If you're in the spirit of making new years resolutions, why not make a commitment to do something about your hair loss?

How many times have you made a commitment on new year, and not stuck to it? To stop smoking, to lose a bit of weight? Start that business, work towards a promotion or spend more time with someone special? We've all been there, and we all know how easy it is to make a half-hearted effort and give up. But what if your new years resolution was to fix something really close to your heart, like your gradual but inevitable hair loss situation? You've noticed it thinning and receding quite a lot lately and its really starting to get you down, so what better time than new year to do something about it?

What are your options?

The myriad of hair loss pills, potions, lotions, procedures and cover-ups available is both a blessing and a curse in equal measure. On one hand its great that we have so many options nowadays, but on the other it can be hard to know where to start, which opinions to trust and what is safe and manageable. At HIS Hair Clinic we pioneered the worlds first scalp micropigmentation treatments in 2002, and we continue to lead the way in this type of hair loss solution. SMP is safe, incredibly realistic and low maintenance, so if you're looking for a permanent solution you should see our treatment section to find out more. Beyond SMP, your options broadly consist of the following:
  • Drugs
  • Topical lotions and foams
  • Special shampoos and conditioners
  • Dietary changes, supplements and holistic
  • Concealers
  • Hair systems
  • Surgery
I'll cover each of these briefly, and provide links to further resources where you can find out more.

Hair loss drugs

Generally when drugs for hair loss are discussed, principally we're talking about Propecia. Propecia, or more specifically its active ingredient finasteride, has been proven to help prevent hair loss in some cases, however it has also been proven to have caused severe side effects in many people. On balance, most people who take Propecia do not experience side effects, but the number of people who have complained is high enough to cause concern. For more information about these complaints, see this post. A cheaper alternative to Propecia is Proscar, another pill that contains 5mg of finasteride instead of 1mg as found in Propecia. 5mg is no more effective, but many people buy Proscar and split the tablets, although this method is not recommended. See Proscar versus Propecia for more information. Other options include Procerin and Dutasteride, and more risky drugs such as Spironolactone.

Topical lotions and foams

By far the most popular product on the market is Rogaine (known as Regaine in the UK), with its active ingredient minoxidil. Rogaine is available as a lotion or a foam, and works by preventing DHT from attaching to hair follicles. Other products are also on the market including Provillus and Procerin XT Foam.

Shampoos and conditioners for hair loss

There are hundreds of shampoos on the market claiming to slow down (or even reverse) hair loss. It is important to note that there is very little evidence that these products actually work, however they are easy to use and have no serious side effects, so the risk is limited. Popular products include Nisim, ZulveraNanogen Nanoguard and Intragen.

Dietary changes, supplements and holistic

In the real world, once hair loss has started there is little that any dietary changes or nutritional supplements can do to stop it. Nevertheless, there are a number of options available as a possible compliment to another treatment. Supplements include Advecia, Nourkrin and Saw Palmetto. Holistic options include the use of lavender to prevent hair loss, and information about dietary changes to help against hair loss can be found here.

Hair loss concealers

Quite simply, these are shake or spray applicators containing fibres that make hair appear thicker and fuller than it actually is. The most popular products on the market include Toppik, COUVRe, Nanogen Nanofibres, Fullmore, Caboki and DermMatch.

Hair systems

The term 'hair system' is a polite referral to a wig, toupee or hairpiece. Whilst it is true that hair systems have progressed a long way in recent years, many people do not realise the ongoing cost, maintenance and hygiene implications that hair systems attract. It is therefore important to know what you're getting into before you sign contracts with a hair system manufacturer.

Surgery

For many, hair transplant surgery is the answer they have been looking for. It is true that many thousands of people every year are satisfied with the results they achieve through hair restoration surgery, but it is not without its pitfalls. The results can be unpredictable, surgery doesn't stop further recession from taking place, it is expensive, painful and leaves significant scarring. Before commiting to surgery, do your homework. A good place to start is to look for a surgeon accredited by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).

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By Damien

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