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6 Hair-Loss Solutions for Thicker, Fuller Hair

6 Hair-Loss Solutions for Thicker, Fuller Hair featured image
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While most people experiencing hair loss don’t want to bring attention to the issue, talking about it is the only way to learn about potential solutions. There’s a wide range of ways to combat hair loss, from topical products to surgical treatments.

“Hair loss can be a challenging condition to treat for both men and women, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are different types of hair loss caused by various reasons such as medical conditions, medications, hormonal changes, and life events,” Charlotte, NC dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD and Rachel Yang, NP say. “Therefore, it is imperative to have a comprehensive assessment and evaluation by a board-certified dermatologist in order to have a management plan specifically for you to get the most effective results.” Before you head to a doctor, learn about your options.

Supplements

The simplest solution for improving hair growth, and where many people start their journey, is via supplementation. Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey Wise, MD suggests supplements that are specifically formulated for hair. He recommends Viviscal Professional  ($120) and Nutrafol ($79-$141 a month). 

Nutrafol is one of the most popular doctor-recommended supplements for hair loss. Washington, D.C. dermatologist Tina Alster, MD, Dr. Munavalli and Yang also suggest giving the brand a try. “The supplements for women are targeted for common hormonal changes in women’s lives leading to hair loss including postpartum and post-menopausal as well as a general supplement for women,” explain Dr. Munavalli and Yang. “Nutrafol also has a combination supplement and topical available for men. The topical solution contains a plant-based exosome to help stimulate cell renewal.” He adds that results from daily use can be expected within three to six months.”

Prescription medications

Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Brian V. Heil, MD explains that although the “pathophysiology of androgenic alopecia is quite complicated, with numerous different pathways leading to shorter hair cycles and miniaturization, the main causative agent is believed to be a naturally formed bodily compound known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).” Many prescription solutions for hair loss focus on suppressing DHT production. One such medication is Propecia (finasteride).

“Finasteride may prevent further hair loss but can only partially reverse balding,” says Dr. Heil. It’s only FDA-approved for men due to pregnancy warnings. However, it can be used “off label” in most post-menopausal women, he notes. The medication “must be used indefinitely to maintain a response,” according to Dr. Heil. “Adverse side effects including sexual dysfunction (decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction) are uncommon and most often resolve without discontinuing treatment. Side effects occur in less than one percent of men taking the medication.”

Dr. Wise says Dutasteride is also commonly prescribed. He claims that both of these medications “are taken once a day and do an extremely effective job at maintaining the existing hair and significantly slowing down hair loss and slightly improving hair density.”

Laser therapy

Dr. Munavalli and Yang explain that “there are in-office noninvasive treatments that utilize lasers to maximize the absorption of topical solutions into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.” One laser is the LaseMD Ultra + KeraLase which employs a non-ablative thulium laser and serums that contain growth factors and skin proteins. “The LaseMD Ultra laser creates superficial, tiny channels into the scalp for better penetration of the KeraLase serum. This treatment has no downtime, has minimal discomfort and is a series of six treatments every two weeks.”

Dr. Wise uses products like the LaserCap, “which uses diode lasers to stimulate blood supply to follicles.” Patients are instructed to use the light therapy every other day for approximately half an hour. “Treatments have been proven to further stop hair loss in addition to strengthening existing hair.”

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Dr. Alster calls platelet-rich plasma (PRP) scalp injections the “MiracleGro for hair.” Dr. Wise explains that “During this procedure, we spin the patient’s blood in a centrifuge to extract platelets that contain growth factors. Their PRP is then injected into their scalp, stimulating hair growth and keeping follicles viable, thus slowing down hair loss.”

The growth factors “act on various cellular receptors to stimulate cellular growth and differentiation as well as new blood vessel formation in the scalp, effectively reversing the miniaturization process,” explains Dr. Heil. The procedure is generally performed in an initial series of three treatments one month apart and is followed by a single maintenance treatment annually. He notes that “Results may vary, but those who do respond can expect an improvement in hair quality, texture, pigmentation, scalp coverage and a decrease in shedding.”

It’s essential for experts to ensure the patient is a candidate for PRP before performing the treatment. “Those with severe hair loss should consider other options. Once hair miniaturization reaches its end stage, growth factor treatments derived from PRP are typically not sufficient to correct balding,” says Dr. Heil. Although it is not currently an FDA-approved treatment option for hair loss, it’s becoming very popular.

Follicular unit extraction

Colloquially referred to as a hair transplant, follicular unit extraction (FUE) is the most drastic treatment option for hair loss. “This hair transplant procedure is ideal because it doesn’t require any linear scars with stitches. Another reason it’s an optimal treatment is the downtime is fairly minimal,” says Dr. Wise. He recommends patients spend at least one week avoiding public settings to keep recovery more private.

