Since earning its FDA approval in 1988, Rogaine (minoxidil) has become a household name. At its core, the product is a vasodilator a chemical that dilates the smooth muscles in blood vessels thus, when applied directly to the scalp, it revitalizes shrunken hair follicles and increases their size, eventually leading to thicker looking hair and new hair growth. But proven results aside, Rogaine may not be the miracle cure you seek. The average user must apply it twice a day for four months before any results are visible (and results vary). That’s a big time and money investment for potentially miniscule results. On top of that, discontinuation usually leads back to square one within twelve months. And though side effects are generally mild, Rogaine can cause serious conditions like low blood pressure, vision loss, abnormal heart rhythms, and chest pain. Rogaine undoubtedly works for some, but it doesn’t work for all.
Propecia (finasteride) earned its FDA pedigree almost ten years after Rogaine. An enzyme inhibitor, Propecia blocks DHT, a chemical that can shrink hair follicles until they’re almost nonexistent. What’s more, the drug has also caused hair to regrow in some cases. Average users saw results in about three months. (And similar to Rogaine, discontinuation leads back to where you started in less than a year). One of Propecia’s best aspects is that it’s administered as a once a day pill. But the flip side is that it’s a prescription, so the price always varies and a prescription can be more difficult to obtain. And last but not least, some potential side effects make Propecia a double edged sword: They range from decreased sex drive and sperm ejaculation to abdominal pain and impotence. Who needs hair if you can’t have sex?
The most invasive surgical option in regards to balding remedied, hair transplants are more effective and less conspicuous than ever before. Today’s procedures are less painful, less expensive and exhibit less scarring but still require several visits to complete, which means an obvious transition period. Transplants operate by grafting tiny follicular units from hair growing sections of the scalp to problem areas, so the tiny grafts will be visible until the transplant is finished. (Note: Sometimes "plugs" fall out, take three months to grow and are still visible afterward.) Several options exist (mini grafts, micro grafts and follicular unit relocation), so conduct pre consultation research before making a decision. Hair transplant surgeons and clinics are abound, so begin you’re research here. Should you go this route, a hair transplant could leave you with a much fuller head of hair; but once you’re in this hair
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This one is just what it sounds like! In scalp reductions, bald areas of your scalp are surgically removed, and hair baring tissue is stretched over these areas to offset the difference. Scalp reductions are usually performed in conjunction with flap procedures, but not always. Choosing this alternative means electing the most serious surgical option, and should only be pursued under the care of a highly reputable surgeon. If the procedure is not done properly, permanent "stretch back" scars can appear at sites where the incisions were made sure, you’ll have less baldness on your head, but you’ll have jagged scarring to go with it.