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 Hair Care  Holistic-online.com

Hair Loss, Baldness

Conventional Treatments for Hair Loss

There are only two FDA approved remedies that can generate increased hair growth. One is Rogaine, or topical minoxidil, which is a shampoo available in a few strengths. The other drug is Propecia, which is a small dose of the prostate drug finasteride. But, they don't work for everyone, especially when there is actual baldness rather than thinning of hair.

Rogaine and Propecia share some crucial drawbacks. The biggest drawback is that if you stop taking them, you will start losing your hair again and the quality of the overall hair is poor. So, once started you will have to continue with this for the rest of your life or till you are ready to go out with a bald head! They are also very expensive. (A wig may be cheaper!) In addition, we do not know what using these drugs for an extended period of time will do to us in the short or long term.

Minoxidil is a blood-pressure-lowering medication that can, even in shampoo form, affect aspects of heart function. Researchers at the University of Toronto reported that rogaine may cause heart changes if used for long periods of time.

Propecia has been known to cause loss of libido and impotence. Finasteride interferes with the conversion of testosterone to another form of the hormone.

Complementary therapies do not have the side effects noted with these drugs.

Hormone therapy may be prescribed for certain types of hair loss. But it does possess some risk. Some doctors may try to speed recovery form alopecia areata with corticosteroids applied topically or injected in the scalp. The treatment can be painful. It may also cause permanent scarring in the scalp.

Cortisone taken orally may stimulate new hair growth. But the effect is likely to be temporary. Prednisone, another orally administered steroid, has proved effective in some cases of alopecia areata. Side effects include weight gain, metabolic abnormalities, acne, and menstrual problems.

Hormone therapy in the form of birth-control pills may reverse baldness due to hormonal imbalances in young women.

Hair transplantation is another technique used to combat baldness. This involves the relocation of plugs of skin from parts of the scalp containing active hair follicles to bald areas. Several hundred plugs may be needed to be implanted at the rate of about 10 to 60 at a session. The transplanted hair may drop out, but new hair usually begins to grow from the transplanted follicles within several months. The process is painful and expensive, and it does nothing to retard genetic or age-related hair loss.

Scalp reduction is a form of cosmetic surgery that involves tightening the scalp so that hair- bearing skin from the back and sides of the head is pulled toward the crown. Hair may then be transplanted to the remaining bald area at the top of the head. The process is painful and expensive. It does nothing to retard genetic or age-related hair loss.

Related Topics:

Cortisone Injection May be Beneficial for Alopecia Areata

Common Sense Recommendations

Alternative and Complementary Medicine for Hair Loss/Baldness

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