Hair Transplants and Alternative Treatments

A healthy head of hair is always associated with youthfulness and good health. So when your mane begins to wane, it can be upsetting and, sometimes, even embarrassing. 

Several factors, including age, drugs, medical treatments like chemotherapy, and hairstyle choices, can cause hair loss. Still, most people will love to hold on to their hair for as long as possible. Luckily, there are some ways to help you do this.

Here are some methods for combating hair loss.

1. Hair Transplants

These are surgical procedures that are used to increase hair density. When conducted properly by experienced professionals, hair transplants give rise to new hair growth, and the results last a lifetime. 

There are two main techniques used to transplant hair:

  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
  • Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

FUE

In a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), a surgeon will take healthy hair follicles from the donor area (the area from ear to ear and the back of the head) and transplant them onto the thinning areas. 

This is done meticulously, as the hairs harvested must be extracted with their protective barriers intact so they thrive once transplanted. Extra care is also taken to ensure that hair follicles from the donor site are not over-harvested, which can create another problem. 

FUT

With a Follicular Unit Transplant, a surgeon cuts a strip of skin with healthy hairs from the safe zone. The hair follicles are then harvested from the strip and implanted on the thinning parts of the head. 

The surgeon then sutures the open wound where the strip was excised and bandages it to allow healing. 

After a transplant, you should enjoy fuller, denser hair after 12 to 18 months. 

2. Forehead Reduction Surgery

Another surgical treatment for hair loss is forehead reduction surgery. This surgery aims at shortening the distance between your eyebrows and hairline, concealing a receded hairline.

This is often limited to hair loss that’s prominently along the hairline. 

3. Minoxidil

If a transplant sounds too drastic for your liking, there are numerous other less invasive hair loss treatments. One of these is Minoxidil. 

Minoxidil offers a viable solution with good results for men going through androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, is a topical treatment applied twice daily on the scalp. 

This medication belongs to a class of medications known as vasodilators. Vasodilators work by widening blood vessels. This increases blood flow to the scalp, encouraging more nutrients to reach hair follicles. This increased nutrient availability nudged hair follicles to enter the growth phase of their cycle. 

Initially, Minoxidil was introduced as a blood pressure medication. Doctors then noticed hair growth in balding men as a side effect, and the medication gradually began being used for hair loss. The medication is also used to treat female pattern baldness, with one of its benefits being that it doesn’t interfere with hormones. 

Clinical trials have shown increases in hair growth and decreases in hair loss in people using the drug. However, it must be used precisely as prescribed-twice daily. Variations like thrice a week might be less effective. 

4. Dutasteride

Dutasteride is a tablet taken orally. Once ingested, it can block the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 

DHT is a male sex hormone that contributes to hair loss. For people genetically predisposed to baldness, DHT can bar your follicles from producing new hairs. This slowed growth, coupled with normal hair loss, leads to baldness.

Dutasteride works as a DHT blocker and offers an effective hair loss remedy. However, the drug does affect hormones, making it only ideal for male pattern hair loss. 

The drug takes up to three months to yield results, with patients reporting new growth, density, and thickness. 

However, the drug is known to cause low libido, ejaculation disorders, and erectile dysfunction as side effects. 

5. Low – Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

This is also known as Laser Regrowth Therapy and offers an alternative for people who don’t want to take pills or apply medicine topically every day. 

LLLT is a pain-free, safe, non-surgical light therapy, though patients require multiple sessions. You might need several weekly treatments for several months to begin seeing results.

Here, low-level light lasers are applied to the balding or thinning areas of the scalp. This stimulates activity in the hair follicle cells and increases blood flow to the hair follicles. 

This treatment is helpful in:

  • Hereditary hair loss
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Hair loss following chemotherapy
  • Stimulating hair growth and healing after a hair transplant

Each LLLT session takes roughly 25 minutes, and the treatment is non-hormonal, making it ideal for women undergoing the Ludwig female hair loss pattern. 

6. Vitamin Infusion Therapy

You probably have heard of vitamin infusions administered on the crease of the elbow. Vitamin infusion therapy for hair loss works similarly, with vitamins and minerals administered directly into the bloodstream through an intravenous drip. 

Why not take your oral vitamin supplements?

With vitamin supplements for hair growth, your body only absorbs about 10% of the nutrients available. With vitamin infusion therapy, you get 100% absorption. 

Vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss and balding in people;

  • With a restricted diet that disallows certain essential nutrients
  • Who have undergone stomach and bowel surgery
  • Who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa

A hair vitality IV therapy will likely contain Vitamin A, B9, B7,b3, C, E, B12, Zinc, iron, Magnesium, Calcium Gluconate, and Omega 3.

7. Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma injections are gaining popularity for a myriad of conditions, from hair loss to sports injuries. Part of this treatment’s safety is that it uses a patient’s blood cells and tissues. 

Treating hair loss with platelet-rich plasma therapy takes the following three stages:

  • Blood is drawn from your arm and put in a centrifuge 
  • In the centrifuge, the blood separates into platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma, and red blood cells
  • The platelet-rich plasma is put in a syringe and injected into the areas of your scalp that need hair growth stimulation 

One of the advantages of this therapy is that compared to a transplant, the procedure is shorter (10-20 minutes), and there is no downtime. However, you need a couple of treatments. Most patients have their second treatment after three months and every 3 to 6 months afterward. 

