What happens when you don’t grow hair after severe hair loss or develop baldness? You should go for hair regrowth treatments that controls hair loss and assists in regrowth.
Choosing the hair regrowth treatment is often determined by the causes of hair loss as well pattern or type of hair loss. No worries, even if you developed baldness or suffer from receding hairline or bald spots on your scalp, there are many hair regrowth treatments that can help you regrow hair.
Types of Hair Growth Treatment
Let us see in detail about the different types of hair regrowth treatment.
Medications and Hormone Replacement Therapies for Hair Regrowth
When you have tried so much at home and couldn’t regrow hair. Before trying any medicine for hair growth, you should consult with a physician. You may also consult a trichologist or dermatologist to identify the cause of poor hair growth.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone plays a vital role in many important functions. There are a couple of hormones that lead to severe hair loss and prevents further growth of hair. Lack of or abundance of certain hormones decide whether you will have adequate hair growth or not!
Estrogen, the female sex hormone shares a significant role in impacting the hair health, both positively and negatively. Sometimes, deficiency of estrogen hormone, especially in women, leads to severe hair loss.
Estrogen is responsible for many ‘womanly’ functions in the body. Healthy and lustrous locks define the beauty and charm of women. In fact, one of the responsibilities and a major role of estrogen is hair growth on the scalp! It not only controls hair loss but also stimulates healthy hair growth.
Estrogen affects the hair during and after pregnancy where women suffer from hormonal fluctuations. It is also more noticeable in menopausal women. If your hair loss is caused due to low estrogen, you can discuss with your doctor and get the required hormone supplements. Hormone replacement therapy may restore estrogen levels that then contains hair loss and helps in hair regrowth.
Androgenic Alopecia Treatment
Similar case is found in men who suffer from male pattern baldness, which is caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone. This condition is termed as androgenic alopecia. Androgens are a group of hormones that play a role in development and maintenance of male traits, where testosterone is the major hormone. When testosterone mixes with other hormones, it releases a substance called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone and is the enemy of hair follicles on head. It shrinks the hair follicles and leads to permanent loss of hair, resulting with male pattern baldness. Sometimes women too suffer from androgenic alopecia. It can occur in them with only a minute fraction of the level of testosterone that men have.
Generally, two drugs are recommended for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. They are minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil is a type of vasodilator medicine. Vasodilator broadens or expands the blood vessels to ensure optimal blood flow. Minoxidil is one of the most effective hair regrowth treatments, especially in case of androgenetic alopecia. It is available in form of oral as well as topical supplements.
Minoxidil stops hair loss and promotes hair growth quickly. It stimulates blood flow by widening the blood vessels in the scalp, which stimulates the inactive hair follicles. However, positive changes cannot be noted before at least 4 months have lapsed. Topical treatment has to be taken indefinitely because once it is stopped, it rapidly reverses the condition and brings about the pre-treatment balding pattern.
- Topical treatment effectively addresses the various patterns of hair loss
- Hair regrowth can be felt in about 4 months time
- Suitable for both, men and women
- It is available as OTC drug in a some countries, yet getting a prescription is recommended. Any medication needs to be prescribed by physician after examining the overall health of the person who wants hair regrowth.
Recommended dosage is 5 % concentration solution for men and 2 % concentration for women. Those who have just started balding due to androgenic alopecia show the maximum hair growth in minimum time period.
There are, however, some side effects to minoxidil treatment.
- Temporary hair loss (it happens in most of the hair regrowth treatment)
- Mild burning sensation of the eyes (due to enlargement of blood vessels)
- Allergy, rashes, inflammation, etc. If this happens, notify your physician immediately and stop further application of the drug
- Hair loss restarts when you stop using minoxidil
Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase type 2 inhibitor but it is not an anti-androgen drug. It is given orally for stopping hair loss and for hair re-growth too. Women are not given this drug because it can lead to ambiguous genitalia in a developing male fetus. Even in post menopausal women, these medication of hair re-growth has not shown any positive results. . Finasteride, like minoxidil, must be taken indefinitely because stopping it causes gradual progression of disorder.
