Different Types of Treatment for Hair Loss

No matter what the cause is, hair loss is something that we do not want to happen. After all, our hair is our crowning glory that is why we do whatever we can to keep it healthy and beautiful. However, no matter how much we try to prevent it, hair loss is a common condition that affects most of us at some point.

When it comes to treating hair loss, there are a lot of treatments that can help stop it and also aid in regrowing hair. Below are some of the treatment types that you may want to consider.

  1. DHT blocker

DHT, or Dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen hormone which causes hair loss by restricting the blood supply to the hair follicles. When it happens, hair follicles die and fall out. The role of a DHT blocker is to help stop this process from happening.

Some of the benefits of DHT blockers include strengthening the immune support, reducing the production of DHT, inhibiting DHT from binding to receptors on the hair follicle, cleansing the scalp, and getting rid of excess scalp and sebum DHT.

There are a couple of ways that DHT blocker can be used: topically and internally. Topical application can be in the form of shampoos, massage oils, or hair treatment. Then, there are also those taken internally in the form of supplements, which are also taken daily. For safety purposes though, it is best to consult a specialist to know which of the two is more advisable for you.

  1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a hair restoration treatment that is said to be effective in regrowing hair. It is the only topically-applied treatment approved by the FDA. It was first approved in 1988 when it was used to treat androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss.

It is applied to the scalp twice a day and can be in liquid, foam, or spray form. It is applied once in the morning and once at night. It is also recommended that it should be left on the scalp for at least four hours before washing it out.

However, Minoxidil may not work for everyone, and even the FDA says so. Also, it may have the ability to regrow hair, but may not be as effective in maintaining it because it does not tackle the root cause of hair loss and that is DHT. However, it is generally safe because it is topically applied.

  1. Shampoos

Using shampoos is probably one of the most convenient way of treating hair loss. Shampoos formulated with special ingredients are recommended for people who are experiencing the early stages of hair but are not balding yet.

There are many varieties of shampoo that people looking for a solution to hair loss can choose from. However, you need to keep in mind that there is no shampoo that will actually stop hair loss as there is no miracle shampoo in the market.

Shampoos containing botanicals and other special ingredients help keep the scalp cleaner and healthier to improve the look of the amount of hair still left. There are also some which boost hair growth by providing the proper nutrients needed both inside and out. Some shampoos also help stimulate the scalp naturally for an improved blood circulation and more nourished hair follicles which results to overall hair and scalp improvement.

  1. Vitamins

The reasons for hair loss may vary and one of them is due to vitamin deficiency. Fortunately, deficiency can easily be corrected by increasing vitamin intake through foods or supplements. There are vitamins with antioxidant properties which help fight the external factors of hair loss while there are also some which help balance hormone levels, which is another factor that stops hair growth.

Some of the best vitamins for hair growth are fish oil, zinc, B-complex vitamins such as biotin and B5, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin D. Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 which nourishes the hair, supports hair thickening, and reduces inflammation that can lead to hair loss.

Zinc benefits hair follicle health, while B vitamins help rebuild the hair and stimulate hair growth. Vitamin C protects hair from aging, while iron boosts hair growth. Vitamin is also linked with hair growth and helps in creating new follicles.

  1. Laser Hair Loss Treatment

Laser hair therapy is a type of hair loss treatment that is commonly applied in medical and hair restoration clinics as well as hair salons with the goal of stimulating hair growth and helping fight against hair loss and thinning hair.

During the process, photons are exposed to the human tissue to be absorbed by the weak cells, with the purpose of regaining their health. The treatment is used to treat androgenetic alopecia, which is a progressive form of hair loss caused by the impact of DHT.

The results of laser hair therapy may vary from person to person. It can be successful or not, depending on the severity of hair loss, other treatments that the person is undergoing, as well as other aspects of the person’s health. But most of the time, this type of treatment can bring positive effects on hair loss as well as thinning of hair.

  1. Derma Roller

Derma roller was originally used to address skin imperfections, but it is also now being marketed as a treatment for androgenic alopecia. It is a handheld device which has a wheel attached to a handle. The wheel has many tiny needles that area only a few millimeters long. It is rolled over the skin,  which causes the needles to press against the skin tissues.

It works by triggering the production of human growth factor. When it is rolled on the skin, the needles cause minor surface wounds to the tissue. As a result, the body works to produce new skin and releases the human growth hormone. These hormones also stimulate the growth of hair in the affected area and in other thinning areas on the head.

