New hair loss treatments for women or men.

If I have female pattern hair loss, and I'm in my 50s, is there anything that truly might help me?

There are millions of women who have mild genetically based hair loss, and millions more with moderate to severe as we age. Almost everyone notices less hair as we age.  In my family, my mom had the fine, thin hair, which my brother got. And my father had thick curly, hair which greyed early which I got. It’s really is genetic roulette!

Inexpensive ideas for hair loss:

  • Consider scalp massage and a supplement like biotin. There was a small study that showed twice a week massage with certain oils seemed to stimulate growth. More blood flow? Who knows! Look online or find an herbalist to mix the oils for you. You need to be consistent for 6 months to decide if it’s working.
  • Rogaine – either the women’s or the men’s (stronger). This is available at Costco now, for example and is not expensive. Use as directed.
  • Viviscal system. This is an elixer to use at night, an oral supplement to support hair growth (some evidence for this), and a shampoo and conditioner to support. Use 3-6 months before deciding.
  • Change your hairstyle.
  • Eat at least 20 grams of protein a day (count them!!)
  • Get a medical evaluation covered by insurance by your dermatologist. There may be any one of 10 other things causing or contributing to hair loss.

More expensive ideas for hair loss:

  • Hair extensions or weaves. These can be found at most larger salons and there are some independents who work out of their homes.
  • PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) or PRPF (PRP in a fibrin matrix) injections – This is complicated so I’ll do a whole post on the difference sometime. Bottom line: results with PRP alone are unimpressive. Look for a doctor using a platelet rich plasma fibrin matrix system. The results appear to be significantly better. Your own stem cells are not legal in the U.S. at this time. Watch out for groups advertising stem cells for this.  They are usually using plant stem cells.
  • Hair transplantation – If you decide to go this route, look for a center or doctor who has the Neograft 2.0 system. Uses single hair follicle transplantation for a more natural look.

Here’s what doesn’t work:

  • “Hair thickening” shampoos. Cosmetic effects only.
  • Most supplements or vitamins. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Wishing the problem would go away! We’d all love a magic wand on this one.

Hope this helps,

Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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