Having suffered thinning hair all of my life, I have been on a regular quest to find the best treatment for thinning hair, and I want to share with you what I have learned along the way.
I discovered that cousins on the paternal side of my family had the same experience that I did… our mother’s asked the doctor if we were EVER going to grow hair like other “normal” kids do. It seems we were slower at growing our hair, and some of us even suffered actual hair loss to extremes.
In my searching for a treatment that would actually work, I learned that the American Hair Loss Association estimates that 99% of hair loss treatments on the market today are bogus.
So, how are we supposed to be able to figure out which treatments work and which are a total scam, right?
An estimated 30 million women suffer some form of thinning hair (or actual hair loss!).
Wow! I never realized there were that many of us. At a young age, I always felt so all alone with this issue. Now I’ve learned that there really are a lot of other women now suffering from hair loss too.
What motivated me into writing this article to share with you was the recent pesky, infomercial offering a “new miracle” shampoo and conditioner that claims to help thicken our thinning hair. Upon doing an investigation into that product, I soon discovered several warnings about this treatment being a scam too.
Then, while watching the Dr. Oz show one day, he brought one of his core team members Tia Brown out to discuss this issue on a show that was aired on TV, on April 9, 2018. That’s when I learned that some hair stylists are actually offering Botox shots as a cure for thinning hair.
Huh? Botox literally freezes or suspends the use of a muscle from working, sooo, how is that supposed to even slow down hair loss, never mind stop it?
Surprise… it does NOT!
Apparently, once a potential customer visited one of the salons that were advertising this procedure, once they arrived at the salon, they were informed that it really doesn’t work.
Noooo kidding… Hah!
Tia Brown explained that a hair loss treatment or product must be labeled as being FDA approved, and not simply FDA cleared, which only means it is safe to us. This is the ONLY way that we will know if a treatment or product actually works.
So… what did I learn that really WORKS?
According to Dr. Sejal Shah, there is a new at-home laser treatment available in 3 different sizes. One looks like a comb, the next is like a thick hair band, and the third one is more like a cap. Each size offers more laser diodes, and would be priced accordingly.
It seems that, some medical professionals are still rather skeptical about laser hair therapy as a treatment for thinning hair, and that the majority of critics claim that laser therapy does NOT stimulate growth in dead or damaged hair follicles, but it can help with hair regrowth.
In many cases, laser hair therapy is used along with other hair regrowth treatments.
Minoxidil 5% foam for women has apparently been used for years (off label) and is now deemed safe. Dr. Sejal Shah stated that this is also the first treatment that she recommends continued use while doing other therapies.
Dr. Oz is quite adamant that Minoxidil 5% foam is the “gold standard” for treatment for thinning hair.
Dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman recommends that Minoxidil 5% foam be used on your scalp twice a day for three months if you expect results. She claims that it enhances blood flow to the hair follicle; you get increased blood flow, increased oxygen, increased nutrients… so not only does it stop hair shedding but it increases hair growth.
Apparently, Minoxidil 2% was marketed to women a few years ago and it did not work so well. Dr. Engelman suggests that if you are one of those women, you should give Minoxidil 5% a try as it has been found to work best, even for those who previously found the 2% not working.
A second treatment that I have learned of is the PRP (platelet rich plasma) Procedure. This treatment is considered safe, and takes only about an hour of so to perform.
According to Dr. Anthony Youn, doctors are performing the PRP procedure ever three to four months, seeing maximum results in about six to twelve months time.
This procedure uses the client’s own blood which is extracted and placed into a centrifuge which spins at a very high speed, separating the red blood cells from the platelets and the plasma.
Dr. Youn explained that the platelets are chalked full of growth factors. Those growth factors are then injected into the client’s scalp and when it surrounds those inactive hair follicles, it will cause them to change into a growing stage making the hair thicker.
According to Dr. Youn, this procedure has only been used since 2014, but that they have seen a lot of progress with it.
Thankfully, I have not suffered anywhere near the hair loss that many other women have, including one of my cousins!
