If you suffer from hair loss and a thinning hairline then we might have a solution for you.
Hair transplant surgery can be an effective way to regain your hairline but is invasive, expensive and comes with its own risks including infection, rejection and scarring. Fortunately, before you consider this kind of procedure there are some other options that can help visibly improve your hairline and even trigger regrowth.
In this guide we take a look at the combination of minoxidil and finasteride; one a powerful topical treatment and the other an effective drug, both of which can stop hair loss and even reverse alopecia. We also look at the impact that hair building fibers can have for a natural looking head of hair.
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Can Hair Loss be Prevented?
There are many reasons why our hair can become thin including the natural ageing process, our genes and as a result of the side effects of drugs, beauty treatments and stress. There is also evidence to suggest that our diets and environment can play a part in how our hair grows. But can any of this be prevented and even reversed?
Well, depending on the individual factors that have led to hair loss, yes.
You can read our full Hair Thickening guide to explain more about these factors and ways you can help prevent and reverse hair loss without having to consider hair transplant surgery.
In addition to changes to diet and lifestyle plus other remedies there are some interesting drugs and topical treatments available that have actually been shown to both prevent and reverse hair loss, including androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness; minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil & Finasteride
Also known by their brand names, Rogaine and Propecia, we look at how each of them works and whether you can take them in combination.
What is Minoxidil?
A topical solution applied to the scalp, minoxidil works to promote hair regrowth in men suffering from androgenic alopecia by widening the blood vessels around the hair follicle. This hyperpolarization allows more nutrients, blood and oxygen to the cells and can result in healthy regrowth.
There is limited evidence that minoxidil works for people suffering from alopecia areata. The best results tend to come from groups of younger men whose hair loss has occurred within 5 years of using this treatment. Overall success rates show that around two in five men using minoxidil will experience hair regrowth within 3-6 months of use. In order to maintain the growth, the continued use of minoxidil is recommended.
Minoxidil is widely available as an over the counter lotion and comes under many brand names including the well known Rogaine.
What is Finasteride?
Originally part of drug trials undertaken to treat an enlarged prostate, finasteride was discovered by manufacturers, Merck, to have an interesting side effect; reduced hair loss and hair regrowth. The drug works by restricting the body’s ability to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). An important sex characteristic hormone, DHT plays a major part in hair loss in both men and women. Effectively, DHT prevents hair follicles from producing hair particularly in those individuals genetically predisposed to alopecia.
Finasteride inhibits the body’s ability to produce DHT and therefore preventing this miniaturization of the hair follicles. In some cases, this is enough to allow the follicles to repair and can trigger regrowth following hair loss.
Finasteride is taken orally in pill form at a daily dose of 1mg. The drug is widely available as an over the counter product and comes under many brand names including Propecia.
Is it Safe to Combine Minoxidil and Finasteride?
Each of these two drugs has their own side effects but a combination treatment of both minoxidil and finasteride is deemed to be safe.
Though not common, reported side effects of minoxidil include but are not limited to:
- Weight gain
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Side effects of finasteride also include but are not limited to:
- Decreased libido
- Problems maintaining an erection
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Increase in breast tissue mass
- Allergic reactions including itching, swelling and dizziness
Hair Building Fibers
Another solution to a thinning hairline is the option of using hair building fillers/fibers. These miniscule particles are useful for those people whose hair is thin rather than balding.
How do Hair Building Fibers Work?
Imagine a can of small hair particles like a jar of herbs with a perforated lid; hair fibers are simply shaken on to the head. As they fall and come into contact with existing hair they attach using a static charge which creates a firm bond. Each fiber that bonds with the hair adds density and volume and can create a natural looking hairline.
The static bond that is created exists because human hair has a mildly positive electric charge whereas hair fibers have a negative one. Working like a magnet the fibers can remain in place for 24-72 hours depending on the material from which they are made and the conditions they are subjected to.
Most hair fiber manufacturers also produce a fixing spray which helps to secure the static bond for longer.
Which Hair Building Fibers Work Best?
There are a large number of manufactures that produce hair filler fibers with each variety offering different pros and cons. You can read our full guide to the best hair filler fibers here.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind when it comes to choosing a fiber for your hair, namely the material used and the color choice.
Materials that are sourced from animals such as wool can have a less negative charge than synthetic fibres but do look and feel more natural, however they can act as an irritant to some people. Plant based fibers such as levant cotton also have a less negative charge but are skin friendly. Synthetic fibers may adhere better but are more noticeably ‘fake’ than the natural proteins.
When it comes to color choice some manufacturers only produce a limited range however it is usually possible to be able to combine several colors to better match your own shade of hair.
Benefits of Hair Building Fibers
One of the major benefits of using hair building fibers is the instantaneous results that can be achieved which not only boost your self-confidence but can make you look younger and healthier. Fibers do not affect the body’s ability to regrow hair and can also be used in combination with minoxidil and finasteride to help promote regrowth in your own hair.
The only downsides of using fibers relate to inferior quality fibers falling out and leaving even worse patchy thinning of the hair. There is also the chance of mild irritation of the scalp if using a fiber which causes an allergic reaction.
When using hair building fibers initially, some users report experiencing what is known as the ‘toupee effect’. This phenomenon is so called as overnight transformation of the hairline can cause people who know you well to stare in an effort to ‘spot the wig’. This can cause some people to feel a little self-conscious.
The Three Pronged Approached
So, before you book that appointment with a hair transplant surgeon, consider the combination of minoxidil, finasteride and hair filler fibers to regain your hairline. Though each of these treatments and remedies come with their own cost there is more chance of a natural result particularly as you can effectively regain the hair you have lost.
Featured image via Pixabay.