Hair Loss (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Some people choose to treat hair loss with medicines or surgery, such as hair transplant surgery. Others choose to wear hairpieces (wigs or toupees) or use different methods of hair styling (dyeing or combing). The approach you use depends on the cause of your hair loss. Some people feel they need treatment, while others are not as concerned about thinning hair or baldness.
If a disease, medicine, or stress is the cause, then treating the disease, changing medicines, or eliminating or learning to manage the stress may stop the hair loss.
Treatment for hair loss may help you feel better about how you look, although the trade-off might be that it affects your health. Some medicines may have harmful side effects, and surgery may carry certain risks.
Inherited hair loss
Treatment for inherited hair loss aims to prevent hair loss, promote hair growth, and cover bald areas of the scalp. But treatment is not successful for everyone, and you should not expect to regrow a full head of hair.
Cosmetic approaches to hair loss include:
Treatment for other causes of hair loss
Hair loss can be caused by diseases, medicines or medical treatments, recent surgery, high fevers, emotional stress, lack of protein or iron, and hair care, such as using dyes. Often, treating the cause stops the hair loss, and hair grows back. In some cases, other treatment is needed.
Hair loss caused by cancer treatment requires special care: use mild shampoos and do not use a hair dryer.
Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles, where hair growth begins. Because hair usually grows back within a year, you may decide not to have treatment. Understanding the come-and-go nature of hair loss with this condition can help you make the best treatment decision. Children and teens may need counseling to help them adjust to the hair loss.
Medicine used for alopecia areata includes:
What to think about
How successful your treatment is depends on your expectations and the cause of hair loss. Treatment for hair loss caused by an illness, medicine, or damage to the hair usually is more successful than treatment for inherited hair loss.
Considerations about inherited hair loss include:
Women with inherited hair loss who wish to take birth control pills should use a pill type that does not add to hair loss, such as a norgestimate or ethynodiol diacetate.4
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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