We don’t talk about it that much but hair loss impacts the lives of about 80 million Americans. And that’s not just men—one in four women suffer from hair loss too. To help start a conversation on this prevalent condition, August has been designated National Hair Loss Awareness Month.
While we’re on the subject, it’s important to remember that not all hair loss is the same. For some people, hair loss may cause gradual thinning and for others, hair loss may mean bald patches or baldness altogether. Luckily, there are safe and effective hair-loss treatments to get back a head of healthy hair.
Minoxidil: You may know this medication better by one of its branded names, like Rogaine. When applied to your scalp, it works overtime to stop hairs from getting thinner and to stimulate hair growth. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss, making it the only hair-growth product approved for both men and women. It can be used alone or in combination with other treatments recommended by your dermatologist.
Laser devices: Brushes, combs and other hand-held devices that emit laser light may stimulate hair growth. For some patients, these devices make hair look more youthful. Currently, the HairMax LaserComb ($295) is the only medical laser device cleared by the FDA for hair-growth promotion.
Prescription medicine: Finasteride (also known by brand names like Proscar and Propecia) is an FDA-approved medicine to treat men (only) with hair loss by stopping the body from making a male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), if your hair loss is caused by internal inflammation, a dermatologist may inject a medicine called corticosteroid into your scalp. Different from an anabolic steroid, a corticosteroid can help stop the inflammation that happens when a person has specific types of hair loss.
Surgery: There are also in-office hair-restoration procedures for those suffering from hair loss. A board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon will recommend a procedure based on the type of hair loss you are experiencing and the amount of hair you have lost.
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