Which Hair Loss Treatment is Best For Me?
Which Hair Loss Treatment Is Best For Me?
When a person is losing hair it can be extremely distressing. Apart from the common feeling of losing self-confidence and beginning to look that bit older, they also have to deal with the added stress of deciding which hair loss treatment is best for them.
The internet is bombarded with an endless number of hair loss treatments and clinics all promising you incredible results. Seeing this can overwhelm any person and deciding which treatment is best for them can be challenging. However if you were to break down all the available treatments they can be simplified into FIVE treatment options.
Below is a summary of each:
Option 1 – Medications/Growth Hair Loss Treatment Programs
Growth programs are often comprised of minoxidil (with a 5% – 7% concentration) and the prescription medication finasteride. Additional products such as herbal saw palmetto, vitamins, special company branded shampoos, thickening serums and low level laser treatment form part of “the Hair Loss Treatment package”.
Best Suited for: People in the earlier stages of hair loss who wish to stabilise existing shedding as well as thicken existing hair.
Summary: Treatment must be sustained long term in order to maintain any benefits. Any improvement in density is usually of a limited nature which is contrary to what patients are told during the consultation. Density improvements are most noticeable within the mid-scalp and crown regions. It is very effective in slowing or stopping existing hair loss.
A growth program/package at some hair loss clinics can cost $1500-$3500 per year. Some clinics make up their own lotions and potions and sell them to clients at a heavily marked up price. However, we recommend that it is most convenient and cost effective to purchase these at a chemist, which would only cost $150 to $500 per year and deliver similar results. This is because finasteride and minoxidil are responsible for 95% of the benefits.
Oral Finasteride and Minoxidil are available via prescription from out doctors or your local GP. Topical Minoxidil is available over the counter from most Chemists.
Option 2 – PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Hair Loss Treatment
In the last few years PRP has become a popular treatment hair loss. It comprises of taking out a portion of blood and after a series of steps injecting the portion of blood rich in growth factors back into the scalp. It takes an hour to perform and needs to be repeated 1-3 times per year to maintain the benefits.
Best Suited for: Early to moderate stage hair loss with a priority to stabilize and thicken existing hairs.
Summary: About 75% of the PRP patients at Newin Institute will notice their hair thicker at the 6 month mark after 1 PRP session. PRP is more effective at thickening the frontal hairline than is medication and appeals to those who prefer not to take tablets and lotions. Results begin to diminish after 11 months which is why at least 1 treatment per year is recommended. The way PRP is performed at different clinics varies considerably. Click here to understand more and why Newin Institute is the preferred choice for PRP for hair loss. Be aware that some clinics will recommend as many as 6-10 PRP sessions in a year which has been clinically proven to be excessive and totally unnecessary. Always be assessed by an expert hair loss doctor who is specialised in PRP for hair loss and not an unqualified salesman.
Option 3: Non-Surgical Hair Replacement (Wigs)
Hair pieces and wigs are sold as “units” or “membranes” and comprise of the clinic taking some of your hair to find a colour and diameter match and then making a wig using hairs that match your own. The hair piece is glued to a shaven area on the top of the person’s scalp giving them a thick and full head of hair.
Best suited for: Advanced stages of hair loss where very little to no hair remains who are not suitable for hair transplantation surgery.
Summary: The glued on hair piece creates a thick head of hair and when styled and maintained properly can look quite natural. They need to be refitted at the clinic every 2-3 weeks and the surrounding hair is trimmed (and dyed) at the same time to ensure it blends with the wig as naturally as possible. The frontal hairline tends to be hidden under a short fringe as the hair piece can be easily detectable if the hairline is brushed up. Each hair piece lasts for a given number of months because they thin through natural wear and tear. Non-surgical hair replacement comprises of investing in replacement hair pieces, 12-15 refits visits per year and maintenance products which works out to around $5000 annually. This is ongoing which makes wearing hair pieces the most expensive hair loss treatment offered over the long term.
Option 4: Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP)
SMP is a procedure which involves placing medical grade pigments (tiny tattoo spots) into bald or very thin areas. The pigment colour tones are matched to the colour of the surrounding hairs giving the illusion of either a thicker density within a thinning region or a “five o’clock” shadow in a totally bald region.
Best Suited for: Moderate or advanced stage hair loss. SMP is especially useful for those patients that have an excessively large bald region.
Summary: SMP is a great option to very bald men and women that are not suitable for hair transplantation surgery, who do not wish to wear a wig. Usually at least two SMP treatments are required over the bald area to give it the right amount of colour and to look the most natural. Over the long term (10-15 years) some of the colour may fade requiring the patient to come back again for further treatment. Prices vary depending on the surface area and number of required sessions required. The total cost will typically range from $2000 – $6000.
Option 5: Hair Transplantation Surgery
Hair Transplantation is the process of surgically removing hairs from the donor region (back and sides) of a patient’s scalp and planting them into the thinning or bald areas on top. It is a fantastic hair loss treatment option depending on the suitability of the patient.
Best Suited for: Any patient, male or female, who meets the strict suitability requirements for a hair transplant. It can appeal to patients in the early, moderate or advanced stages of hair loss.
Summary: It takes 3-4 months post surgery for the transplanted hairs to begin growing and 14-18 months to achieve the final outcome. The density achieved is expected to be 30-50% as thick as the patient’s donor region. A great aspect about this treatment is that the patient has the ability to recreate the frontal hairline design they have always wanted which is not possible through medication or PRP. Ongoing hair loss of surrounding (non-transplanted) hairs over the long term must be addressed and for this reason medications such as finasteride and dutasteride are commonly used to preserve the great looking head of hair for as long as possible. A majority of hair transplant patients do undertake a second hair transplant at some point as more surrounding hairs are lost. When searching for the right clinic to perform your procedure there are certain helpful guidelines that can be followed.
If you have any questions regarding which hair loss treatment is best for you, or you would like an appointment for a face-to-face consultation in Melbourne or Sydney please call us on 03 9693 9200.
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