Hair loss is such a common problem that a majority of people experience it at some point as they age. But that ubiquity leads to quite a bit of bad information floating around, particularly on the Internet. The best thing you can do if you’re suffering from hair loss is to sit down with one or two experienced hair loss doctors and ask for their opinions. Here are five of the most important questions people often ask their doctors about hair loss, along with some abridged answers to get you started:
- Can I Stop Hair Loss on My Own?
This largely depends on the cause of your hair loss. If you’ve been damaging your hair by exposing it to excessive heat or pulling it back tightly into certain hairstyles, it’s possible you’ll be able to reverse the process by being a bit kinder to your hair. But if you’re suffering from androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness, respectively), then you’ll need to seek professional medical help; your genetics are out of your hands.
- Are Drug and Topical Treatments Effective?
The FDA-approved drug treatments for hair loss, Propecia and Rogaine, can be very effective. However, they’re best at reversing miniaturization (when the hairs grow in thinner and weaker with each growth cycle), rather than causing dead follicles to start producing hair. At that point, it’s best to consult with a hair transplant doctor about surgical options. Don’t waste your money on any topical treatments that haven’t been, at the very least, peer reviewed by medical doctors.
- What Do Hair Transplant Costs Average?
Hair transplant costs are often seen as the biggest barrier to this treatment. It’s true that a hair transplant could cost up to $20,000; however, it’s also important to remember that because surgery is a permanent solution, hair transplant costs can actually be lower than ongoing treatments whose costs are spread out across the years.
- What Are the Risks of Surgical Treatments?
Of course, there are risks associated with any surgery. But hair transplants are considered to be extremely safe, especially when performed by a skilled hair transplant surgeon. Depending on the method used, you can expect a little downtime, but very little pain and no long-lasting negative effects.
- What Options Are Available to Women?
Hair restoration for women is a much smaller market, so women have fewer options than men (Propecia, for example, is prescribed only to male patients). But there is a blend of Rogaine formulated for women, and women can also get hair transplants to fill in thinning areas. Because of the most popular women’s hairstyles, it’s also possible for scalp pigmentation to diminish the look of thinning hair without invasive procedures.
What other questions would you like to ask doctors for hair loss? Join the discussion in the comments below.