If you are a male, then hair loss most probably has nothing to do with your lifestyle and everything to do with nature. Medical breakthroughs over a number of decades are making what is unavoidable for the majority of men, completely reversible.As with anything medical, success rates are not always guaranteed – and where surgical options are considered, personal factors and your choice of Doctor are major considerations.
Baldness in men is almost always hereditary and the thinning is gradual, often starting from the top of the head. The treatments for your baldness range from using medications to hair transplants and it’s your choice which one will suit your lifestyle and pocket best.
What treatment options are available?
The options vary and include either medications or therapies.
Your Doctor should advise you on the following: The two most common medications usually used are Minoxidil (“Rogaine”) and Finasteride, each one offering different types of balding pattern solutions. Here is what the FDA says about Minoxidil (approved) and Finasteride, also approved.
Originally developed in the 1950s to treat high blood pressure, Minoxidil had an unwanted side effect; excessive hair growth where it was not wanted. The product was reworked and re-launched as a lotion in the late 1980s.
The action of the lotion appears to widen the hair follicle, causing a thicker strand of hair to grow from it. It also appears to prolong the cycle of growth, resulting in longer hair and an increased number of hair strands.
Available as an over-the-counter treatment and without a prescription, Minoxidil is TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved and its price varies depending on the brand chosen. If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, or for anything else, first get the advice of a pharmacist before using.
If your male pattern baldness is at the crown and middle of your scalp, then Finasteride will most like be prescribed if you approach your doctor for help. You can only by the medication with a prescription and you will be warned that only adult men can use it and to keep away from children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Men who start to use Finasteride when the first signs of hair loss appear seem to put a stop to going bald and have no interactions if they are taking other medications.
Finasteride decreases DHT, a hormone that minimizes the size of the hair follicle in the scalp. Decreasing the hormone level often leads to an increase in hair re-growth and hair loss seems to slow down. The drug was initially created to fight prostate cancer. It appears to decrease the chances of you getting prostate cancer in the future, but unfortunately, does not seem to increase the lifespan of its users.
However, there is a small risk that men on Finasteride will suffer from reduced libido and other sexual problems, but these can be managed by an experienced physician.
Surgical Treatments, including FUE
As far back as 1990, robotic FUE has been researched according to Bernstein Medical, thus FUE is nothing new in the US. However other countries have successfully challenged US physicians on cost. Medical treatments are great for hair loss at its initial stages, but if the problem has been there for a while, or you don’t want to constantly be taking medications, there are two options that involve surgery.
Hair Transplant Surgery
This is a cosmetic procedure, with much advancement in the last few years, that entails surgery and doctors use various techniques that offer excellent, natural-looking results.
Hair-bearing skin is grafted from other parts of the scalp and grafted into areas where there balding or thinning. Besides being expensive this treatment will leave a linear scar at the back of your head and you will have to wear your hair longer.
FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction
This has become the preferred medical procedure of late because it leaves minimal scarring. The donor tissue is extracted with a method that consists of multiple grafts that are minuscule in size. When these grafts heal the wound contracts and it is totally invisible. The techniques that surgeons use will vary and these grafts can even be dissected into single hair follicles, and then implanted to carefully form a natural appearance re-creating the previous hairline.
FUE is most successful if you still have enough donor hair for the transplant because hair from other areas of the body tends to not have the same results. Artificial hair transplants are an option, but even though they are TGA approved, they don’t offer a natural appearance since they will never grow or go grey. This
FUE may seem expensive when initially comparing to the other treatments, but once completed, you will be saving a lot of money and effort from the long-term use of medications.
Examples of highly qualified Doctors abroad who perform specialist FUE treatments for far less than what you’d pay in London and New York:
Dr. Serkan Aygin in Turkey: Based on hundreds of online reviews, it seems that he has built up a phenomenal reputation in the areas of FUE transplants, beard transplants and a complete packaged experience including luxury transportation, translators, hotels and after care. Personal touch and years of expertise by one of the most experienced Doctors in the country is typically what people opt for here.
Vera Clinic in Turkey:This clinic seems to be less focused on a specific Doctor and his reputation and more geared towards being a “medical brand”. Still, it also seems to be a busy clinic.
Wimpole Clinic London: Also plenty of good reviews online, but most probably a lot more expensive than Turkey, Mexico and other locations.
Alvi Armani: Beverley Hills, suggested by Google, but not much detail as to why.
Vinci hair transplant US: Another clinic that is big on internet marketing with lots of online information.
What alternatives are there to FUE?
Many – but probably not many good ones! Human lace wigs from China & India are taking over in the west… but there is serious concern about toxic glues – and countries like Greece, France and the US are taxing the heck out of China – doubling the price on something that needs to be repeated at least 8 times per year. This is both costly and less natural looking.Until new medical research tips a better option, it seems that FUE is the most popular.
Don’t panic if you haven’t decided which treatment is best for you yet. However, if you don’t plan to embrace your baldness, then seeking treatment sooner will help save you more money and your hair in the long run.