Hair loss is a hugely common problem, with certain statistics stating that up to 70% of men will begin to lose their hair as they get older. Rather than just accepting it, many men who are conscious about their hair loss opt for a solution, but is a hair transplant the only option? Below we cover the best hair transplant alternatives along with their benefits and drawbacks.
Discover whether a hair transplant is the best option for you, and explore all the options available to counter your hair loss.
Many people opt to use medications to try and mitigate hair loss when they notice their hair receding. Unfortunately, medications are not a complete hair transplant alternative as they do not bring hair back where it has already been lost. Medications are only able to slow down or stop further hair loss.
Finasteride is one of the most well known hair loss medications and treats the root cause of androgenetic alopecia, which is the androgenic hormones. It stimulates scalp hair follicles without affecting the testosterone levels in the patient and is a male-only treatment. This medication is only available under prescription and should not be used without the supervision of a professional.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is another well known hair loss medication. It differs from Finasteride because the weaker concentration is available over the counter. Minoxidil is usually applied directly to the scalp and is most effective as part of a treatment programme. Minoxidil works better for women than it does for men. It is not particularly effective at regenerating hair, but can work to prevent hair loss.
Hair growth shampoo
Again, hair growth shampoo does not act as a full hair transplant alternative as it cannot recover parts of the scalp that hair has receded from. Hair growth shampoo can be used however to enhance the hair growth cycle for fuller and more vibrant hair.
Hair building fibres
Those looking to bring back the appearance of lost hair without having a hair loss treatment could consider hair building fibre products such as Toppik. Toppik hair fibres can instantly ‘fill in’ the gaps of balding or thinning areas. The product is shaken onto the head where it then attaches to the remaining hairs, resulting in a convincing appearance of a full head of hair. The product is resistant to rain, wind and perspiration.
While the product does need to be reapplied as it washes out with shampoo, it can act as a temporary hair transplant alternative for those who do not want to undergo a procedure. It can also show those considering a hair transplant the impact one could have, acting as a ‘test’ before going ahead with the real procedure.
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP)
One of the most effective hair transplant alternatives is scalp micropigmentation. SMP is a non-surgical technique that effectively involves ‘tattooing’ hair follicles on the scalp to create the illusion of a filler, denser head of hair. SMP can be used at any stage of hair loss. For those who have completely lost their hair, scalp micropigmentation can give the shaven look seen on many celebrities. For those who are thinning, SMP creates the illusion of more hair, and can help the scalp appear more filled in.
Despite being effective, again SMP does not offer all of the benefits of a hair transplant. Not all shades of hair can be colour matched using SMP and the ink fades over time with more treatments needed to refresh the ink. Although there are some drawbacks, for some patients it offers the perfect solution to their requirements.
Find out more about scalp micropigmentation here.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP is another hair transplant alternative that is non-surgical, and could help those who do not want a full hair transplant. The procedure involves taking platelet-rich plasma from a patient’s own blood and injecting it into their scalp to encourage hair growth. The injection is done close to hair follicles to allow growth factors in the blood to stimulate dormant follicles.
PRP has had positive results for our patients and takes just 60 minutes with a very quick recovery period. Despite this, PRP will not give the same results as a surgical hair transplant will, with patients often using this in conjunction with a hair transplant to maximise their results.
The alternatives: Is a hair transplant the best option?
So is a hair transplant the only option? No, the above treatments can all offer their own solution to hair loss, but none offer the complete and permanent package that a hair transplant does, meaning for most people, a hair transplant is the best option.
While there are many reasons someone might not consider a hair transplant a viable option for themselves, many people are surprised by how accessible a premium quality hair transplant is in the UK.
- Cost – Some people are put off by the initial cost of a hair transplant, but the price varies from person to person and many are shocked by the affordability of a hair transplant after their consultation. There are also finance options available for anyone looking to pay back their procedure in instalments.
- Surgery – Although some people are put off by having surgery, a hair transplant is a minor operation that only takes a matter of hours. Patients are home to recover the same day.
- Recovery – A hair transplant typically takes 10 days recovery time, although people in many professions can work throughout this time and only need to take minimal days away from work or other commitments.
Hair loss solutions with Crown Clinic
Because there are a number of options available to those beginning their hair transformation journey, the initial decision can seem daunting. At Crown Clinic, we specialise in hair transplants, SMP, PRP and stock a variety of hair loss products. This means you can trust us to recommend the best option for your individual circumstances.
Get in touch to arrange a consultation with Dr Asim Shahmalak and discover what the best option is for you.