Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools' Day - Don't Be Fooled By These Hair Loss Treatments

As the demand for cosmetic treatments continues to grow, some marketers have fallen for the temptation of presenting certain types of products and treatments as being more than they are. There are a lot of treatments out there that promise much, but don't always deliver.

One of the top offenders: hair loss treatments.
In honor of April Fools' Day, here are four hair loss treatments that consumers should watch out for:
Hair Loss Brushes - One persistent hair loss myth is that stimulating the scalp with magnets, brushes and massagers can improve blood circulation to the hair follicles and therefore reduce hair loss and improve new hair growth. There is no reliable medical evidence to support this claim. While there are real medical treatments to stimulate hair follicles and help improve blood circulation - like minoxidil, low level laser therapy and platelet-rich plasma - this can't effectively be done via a special hair brush or scalp massager. Don't get fooled!
Herbal Supplements - Good nutrition and certain supplements like biotin and marine-derived proteins and polysaccharides can help support hair quality. However, it's important to keep expectations realistic. A vitamin isn't going to stop hereditary hair loss or regrow hair from scalp where follicles are already dead and gone. Only FDA-approved medical treatments like minoxidil and finasteride have been extensively proven to slow, stop and reverse hereditary hair loss. And only surgical hair transplantation can regrow hair where severe depletion of hair follicles has occurred.
Minoxidil - Speaking of minoxidil, this treatment also requires a disclaimer. Although it is FDA-approved and has proven science behind it, the catch is that minoxidil doesn't work for everyone. In fact, over-the-counter minoxidil may only work well in about 38.3 percent of patients. The bottom line for patients is that there's a 65 percent chance that standard over-the-counter minoxidil won't help you. Instead, you may require a prescription for a specially formulated, compounded minoxidil solution for optimal results. 
Hair Transplants - "Hair plugs" are a thing of the past, today's hair transplants still don't always turn out the way they should. The biggest problem is that many unqualified doctors (many of which are not certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery) offer this procedure. The risks for hair transplant patients include surgical complications, infections, scarring, poor density and unnatural looking results. Another problem is that many doctors and large national clinics still mostly perform the traditional type of transplant called the "strip" or "linear" harvest technique instead of the less invasive "follicular-unit extraction" (also called FUE). With a strip-harvest procedure, patients are left with a permanent linear scar.

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