What are the treatments for alopecia?
If you wish to seek treatment, a number of options aim to slow or hide hair loss, stimulate regrowth or replace damaged hair. Treating any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your hair loss may also help. Although there is no cure for hair loss, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatment options: - Self-care - to improve the general health and thickness of your hair, avoiding tight hairstyles, harsh styling products or vigorous brushing may help. A balanced diet may be recommended as low levels of iron, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), folate and other nutrients can slow hair growth. Using a hair substitute such as a toupee, wig, hairpiece or eyelash extensions may help to hide the appearance of hair loss. Other cosmetic options include lightly brushing mascara into the roots, or colouring the scalp to match existing hair. A professional trained in cosmetic procedures may also be able to bleach existing hair or tattoo the eyebrows or other areas to give the appearance of hair. - Pattern hair loss medications - the two most common medications prescribed for pattern hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride. Results vary from person to person, but these medications tend to slow or decrease the progress of hair loss. Once treatment is stopped, hair loss usually continues. Minoxidil can be taken by men and women, whereas finasteride can only be taken by men. In women only, oral hormonal medications such as spironolactone or cyproterone acetate may be prescribed. These medications have anti-androgen effects. - Hair transplant surgery - this is used to treat pattern baldness in men. During this procedure, a surgeon removes 'donor grafts' of hair from the back and sides of the scalp and then transplants them into bald areas. Each graft contains one or more hairs still attached to a small patch of skin.