DHT-inhibitor. It can actually slow or halt the conversion of testosterone into di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Since DHT is known to be the primary cause of male-pattern baldness, stopping the conversion of DHT allows genetically susceptible hair follicles to remain intact, and in some cases increase in size. When hair follicles increase in size, the resulting hairs get thicker as well.
Propecia’s compliance is quite simple, just one pill a day, every day. The pill can be taken on an empty stomach without irritation. Side-effects are minimal and can include a reduced desire for sex (1% chance) and possible breast enlargement (less than a .25% chance). There are also new studies that show Finasteride 1mg daily can reduce the risk of low grade prostate cancers and possibly increase the risks of high grade prostate cancers.
Regenix, located in the Cedars Sinai Medical Office Towers in Los Angeles, is the culmination of over 25 years of research into the well publicized problem of hair loss. The focus at Regenix is early detection and elimination of certain conditions that may lead to thinning hair. Hair loss specialists at the Regenix Hair Research Clinic utilize the latest in analysis technology to identify the nature and severity of a problem. From that, a system of naturally derived liquid bio-pharmaceuticals and hygiene products can be created to save and enhance an individual’s existing hair.
The first step to discovering if Regenix is right for you is to have the in-depth hair and scalp micro-analysis performed. This may be done either in-person or through the mail. If you have additional questions or you would like to schedule an appointment for a micro-analysis in-person please contact the Clinic at 1-800-REGENIX.
Furthermore, unlike Propecia and Rogaine, the Regenix System of treatments are 100% drug-free. There is absolutely no risk of harmful or sexual side effects when using Regenix. Additionally, once an individual achieves his or her desired results with Regenix, simple maintenance will sustain the benefits. Where as with the drug based treatments daily, even twice daily use forever is required. If you desire an all-natural, personalized system to stop your hair loss then Regenix is quite possibly the solution for you.
LOW LIGHT LASER THERAPY
The concept is relatively simple. Low light lasers are known to increase blood flow to underlying tissue and can stimulate natural processes beneath the skin. Lasers are used in a variety of medical specialties with great success.
If lasers are effective in stimulating blood flow to hair follicles and accelerating the hormonal process of hair regrowth (getting hairs out of their “resting phase” more quickly), what users should be able to realize is slightly thicker hair and possibly more hair on the scalp at any given time.
SURGICAL HAIR TRANSPLANTATION
The fastest growing cosmetic surgery today for both men and women is Surgical Hair Transplantation. And hair loss sufferers aren’t waiting until they experience extensive loss before having a surgical procedure anymore. More and more young men and women are considering the surgical solution as their preventative measure, their replacement measure, their only hair restoration measure.
There are currently a few surgical procedures available. The “strip harvest method” hair transplant procedure is the most commonly used, provides the best results, yields the greatest number of grafts, and is virtually undetectable in the donor area.. “Follicular unit extraction” is getting a lot of marketing hype these days, and for a certain type of patient it can be right, but it is important to know all the benefits and drawbacks prior to deciding to undergo FUE.
The Donor Strip Method
This is where a surgeon removes a section of hair-bearing skin from the back of the head, right around the base of the skull. These hairs are genetically different than those on the top and front of the scalp, destined to last a lifetime. The removal area is sutured together, leaving a very thin, almost undetectable scar blended into the hair in the back of the head. There’s no thinning, baldness and unless one shaves the back of the scalp, the donor scar is undetectable. All of the follicular units (which grow naturally in 1, 2, 3, and even some 4 hair units) are dissected under microscopes and placed in cool saline solution. Small incisions are made in the areas of thinning and loss, then one-by-one, each of the follicular units is implanted… in essence relocated. A trained, experienced and skilled surgeon can maximize density (implanting as many hairs per square inch as physiologically possible) and mirror a natural hair growth pattern. Single-hair follicular units are placed along the hair line in a perfectly natural , uneven line. All of the remaining follicular units are randomly scattered throughout the areas of need. The result is natural and permanent.
The Follicular Unit Extraction Technique
Tollicular Unit Extraction otherwise known as FUE is a process where each follicle is removed individually with a special drill that has bits ranging from .8 to 1mm. We use a special tool called the SAFE system. It is the same device that is found in the new robotic FUE. The safe system uses a blunt tip for the drill bit thus minimizing the transection rate of the follicles extracted. The benefits of FUE are that a person does not have a linear scar and thus can cut their hair very short. The disadvantages are that only about 1500 follicles can be transplanted in a single day, it is much more labor intensive, thus about 50% more expensive than the strip harvest procedure. Also it requires the patient to shave their entire head, as opposed to the strip harvest procedure which does not require this and allows the patient to conceal the strip immediately by combing the hair over it. Some people claim that FUE is scarless. This is incorrect as it actually causes micro scars over a much larger region. The survival rate of the grafts in FUE is typically around 85%-90% as opposed to 90%-95% survival rate in the strip harvest procedure.