Hair loss affects upwards of 70% of all adults within their lifetime. Naturally, most would rather keep what hair they have. Remedies go far back as recorded medicine, if not earlier. Needless to mention that hippopotamus fat, pigeon droppings, horse teeth, and other ingredients throughout the centuries were largely ineffective. Only within the past 30 years have treatments actually, y’know, worked. New to FUE hair transplant, I decided to look into the latest options available that actually encourage growth and retention. Keep reading to find out what!
Methyl vanillate is just beginning to enter the market. It’s available under a number of different brands but near all should have some things in common. First off, this ingredient is all-natural, great for those weary of pharmaceuticals. It also is one of the only solutions that stimulate WNT beta catenin signalers, essential for both initiating and maintaining hair growth. WNT activity drops with age. DHT production also increases in such cases, an antiandrogen that encourages hair loss. Applying methyl vanillate boosts WNT levels significantly, thereby decreasing DHT and encouraging hair growth, retention, and thickness.
Platelet Rich Plasma and Varients
Platelet rich plasma has been around for a while. Derived from the patient’s own blood, it is essentially a condensed serum that contains numerous growth factors. Injected into the scalp, the treatment stimulates growth and encourages hair health. Effects are even more dramatic with ACell, an extracellular matrix typically used to enhance recovery from wounds or surgery. Quality of platelet rich plasma ranges dramatically; potency depends on both the processing, catalyst, and other factors. Sonication, for instance, encourages five to eight times more growth factors. The more growth factors, and their density, the greater the effect.
Stem Cell Treatment
This one is new but offering great results. Similar to platelet rich plasma, stem cell treatments also involve condensing the patient’s bodily matter. Instead of blood, though, stem cell treatments derive from small scalp biopsies. These samples are then further divided to separate stem cell bearing regions from regular flesh. After centrifugation, they are injected into the patient’s scalp. Results are impressive; this is one of the only options available to renew hair growth within dormant follicles.
Finasteride has been around since the 90s, typically under the brand name Propecia. Effective at retaining hair for most people, it also has side effects…including sexual dysfunction. Needless to mention, even though it is widely used the option is unpopular for this reason. One recent solution is topical finasteride. Similar to minoxidil, popularly known as Rogain, patients apply it to the scalp. Findings are still coming in but clinical studies show it has far greater efficacy than Rogain or oral finasteride; and without the nasty side effects too!
Hair transplantation remains the only way to regain a full head of hair. Technically the relocation of such, the size of one’s transplant depends on the amount of available donor hair. “There are a few versions available but Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, is far and away the most effective,” says Dr. Cole, head of the Atlanta Forhair clinic. This technique involves the extraction and transplantation of individual strands of hair to balding spots. Results truly depend on the surgeon’s skill and, currently, there is a trend of novice surgeons and/or charlatans botching results. In the hands of a capable specialist, though, hair transplant recipients sport convincing results that truly are indecipherable from regular heads of hair.