Posted on May 8, 2024 in 2024 June, Lifestyle and Wellness

Boosting Hair Growth

Most of us are no stranger to having our bodies change and evolve, but hair loss seems more personal. Hair loss — whether in men or women — can have a profound impact on one’s confidence.


What Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss has many causes, and determining the cause can influence the appropriate course of treatment.

  • Age: Hair growth slows as you get older, which causes hair on the scalp to start thinning, losing its color, and the hairline to recede.
  • Hereditary: According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, this is the most common cause of hair loss worldwide, impacting both men and women. Hereditary hair loss occurs when the genes you’ve inherited cause shrinking in your hair follicles until hair stops growing.
  • Scalp Disorders: Some conditions that could impact hair loss on the scalp include alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, scalp ringworm, and scalp psoriasis.
  • Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation treatments often cause all or most of your hair to fall out within the first few weeks.
  • Thyroid Disorders: If you have a problem with your thyroid, you may lose your hair in clumps.
  • Hormones: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), changes in hormonal birth control, menopause, or if you’ve given birth recently can all have an impact on your hair health.
  • Diet and nutrition: If you aren’t getting enough biotin, iron, protein, or zinc, it can impact your hair health. Too much vitamin A can also cause hair loss.
  • Hair Care: The way you style and wear your hair can also impact your hair follicle health. If you wear your hair pulled back too tightly, or color, perm, or relax your hair regularly, it can damage the follicles, causing hair to not grow out of them.

But all is not lost. Depending on your situation and the recommendations from an expert (i.e. dermatologists specialize in treating skin, hair, and nails), there are different options to explore for hair regrowth.


Treatment Options

There is not a single, one-size-fits-all solution for encouraging hair growth. In some situations, hair may regrow on its own — for example, treating an underlying condition, after undergoing cancer treatment, or if you recently had a baby or lost weight. There are other treatment options you may consider if you want to prevent further loss or quicken the regrowth pace:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) Products: These often contain ingredients like biotin, zinc, collagen, azelaic acid, omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and tea tree oil.
  • Rogaine®: This is also an OTC topical option that is FDA-approved to treat hereditary hair loss.
  • Prescription Medications: Finasteride, Spironolactone, and other medications prescribed may boost hair growth. It’s important to discuss these with your healthcare provider because they each can have different side effects.
  • Microneedling: Microneedling, using a device with tiny needles, can stimulate hair growth on the scalp when used in conjunction with other treatments.
  • Corticosteroids Injections: Corticosteroids can slow the speed of hair loss when injected into bald or thinning areas.
  • Hair Transplant Surgery: This is typically reserved for people who have tried less invasive hair loss treatments. The transplant takes small pieces of skin from a donor site (where hair grows healthily on the body) and is moved to the balding part of the scalp. Types of hair transplant surgery include grafting, scalp reduction, flap surgery, and tissue expansion.
  • Low-level Laser Therapy: Short periods of medical-grade light therapy on your scalp can stimulate hair follicles and result in hair regrowth after several sessions. Laser therapy has helped regrow the hair that was lost from hereditary causes, alopecia, and chemotherapy. It can also further stimulate hair growth after a transplant.
  • Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP): PRP speeds up your hair regrowth (and overall healing in the body) by separating platelets from blood plasma and then injecting the plasma back into the body during a blood draw.

Be cautious of advertisements, influencers, and promoters that try to sell a quick miracle fix for hair loss. It’s important to talk to your doctor or dermatologist about what you’re experiencing and the best approach for regrowth.


Embracing a New Style

While waiting for your hair to regrow, there are ways to both embrace or camouflage your hair’s current state:

  • Avoid harsh chemical treatments like hair dyes, perms, or relaxing.
  • Incorporate hats, scarves, or accessories to disguise areas you may feel uncomfortable with.
  • Get a shorter haircut that helps the regrowth blend better and reduce breakage.

Remember, it can take time before you see the results from your treatment. Be sure to take care of your mental and emotional health during the process, which can be overlooked when you experience hair loss.