A follow-up study for 10 years was conducted upon men using finasteride 1 mg daily for androgenic alopecia. It showed better improvements in patients older than 30 years or men who had higher androgenetic alopecia levels.
Other medicines for androgenic alopecia
Some other drugs are also used for treating androgen alopecia as they are potentially helpful medications for hair re-growth in such condition. These are the medicines that act as androgen suppressants such as spironolactone, oral contraceptives. They are usually used for women with androgenetic alopecia.
Steroids for Hair Regrowth
When we hear about steroids, we often think about athletes! Okay, they use anabolic steroids to build up muscle. Steroids are also used for many critical illnesses in form of injection as well as pills. Corticosteroids, a type of steroids, are used to lessen the over-activity of immune system and also to reduce swelling. Simply put, it weakens the immune system. Immunity is essential to resist against illnesses. However, in many cases, the immune system gets mutated and negatively affects healthy cells and tissues. Steroids come as a savior to suppress the immunity from damaging health.
In many cases, the hair follicles remain active but they need a trigger to grow. Especially, baldness, male pattern hair loss, bald spots, receding hairline, thinning hair, etc. are associated with this. The root of the hair remains still until they are induced to grow. This condition is referred as alopecia areata or spot baldness. This is the condition where the immune system damages the hair follicles! It is actually an autoimmune disease where hair is lost from some or all areas, usually from the scalp due to the body’s inability to recognize its own body cells. It destroys its own tissue as if it were some invader.
Corticosteroids are the best hair regrowth treatment for treating small patches of baldness due to this condition (alopecia areata). If you develop a bald spot at the middle of your head, or have receding hairline over forehead, etc. corticosteroids can help but first consult a doctor or a trichologist.
Steroid Injection on the scalp
In most of such cases, steroid injection is recommended. A corticosteroid solution is injected around the bald patches. Tiny needles with small quantity of the solution are injected several times. It is not really painful. You may experience mild tingling effect on the scalp. You can find the results in around 3 to 4 weeks. This is one of the best hair growth treatments for the bald spots.
However, steroid injections don’t prevent developing bald spots or receding hairline in other parts of the scalp. Besides, you should inject steroids on a regular basis at stipulated intervals (every 6 to 10 weeks) to manage hair regrowth without hindrance. Once you stop it, you may again lose hair and go bald.
Generally, steroids are injected by a dermatologist or an expert / specialist trained in this field.
Side effects of Steroid injection
Since the injection is applied on the scalp, it may create mild bruising and swelling on the scalp, which is not a major concern to worry about. However, it may thin down the scalp skin.
Topical Steroids for Hair Regrowth
Another form of steroids used to regrow hair is topical steroids. Topical steroids generally come in form of gels, foam, cream and lotion. You can easily apply the creams or lotions on bald spots. However, the results may take a bit longer time. You have to wait for at least a month or two to notice the hair growth. This is generally prescribed for a regular use of 3 months.
Side effects of Topical Steroids
Possible side effects of using topical steroids are acne and thinning of scalp.
There are some restrictions to apply steroid topically. This is meant to apply only on your scalp and not to grow beard or eye brows. Applying the steroid creams on facial skin may lead to severe damages to skin.
Oral steroids aren’t generally recommended as a part of hair regrowth treatment. They pose some severe side effects ranging from hormonal fluctuations to uncontrolled weight gain.
However, they are sometimes prescribed to manage the extensive hair loss or severe baldness. Oral steroids are quite stronger than the topical creams or injections. So, it is mandatory to discuss the possible side effects and health risks involved with taking oral steroids with your doctor. In certain cases, healthy and young adults can often be able to cope up with oral steroids and manage the side effects.
Warning: Remember, you need a medical prescription to use steroids as a part of hair regrowth treatment. It is unsafe to use steroids on your own, no matter whether it is pills or creams without a prescription.
Who are good candidates for steroids?
Generally men with mild spot baldness. Generally, women don’t prefer to get the injection on the scalp. As the skin of the scalp tends to get weaker, it may aggravate hair loss in the future. As long as it is not an oral steroid, anyone with mild baldness can opt for this treatment.
