The first step in choosing the best hair loss remedy is determining the cause. Armed with this knowledge, individuals are less likely to waste money on things that will not work. Consumers must also decide how much money and time they are willing to spend on a hair loss remedy. There are several options available, and each option requires a different time and budget commitment. These include medication, hair replacements, and hair transplants.
Before choosing how to treat hair loss, finding the underlying cause is key. Some medications, for example, can cause hair loss. To remedy this situation, the medication can be stopped or may be changed to another one that will not cause hair loss. There are also diseases that cause hair loss, such as lupus and diabetes. If these conditions are managed and treated correctly, it could stop or lessen hair loss.
Male pattern baldness is a common cause of hair loss. It is identified by a receding hairline along with a thinning of the crown that eventually forms a "U" shape. The medical term for this condition is androgenic alopecia. The cause of male pattern baldness is still mysterious, but doctors think that genetics and male hormones are partly responsible. Physicians diagnose this condition based on the pattern of hair loss.
The two medications most commonly used for hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp while finasteride is taken orally. Minoxidil can stop hair loss and in some cases, result in new hair growth. Finasteride acts in much the same way that minoxidil does, except it is thought to be the more effective of the two. Individuals who choose medication as a hair loss remedy should remember that once the medication is no longer taken, hair loss may return.
One alternative hair loss remedy is a hair transplant. This is a costly medical procedure performed by a doctor. It involves removing healthy growing hair from one part of the body and transplanting it into the empty follicles affected by hair loss. Those interested in a hair transplant should find a qualified physician with whom to consult to decide if this type of surgery is an option.
For those who do not want to take medication or have costly surgeries, there are still alternatives available. Hair loss can be concealed by artificial or human hair in the form of a toupee, wigs, or weaves. The type of hairpiece chosen depends on the pattern and extent of the baldness. For example male pattern baldness lends itself to the use of a toupee to cover only a certain part of the hair, while someone who has lost all of his hair would need a full wig.
There are also many all natural products that claim to be hair loss remedies. These include vitamins, supplements, and topical ointments. Consumers should beware of any hair loss remedy that is not independently studied or nationally regulated, however.