Anyone who is suffering from hair loss has a variety of options. There’s medications, transfers and more. Each individual’s unique situation will dictate which option is the best for him. Let’s take a look at the best available options for dealing with baldness.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular unit extraction, commonly called follicular transfer, is a popular baldness prevention method. It involves the extraction of follicles from the individual’s donor area and transplanting them to bald sections of the scalp. The strip harvesting method of FUE involves removing a small strip of skin from a body site and separating each individual follicle. Once the follicles are retrieved, they serve as the foundation for the follicular unit transplantation. Follicles can be taken from sites away from the head like the arms, legs, chest, back, abs and beard.
Rogaine, commonly called Minoxidil, is the only baldness medication that is approved by the Federal Drug Administration aside from Propecia (Finasteride). Individuals suffering from baldness apply Rogaine right onto the scalp’s section that is losing hair. All it takes is a dab and a thorough rubbing into the affected sites. Rogaine stops hair loss and actually stimulates hair growth.
Propecia, also referred to as Finasteride, is FDA approved but it must be prescribed by a physician. It is quite effective at treating hair loss if the patient takes it on a regular basis without missing a dose. Patients who skip a day or two of Propecia tend to have poor results.
Various forms of grafting allow for the reduction of baldness. Types include slit grafting, micro grafting, strip grafting, punch grafting and mini grafting. Punch grafting uses 10-15 hairs in a graft, micro grafting uses 1-2 and strip grafting utilizes 30-40. A patient will have to have meet with his doctor to determine which grafting method is right for him. Grafting procedures must be performed by a dermatological surgeon. It involves an anesthetic that is applied through an injection into the scalp. Or, patients can opt for sedation in order to remain pain free during the procedure.
Scalp reductions are another means of transplanting hair. This requires the removal of a section of the scalp that doesn’t have hair and the stretching of skin with hair. The goal is to stretch the skin all the way over the bald sections of the scalp. Scalp reductions are successful in reducing bald spots on the back and top parts of the head. The procedure requires a local anesthetic and stitches to secure the stretched skin in place. There is a bit of pain involved in a scalp reduction in the form of a tight feeling on the scalp and occasional headaches.
Other Baldness Treatment Options
Contact Immunotherapy provokes an allergic reaction of the scalp to spur hair growth. Psoralen is a medicine that is used along with ultraviolet A light. Together, they form what is known as PUVA therapy. The goal is to heighten the scalp’s sensitivity so that hair growth is stimulated when the scalp is exposed to ultraviolet light.