When your hair starts to thin enough to make you want to do something about it, but not enough to make you think about surgery, that’s when hair loss treatments seem particularly appealing.
But this is also when hair replacement systems come into your purview as an alternative solution to your hair loss predicament, and this sets the stage for the “Hair Loss Treatment vs Hair Replacement” showdown in your head.
Before you make the judge’s decision on which solution wins and goes on to your head, let’s take a look at some of the more popular hair loss treatments and compare them with hair replacements.
Remember: just because you might’ve heard that the friend of your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend found a hair loss treatment that works for them, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. Comparing the pro’s and cons of your options would be a better way to use your head before you choose.
Thick for Treat
Hair loss treatments are generally used to thicken thinning hair. Some of the following are readily available at pharmacies, but you’ll need a prescription for others, which your doctor may give you after a consultation as to your current state of health and medications taken.
- Castor Oil. Used as a home remedy for hair loss, this treatment can be found at the pharmacy or supermarket. All you have to do is apply it to your scalp, wrap your head with a clean towel and leave it overnight. Done once a week, it will take six or seven weeks before any hair might start to grow. The only downside is that it’s tough to wash out of your hair.
- Dutasteride. Used primarily as treatment for enlarged prostates, this drug is sometimes prescribed to address hair loss because of its alleged ability to counter hair loss-causing hormones. As side effects may include impotence, extreme caution is advised even when merely handling the pills; pregnant women in particular are warned not to touch them.
- Finasteride. Used mainly by men (as it hasn’t been approved for women by the FDA), this treatment is taken in pills and reputedly works by preventing the creation of hormones that stop hair from growing. Impotence is also a potential side effect of this drug, and to be on the safe side, women are likewise advised to avoid touching these pills at all.
- Laser Therapy. Used as an alternative to topical treatments or pills, Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT is supposed to work on the basis of hair growth being encouraged if follicles absorb the right level of laser light. This therapy can be done at home with laser brushes or combs, caps or hoods, but studies have yet to confirm their effectiveness.
- Minoxidil. Used twice a day, this treatment is applied to the scalp for up to three months before hair regrowth can be seen. It has to be applied carefully, though, because if you get any of it, even foam, on an area where you don’t want hair to grow, hair just might appear there. Be aware that there are side effects such as scalp irritation, flaking and dryness.
- Vitamin B. Used as a supplement because a deficiency in this vitamin has been shown to cause hair loss. This doesn’t mean, however, that taking huge doses is effective in treating hair loss or keeping you from losing more hair. Also known as Biotin, this vitamin can also be found naturally in food like liver, yeast and egg yolk.
Because of the proliferation of hair loss treatments over the years, experts have had to distinguish between treatments that actually work and those are that just placebos. But while tests have proven that treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil work, the time it takes before results may be observed and the risk of side effects tend to put people off.
There are also those, however, who prefer the feeling of growing and wearing their own, natural hair.
Time for a Cool Change
If you don’t have the patience for the months-long wait for results, or the willingness to risk your health, you might consider the instant gratification that comes with a hair replacement system. You can enjoy a full head of hair as soon as you walk out of the studio in about an hour and a half.
Hair replacement systems work by shaving your existing hair and attaching synthetic or natural human hair to your scalp using tapes or adhesives. This hair can be cut and styled and looks just like natural hair. You can even shower, go swimming or hang out outdoors in all kinds of weather without having to worry about it falling off or giving itself away.
Since this method of addressing hair loss doesn’t involve medications or surgery, there’s absolutely no risk of side effects. However, hair replacement systems aren’t without their downsides. While hair replacement systems may be worn for extended periods of time, they do have to be removed for regular cleaning and maintenance.
The hair replacement system itself needs to be replaced because of everyday wear and tear from time to time. The hairpiece base also breaks down over time because of contact with the natural acids found on the scalp.
And while you do look undeniably cooler with a hair replacement system on, there are some people who feel hot or uncomfortable wearing it. For others with sensitive skin, the hair replacement system might cause allergies or itchiness, especially if it isn’t cleaned the right way or by a professional.
You can find straight answers to frequently asked questions about hair replacement systems, here.
Peruse Before You Choose
Check out this comparative chart which gives you a side-by-side overview of Hair Loss Treatments vs Hair Replacement:
If you find yourself leaning toward a hair replacement system rather than hair loss treatments after reading this post, get in touch with us or come over to our studios in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan or Shanghai. We’ll be happy to discuss the many hair replacement options you can choose from and help you achieve a full head of hair for a great, new look.