Hair loss has a variety of causes, from environmental to health-related, meaning it can affect people at any age. Noticeable changes in hair volume, texture, and overall condition can be distressing and contribute to a variety of mental health issues, from a lack of self-confidence to increased depression and anxiety. While identifying the cause is essential, it’s also important to understand which treatments may be effective for you. Below are some hair loss treatments that can benefit your hair recovery journey.
How to Address Hair Loss
This prescription medication helps to regrow hair by reducing hormones that can cause hair loss. This medication is particularly effective for women who are experiencing female pattern hair loss, especially when it begins before menopause. Spironolactone helps to block the production of testosterone and other androgens in the body, as these hormones can be leading causes of hair loss in women.
Spironolactone can take up to 6 months of use before showing effects, but it’s worth the wait—this treatment has been proven to reduce hair shedding and support healthy regrowth. The medication is well-tolerated by most users but can have some mild side effects, including dizziness and breast tenderness.
Finasteride is an FDA-approved prescription primarily geared towards men. The medication blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT, an androgen that supports what are considered male-traits in the body–including body hair growth. While the drug is generally safe for pre-menopausal women to use, many providers only prescribe it to men because the ingredients can present risks during pregnancy.
Unlike spironolactone, which suppresses testosterone, finasteride only blocks the conversion to DHT. It has been found to work successfully for both male pattern baldness and for restarting hair growth in receding hairlines. Finasteride is well-tolerated but potential side effects can include a decrease in sex drive and an increased risk of prostate cancer. Because of this, it is important to discuss any side effects with your provider.
The medication can take 3 to 4 months before producing visible results, with full results likely in 6 to 9 months. Finasteride accumulates over time, so it needs to be taken consistently to maintain outcomes.
A relatively recent breakthrough for combatting hair loss is the use of platelet-rich plasma injections, which help trigger cell turnover and reproduction. Previously used to help treat joints, this treatment shows promising results when injected into the scalp to promote hair regrowth after hormone-related hair loss.
The treatment begins with a blood sample that is run through a centrifuge to help separate out the platelets. The resulting plasma is then injected directly into the scalp. In addition to the growth factors from the platelets, the injection also helps to stimulate blood flow for a healthier scalp. Results can be expected 3 to 4 months after the treatment, but benefits will continue for up to 6 to 9 months from injection.
While PRP injections are safe, there may be some minor side effects, including soreness and swelling at the treatment site for up to 14 days post-procedure.
Hair loss can be scary when you aren’t sure of the options for regrowing lost hair and reducing future shedding. Luckily, modern medicine and aesthetics have provided a few innovative options that help address the cause and visible symptoms. Finding the right approach is the first step on your hair regrowth journey. Consulting a reliable provider will help you identify the root cause of the problem and guide you towards the right solution for your unique needs.