For patients who wish to take a non-surgical approach to hair restoration, or maintain/enhance their results after hair restoration, there are a few options that have proven successful in a majority of patients.
Vitamins and Nutritional Supplementation for Hair Loss
One of the most basic and holistic measures that can be taken is supplementing your diet with the proper vitamins and minerals that provide a good foundation for supporting hair health. Some of these supplements include: Essential Fatty Acids, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, B-Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and minerals such as: Copper, Iodine, Iron, Selenuim, Silica, and Zinc. Be aware that more is not always better—too many vitamins taken in excess can have the opposite effect and can actually cause hair loss.
Medications for Hair Loss
Predominantly, there are two pharmaceutical medications that are widely prescribed for hair loss.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an FDA-Approved topical solution that is available over the counter and comes in 2% or 5% strengths. (2% is the only approved dose for women) Minoxidil was originally an oral medication for controlling blood pressure. It was found that the patients taking this medication began growing body hair. Later on, a topical solution was developed and these studies showed modest hair growth on the scalp. Minoxidil increases the duration of the growth cycle and improves hair quality by increasing the diameter and length of miniaturized hair.
Finasteride 1mg (Propecia) is an FDA-Approved oral medication for men that decreases DHT levels. DHT is the hormone that causes hair loss in men; it shortens the growth phase which leads to thinning of the hair (miniaturization) which eventually leads to hair loss. Propecia can help hair growth but works even better for maintenance, making it a good compliment to hair restoration surgery.
There are two prescription oral medications that are specifically for women to treat female pattern hair loss: Spironolactone and Cyproterone. Both are anti-androgens, meaning that they suppress the actions of testosterone and have been studied in women to treat female pattern hair loss.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser therapy, is an option for those who have thinning hair as opposed to baldness; it is not effective on balding areas. Low energy lasers have been used for over thirty years to accelerate healing after wounds or burns. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in hair restoration utilizes cool lasers to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. LLLT is based on photo-biotherapy where laser light is absorbed by cells and stimulates protein synthesis. These lasers stimulate the follicles on the scalp by reversing miniaturization or loss of hair, leading to thicker hair shafts and a fuller look).
LLLT has been cleared by the FDA for the use of low-level lasers to treat androgenetic hair loss in men. Recent studies have shown that Low Level Light Laser Therapy (LLT) is equal to the benefits of hair loss medications used over the short term in both men and women.
For our patients we suggest The HairMax LaserComb, a home device that is FDA-Cleared for use by both men and women for the treatment of hair loss.