Hair loss has been always a painful issue for men and women. This often causes loss of self-confidence and the appearance of complexes. People start looking for alopecia treatment options and trying all possible methods, often not safe. Nowadays there are several options widely used to treat baldness — FDA-approved drugs Minoxidil and Finasteride, hair transplant operation.
Each of these methods has own indications, and only a specialist can decide what option is the best in your case.
Below you can find info on the most common options applied to treat alopecia.
Finasteride is a hormonal drug used to treat androgenic alopecia in men. It counteracts transformation testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (leads to hair loss on the head; other parts of the body are not usually affected) eliminating the root of miniaturization of hair follicles. The result of treatment with Finasteride is temporary and appears once the drug is taken off. While taking the medication, such side effects as loss of libido, fertility disorders, depression, etc. can occur. As soon as you cancel the therapy, these side effects disappear.
Minoxidil has a similar mechanism of action. It is a chemical substance with vasodilator properties. This drug stimulates the blood circulation in the vessels that affects hair follicles (the hair roots) and activates their growth. Minoxidil is put on the skin of the head. A patient can observe the positive result in 26-52 weeks after the beginning of the treatment — a visible growth of new hairs on the top area, and less visible on the forehead. Minoxidil can cause some side effects but they occur quite rare (the most common are inflammation, stitching, and facial hair in women). Mention should be made that when the medication is taken off, the hair returns to the previous statement in 4-6 months. So, it is necessary to make specific tests to estimate the treatment progress. This allows reducing or increasing Minoxidil dose to maintain the result.
Hair transplantation is an operation that helps to forget about baldness. The main advantage of the procedure is a longtime result and almost absence of side effects (bleeding, stitching, inflammation may take place but disappear fast). A patient does not need to take any drugs that can influence libido or the overall quality of life.
The process of a hair transplant procedure is the following: a patient is sedated, then a doctor extracts follicles from the donor area forming grafts (a bunch of 3-4 follicles) and these grafts are placed into hairless area. The procedure can take up to 8 hours. The final result is observed in 9-12 months.
Some people think that a hair transplant is a quite expensive procedure. And there is a measure of truth — for instance, a hair transplant in the USA costs approx. $12,000-$15,000. While hair transplant clinics in Turkey offer the procedure much cheaper. The cost of hair transplant in Turkey is $1,500-$2,500, and the quality of the operation complies with the international standards (in the case, a patient chooses an experienced doctor and reputable medical center). So, besides the effectiveness and safety of a hair transplant, it is also affordable if you will look for the option outside your place of living.
Baldness can become a real esthetic and even health problem for many people. And it is important to find the most appropriate way to overcome the issue. All the decisions regarding the hair loss treatment must be discussed only with a doctor. It is dangerous to self-medicate. Together with a specialist, you will consider all the pros and cons of drug therapy and a hair transplant.