What Works Best For Hair Loss and Grey Hair?
Grey Hair Treatments
At the moment, there is no proven treatment to reverse the growth of grey hair from the follicle despite the bold claims made by some anti-grey hair remedies. These products usually contain common herbs and vitamins and derive their anti-grey hair effects from Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine or homeopathy but their common denominator is the fact that they are ineffective for the great majority of grey hair sufferers. The only method that works 100% is to cover your grey hair. You can either use regular hair dyes, popular mainly with female consumers, or use one of the progressive hair colorants. Progressive hair colorants work on the hair by gradually changing its colour, which makes the change more discrete than dyeing hair. Unlike regular hair dyes, they only impact the white hair. For many consumers this is the preferred, more natural option.
Progressive hair colorants are not messy and one does not usually need plastic gloves to apply them. They colour the hair selectively. Several strands of grey hair can be left untreated to make your hair look more natural. The weakness of this approach is the fact that progressive hair colorants have to be applied more often than permanent hair dyes, although their application is much easier. Metallic hair colorants usually have to be applied twice a week, but can be applied quickly and are not aggressive to your skin and hair, whereas organic-based hair colorants are typically used once a week but are a bit more difficult to handle. GreyBan, Re-Nature and Touch of Gray are the most recommended products to cover your grey hair.
Hair Loss Treatments
Hair loss is reversible to a certain degree. But there is no single magic formula that works completely. Since there are multiple factors in male pattern hair loss, it is wisest to approach the problem from several angles to maximize results, as some treatments are complementary and address different underlying causes. The best-proven approach is to use an oral antiandrogen such as finasteride and a topical hair growth stimulant such as minoxidil. These two substances are not only the only two compounds approved by the FDA and equivalent health authorities in many other counties for treating male pattern baldness but they also happen to be the most potent agents among all existing hair loss remedies. The weakness of finasteride (as well as its closest relative, dutasteride) is that it cannot be used by female patients and its use in male patients is sometimes associated with causing negative side effects. Therefore, many hair loss sufferers have to look for alternatives. There are a number of promising, alternative remedies that have demonstrated some ability to promote hair growth, such as azelaic acid, aminexil, topical caffeine, copper peptides, beta-sitosterol, procyanidines, adenosine, ketoconazole, spironolactone, low-level laser therapy, herbal extracts from saw palmetto, pygeum africanum and stinging nettle, etc., with many of them of natural origin that might be worth experimenting with. Alternative treatments can either be used as supplements to enhance the effectiveness of proven medicinal treatments, in order to gain additional benefits, or as substitutes for proven medicinal treatments if negative side effects have occurred. For women, spironolactone and cyproterone acetate seem to be the most suitable substitutes for finasteride. You do not need to experiment with mixing your own treatments as many commercial products available today combine the benefits of the FDA-approved drug minoxidil with various alternative treatments. The most recommended products within each of the main categories of hair loss treatments are listed below:
The most recommended medicinal treatments: Propecia (finasteride, only for men), Rogaine and Rogaine foam (minoxidil), dutasteride (only for men), spironolactone (only for women), Nizoral shampoo (ketoconazole), Xandrox and Xandrox-like products (minoxidil with azelaic acid).
The most recommended herbal treatments: Revivogen, Hair Genesis and Nioxin (intensive therapy follicle booster).
The most recommended combined treatments: Spectral DNC, Spectral DNC-L, Spectral RS (for women), Dermenodex (thinning hair scalp treatment), Min New York, Folligen, Tricomin, Nanogaine and Revita shampoo.
The most recommended treatment for non-hereditary forms of hair loss: ThymuSkin (effluvium, alopecia areata).
The most recommended non-chemical treatment: HairMax LaserComb (low-level laser therapy).
Hair surgery is currently the only suitable treatment option for those who wish to dramatically and permanently improve the coverage on top of their head. The cosmetic results of hair surgery and the resulting customer satisfaction have greatly improved in recent years. This is mainly due to the introduction of the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique, which has quickly become the gold standard of the hair transplant industry. Hair transplant candidates should consider this method as their first option. The older method - follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or any of its finer modifications - should only be considered if your hair loss pattern has progressed to NW5 and beyond. The follicular unit transplantation procedure leaves the patient with a linear scar at the back of the head for the rest of their life.
The follicular unit extraction technique was introduced in 2002 and not all hair transplant surgeons and clinics can offer it yet. However, the industry has quickly embraced the new technology as increasing numbers of surgeons learn and perfect this technique and the quality and the affordability of this type of hair surgery is fast improving. Future techniques, such as hair multiplication and the generation of new hair follicles from wounds, though not expected to become commercially available within five years, should further expand surgical treatment options. Their main benefit should be in ensuring an unlimited supply of donor hair. The follicular unit extraction is currently the most recommended method of hair transplantation.
Concealing Hair Loss
For some hair loss patients, such as those suffering from extensive alopecia areata, hairpieces might be the only option to conceal their bald spots. However, for those who only have thinning hair or have enough vellus hair remaining in the balding area, hair loss concealers appear to be a suitable cover-up. Modern hair thickeners and hair loss concealers are typically more resistant to external influences than most people tend to believe and if used appropriately they can look extremely authentic. For the best results, it is recommended to use a combination of a hair thickener such as DermMatch as a base and a microfibrous hair loss concealer such as Toppik to mask the remaining imperfections. There are a number of products in this category that should match everybody's hair colour and preferred application method. DermMatch and Toppik may be some of the best known products in this category but there are many others such as Nanofibres, Organin, Fullmore, Mega THIK, ProThick, Toppek Hair Fattener, COUVRe, etc. that can deliver very satisfactory results.