Combating and covering up hair loss is a $1 billion-a-year industry and affects an estimated 40 million men and 20 million women in the United States. Growing older, hormonal changes, Mom and Dad's genes, or the harsh side effects of chemotherapy can cause a receding hairline. Many people who have unexpected hair loss are not willing to accept this change and look to hair replacement options as a solution to their problem.
There are three main options that are considered for hair replacement when it becomes a loosing battle. These options are medications, surgery, and hair replacement systems also known as hairpieces.
For medication, Minoxidil is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for regrowing hair. Minoxidil is found in Rogaine and other hair regrowth medications. It is unknown though how Minoxidil works to grow hair as it was originally used as a heart medication. Minoxidil can be an effective treatment by those who are younger and whose hair loss is recent and on the crown of their head. Unfortunately Minoxidil must be used twice a day for life or any regrown hair will fall out.
There are also many types of hair transplantation surgeries but most of them fit into two categories called transplantation and scalp reduction. Hair transplantation involves moving thicker hair to the balding areas. With scalp reduction, the doctor removes the balding part of the scalp and stretches the remaining skin over the removed area.
If you don't want the pain of surgery or the time commitment of medication, there is the choice of the hairpiece, also known as a wig or toupee. All hairpieces are not equal in quality, which is determined by who makes it and the type of human or synthetic hair that is used. A hair weave is a hairpiece sewn into existing hair. Hairs can also be implanted one at a time into nylon netting and there are many ways to fasten these hairpieces to the scalp such as bonding glue, metal clips or tape.
Hair replacement can improve the way you look and increase your self-esteem, but the results may not be perfect. If you are considering hair replacement, you will need to think carefully about your expectations.