Young and Balding: What Are Your Best Options?
Hair loss can be a very stressful experience for guys in their 20’s and 30’s. Waking up and finding hair on your pillow, or watching it fall down the shower drain, can make a young man feel like he’s 20 going on 60.
When your hair thins at an early age it can lead to anxiety, self-esteem issues, and lowered satisfaction when it come to your personal appearance. Initially, many guys try to overcome this by wearing a baseball cap or looking for over-the-counter hair thickening shampoos. Some brave souls will accept their genetic fate and go completely bald – but that look doesn’t always work for everyone.
While hair loss can happen for a wide variety of reasons, the most likely culprit is something called androgenic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness. Contrary to the locker room tall tales you’ve probably heard, your hair won’t thin because you’ve worn a baseball cap everyday for a year straight, or because you use hair gel to style your hair. Male pattern baldness is solely due to genetics and male sex hormones.
Generally speaking, men who have male pattern baldness tend to have normal levels of testosterone, but their hair follicles are more sensitive to the effects, which in turn can cause hair follicles to shrink. This results in shorter and thinner hair – and eventually baldness.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available, which can help to grow new hair or slow hair loss at the very least.
Before you venture into the confusing world of Internet hair loss advice, you should first pay a visit to a hair loss specialist. The doctor will sit down with you and discuss your family and medical history, then take a look at your hair loss and make a recommendation. The doctor might recommend one of the following treatment options for young males who are experiencing hair loss:
Minoxidil is applied directly to your scalp and helps promote hair thickness and growth. It’s primarily meant to help you maintain the hair you already have although it can help kick-start the hair regrowth process. Rogaine is often used as the first line of defense as it is FDA-approved for men over 18 years of age.
You will need to apply it twice daily for three to six months before you may notice any results. After a few months you’ll start to notice that you’re shedding less and less hair and within four to eight months you should see new hair growth. The bottle says to apply to the back or “crown” of the head but it can be applied anywhere you have hair loss and can help the mid-portion of your scalp and frontal region as well.
Finasteride (Propecia and Proscar)
Around 85% of people who use Finasteride on a regular basis see stabilization or dramatic slowing of hair loss. 65% of people who use it see an increase in hair numbers. Hair growth can occur anywhere in the area of loss. Another benefit is that most people will see an increase in the weight of their hair, which means thicker, fuller hair.
Finasteride is taken once daily in pill form. It works by preventing testosterone from being converted into DHT in the oil glands, hair follicles, and prostate. DHT is the form of testosterone responsible for hair loss. There can be some side effects with this medication and your doctor will be able to explain those in greater detail during your consultation.
PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)
PRP is a relatively new treatment for hair loss. It is a non-surgical therapeutic option for people who don’t need or want a surgical procedure. Originally intended to help in tissue regeneration and wound healing, PRP was found to also help stimulate hair growth.
When undergoing this therapy, the doctor will extract blood from you in the same way as if you were getting a blood test. Your blood is then placed in a centrifuge which separates out the red blood cells from the plasma -which contains the platelets. Once the plasma is extracted and concentrated, a small needle is used to inject it into the treatment area. Pain and potential side effects are minimal, and you can go back to your daily routine afterwards with no restrictions on driving or activities.
PRP therapy is currently in the initial stages of scientific research. It is not meant to be a replacement for Finasteride or Minoxidil, but it is showing great promise as time goes by. Your doctor will let you know if PRP therapy is right for you.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is another option available to young men and women who are experiencing hair loss. A state-of-the-art helmet is worn on top of the head. Inside the helmet are 80 low-level lasers, which help stimulate hair growth. While this may seem like something straight out of a science-fiction novel, laser therapy is showing promising results for many hair loss patients.
The treatment process can be done in the privacy and comfort of your home. There are no medical prescriptions required nor are there any harmful side effects. The helmet is meant to be worn for 20 minutes, twice a week. It’s cordless and hands-free so you can watch TV. or browse the internet while wearing it.
The entire process of why it works is currently not fully understood by science. It’s thought that the laser light is absorbed into cells which in turn triggers more cellular activity. Basically, it can help aging cells become more active which stimulates hair growth.
Hair Loss Clinic for Young Men
Being young and having thinning hair isn’t the end of the world. No longer will you have to hide your shame behind a baseball cap, or shave your head completely bald. There are plenty of treatment options available that can help slow or stop your thinning hair.
If you’re starting to experience premature hair loss at an early age, make an appointment with the Limmer Hair Transplant Center. Dr. Krejci, a board certified Dermatologist and hair expert, will sit down with you and go over the options available to you at this point in time. If you are out-of-town and would like a consultation, give us a call and we’ll help arrange a phone consultation at your convenience.