Pharmacological treatment

Minoxidil: a topical drug treatment (Regaine), manufactured by Pharmacia & Upjohn is sold over the counter and saves hair follicles from shrinking by tackling the testosterone and encourages the regrowth of fine hair. Must be applied twice daily for best results which may begin to show after four months or so. The major disadvantage is that you commit yourself to it for life because if you stop, any saved or regrown hair may fall out.

Propecia: recently approved in the UK for the treatment and restoration of hair loss. It was originally used for the treatment of prostatic enlargement at a dose of 5mg daily, however studies showed that a 1mg dose was effective for hair loss.
It is taken as a daily tablet by men of any age and results have been astounding.".

Surgical Treatment

If you would rather avoid drug treatment, or the results are poor, then you may wish to consider surgical treatment.

There are three main types of surgery which are as follows;

Hair transplants: This process of grafting involves the removal of small portions of hair-bearing scalp from the sides or back of the head and relocates them about 1/8th inch apart from each other, to the bald or thinning areas. The process will require several surgical sessions and you may have to wear a pressure bandage for a couple of days each time and the whole process can take two years to complete. It is expensive .

Flap surgery: This procedure covers large areas of baldness quickly and involves cutting out a section of bald scalp and lifting off a flap of hair bearing skin still attached at one end. The flap is moved into position and sewn into place whilst still connected to the original blood supply. It is also (very) expensive.

Scalp reduction: Best for covering bald areas at the back and crown. The procedure involves pulling sections of hair bearing scalp forward to fill in a bald crown. Usually combined with grafts or flaps. The process is invariably painful due to the tugging and pulling, and several (expensive) sessions will be necessary.

Alternative Remedies

If you don't like the idea of surgery, and many of us don't, (me included) there are other alternatives.

Hair weaves: Made by weaving or braiding human and/or synthetic hair into your existing hair. Difficult to keep hair and scalp clean, a tendency to cause further hair loss and must be repositioned every six weeks or so as natural hair grows. Can be expensive.

Toupees: Made from human or synthetic hair and kept in place with adhesive or clips. Good ones - made with human hair are expensive and need replacing periodically. Cheap or poor quality ones are easy to spot and look terrible. Avoid high winds!

Wigs: Made from human or synthetic hair. Provide more complete coverage but can be expensive. Again, avoid high winds.

A major disadvantage with all of the last three remedies is that the hair is not real growing hair. You know it and sooner or later your friends will know it too. Your family knows already so you won't fool anyone for long.


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