Acupuncture Therapy for Hair Regrowth
Acupuncture is an ancient therapy that helps in healing diseases by stimulating the respective pressure points, nerve channels and vessels in the body.
This therapy is all about inserting a thin needle which has a spring head on respective points. The needle is no thicker than a hair strand. It stimulates the connective organs and heals many conditions. Acupuncture not only addresses hair growth as your only issue. It also heals the root causes and associated conditions.
Acupuncture is relatively a very simple, effective and safe treatment for hair regrowth. However, you need to go to a trained and experienced professional to get it done.
Health Supplements for Hair Regrowth
Malnutrition is one of the reasons for hair loss. Sometimes, even if you eat healthy diet, you cannot get adequate nutrients for your body to grow hair. It is more so when you are aging. Dietary anti aging supplements become more or less essential with growing years of life. And if you deal with severe hair loss, you may have to consider some health supplements too. Health supplements come handy to fix the hair regrowth issue. Following are the health supplements that help in regrowth of hair. First in the list come a vitamin.
Vitamins are essential for hair health (in fact, for overall health). Even if you are deficient of vitamins, it is not a sole reason for uncontrolled hair loss or baldness. If you really lack vitamins that lead to hair loss, you couldn’t even open your eyes. Vitamins promote hair health, but not as a major nutrient. However, there is an exceptional vitamin, named biotin.
Biotin Supplement for Hair Regrowth
You may know a group of B complex vitamins and other vitamins. Do you know about Vitamin H? Known as Biotin, this is an essential but lesser known vitamin; it helps in metabolizing energy. If you suffer from unexplained breakage of hair, extreme hair dryness, sudden onset of hair loss, no hair growth, etc. be wary that you suffer from biotin deficiency. Biotin promotes hair growth, controls hair breakage and damage, thinning of hair and restores hydration.
Remember, you should get the prescription before you go for biotin supplements.
Zinc Supplement for Hair Growth
Zinc is a mineral that regulates the production of cells, tissues and repairs the damages of the tissues. It is responsible for healthy tissues on the scalp. It also manages the sebaceous glands in your scalp, which holds the hair follicles. The sebaceous glands (oil gland) dry out or the tissues get damaged due to zinc deficiency. All these collectively lead to hair loss and prevent the growth of hair. Zinc supplement promotes the cell production and repair the damages on the scalp tissues.
- Required dosage of zinc is 11 milligrams per day.
- It regulates hormone
- Assist in absorbing nutrients
- Too much zinc also leads to hair thinning. So, better get yourself checked by physician before going for zinc supplement!
It is a Scandinavian supplement designed exclusively for hair growth. It contains the extracts of fish protein, horsetail plant (silica) as well as vitamin C and zinc. It helps in regrowth of hair and also thickens the hair.
This makes the best hair regrowth supplement if you suffer from receding hair line on the frontal part and around the temple area.
Recommended dosage is two pills a day for three months and one pill a day for 3 to 6 months.
Supplements work faster than getting the nutrition through foods. But it is not healthy to rely on supplementation for longer.
Cosmetic Hair Regrowth Treatments
Hair Transplant or Hair Grafting
When it comes to hair regrowth treatments, the final resort is hair transplant. It is recommended when no hair growth treatment is able to bring back your locks.
It is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves removal of hair from one part of the scalp and fixing it on the bald area. The area from which the hair is removed is called donor site and the area in which the hair is fixed is called receiver site. Hair transplant is the only procedure where you play the dual role of donor and receiver. It is widely used to treat the male pattern baldness.
What is hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation isn’t a direct hair regrowth treatment. Healthy hair follicles are removed from the scalp and planted in the bald area. The donor site grows hair eventually and the receiver site look natural with natural hair.
Generally, the hair follicles that are resistant to balding are used for transplantation. You could have seen baldness only at specific places. For instance, receding hair line, baldness in the middle of the head, baldness in the frontal part of the head, etc. The remaining part of scalp grows healthy hair that are resistant to genetic baldness. The healthy hair roots are grafted to the bald spots in hair transplant process as a hair regrowth treatment.
