| How To Deal With Hair Loss
Hair is only alive INSIDE the hair follicle. This means, once it grows through the scalp (the hair you see), it is already dead. As a result, cutting your hair will NOT make it grow thicker, faster or healthier. Since your hair is already dead by the time you see it, cutting makes no difference. Furthermore, no hair product, no matter what the label says, can make your hair thicker, longer, denser or stronger (although it may briefly give the appearance of being so).
If you are suffering severe hair loss, talk to your doctor about medical treatments. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner the loss can be halted and the better the long-term results. Medical options typically include:
1. Topical Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine): This is a hair growth lotion that is applied directly to the scalp. It halts further hair loss and stimulates mild to moderate hair regrowth in about 60 percent of women. Doctors don't really know how it works, but it may interfere with the life cycle of hair. It comes in two strengths: 2 percent and 5 percent. The greatest hair growth occurs after 6 months of daily use of 5 percent lotion. The same effect takes up to 12 months with the 2 percent lotion.
2. Anti-Androgen Pills: Tablets such as cyproterone acetate and spironolactone can help prevent further hair loss and may even stimulate growth. They block the effect of androgen hormones and can be taken on their own or in conjunction with Rogaine. Research shows hair loss is halted in 90 percent of cases and about 30 to 40 percent experience regrowth.
3. Hair Transplant: This medical procedure redistributes hair over the scalp but it does not prevent hair loss. It works on the principle of robbing Peter to pay Paul, taking hair from the back of the head and redistributing it over the crown. Generally only women who have complete bald spots on the top of the head opt for it. It takes about 6 to 9 months after a transplant for the results to be noticed.
Tips For Hiding Thinned Hair
1. Shorter haircuts give you greater volume and lift.
2. A side or zigzag parting, rather than a central parting, will disguise thinning at the top of the scalp.
3. Comb wet hair with a wide-tooth comb to prevent breaking thin hair.
4. If your roots are gray, have them colored regularly. The color will make the hair look thicker and healthier.
5. Use hair products (shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays) specifically labeled for thin, fly-away hair.
6. Camouflage products such as spray on color, powders and creams can be applied directly to scalp to hide the fact you have hair loss. These products are best suited to women with mild to moderate hair loss because those with extensive loss may not achieve a natural appearance after application. Most camouflage products fortunately are compatible with topical minoxidil treatment. Examples of camouflage products include Couvre cream which darkens the scalp to match the hair and DermMatch powder cosmetics used to coat hair and scalp skin.
7. Hair building keratin sprays such as Toppik, can significantly reduce the appearance of thinned hair in less than 30 seconds. They come in a range of colors to suit most hair types.
8. Alopecia masking lotion can help create the appearance of fuller hair. It is dabbed onto thinning areas of the scalp, including the frontal hairline. It looks natural and is not greasy or sticky. One brand is Couvre Alopecia Masking Lotion, available for purchase on Amazon.
When to see your doctor: Gather all the hairs from your hairbrush, shower and plug holes and start counting. If you count more than 700 hairs in a week, it's time to contact your doctor.
• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses and head problems described.
• Hair loss after pregnancy
• Hair loss after menopause
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