Everybody loses some hair every day. Research has shown that a person can lose up to 100 hairs per day. But losing more hair can cause bald spots to appear on a man’s head. In case of a woman, there is thinning of the hair on the top of her head. Hair fall is not a life-threatening condition. But it can become seriously jeopardize one’s self-confidence by drastically changing for the worse how he/she looks. Men, women and even children can experience hair loss. This condition occurs generally as a result of hormonal changes, heredity, medical conditions or as a side-effect of some medications. Hair loss due to hereditary reasons is the most common cause of hair loss.
Treatment for hair loss may require the identification and treatment of the underlying condition that is causing this. Some of the causes of hair loss are family history, stress, chemotherapy, age, poor diet, thyroid diseases and ringworm of the scalp. Treatment for the underlying disease that is causing hair loss may include drugs to reduce inflammation and also for suppression of the immune system like prednisone. Two medicines that are used to treat hair loss are inoxidil and finasteride. Sometimes hair transplant or restoration surgery help to deal with permanent hair loss when it takes place on the top of the head.
A person needs to find out the reason for his/her hair loss before embarking on any treatment. Sometimes hair loss is temporary and it grows back after the underlying cause has been dealt with. Hair loss due to an underactive thyroid may be averted by taking thyroid medicines. Similarly, most of the hair that person loses during chemotherapy grows back after the end of the cycle. Nevertheless treatment for hair loss may include medications, surgery, laser therapy and also use of wigs and hairpieces.
Minoxidil is one medication that is available in the form of a liquid or foam and that needs to be rubbed into the scalp. It should be used twice a day by both men and women to prevent hair loss and also to grow back hair. People have experienced re-growth of hair or a slower rate of hair loss or even both by using this medication. The medication shows maximum effect at 16 weeks of its usage and it is advisable to keep applying it for a long-term solution. Finasteride is a prescription drug that is used to treat hair loss in men. It has to be taken daily in the form of a pill.
Hair transplantation surgery is a surgery that transplants hair follicles from one part of the body to a bald or balding part. This surgery is mostly done to treat pattern baldness in men. A surgeon removes tiny plugs of skin, each of which contains a few hairs from the back and sides of the scalp. The removed hair is then implanted into those sections of the scalp that have become bald. A person may be required to have medications before and after this surgery.
Wigs or hairpieces may be used by people as an alternative to medical therapy or if a person has not responded well to treatment.
When a person experiences severe hair-fall, he/she is eligible for treatment. A man who experiences loss of hair from the top of his scalp can go for surgical interventions like hair transplantation. There are a number of tests like pull test, blood test, scalp biopsy and light microscopy that help to diagnose hair loss problems. A person who has been diagnosed with this problem after the conduction of any of these tests is eligible for treatment.
A person who has not been diagnosed to be suffering from hair loss problems by a doctor is not eligible for treatment. A person may also lose hair while undergoing treatment for some specific ailment. In such cases, he/she will re-grow hair after the treatment is over. So he/she will not be eligible for treatment in such cases.
The side-effects of consuming minoxidil are scalp irritation, increased heart rate and growth of unwanted hair on the adjacent skin of the face and the hands. Finasteride can produce side-effects like reduced sex drive and may also increase the risk of prostate cancer. Crushed or broken tablets of finasteride should be avoided by pregnant women at any cost. A hair restoration surgery may be accompanied by some pain, infection and scarring.
A person needs to keep taking the prescribed medications over a long period of time to get the best results. It is also important to switch to a nutritious diet which will include fish, dairy products and nuts. Food items rich in Vitamin C can also help to treat hair loss problems.
Drugs like minoxidil should be consumed for about 16 weeks before the best results can be experienced. Hair restoration surgery is generally performed over 2-3 sessions and the number of sessions required depends on the severity of the condition.
Different brands of minoxidil medications are available within a price range of Rs 250 – Rs 2100. Finasteride can be obtained within a price range of Rs 2370 and Rs 3500. Hair transplant surgery can cost something between Rs 50000 and Rs 250000 depending on the number of plugs that are to be implanted.
A person who has gained hair after taking some medications is bound to experience these results permanently. Surgical interventions also ensure permanent results provided a person does not lose hair again due to some physical ailment.
Wigs and hairpieces can be used by individuals suffering from hair loss. This minimizes the expense and also provides a more or less permanent respite from this problem. Use of coconut oil, lavender oil and rosemary oil on the scalp can also help to prevent loss of hair.
Rs 250 - 2.5 lakhs