During the diagnosis done by consultation, the trichologist, dermatologist or surgeon, the scalp condition is analyzed. Then they put forth some ideal preferences and suggestions to find the solution for hair growth. In case, the existing hair density is suspected to be poor, a test called folliscopy is done to assess the accurate results of the surgery. For instance, if the hair density is too low or the follicles are weak, the result may not be promising. Remember, transplantation is the final resort to grow hair on the bald spots.
Precautions before the procedure
- Stop taking any medicines at least before 2 weeks of surgery (grafting may lead to bleeding due to some medications)
- Discuss with your physician about the medicines, your diet and existing medical conditions to avoid any complications
- Strictly say no to alcohol and smoking
How is hair transplant performed
The procedure is generally performed under local anesthesia or mild sedation. It is an outpatient procedure. The sedative effects last for around 4 to 6 hours. The scalp is washed with mild shampoo followed by application of anti bacterial cream or gel.
Hair transplantation is a two-fold process. It involves removal of hair from the donor site and transplanting the same to the receiver site.
Hair follicle removal
The removal of hair follicles is done in two different ways.
- Follicular Unit Transplantation
- Follicular Unit Extraction
Follicular Unit Transplantation
Each hair follicle grows from 1 to 4 hair locks. This is called as naturally occurring follicular units. The healthy follicles are zeroed in as donor sites.
Follicular units contain nerves, oil glands, and a small muscle. Occasionally, it also contains the thin hair called vellus hair, which is rarely visible to the human eyes. In this process, many small follicular units are surgically grafted in a single session. A strip of scalp skin is carefully grafted. Generally, around 3 to 5 inch scalp skin is striped.
The strip of skin is divided into 500 to 1000 tiny grafts. Each graft contains at least one hair to multiple hair locks. The number of graft is decided by the extent of baldness and size of the area that needs hair.
Follicular Unit Extraction
Extraction of single follicular unit (around 1 to 4 hair strands) is done in this process. It is a time consuming process as each follicular is extracted using a thin incision. However, the result is extremely precise and looks quite natural. Since the follicles are extracted as single unit, there is no need for grafting.
After removal of follicular units, again anesthesia is injected on the scalp where the hair is implanted. Thin incisions are made on the scalp to implant the follicle. Individual follicular units or skin grafts are placed in the incisions.
After incision of all hair grafts, the surgeons inspect the transplantation and ensure that the grafts are placed properly. A few may need multiple transplant treatments to get that natural look.
Post hair transplant Surgery Care
Post operative care is generally recommended by the surgeons. Generally the instructions given include regarding taking care of transplanted hair, diet, medications, etc.
- Don’t take any pills without consent of the surgeons
- Keep your head elevated for a few days
- You may experience some mild tightness and numbing effect on the scalp (it is normal and it automatically eases away in a couple of days)
- Don’t scrub or scrape or use any hairstyling equipment
Antibiotics and anti inflammatory medications are prescribed by the doctor.
Remember, within a couple of weeks to a month you may lose the transplanted hair strands in the recipient area. Don’t panic. The hair will grow automatically on both donor site and receiver site.
- Risk is minimal
- You get natural hair strands
- Looks natural and transforms your appearance
- Assured hair regrowth even on the bald spots after the grafted hair falls initially
On the downside,
- It is very expensive
- Not suitable for everyone
If you find prolonged swelling and redness visit your doctor immediately.
Who is the right candidate for Hair Transplantation?
Not everyone is the right candidate for this minimally invasive surgical procedure. You must have some realistic expectations about the post transplant look.
You should have healthy hair follicles and sufficient hair in the donor site.
- Suitable for men who suffered from baldness (male pattern baldness) for more than 5 years. In case, the hair loss and baldness is lesser than 5 years, you could try other hair re-growth treatment options.
- Those who can really gain benefit from transplantation procedure. Being very expensive procedure it makes no sense if you don’t achieve certain degree of youthful appearance.
