Each year millions upon millions of individuals of all ages experience hair loss, also known as baldness. Baldness can be partial hair loss or such a significant loss that a person becomes totally hairless and is subject to a completely bald head. There are many reasons for baldness, either partial or complete. Baldness is not limited to gender or specific region and is a concern for individuals everywhere that experience this. Male pattern baldness is the most common type and can begin at an early age. While age can play a factor in baldness, heredity also does, and females can suffer significant hair loss, although they are less likely to experience complete baldness than males. Also known as Androgenic Alopecia, baldness is quite simply hair loss in either males or females in different regions of the scalp and for many different reasons, from disease to heredity. Hormones can play a factor, especially the hormone testosterone, and males with more testosterone, and post-menopausal women who lose estrogen and increase testosterone are more prone to baldness. Medications also can play a factor and baldness after starting a new medication should be discussed immediately with the prescribing physician.
While there is no absolute thorough cure for baldness, especially baldness due to aging, there are some measures that may slow the process or help to eliminate the appearance of baldness. The word “cure” for baldness can be misleading as although it is still debatable whether hair can be significantly regrown, maintaining a healthy scalp does help prevent baldness and can be seen as a “cure.” A healthy scalp will ensure the preservation of an individual’s hair longer than someone who does not maintain a healthy scalp. Like with every other health issue, cleanliness is important, as is eating right, maintaining an active lifestyle and overall taking care of any medical issues immediately that may arise.
New drugs, however, are showing promise in the quest to cure baldness, especially one that is used to treat osteoporosis. Thorough research is ongoing in this, but this drug seems to strengthen and promote the growth of hair follicles which are needed to regrow and strengthen existing hair. There are also significant breakthroughs in hair transplantation, which restores the look of a full head of hair by transplanting hair from one part of the head to another, much like any other type of medical transplant. This is another exciting new avenue that is gaining momentum in the drive to establish a cure for baldness. Since baldness generally starts in the top, sides, or front of the head in both men and women, in hair transplantation, some strands of hair from thicker back portions are excised and transplanted to the balding spots. The transplanted strands then take root and grow naturally as does the rest of the hair on an individual’s head. Procedures for hair transplantation as a baldness cure are becoming more standardized and advanced. They are also becoming more popular among both men and women. Costs can vary depending upon areas of coverage and the geographic area, and most insurances will not cover the costs of transplantation or any other cures for baldness as it is also considered a cosmetic procedure. If a great deal of transplantation is sought by a patient, the costs are much higher than just doing some smaller areas of the head.
Over the counter types of hair growing shampoos and supplements do also exist and these are a much cheaper method to try and regrow hair although results with these products can vary greatly. Some individuals can experience a great deal of success with the over the counter offerings while others experience none. There really is no way to tell if these will work without just jumping in and trying them. There are also non-permanent solutions also such as hair fillers, which can be purchased in a spray can or as a shake on type of product, filling in balding spots so they are less noticeable. Fillers are fibrous threads which adhere to the existing hair and give the illusion of natural hair and hide the portions of scalp that might be showing. These are not all that expensive but must be reapplied each time the hair is shampooed, or whenever the scalp starts to show through. These types of products can be found in most drug and department stores, as well as online, but are not anywhere near a permanent cure for baldness or balding areas.
Hair is considered an individual’s “crowning glory” and although some individuals really embrace baldness as a type of fashion statement, others are very self-conscious about it and may want to consider the more permanent types of cures in order to maintain their sense of self-esteem.