An estimated sixty percent of men and ten to twenty percent of women experience hair loss. Some of these people address the problem by allowing themselves to go bald naturally. Others may decide to use wigs or toupees to disguise the hair loss. Still others look to medical science for hair restoration methods.
There are multiple hair restoration methods available including topical ointments (e.g., Rogaine), oral medications (e.g., Propecia), and multiple types of minor surgery.
Rogaine works by expanding shrunken hair follicles to thicken and increase the volume of the hair. Occasionally it helps to re-grow hair as well, though this is not guaranteed.
Propecia works on a hormonal level. In the body, the hormone testosterone is converted to another hormone called DHT. DHT reduces hair follicle activity and leads to male pattern baldness. Propecia interferes with this conversion.
Many hair restoration methods involve minor surgery. In a hair transplant, for instance, the surgeon removes small pieces of the scalp that are still growing hair, usually around the sides and back of the head. The surgeon then relocates them to a bald or thinning area.
Another hair restoration method is called tissue expansion. A small device known as a tissue expander is placed beneath a place on the scalp that still bears hair. This hair-bearing place must be located next to a bald area. The tissue expander causes the skin to produce new, hair-bearing skin cells. The surgeon then neatly draws the expanded skin over the bald spot.
Other common surgical hair restoration methods include flap surgery and scalp reduction.
If you are anxious about thinning hair and would like to try any of these hair restoration methods, speak to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to guide you to the treatment that is most effective for you.