If a disease, medicine, or stress is the cause, then treating the disease, changing medicines, or managing stress may stop the hair loss.
Treatment for hair loss may help you feel better about how you look. But some medicines may have harmful side effects, and surgery may carry certain risks.
Inherited hair loss
Treatment for inherited hair loss aims to prevent hair loss, promote hair growth, and cover bald areas of the scalp. But treatment is not successful for everyone, and you should not expect to regrow a full head of hair.
- Minoxidil. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is available without a prescription and is sprayed on and/or rubbed into the scalp twice a day.
- Finasteride. Finasteride (Propecia) is available by prescription and is taken once a day in pill form.
Surgery includes hair transplants and procedures such as scalp reduction and scalp flaps.
Hairpieces and hair products
Cosmetic approaches to hair loss include:
- Wearing hairpieces. Hairpieces are made from human or synthetic hair that is implanted into a nylon netting. Hairpieces may be attached to the scalp with glue, metal clips, or tape. Hair weaving, which involves sewing or braiding pieces of long hair into existing hair, is not recommended because it may cause permanent hair loss.
- Using certain hair care products and styling techniques. Hair care products or perms may make hair appear thicker. Dyes may be used to color the scalp. But continual use of perms or dyes may result in more hair loss.
Other concerns with hair loss
Treating the cause often stops hair loss, and hair grows back. In some cases, other treatment is needed.
Hair care for cancer treatment
Hair loss caused by cancer treatment requires special care: Use mild shampoos. Do not use a hair-dryer.
Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles, where hair growth begins. Because hair often grows back within a year, you may decide not to have treatment. Understanding the come-and-go nature of hair loss with this condition can help you make the best treatment decision. Children and teens may need counseling to help them adjust to the hair loss.
Women taking birth control pills
Success of treatment
How successful your treatment is depends on your expectations and the cause of hair loss. Treatment for hair loss caused by an illness, medicine, or damage to the hair usually is more successful than treatment for inherited hair loss.