While platelets are mostly known for their clotting capabilities, they also contain growth factors, decrease pain, speed up healing, and stimulate hair growth. 

8. Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp micro pigmentation is similar to microblading, only on a larger scale. Microblading is the cosmetic procedure used to shade eyebrows to make them look thicker and fuller. 

Scalp micro pigmentation uses the same concept by creating the look of a shadow on your scalp using an electric tattoo device. 

Sometimes, hair transplants can be contraindicated for alopecia areata patients. For these patients, scalp micro pigmentation can help disguise the patches of missing hair. The procedure is also used after hair transplants to create the illusion of fuller hair as the transplanted hair grows and fills in the thinning spots. 

While the procedure sounds simple enough, ensure it’s done by a professional with several years of experience in scalp micro pigmentation. This will help you avoid some of the common micro pigmentation pitfalls like:

  • Ending up with blotchy droplets caused by inserting the needle too deep into the scalp
  • The bluish tattoo hue caused by picking the wrong pigment color
  • An odd, unnatural hairline
  • A pattern that’s too structured and grid-like

9. Scalp Botox Injections

Over the years, researchers have established that increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles can aid hair growth. 

Scalp Botox injections are founded on this premise, where Botox designed for hair growth is injected into the scalp’s intramuscular plane. Once this happens, the muscles on the scalp relax, which triggers an increase in blood flow. 

Increased blood flow means more nutrients to the hair follicles, which helps stimulate hair growth.

Scalp Botox injections can be used as a stand-alone treatment or combined with Minoxidil or vitamin infusion therapy. 

10. Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a procedure that uses microinjections to treat hair loss. These microinjections are filled with active ingredients, which are injected into the middle layer of the skin, known as mesoderm. 

This injection stimulates the mesoderm, which in turn stimulates hair follicles. This slows down hair loss and encourages the growth of more robust and healthier hair. 

Unlike results from a transplant, mesotherapy treatments do not offer permanent results. So, like Botox treatments, they work best if you schedule to have them done a couple of times a year. 

11. Natural Home Remedies to Hair Transplants

For some people, surgery and medical hair loss treatments are not ideal for several reasons. If this is the case, all is not lost, as you can try some viable natural remedies. 

Here is a compilation of some of the more effective ones. 

Rosemary oil

While there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of rosemary oil for hair growth, it’s unlikely to work if you have severe hair loss. 

This remedy works great for hair that is thinning or isn’t growing at all. 

You must apply the oil topically consistently for about six months to begin seeing results. 

Caffeine hair loss treatments

Caffeine stimulates hair growth, but not by downing copious amounts of the yummy beverage. If you are looking to trigger hair growth, the most effective way to use caffeine is through topical application. 

Why caffeine works has been explained in various ways. Some studies have shown that caffeine counters the adverse effects of testosterone in causing androgenetic alopecia. If you want to try out a more affordable alternative to a hair transplant, begin with caffeine-based hair shampoo and caffeine-based hair products. 

Increase protein intake

Protein is vital in hair growth as it supports Keratin- a unique protein that increases hair strength, elasticity, and flexibility. 

Increasing your protein intake can help boost Keratin and, in turn, boost hair growth. So shop for more eggs, avocados, dairy, seeds, meats, fish, beans, nuts, and other protein-rich foods.

Coconut

Coconuts are rich in fatty acids known as lauric acids. These penetrate the hair shaft and protect hair from protein loss. You can use coconut-based shampoos. Similarly, you can apply coconut and massage it in your hair from roots to ends and scalp before leaving it on overnight. 

Researchers have discovered that coconut oil in the scalp boosts the scalp’s microbiome and strengthens hair follicles. 

However, note that coconut won’t deliver results to everyone, and when it does, it takes a lot of patience and consistency.

Onion juice

This requires some determination, as the smell of raw onions repels most people. But hey, it’s worth a shot. 

Here, you would need to blend or crush some onions and separate the juice from the pulp for application to the scalp. This remedy promotes hair growth and even soothes alopecia areata patches. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss throughout the body. 

Another thing onion juice does is to improve circulation. Increased circulation means more nutrients to hair follicles, which supports hair growth. Onion juice also improves keratinocyte growth factor, a key mediator in hair follicle development. 

Lifestyle changes

Many lifestyle choices and habits that are bad for your health will be bad for hair growth. A poor diet, too much alcohol intake, heavy smoking, not hydrating, lack of exercise, and drugs all affect your health and, by extension, your hair health. 

Reversing the above will keep you in optimal health, keep your hair healthy, and prevent some types of hair loss. 

Which Method Works Best?

These methods will work well on some and not others. This is dependent on the extent of hair loss and the causes. Other people want their hair to have grown by a particular time, say right before their wedding, and need more guaranteed results.

Our advice is to start by understanding each method well and then go from there. We at the Philadelphia Hair Restoration are always happy to answer your questions about hair transplants and scalp micro pigmentation. If this sounds helpful, book a free consultation, and let us figure it out together.

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