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Best Options For Combating Hair Loss

As a Scalp Micropigmentation Artist and fellow hair loss victim, I have gone through the ringer trying to keep my hair. For anyone losing their hair at a young age, you understand the devastating psychological effects this can have. Avoiding the pool, night clubs that do not allow hats, weddings, relationships, etc. Hair Loss can be crippling. 

I wanted to touch on the few resources that I think truly work and what you can do to prevent further hair loss. There are many products out there but what actually works? I will list the options and pros and cons of each so you can be more informed and skip the false statements and avoid the marking traps. 

When you start to notice you’re losing your hair and you don’t want to allow it to progress, the first thing you should do is go to your local grocery store and buy generic Minoxidil (Rogaine). I recommend buying the foam as this is much less greasy and messy. Use this before bed and each morning as part of your routine. The instructions state that this product only works on the crown; I recommend using this on the hairline and throughout the top of your scalp and temples as well. Minoxidil is a vasodilator (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15133413/) and helps improve blood flow to the hair follicles that are being affected by a hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestosteron)(https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/what-is-dht-baldness-and-how-to-treat-it). DHT suffocates your hair follicles and blocks the blood flow slowly killing the hair follicle. The likelihood of side effects are minimal. If you have a negative skin reaction this may not work for you. Also, being that Minoxidil is a vasodilator, potential cardiac or blood pressure concerns could arise although I have never heard of this happening to anyone. (  https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/side-effects/drg-20068750?p=1

Second, look into Finasteride AKA Propecia or Avodart: (https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1548-9167/finasteride-oral/finasteride-hair-growth-oral/details) Finasteride is a prescription medication that blocks the body’s testosterone from converting to DHT thus, helping stop the DHT from suffocating your hair follicles. Unfortunately with any medication or hormone manipulation, there can be side effects (https://www.rxlist.com/propecia-side-effects-drug-center.htm). There are topical Finasteride options that show a less likely chance of side effects. (www.forhims.com

Minoxidil and Propcia (Finasteride) in combination should be all you need to prevent further hair loss and keep your hair. This is also the regimen I would recommend starting for anyone who has had a hair transplant. You must do everything you can to keep the rest of your hair after a hair transplant or you will end up losing the rest of your hair and only the transplanted grafts will remain. 

Outside of these two options, there are a few other options you can explore, however I am not convinced that the ROI is worth your time and money. 

Low Level Light Therapy is an FDA approved method for hair loss just as Minoxidil and Finasteride are. LLLT, works by improving blood flow to the hair follicles as does Minoxidil. The issue I have with this is, the laser devices are usually very expensive and you must adhere to a schedule that requires a lot of time spent under these lasers. This option would be good for someone who has any adverse skin reactions to minoxidil.  (https://www.healthline.com/health/laser-treatment-for-hair-loss

If you’re not an advocate of taking prescription medication, you may be able to substitute Saw Palmetto in place of Finasteride. There are no true studies that show Saw Palmetto truly blocks the body’s Testosterone from converting to DHT. But this is an option to look into. (https://www.healthline.com/health/saw-palmetto-hair-loss

Platelet rich plasma for hair loss. This is a treatment performed by a Doctor that helps bring Platelet rich blood and inject into the scalp. Again, I am not convinced the ROI is there. (https://www.healthline.com/health/prp-for-hair-loss

 This article is meant to help folks who are just learning about hair loss options and hopefully help navigate through the BS. The FDA options as of now are Minoxidil (Rogaine), Finasteride (Propicia) and LLLT (Low Level Light Therapy)  

In conclusion: If you use Minoxidil and Finasteride, you should be in good shape. If you experience side effects from the Finasteride, try the topical version and if all else fails, take Saw Palmetto in its place.   

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Scalp Micropigmentation For Hair Transplant Scars

Two of the most common methods to perform a hair transplant are known as FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). Both techniques will leave some level of scarring on the scalp. 

FUT for a majority of hair restoration clinics is considered to be the older of the two methods and some clinics consider FUT to be obsolete. FUT also known as “Strip Method” is performed when a Surgeon cuts a strip of skin from the back and sides of your head (Donor Area) and extracts the follicles individually from the strip of skin. After the strip of skin is taken from the donor area, the strip is then sutured closed leaving a surgical strip scar.  

FUT is not the favored method today as you will be left with a noticeable scar if you were to ever shave your head later in life. This method may be suggested by a surgeon if a maximum number of grafts are needed to obtain the best coverage in the balding area or if FUE grafts have been exhausted. 

SMP on Strip Scar – FUT

(Work performed by Dermimatch Hair Clinic in Scottsdale Arizona).

FUE is considered the “Gold Standard” and the preferred method of performing hair restoration surgery. Unlike FUT, this method does not extract a strip of skin from the donor area thus; it does not leave a strip scar. Some clinics have referred to this method as “Scar-less” which is misleading to say the least. FUT utilizes a small extraction punch to extract individual hair follicles from the back and sides of the head (Donor Area). These punches leave small dot scars across the donor area. If done in a strategic pattern over a broad portion of the donor area, these scars are much less notable and the hair can be kept shorter or oftentimes even buzzed. 

SMP on FUE

FUE Before
FUE After

(Work performed by Dermimatch Hair Clinic in Scottsdale Arizona).

SMP is an excellent solution to help conceal these scars. Unfortunately SMP is not a miracle solution and it does not address the scar texture differences of healthy tissue. This means if your scar is raised or indented you will need to seek other solutions in addition to SMP for the best results. Some of these solutions are scar revisions (Your transplant Doctor will usually do this at no cost), laser skin resurfacing Laser Skin Resurfacing Types, Conditions It Treats, Complications, and More (webmd.com)  , micro-needling Microneedling: Benefits, side effects, and risks (medicalnewstoday.com) , fillers and steroid injections (See your local Dermatologist).