Alopecia is the general term used for hair loss, which may have different underlying causes, such a nutrient deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, or hormone changes. There are several non-surgical approaches that may be effective for different forms of hair loss in both men and women.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a newer treatment option that may be effective in androgenic alopecia. One of the benefits of PRP hair restoration treatment is that it has regenerative benefits, meaning it may help restore follicles that have been damaged. Platelets are known as part of the body's healing mechanism, since platelets typically go to the site of bleeding and injury. Using a concentrated amount of the patient's own cells allows these cells to be inserted directly at the site of hair loss. Since PRP can accelerate the healing process, it may also benefit people who experience hair loss due to inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.
Laser treatments involve low levels of energy that do not produce heat or cause tissue damage, unlike lasers that may be used in other medical procedures. The lasers used are in or near the red and infrared spectrum, which can stimulate cellular activity and repair damage. When used for hair loss, you typically wear a special cap so the laser affects the targeted area. Laser treatments can also reduce inflammation, so it may have benefits for other forms of hair loss. For the best chance at successful treatment, you will need several sessions over weeks or months. In addition to potentially restoring lost hair, it may help reduce or stop balding in other areas of the scalp.
Instances of autoimmune hair loss may be reduced once the underlying disease is managed, but in the case of lupus, once scarring occurs, the hair typically does not return. There are a few medications available that may help men and women with androgenic alopecia, but they are generally not the first option. Your doctor may want you to try minoxidil, which is an over-the-counter hair restoration product. There are different strengths, with women using the lower-strength version. You may need to use minoxidil for a year before you can determine its effectiveness. If minoxidil does not help, doctors may prescribe finasteride for men and spironolactone for women. Both medications are potentially helpful because they affect the androgens associated with androgenic alopecia.
Depending on the reason for hair loss, addressing the underlying illness or deficiency may restore hair. For other causes of alopecia, there are non-surgical options you should try before considering hair transplantation.