However, the derma roller is not an FDA approved treatment for hair loss and there is no sufficient clinical proof that it actually works.

  1. PRP

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a treatment used for hair restoration to have natural looking results. Those who undergo this treatment have their own PRP injected into their scalp with a thin needle. The procedure lasts for approximately an hour and involves multiple injections. Afterwards, the growth factors in the blood cells do their job and stimulate natural hair growth.

It is considered to be safe and reliable because our PRP contains active growth factors that can promote hair growth. It is also a simple and non-surgical procedure that is why recovery is very quick.

PRP hair restoration therapy may be uncomfortable and a little painful, especially if the procedure is carried out without applying any topical anaesthesia. However, it can also be performed while the person is sedated or under general anaesthetic. The procedure may cost a lot because several sessions  may be needed to achieve the desired results.

  1. FUE

Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE hair transplant is an invasive method that is used to harvest and transplant hair. It involves removing follicular units from the patient, and then replanting them one by one into the scalp. So basically, hair is uprooted from one part of the body and then embedded in another part.

Some people prefer this treatment because it is less painful and delivers more natural-looking results. Those who have undergone the procedure say it is uncomfortable rather than painful. The procedure itself takes around eight hours, which shows how meticulous it is. Healing will usually depend on the skin type, but the redness settles in about four to five days.

As the procedure requires specialty and involves a tedious process, it is also expected that it may be costly. The price will also depend on the clinic and the amount of hair that needs to be transplanted.

  1. FUT

Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT is another hair restoration procedure wherein follicular units are removed from the donor area of hair in a strip and then inserted into the bald area of the head. Like the FUE, it is also a minimally invasive procedure which requires only a short recovery period.

The difference between the two procedures is that in FUE, the actual follicular units are directly removed from the donor site, while in FUT, a strip of follicular units is removed via microscopic dissection. But, both procedures require a great deal of experience and skill on the part of whoever will perform it.

FUT produces a natural looking appearance with the right amount of hair density that is why it is also preferred by many. However, it may have more side effects compared to FUE which include scars, insensitivity, shock loss, longer healing time, and discomfort after the procedure.

  1. Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is another hair loss treatment that is very efficient. It is a  non-surgical therapy, which helps in stimulating and regrowing hair follicles. Stem cells help in multiplying hair cells quickly, treating baldness and hair loss. The therapy also helps in improving the quality and texture of the hair.

The procedure can be done in two sessions for those who have moderate hair loss. First, hair follicles will be taken from the patient and the follicles will be processed and cultured in a lab to produce more stem cells.  On the second stage, the processed hair will be inserted onto the scalp of the patient.

What’s great about this treatment is that it is absolutely safe and has no side effects.  Depending on the amount of hair loss, it may require two to three sittings. It is also painless, only involving a mild pin prick during the injection.

  1. Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a non-invasive treatment that is based on superficial microinjections, just below the epidermis. It stimulates the mesoderm, relieving a variety of symptoms and ailments. The solution injected in the patient may contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, nucleic acids, and co-enzymes depending on the needs.

Mesotherapy treatment has been used for decades and is proven to successfully restore luster and volume to thinning hair. It also promotes hair regrowth for those who have experienced signs of balding or those with Alopecia Areata.

The treatment is painless and generally safe, especially when done professionally. In fact, no dressing and anesthesia is required. It is a very simple procedure that you can go back to doing things normally after the treatment. A session only takes about 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area. A minimum of ten sessions is usually required for the treatment to be effective.

  1. Hair Cloning

Hair cloning is a promising hair loss treatment which is yet to be fully utilized. It is still being actively researched by specialists and pioneering hair restoration physicians to develop a cure for androgenetic alopecia or common genetic hair loss.

The hair cloning procedure basically involves obtaining some germinative hair follicle cells from the individual and then multiplying them outside the body or in vitro. Afterwards, these hair follices are re-implanted into the individual’s scalp, with the intent of growing new hair follicles and eventually, new permanent hair.

Hair cloning may still have a long way to go as a lot of things still need to be done. But once it has been mastered and everything is finalized, it will offer major advantages over other hair loss treatment options. It is expected that the hair cloning procedure will be comparatively short and will have minimal risk of scarring and no hidden side effects.

