Comparing the Best Hair Growth Treatment Options
For women and men, hair loss can be both embarrassing and damaging to self-esteem. Unfortunately, hair loss is pretty common in the United States. Nearly two out of every three men will begin balding by the time they are 60, according to U.S. News & World Report.
So how can you avoid losing your hair? Most of the time it’s unavoidable. A hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness typically causes hair loss and hair thinning. Some less likely causes include hormonal changes, scalp infections, stress, thyroid problems, a poor diet and other skin disorders.
According to U.S. News & World Report, hair growth is so important to American men that they collectively spend $1 billion to try to keep it on their heads. We’re here to help you make sure you’re spending your money wisely.
Let’s compare and contrast some of the top non-surgical and surgical options to promote hair growth now, so that you know what’s most effective.
Non-Surgical Hair Loss Treatments
What is Viviscal?
After 20 years of research, the people at Lifes2Good created a dietary supplement called Viviscal that is designed for hair growth. Viviscal provides
promote the growth of existing hair
and support the growth of hair that has slowed or stopped growing. It also nourishes thinning hair and makes hair noticeably stronger, healthier and more vibrant. Viviscal does all of this while being
100 percent drug free
What is the Treatment Like?
People looking to improve hair growth using this supplement take two tablets a day–one in the morning and one at night. Unfortunately, the second dose is easy to forget. We suggest setting alarms on your phone so that you always remember to take them. If you don’t like swallowing tablets, you’re in luck. Viviscal also offers a shampoo, conditioner and serum.
Does Viviscal Work?
Researches say: yes! A
study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology
assessed the ability of Viviscal to increase hair growth in women with thinning hair. Half were given a placebo and Viviscal to the other half and hair changers were measured. It was concluded that the oral supplement safely and effectively promotes significant hair growth in women with hair thinning. After 90 days, subjects who took the supplement saw improvements in overall hair volume, scalp coverage and thickness in body hair. After 180 days, there was even more of an improvement, with more hair shine, skin moisture retention and skin smoothness.
Various other studies have come to the same conclusion
What is Rogaine?
Men’s Rogaine utilizes minoxidil, an active medicinal ingredient, to reactivate your hair’s natural growth cycle by enlarging shrunken hair follicles. As you apply Rogaine, your thin and older hairs should begin to shed, your hair follicles begin to grow in size, allowing for thicker hair regrowth, and your hair should eventually start to grow back. Companies like Hair Club and Bosley have similar products that use minoxidil.
What is the Treatment Like?
Every day, you should apply Rogaine foam to your head two times per day. This process can be inconvenient, as you most likely want to be in a private space when you apply foam to your hair. You also should not go to bed without allowing the minoxidil to dry for two to four hours, as it can stain clothing, hats or bed linen,
according to Mayo Clinic
. Other than foam, Rogaine also offers a topical solution that you can massage into your scalp for a less conspicuous application.
Does Rogaine Work?
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that Rogaine does not promote significant hair growth over time.
In a report for the American Family Physician (AAFP), three doctors look at various minoxidil (Rogaine) studies
. One study questioned participants that had used the 2 percent Rogaine topical solution for 2.5 years, and showed that only 32 percent of the men grew hair long enough to cut. While only 36 percent felt it was worth their time and money to continue using Rogaine.
Another study compared the 5 percent strength minoxidil with the 2 percent solution. After five months of treatment, the men using the higher strength Rogaine had a 55 percent increase in total hair mass over baseline, which is great. But hair mass significantly decreased to 25 percent over baseline after two years.
Though Rogaine does cause some improvement, significant hair growth doesn’t seem to be very long lasting.
What is Propecia?
Propecia contains an active ingredient called finasteride, which treats hair loss by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Why block DHT? DHT is the known culprit to contribute to hair loss. Because Propecia deals with testosterone, women are not approved to use it and it seems to have no positive effect on women. Companies like Bosley offer Propecia products.
What is the Treatment Like?
When taking Propecia, all you have to do is take one pill a day, with or without food. This makes Propecia a lot more convenient than Rogaine, though you can still easily forget to take the pill. Once again, we suggest that you set a daily alarm to remind yourself.
Does Propecia Work?
Reports show, Propecia seems to work better than Rogaine. In the
, the doctors note that the drug may be best at preventing further hair loss in the early stages of baldness. In a 1997 study, only 17 percent of men who took Propecia showed hair loss, while 72 percent of men who didn’t take the drug showed progressive hair loss over the course of a 24-month trial.
In another study of 326 subjects, men with mild to moderate frontal hair thinning experienced only slight improvements, and no growth occurred in the temporal areas or on the hairline.
Though Propecia seems to significantly help hair loss, hair growth improvements may be less drastic.
Many men avoid using Propecia because of its
sexual side effects
a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine
, two doctors studied men from an online forum called PropeciaHelp, a group for men who have experienced sexual side effects from Propecia. These men reported new-onset persistent sexual dysfunction associated with the use of the drug.
94 percent of these men developed a low libido, 92 percent experienced erectile dysfunction, 92 percent reported decreased arousal, and 69 percent developed problems with having an orgasm. 96 percent of these men experienced these problems for a year or longer.
The FDA notes that only 3.8 percent of men tested in clinical trials had adverse sexual experiences. Though this percentage is small, taking Propecia may not be worth the risk of these side effects when there are other great options available.
Surgical Hair Loss Treatment
What is Hair Transplantation?
During hair transplantation, surgeons typically remove individual hair follicles from the back or sides of the head, where hair is abundant and will grow back. Then, these follicles are transplanted to areas of the head that are experiencing thinning and balding. Your own hair will grow from these transplanted follicles naturally and permanently.
Unfortunately, hair transplantation is very expensive, and can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 per procedure. The procedure is rarely covered by insurance, and many people need at least two procedures.
What is the Procedure Like?
Typically, the surgery only lasts about three to eight hours. Patients are given mild sedatives and local anesthetic, and should feel very minimal discomfort. There’s also very little downtime. Most patients can return to work 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
Does Hair Transplantation Work?
The better and more experienced your surgeon is, the more chance you will have a successful hair transplant that looks realistic. Unfortunately, the price of the hair transplantation usually increases the more reputable your surgeon is. Hair transplantations are permanent though, so once you have had enough procedures to achieve your desired results, you should have them forever.
It’s important to note that hair transplantations should not be performed on men who have not yet finished losing all of their hair,
as noted by Fox News
. If you get a hair transplantation too early, you can develop bald spots in between your transplant lines. After several transplants, another procedure will be harder to do. If you are a younger person, we suggest using one of the products above before considering a hair transplant.
Though there are many options for hair growth out there, we hope this article helps you to narrow down what is best for you. We personally recommend Viviscal to our patients, as it is all natural, has no reported side effects and has proven to be extremely effective for both men and woman. For more information about hair loss or hair thinning treatments, feel free to
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