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Balding, thinning, hair

DRTracyChandler-PRP-DSC08104Hair loss can affect both men and women.  Because this is such a common problem with multiple causes and treatments, I’ll talk about this topic over the next two columns.  For men being bald can have a certain macho chic and confidence overshadows how much hair you have on your head. However, we all know first impressions count. A bald man, according to research, is generally labelled as older, less healthy and less sexually attractive than a similar man with a full head of hair. In the USA and UK few bald men have been elected to a major office (and none have made president) since the arrival of television. The US Vice President (Joe Biden) is open about having once had a hair transplant.

Hair loss in women is much more complicated than in men, with many possible causes. This is why a consultation with a doctor who specialises in this problem is essential.
The good news is that there has never been a better time to be losing your hair. Proven prescription treatments remain available. Skin needling now has solid clinical evidence behind it. Also new treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) have emerged as effective treatments.

If you’re not ready for a thin number one cut then your options are:

  1. Hair transplant ($5000-$15000). Rapid results (it takes six months for the transplanted hair to recover and grow) but a permanent scar at the back of your head which is visible if you shave your head. Maintenance procedures are necessary.
  2. Coverups and wig systems (up to $5200).
  3. Medical treatment. This is the only solution aimed at treating the actual hair loss.

Medical treatments

Studies show that a combination of medical treatments will at the very least slow down your hair loss. For greater than 90% of people hair loss stops and regrows. Regularly using a prescribed and organised treatment regime gives better results than using individual treatments sporadically. The amount of hair regrowth varies from person to person but studies have shown results in the range of 5% up to as much as 120% more hair.  However remember that even if you only get 5% hair growth this is better than losing hair, which is what happens if you do nothing.

Ageing related hair loss is a chronic condition and treatment is long term. There is no cure, only treatments to slow or stop hair loss, maintain hair and regrow hair. If you stop treatment you go back to losing your hair. Hair loss treatment is not like a course of antibiotics but more like being on a blood pressure tablet or like brushing your teeth every day. We shave, dye our hair, use sunscreen and go to the gym, so it’s not that big a deal to use hair loss treatment.

Treating hair loss involves three things:

  1. Stop doing all the things that are causing the hair loss, e.g. smoking, high sugar diet.
  2. Take specific treatment directed to the cause or causes of your hair loss.
  3. Use other measures known to improve your hair.

Finally, for The 14 top tips to slow, stop or reverse age related hair loss-stay tuned to next month’s column or make a consultation today with Dr Tracy Chandler.

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