Hair loss affects at some time in their lives every other person. For men, the main cause of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, whereas in women there is a whole spectrum of causes for hair loss. In The United States, according to the latest research, about 3.5 billion dollars are yearly spent for treatments for hair loss but unfortunately 99% of these products are unethically advertised and have no effect in treating hair loss. Inadequate treatments with unknown products usually cause additional suffering to a person, because it causes losing hope in curing this condition that greatly affects personal happiness and quality of life. Hair loss is a process that can be almost immediate (alopecia areata), acute (acute telogen effluvium), chronic (scarring alopecia, chronic telogen effluvium), and is usually progressive during the whole of life as it is the case with androgenetic alopecia. Therefore it is extremely important to be aware of that treating hair loss is a complex procedure, it requires time and commitment, sometimes a combination of different therapies, but the most important thing is to understand the nature of this condition and develop a trusting relationship with your doctor.
Hair transplant result
Good diagnosis of hair loss is the basis for determining therapy. Diagnosis starts with open and honest conversation with the patient (anamnesis) from which doctor can conclude why hair loss began, whether there is a genetic predisposition to hair loss, associated diseases (systemic, local, leather) which can lead to hair loss, whether the patient is on some medication for this health condition, whether he or she already underwent some treatment for hair loss and how successfully and what are his / her expectations of therapy. From this sincere conversation with a patient, n experienced doctor can determine with great accuracy what is causing hair loss (“good history is already half of the diagnosis”). Then, a doctor examines the scalp (dermoscopy) and do certain diagnostic tests. Biopsy can be done if there is a doubt in diagnosis as it is often done in scarring alopecias. Once the diagnosis is established, it is important that is well explain to a patient and treating options are discussed as well. Realistic expectations of the patient are an excellent basis for successful treatment of hair loss.
Although we still have no magic pill that will overnight bring back previous appearance of hair, there are several treatment methods with which we can successfully treat hair loss nowadays. Dr Gorana Kuka always emphasizes the importance of preventing hair loss in people who have a genetic predisposition to this condition. It is extremely important to start therapy on time, especially in androgenetic alopecia. The essence of the therapy is to strengthen existing hair and to try to prolong its life. Nutrition has a very important role, not only in the prevention of hair loss, but also as a basis for a healthy life. Maintaining a constant weight is bringing an important balance to the hair.
Androgenetic alopecia has several ways to treat, but each of these treatments require daily or regular use, responsibility and determination of the patient, with the assistance of a doctor. Similarly, conditions such as telogen effluvium, acute or chronic need this type of commitment. Medical treatment involves the application of three registered drugs against hair loss: minoxidil, finasteride or dutasteride. These are drugs that have been widely used and their effectiveness and side effects are well tested through decades. Of the utmost importance in the application of these drugs is the way in which they are suspended because it must be done gradually so it does not to lead to a side-effect, an immediate hair loss. Laser therapy has more and more application in the treatment of hair loss, in both males and females. Since laser therapy is extremely simple and comfortable to use as it can be applied at home, also the effects are often very impressive. This type of therapy is starting to be the basis for the treatment of hair loss. Furthermore, there is a PRP therapy (therapy with plasma and growth factors), in which we use our own cells of the body to stimulate follicle growth. There is also a therapy with stem cells – safe, future treatment of hair loss.
When it comes to scarring alopecia or alopecia areata, the goal of the treatment is to keep the process under control in the beginning. Steroids are used in all forms (ointment, injection or i.v.) and / or an immunomodulator. Sometimes, in the process of treating hair loss endocrinologist or gynecologist are included and it becomes the work of an entire team of doctors. Trichotillomania requires a presence of a psychologist / psychiatrist.
Hair transplantation is the only permanent and safe solution to hair loss. Transplanted hairs come from those areas which are not predisposed to shed even when placed into areas of hair loss (back side of the head)- they keep they characteristics and never fall out. There are two techniques that are successfully used nowadays: strip and FUE technique. Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that was so improved in the last ten years and the benefits are significant: the lack of a visible scar on donor region, shorter procedure, easier recovery for the patient, the naturalness of the results, and most importantly long lasting result. Once transplanted hair is always there. Body hairs (beard, chest, abdomen) could be used in a lack of scalp hairs.
The future treatment of hair loss going in the direction of the use of stem cells (stem cells with a high possibility of division and differentiation), genetic engineering, which will change the culprit gene for hair loss, or so much expected cloning hair.
Treating hair loss is a complex and time-consuming process, but it can be so effective and change someone’s life. It requires time, patience, and depends a lot on the choice and combination of the right therapy.