The stigma surrounding hair loss and hair transplantation is finally fading after a few A-list celebrities came out and boldly told the world that they had help with their thinning tresses. Ex-Take That singer Robbie Williams shocked many of his fans when he revealed on one of the UK’s biggest chat shows, The Jonathan Ross Show, that he underwent a procedure in LA to fill out the follicles on his scalp. Footballer Wayne Rooney was so pleased with his hair transplant that he tweeted to his fans that he was ‘delighted’ with the result. Breakthroughs in hair loss treatments also mean that, just like cassette tapes and typewriters, comb-overs and bad wigs may soon become casualties of time. This is great news for the many millions of men dealing with feelings of reduced virility caused by male pattern baldness (MPB) and receding hairlines. Treatments currently available to counter hair-loss range from prescription-tablets and lotions to lasers and transplants.
One of the latest treatments is stem cell therapy, which is the process of isolating platelet rich plasma and reintroducing it back into the body. Research has proven that stem cells are not lost when people lose their hair; it is only a certain kind of cell – the progenitor cell – that is missing. So those cells can be kick-started to produce new hair growth. A small amount (usually 20 ml) of blood is drawn and treated in a centrifuge so that only the enriched cells or platelets remain. The PRP or highly concentrated Platelet Rich Plasma is injected into the scalp or areas to be treated using a special micro needle. Effusions of blood, redness and swelling may occur but these effects normally subside after a short time. Some improvement can be expected in the first 2-6 months, but treatments must be continued periodically to maintain any improvement.
Meso-therapy is a non-invasive technique based on superficial microinjections, just below the epidermis. The term «meso» is derived from the mesoderm or middle layer of the skin (approx.1mm deep). The treatment is virtually painless and safe when done professionally. There is no dressing or local anaesthesia required. The specialized cocktail that is injected can contain a wide range of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, nucleic acids and co-enzymes that can be tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Together they give the scalp a vitamin boost, which can improve the blood circulation in this area. Better circulation allows your hair follicles to be better nourished, which in turn promotes hair re-growth. Over time, the Meso-therapy solution neutralises the DHT hormone, causing hair to grow again. Both methods are widely believed to stimulate hair growth however there is no solid medical evidence to support either procedure.
People that want a sure-fix solution but are also worried about undergoing full surgery are opting for the latest treatment, which is called ‘Robotic Hair Transplant’. The sophisticated process uses state-of-the-art technology such as computer assistance to harvest hair follicles and a semi robotic arm to remove and replace the follicular units more accurately. However, a human touch is also required because each person’s hairline is unique, so the doctor’s skill and artistic execution are essential to achieve a more natural look. The hi-tech procedure makes the process more accurate and also speeds it up. The other advantages are that it is the least invasive of its kind, meaning there are no scalpel incisions, sutures or linear scars, making it a surgery with less pain and the fastest recovery time.
Before you embark on treatment it is important to consider which hair loss treatment, if any, is suitable for you. The first step must always be to consult a doctor who can identify the cause of your hair loss. There are also quite a few over-the-counter treatment options that can help promote hair growth. You can begin with trying protein based vitamins and serums. Hair loss serums are high in concentrations of botanical extracts, natural antioxidants, naturally occurring vitamins and enzymes which help improve the appearance of the hair and stimulate hair growth making it thicker and fuller. If that does not work then topical medication like minoxidil lotion may help to slow down the hair fall rate and pills like Propecia can often increase the growth of hair on the scalp and prevent hair loss in men with mild to moderate baldness.
Diet and lifestyle can also have a marked effect on hair loss so regular exercise and a healthy diet should be maintained. Stress and anxiety can also be major factors that cause hair loss, so it is important that you don’t worry and fret those follicles away! So if you don’t decide to follow in the footsteps of Bruce Willis and Michael Jordan and embrace your baldness don’t despair because you can keep the toupee at bay with a wide variety of treatments.