  1. Hair Regeneration

Hair regeneration is a non-surgical treatment which uses adult stem cell based wound-healing properties. Some of the elements used in the treatment are Extracellular Matrix or ECM, Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP, and Vitamin D.

ECM is a wound healing material which attracts increased blood supply and adult stem cells. It clinically restores the progenitor cells that are responsible for healthy hair growth. PRP is a serum, derived from the patient’s blood,  which contains regenerative healing and growth factors. It is also used in regenerative medicine applications. Lastly, vitamin D increases transformation of cells in tissue culture to hair follicles that can be transplanted.

The hair regeneration procedure is quick and non-surgical. During the therapy, ECM and PRP are injected into the scalp for a wound healing response which activates adult stem cells. Slow hair growth is renewed, thinning hair is reversed, and as a result, hair grows progressively thicker.

  1. RCH-01 by Shiseido/Replicel

Replicel is a regenerative medicine company which focuses on developing therapies that address conditions linked to a deficit of healthy cells. The company developed a partnership with Shiseido for the latter’s exclusive license to RCH-01 in certain Asian countries. But, what exactly is RCH-01?

RCH-01 is a cell-based hair loss treatment which uses dermal sheath cup cells that are harvested from the patient’s donor follicles. Then, the harvested cells are multiplied and injected into the balding areas of the patient.

Basically, the process revolves around reactivating the existing hair follicles, replicating them, and injecting back into the problem areas.  Specialists say that once successfully launched, the RCH-01 can potentially eliminate the need for invasive hair transplant surgery.

However, the only downside is that there is no specific date for the launch yet. Hair loss is an urgent and pressing concern and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

  1. Histogen

Histogen is a regenerative medicine company that develops therapies based on the products of cells grown under simulated embryonic conditions. One of its lead product application is the Hair Stimulating Complex. The HSC is an injectable for hair regrowth and is a soluble formulation which is still in the development stage. It was first announced last 2008 but is yet to be released in the market.

The injectable is a cell conditioned medium that was taken from neonatal cells developed under embryonic-like conditions. The serum aims to stimulate the growth of new hair follicles as well as existing ones. The treatment has undergone clinical trials and has shown visual evidence of its effect that is why a lot of people are eagerly waiting for it.

It has been tested on both men and women, and is said to be effective at regrowing hair at the temples and throughout the scalp.

  1. Brotzu Lotion by Dr. Giovanni Brotzu

Dr. Gioavannii Brotzu is an Italian vascular surgeon who discovered the Brotzu lotion unintentionally, while treating diabetes patients. He observed that application of the lotion to patients’ limbs caused increased circulation leading to hair growth. He also tested it on the head of a balding nurse and noticed significant improvement.

The lotions main ingredients are DGLA, Equol, and L-Propionyl-Carnitine. Dr. Brotzu is working with a pharmaceutical company for lengthy and expensive trials to be carried out. One available, it will be an over the counter product which means that no prescription will be needed to access it. Dr. Brotzu ensures that all the ingredients are safe for everyone, regardless of physical or health conditions.

It is also believed that the lotion will work faster than most hair growth products and will be available at an affordable rate. It will also be marketed as a cosmetic product rather than a drug.

  1. RT1640 by RiverTown Therapeutics Inc.

RiverTown Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that is committed to reverse androgenic alopecia, through its product called the RT1640.

The RT1640 is made up of three small molecule drugs that work with one another to act on three distinct pathways in hair biology. One of them promotes the growth and migration of new stem cells. Another promotes the commitment of the follicular stem cells to become new hair. The last one protects the derma papilla from the effects of DHT, which is a hormone causing hair loss.

The formulation of the RT1640 was enhanced to penetrate through the skin and make it available to the hair follicles. It is safe to be used on the skin. The three active ingredients are cyclosporine A, Minoxidil, which are both approved by the FDA, and RT175, which is a new chemical entity created by one of the co-founders of RiverTown.

  1. Takashi Tsuji Stem Cell Therapy

Dr. Takashi Tsuji is the lead scientist working on the project aiming cure hair loss based on regenerative medicine. The stem cell therapy that he is working on is different from the current hair transplant methods which move existing hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another. With his method, there will be a creation of new hair follicles from existing cells, and consequent growing of new hair.

The process of growing hair follicles is a complex process as it involves two different types of cells. The epithelial and mesenchymal cells need to interact with each other to make a follicle.

