As we swing into the dog days of summer, while you're itching for your kids to get back to school, your husband is itching to figure out how to get the hair of his youth back. Never fear, August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month! This is a crucial time for Americans across the country to learn about the many, some of them new, types of tests and medical treatments available to treat hair loss.
"Hair loss is now a treatable condition and it doesn't have to be permanent," said Alan J. Bauman, M.D., board-certified hair transplant surgeon and leading lecturer in the field. "There have been several recent medical advancements that are improving the quality of hair restoration as well as helping patients test in advance for how at risk they might be."
According to Dr. Bauman, here are the top treatments and tests available for hair loss:
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplants Using the NeoGraft Device
This isn't the hair transplant of your grandfather's generation. Unlike "hair plugs" or "strip-harvesting" of the past, this new device-assisted and minimally-invasive hair transplant procedure has helped both men and women restore lost hair, permanently. By using the NeoGraft hair transplant device, surgeons can harvest each follicle from the back of the scalp, which translates to no obvious linear scar. Unlike the previous traditional hair transplant procedure, the FUE Hair Transplant effectively transplants hair with less downtime and more importantly, less discomfort.
Actual Follicular Unit Extraction Results of Dr. Alan Bauman
- LaserCap for Laser Hair Therapy
Seems like there's a laser for everything these days... it was only time before treatment for hair loss was up. Although it sounds antithetical, the LaserCap delivers "clinical-grade" low level laser therapy to encourage hair growth. For your DIYers, this device is cordless and rechargeable and can fit discreetly beneath a baseball hat for hands-free hair growth, at home. The FDA has already cleared two similar devices for hair growth and many others are available on the market for cosmetic use.
- HairCheck For Hair Loss/Hair Regrowth Tracking and Analysis
Metrics, metrics, metrics. As is important in any experiment, there needs to a definitive tracking and analysis of data. Whether HairCheck is being used to see if you are indeed losing hair or to see if your current hair loss treatment is working, the non-invasive device works by measuring the Hair Mass Index (HairNumber). Scientifically proven and non-invasive, the HairCheck measures how much hair is growing from a specific area of the scalp by comparing measurements over time. This device can also be used to measure hair breakage, which is a common cause of hair loss in woman.
- Genetic Tests for Hair Loss and Finasteride Response
Knowledge is power - the old adage of looking at your mother's father is no longer the only option to determining whether or not you'll go bald. The first genetic test to predict if you're susceptible to hair loss is now available. The test is deceptively simple: a cheek-swab can accurately determine if a person has a genetic predisposition to significant baldness before symptoms are severe, which is when treatment is the most effective. The Finasteride Response Test will also accurately predict how a man will respond to finasteride (the active ingrediant in the oral medication, Propecia) to prevent hair loss.
- FDA Approved Medications
Oral medications such as Propecia contain finasteride and topical solutions such as Rogaine contain solution minoxidil are the only FDA-approved medications for male pattern hair loss. Rogaine is also approved for female pattern hair loss.
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the annual Hair Loss Awareness Month, a public education campaign of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). An estimated 60 million men and 40 million women in the U.S. suffer from thinning or receding hair and as technology improves, people can find more effective invasive and non-invasive help.