Abby's Guide to Hair Loss
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Hair Loss Treatment for Men

Treatments for hair loss are quite different. Some require commitment to a permanent procedure. Others require a daily regiment. Some cost significant amounts of money. You want to become knowledgeable about such options before you choose. Note that many of the treatments discussed here are good for both men and women.

Cosmetic treatments for hair loss do not change the actual hair loss; they simply change your appearance. No chemical or surgical procedures are used.

A hairpiece is a cosmetic solution for hair loss — for male pattern baldness. Hairpieces can be made from natural hair and from synthetic hair. Hairpieces made from natural hair can look better at first, but they do not last as long as synthetic hairpieces. Synthetic hairpieces are also easier to maintain.

Natural hairpieces are significantly less expensive than synthetic at about $150, while synthetic hairpieces are closer to $1000. Better quality hairpieces will look natural and inconspicuous. Cheap hairpieces can be easily spotted and do not have a natural hairline look. Note that you don't want to look as if you have something sitting on your head. It may be worth it to invest in a good hairpiece.

Oral treatments for hair loss must be taken continually to have a lasting effect. Finasteride is an oral solution for the hair loss following the male pattern baldness. Finasteride blocks DHT, the male hormone mentioned earlier that causes hair loss. Finasteride is the active ingredient in many popular hair loss drugs.

Finasteride costs about $60 a month. If not taken continually, the hair loss will continue. There are some side effects to taking Finasteride. It can cause loss of libido, impotence and can lower sperm count.

Consult your doctor if you think Finasteride is the best hair loss treatment for you.

Surgical treatments for hair loss can be quite expensive. A qualified medical practitioner will perform the procedure. Such treatments are extremely precise.

Hair transplantation is a surgical treatment appropriate for male pattern baldness. A piece of scalp that has hair is removed and grafted onto an area that does not have hair. One to four sessions may be required for a hair transplant procedure depending on the extent of hair loss. Each session can cost over $10,000.

Hair transplantation results are predictable. A computer image can be made of your post-procedure results showing you what you will look like. Obviously this procedure can be quite expensive. This treatment does not stop other hair loss and therefore additional procedures may be required. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor to determine if this is the best hair loss treatment for you.

Galeoplasty, or scalp reduction, is a surgical procedure used in the treatment of hair loss. In this procedure a portion of the bald scalp is removed. The sides of the scalp that still have hair growth are then lifted and stitch together. This is similar to a facelift for the scalp. This treatment is not suitable if the bald area is too large — 3 inches in diameter or less. It is also not appropriate if the surrounding area has little hair. The cost of the scalp reduction procedure is approximately $1500.

Flaps is a similar surgical procedure. In this procedure a large U shaped piece of scalp is partially detached from the surrounding donor area. The detached end of this piece is place over the bald spot where that portion of hairless scalp has been removed. Other grafts are performed with this procedure to help to create a natural hairline and look. This procedure is expensive — costing from $2500 to $8000 a flap.

The flaps procedure does produce predictable results and often a computer image can be shown to you of what the results will be. Some problems can occur though. Sometimes the front hairline doesn't look natural and scarring can occur. Hair on the flap might grow in a different direction than the other head hair. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor to determine if this is the best hair loss treatment for you.

Tissue Expansion is a another surgical procedure used in the treatment of hair loss. In this procedure silicon bags are placed beneath an area of scalp with hair and inflated gradually over the course of six weeks. This will cause this part of the scalp to stretch. The bags will then be removed. The extra hairy scalp is moved to an area of similar size that has had the bald scalped removed. This procedure costs around $4000.

Obviously the period of time during which the silicon bags are in place may be difficult as the appearance of the scalp will be unusual. The head of course can be hidden underneath a hat. Infection is a risk so if you suffer from diabetes or are a smoker this may not be for you. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor to determine if this is the best hair loss treatment for you.

Topical solutions are popular for the treatment of hair loss. These involve applying a lotion or medication to the scalp as part of a routine.

Natural lotions are a topical solution used in the treatment of hair loss. These have gained much popularity in the east, originating oftentimes in Asia. Based on the belief that serum in excess can cause hair loss, these lotion claim to remove the serum from the scalp. This would then prevent the DHT in the serum from shrinking the hair follicles that in turn causes hair loss. These lotions tend to cost around $40 a month.

Minoxidil is a topical treatment for hair loss. Minoxidil is applied daily to the scalp. The reason for Minoxidil working is not unknown, except that Minoxidil increases the blood flow to the area. And we know that blood flow is essential to the healthy hair follicle.

Minoxidil does require a commitment. If not used daily, hair loss will continue as it did before treatment. This treatment costs about $50-90 a month.

Minoxidil works best for young men in their 20s who have just started to lose their hair. It works best if they are not completely bald at the temple area or on the crown. This is not to say it won't have results for people who don't fall into this category.

A variety of strengths of this topical treatment are available. The lowest strengths do not require a prescription — 2% solution. Higher strengths do -- %5-%15 solutions. Be sure to consult with your doctor to determine if this is the best hair loss treatment for you and what solution strength would be appropriate for your needs.

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