Dr. Tsuji and his team of scientists was able to successfully transplant a group of engineered hair follicles into the skin of hairless mice. After a couple of weeks, the hairs began to grow on the mice. However, the technique is yet to be tested on humans.

  1. Rain Treatment by Follica

Follica is developing a new and non-invasive treatment that will be performed by a licensed medical professional. The system is aimed to improve existing hair growth and also grow new hair.

The difference of their system from other currently approved treatments is that the latter works only with the hair that you currently have. With Follica, the technology is based on a proprietary approach that is intended to create an embryonic window in adult skin. This will allow new hair follicles and new hair to form from the epithelial stem cells.

Rain treatment involves creating tiny wounds in the scalp to make way for hair follicle generation. It is a two-part process with the first one being a micro wounding therapy that is done in a clinic, and the second one as a treatment package which is done at home. Home treatment can be tracked using a smart phone app.

  1. FOL-S-005 by Follicum

Follicum is a company which develops drugs that can both stimulate and inhibit hair follicle activity. They make safe, gentle, and effective treatments because they use compounds that are based on endogenous peptides that are naturally found in the body.

Its lead candidate drug, the FOL-S-005, involves peptide hair growth, which was accidentally discovered. It is a section of the protein, gathered in a small molecule where two amino acids are deleted and replaced by a third one. It is believed that it can both inhibit hair growth and also encourage hair growth. This means that the drug will be enabled to reduce excess body hair and also grow scalp hair.

Human trials have begun in 2016 as the company have secured major manufacturing partners for their peptide technology. During clinical trials, Follicums’s FOL-S-005 has resulted in an 8 percent increase in hair growth among the patients that were treated.

  1. SM04554 by Samumed

Samumed is a leading company in medical research and development for tissue-level generation. They developed the SM04554 which is an experimental drug which is aimed to treat androgenetic alopecia.

It is applied to the scalp topically, much like Minoxidil, but work differently by selectively activating and deactivating WNT signalling pathways. WNT is also linked to using derma roller for hair loss as it was suggested that the wound response induced by the roller also activates the WNT pathway.

SM0445 is different from other hair loss treatments available in a way that it activates and deactivates WNT pathways that are related to hair growth. It allows people experiencing hair loss to deal with the problem from various different angles besides DHT. The treatment is also likely to have a synergetic effect, which improves hair growth and maintenance. It also provides an alternative to people who experience side effects from DHT blockers.

  1. Setipiprant by Allergan

Allergan is a global pharmaceutical company which is focused on developing, manufacturing, and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals. One of their products is Setipiprant which is said to inhibit the production of an enzyme called Prostaglandin D2. As a result, it is also claimed to extend the growth phase of the hair cycle.

PGD2 has been found to be elevated in areas of the male scalp that are associated with hair loss. So, interfering with the PGD2 receptor is believed to be a potential treatment for hair loss by promoting hair growth or inhibiting the miniaturization process. Septipiprant is expected to block PGD2 from binding to prostaglandin receptors and stop hair loss from progressing, and may even reverse it.

It can also extend the growing phase of the hair follicles, resulting to a short term effect of making hair appear thicker. It comes in a pill form, making it easier to take.

  1. Alopecia Areata Cure by Aclaris Therapeutics by Dr. Angela Chrisiano & Dr. Colin Jahoda

Dr. Angela Chrisiano is a PhD scientist at Columbia University and has been involved in hair loss research for years while Dr. Colin Jahoda has been a legend in the field of hair loss research since the 1980’s. Meanwhile, Aclaris Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company focusing on the treatment of skin disorders such as alopecia areata.

Together, they are working on developing a treatment called ATI-50001, which is an investigational oral Janus Kimase (JAK) inhibitor. It is being developed to treat alopecia areata, including the more severe forms that result in total scalp hair loss or alopecia totalis as well as total hair loss on the scalp and body or alopecia universalis.

JAK inhibitors are well researched by a team of researchers led by Dr. Chrisiano. There is a lot of evidence which suggest that they may be able to prevent the body from attacking its own hair follicles.

Conclusion

It is a great thing that there are already a wide variety of treatments that are being offered to help people suffering from hair loss. Although some of these treatments are still in the development stage and have not been fully released yet, still, it is good to know that people will be given several options. Choices may depend on the severity of hair loss as well as the budget, convenience, and other personal preferences. For instance, minor cases can be treated by shampoos, vitamins, and other oral treatments, while more advanced cases may need to be treated with therapies.