- Both men and women who lost hair due to traumas, side effects of medications, etc.
Light Therapy for Hair Regrowth
Light therapy aka photo therapy involves simulating the hair follicles by passing laser light. It invokes the dead cells in the root and facilitates hair regrowth. The targeted area is focused with laser light, which increases the blood circulation and stimulates the follicles.
There are two types of laser therapy available.
- Infra red laser therapy
- Ultra violet laser therapy aka photo laser therapy
As indicated by its name, the laser emits the respective lights, which act as simulation on the scalp. Low level laser light is passed on the scalp. Laser therapy works well on those who don’t get baldness due to genetic factor. If male pattern baldness runs in your family, this is not an effective hair regrowth treatment for you.
Within 3 to 6 months, you can regrow the hair fully on the bald and patchy spots. Besides, it also thickens the existing locks.
You can find good results when you suffer from,
- Mild baldness
- Thinning of hair
- Patchy hair loss
It also prevents aggravation of hair loss and baldness
Limitations with respect to light therapy for hair regrowth
- Not a good solution for hair loss or baldness associated with genetic factors
- Not meant for severe hair loss / baldness
- Not for those who lost hair or got patchy hair loss for more than 2 years
Who are the good candidates for light therapy?
Both men and women can get this therapy. This is also suitable for women who suffer from thinning of hair. It grows hair thicker and also gives you stronger hair.
Literally, there are no side effects as long as the depth of light passed on your scalp is appropriate and tolerable.
Laser Comb for Hair Regrowth
Laser comb is an easy and lazy way to regrow hair. It is a very mild, low intensity laser device that stimulates hair follicles. Laser comb varies in terms of application when compared with light therapy.
You don’t need any expertise or even seek the professional services. In fact you can invest in a good laser comb.
In many beauty clinics and laser therapy centers, this service is offered. Laser comb application is nothing but combing or brushing your hair and scalp with the laser comb. It is good for both men and women. Being a low intensity device, literally there is no side effects.
Home Remedies for Hair Regrowth
Beyond the cosmetic and medical treatment, there are some simple natural remedies you can try at home for hair regrowth. Doing some simple things help you control hair loss and stimulates the hair growth.
Massage your scalp once a day. It enhances the blood flow to the scalp, which strengthen the hair follicles and stimulates hair growth. Just massage the scalp with your fingers. Rub your scalp gently.
Hot Oil Treatment for Hair Growth
This is a granny’s therapy for hair growth. Warm the hair oil you use (unless it is Vitamin E oil) and apply the warm oil on your scalp. This can be any oil good for skin or scalp like coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil etc. Do this regularly once a week. You can easily regrow healthy hair strands.
Castor Oil for Hair Regrowth
Apply castor oil on your scalp and massage it. Castor oil is an excellent ingredient for hair regrowth as it contains loads of omega-9 fatty acids. It not only helps in hair growth, but also nourishes the scalp, increases the volume of hair, prevents infection, and treats dandruff.
Egg Pack for Growing Hair Again
Egg is packed with protein which aids a lot in hair growth. Remember, hair is made of protein and you can directly feed protein to the hair through eggs.
- Extract egg whites
- If you don’t like the smell, add a few drops of lavender oil.
- Whisk it gently and apply the mixture on the scalp
- Rinse your hair after about half an hour.
Use Shikakai to wash your hair
When your lock lacks the luster and appears thin with no signs of growth, skip shampoo and start using shikakai! It is a herb used since ages in India. Ayurveda recommends amla and ritha herbs to be used along with shikakai.
If you want to grow your hair faster then you can depend upon these top 5 home remedies for hair growth
Cover your hair
While you take enormous care to protect your beautiful skin from sun, don’t leave the hair exposed to sun. Excessive sun exposure causes dryness of hair and breaks the hair. Undoubtedly, it leads towards shocking hair loss. Always, cover your hair with proper clothing to prevent the damages to the hair.
Taking such preventive measures will save you from finding various hair regrowth treatment options. Find some more Natural Remedies for Thinning Hair