All men will lose their hair as they become older, a fact of life that not many men want to accept. For the men whose thinning hair becomes far more noticeable, acceptance becomes even harder.
Fortunately, there are several ways that can bring back thinning hair, if not a full head of hair, then thicker hair will suffice. You and your doctor can discuss the pros and cons in more detail of these three available methods.
These medications are effective but not for every man who takes them so reasonable expectations must be made from the start. Even when one of these medications work in your case, you have to continuously and consistently use them for their positive effects to continue. Nearly as soon as you stop taking them, you can start saying goodbye to the hair you may have grown back.
- Finasteride (Propecia) works by preventing the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and, thus, limiting the effect of follicle. When taken as a once-a-day pill, the recommended dosage, the effects will only be observed after three to six months. Within six months of ceasing the medication, the balding process resumes.
- Minoxidil is an over-the-counter topical product with a similar effect as finasteride. When you use it regularly, your hair will be thicker after several months. But when you stop applying it on your head, you will hair falling out again.
Due to the long-term use, both medications are expensive over time. You have to consider your need for thicker hair in relation to a thinner wallet.
The fact that the hair transplant procedure isn’t covered by medical insurance also makes it an expensive method of fighting baldness. There are no stitches required but a local anesthetic will be administered on the scalp where the hair will be harvested and grafted. The hair-growing process usually takes a long time and the procedure cannot be repeated successively – a break between 9 and 12 months is necessary for proper healing.
Instead of natural hair harvested from the patient’s own scalp, synthetic fibers are used to “re-grow” hair. While the administration of a local anesthetic reduces the pain during the procedure, the high risks of post-surgery scarring and infection makes artificial hair implantation among the least recommended options.
Scientists are also considering cloning as a way to combat baldness in men. In it, stem cells are used in growing new hair that, in turn, can be used for hair transplants.
But if you don’t have the budget for these expensive treatments or you don’t want to take the risks, then you may want to take a page from Bruce Willis’ book. Bald can be sexy, too!