Being an avid genealogist, I discovered several close cousins who, like me, were slow to grow hair as a child… one of which by the time she was 60 years old, let’s just say that her hair loss was so great that you could read a newspaper through her hair if it had of been printed on her entire scalp.
So, I KNEW back when I first met that dear cousin of mine (now, sadly deceased) that I might be heading for a similar problem as I age. Especially, given that my hair started receding at my temples so badly by the time I was 40 that I had to stop having my hair permed. Now, my hair loss has only increased… though thankfully slowly.
My dermatologist informed me back when I was 40 years of age and panicking from my hair falling out at my temples that it was my genetics and not the perm that was causing the hair loss. Naturally, knowing what I know now, I had to agree with him.
A third treatment for thinning hair, Dr. Engelman suggests using is shampoo with ketoconazole.
Apparently, this type of shampoo can be found offered over the counter in most drug stores. And, don’t be shocked to learn that this shampoo is marketed as a treatment for dandruff.
Dr. Engelman went on to explain that ketoconazole is an anti-inflammatory, and that it blocks the androgens or dihydrotestosterone that is at the base of the hair follicle that contributes to hair loss.
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrotestosterone from Google search
So, using this type of shampoo can make your hair thicker over time, all on its own.
A nonsurgical solution for hair loss is ketoconazole shampoo, used 3 to 4 times per week over a three month period of time.
Do understand: This is NOT an overnight solution, as little is… you need to wait for the hair cycle to actually see the improvement in your hair density.
One of the members in the Dr. Oz studio audience (a 16-year-old!) claimed to have used Minoxidil 5% foam only once a day, and she used it only on the areas where she saw her hair thinning out… and, she reported that it worked wonders for her. However, she did mention that she noticed her hair falling out again when she stopped using the Minoxidil.
The solution to my hair thinning out at my temples that I first discovered, was taking biotin orally. I actually found this merely as a side effect from taking B50 Complex, which I had started taking in order to improve my over all energy level.
After learning what I have from the research done here, I feel certain that the best treatment for thinning hair for YOU would depend on the amount of hair loss you are now suffering.
As for myself, I would like to see if I can improve upon the amount of hair that is now finally grown back in my temples (thanks to the biotin), as the amount of hair is still far thinner than I would like to have it. My right temple having a lot less hair than my left, the styles of hair cuts and hairdos I am restricted to in order to not emphasis this failed-feature of mine.
You can bet that I have already purchased the shampoo that contains ketoconazole (Nizoral brand name at WalMart for $15.97 in Ontario, Canada). And, I will be back here in 3 to 4 months to report on what I discover after using it as Dr. Engelman suggested.
Be sure to check back here in the future, as my results will be posted here as an UPDATE to this post.
Then next, I will try the Minoxidil 5% foam… unless, of course, the ketoconazole shampoo proves to put my hair growth back to what it should be.
UPDATE 27 August 2018:
Well, I have been using the Nizoral shampoo now for the just shy of 3 months and either it does not have enough ketoconazole to make a difference… or… this option is a FAIL! though I will finish up the bottle of shampoo so not to waste it. Disappointed I am as my temples have not thickened with new hair growth at all.
However, in fairness to the doctor who recommended this option, we DO have to keep in mind that even one drop of ketoconazole in the 120ml bottle of Nizoral shampoo might be enough to allow them to legally say it contains ketoconazole. Without the actual measure of ketoconazole in this shampoo, I do not feel this is a fair test of this idea.
This shampoo must be used up before moving on to the next option in order to give that a try, so it may be more like late September, early October before I start the Minoxidil 5% foam treatment. The Nizoral only takes a dime’s worth in size of shampoo for my rather short (and VERY thin) hair style.
Given my passion for genealogy, is it any wonder that I eventually wanted to publish my work? Learning to use a personal computer was a natural step once I was introduced it in the 1990s. Then the internet offered a second means to "publish" and now, here I am with a personal blog.
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