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From creating perfect beachy waves to capturing just the right color, hair is always a hot topic. But there’s one reality that isn’t always happy-hour banter: Hair thinning happens. Women experience this common problem almost as much as men, but it poses different challenges. Mentally, women often experience a more significant impact on confidence and self-esteem. Symptom-wise, female hair loss tends to present as a widening of the part or diffuse thinning over the entire head as opposed to the receding hairline or bald spots experienced by men.
The causes of female hair loss range from genetics and hormonal shifts (especially after giving birth and in conjunction with menopause) to stress, diet and other environmental factors—and it’s important to seek treatment early. Although most cases of female hair loss are reversible, the sooner the cause is identified, the easier it is to slow the progression and restore healthy hair growth.
Whether you’re starting to see more hairs than usual on your pillow in the morning or experiencing more severe signs of thinning or loss, there are a variety of effective ways to optimize hair growth both at home and at the doctor’s office.
Nutrafol for Women
Formulated especially for the ladies, these drug-free, botanically-based supplements target the main factors that lead to hair thinning in women (i.e. genetics, stress, diet, hormones and other environmental factors). A favorite of dermatologists, these supplements are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients that promote a healthy scalp, stimulate the growth cycle and supply the follicles with the building blocks they need to produce strong hair. According to dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, of Capital Skin Laser in Chevy Chase, MD, “Hair Loss is a multi-factorial etiology and requires a multi-targeting solution. Nutrafol is an effective nutraceutical product that features a multi-targeting complex of patented botanicals with clinically tested DHT-inhibiting, stress adaptogenic and antioxidant properties. Most people start to see improvements within the first 30 to 60 days of daily use.”
Rene Furterer Forticea Stimulating Shampoo
This recently-reformulated daily-use shampoo features orange, lavender and rosemary essential oils to leave hair soft, silky and easy to detangle as it supplies the scalp with the energy it needs to produce strong hair. Ideal for use with other treatments for thinning hair, massaging it into the scalp while washing helps increase microcirculation to creates a good environment for healthy hair growth.
Platelet-rich plasma and umbilical stem cell injections
The science of isolating cells from our own bodies and using their power to correct an array of cosmetic and medical concerns is advancing at lightning speed. Platelet-rich plasma derived from our own blood and stem cells harvested from umbilical cords (donated after normal, full-term pregnancies) are two options that are used for anti-aging—and effective for hair loss. These specific types of cells have been found to prolong the growth phase of the hair cycle when injected into the scalp, in turn stimulating hair regrowth. Most patients see visible improvement after just a few treatments, although follow-up sessions may be necessary to maintain results.
Forget everything you think about the “hair plugs” of yesteryear, because hair transplant technology has come a long way—and more women than ever are undergoing the treatment to restore a thick, full head of hair. Today, procedures such as SmartGraft use follicular unit extraction (FUE) to discreetly take bundles of just a few hairs from a donor spot so they can be moved to thinning or balding areas. FUE also comes along with less discomfort and recovery time and more natural-looking results once healing is complete. Patients generally begin to see new hairs about three months after the procedure, noticeable improvement after six months and full results after nine months to a year. Results are permanent as if the transplanted hairs had been there all along. P.S. It can also be used for brow enhancement. According to hair restoration surgeon Dr. Glenn Charles of the Charles Medical Group in Boca Raton, FL, “SmartGraft is a minimally invasive procedure that leaves no linear donor scar using a new suction assisted, minimum penetration technique. This marks a huge improvement and is is truly one of the best hair transplant devices I’ve seen.”