“During this procedure, we take each follicular unit out, one at a time, and then transplant it to the recipient area. In my practice, we use the smallest punch available (a 0.6 millimeter tool), which allows the most minimal amount of trauma to the donor area and promotes rapid healing,” says Dr. Wise. “The results for this procedure are fantastic. Patients typically see significant growth within three to six months. The final result of an FUE procedure is usually seen at one year.”

Dr. Heil cites using NeoGraft Automated and ARTAS robotic FUE to achieve permanent hair restoration. This is the future of combating hair loss. “Antiquated techniques of strip method/follicular unit transplant hair restoration have become a thing of the past, eliminating the stigma of bald donor scars, less natural (doll’s hair) grafts, and prolonged painful recovery,” he says. “With these cutting-edge technologies, hair loss has become a choice rather than a destiny.”

Topical products

Topical products can also be effective in slowing hair loss, especially when used in tandem with an oral product.

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Minoxidil

Dr. Heil suggests Minoxidil, which is used to treat hair loss, but like finasteride, it can only partially reverse balding. “Minoxidil is available in two percent and 5 percent topical solutions and is to be applied to the scalp twice daily,” advises Dr. Heil. “Cosmetically acceptable hair growth is seen in about one-third of cases.”

Dr. Heil warns that temporary shedding may occur within the first two to eight weeks. Other side effects include itchy scalp, dandruff and redness. He notes that foam formulations without propylene glycol may result in fewer side effects. “Maximal response to minoxidil is seen in the first six months of treatment. Regression of results occurs after three months of stopping minoxidil,” says Dr. Heil. “Minoxidil must be used continually to maintain a response.”

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Nioxin Diamax Advanced Xtrafusion Treatment ($45)

One of our editors replaced her other hair oil and styling creams with this one thickening product and noticed a difference in the thickness of her hair and how style holds. The formula features caffeine, niacinamide and other active ingredients that instantly thicken thinning hair at the root and reduce breakage.

BUY NOW – $45

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Virtue Labs Flourish Density Booster ($50)

Jennifer Garner shared that this density booster is her “secret to thinning hair.” Celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel says it’s “the biggest hair innovation for thinning hair in years and years.” It’s clinically proven to boost density, but it’s also “drug-free, so it’s not going to dry out your scalp,” explains Abergel. “Your hair is going to stay healthy, and you’re creating a beautiful, fertile environment for your scalp.”

BUY NOW – $50

Virtue Density Booster
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Nulastin HAIR Vibrant Scalp Treatment ($129)

This treatment, powered by peptides and proteins, supports each stage of hair growth and helps anchor hair follicles at the root to reduce hair loss. Nulastin promises results in as soon as six weeks, with double the results in 12 weeks.

BUY NOW – $129

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DefenAge 150K Hair Follicle Serum ($197)

This previous NewBeauty Award winner enlists the brand’s patented, regenerative Defensins and over 40 other ingredients to promote less shedding and optimal hair growth.

BUY NOW – $197

Award Photo: 150K Hair Follicle Serum
Award Photo: 150K Hair Follicle Serum
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Harklinikken Hair Gain Extract ($88)

Ricki Lake has been candid about her experience with alopecia over the last few years, noting that Harlinikikken products are the only thing that has helped her hair grow back. After shaving her head and leaning into her hair loss, she never thought it would come back, but with Harklinikken, she’s now happy to have a full head of hair.

Lake has been using the extract for over 50 months now. “I use it every day; I do it exactly the way they tell me to do it. I put it on at night before bed, and I use their hair mask and their shampoo. I just want to follow whatever they tell me to do because it’s working.”

BUY NOW – $88

Harklinikken Hair Gain Extract
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Skin Medicinals

Dr. Munavalli and Yang advocate for Skin Medicinals‘ “digital-based compounding pharmacy that delivers cost-effective medications directly to you.” The HAIRSTIM line features topical solutions for both men and women. “Although available only by prescription, this allows your dermatologist to create a personalized topical solution specific to your needs.”

Getty Images / Image Used for Illustrative Purposes Only
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Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Shampoo ($48)

This vegan formula, beloved and backed by Nicole Kidman, helps fortify strands, making them appear thicker and fuller and reduces shedding for all-around hair loss support.

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Vegamour Shampoo
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Inala Power Potion ($55)

This star-powered potion was conceptualized by LaLa Anthony with thinning or balding hair in mind, especially at the edges as a result of tight ponytails, weaves, braids and other looks. She says using it helps reignite people’s confidence. “You’re giving people their self-esteem back, and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s more than just hair care.”

BUY NOW – $55

Award Photo: Power Potion
Award Photo: Power Potion

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