Man checking hair at the mirror

The inevitability of going bald can be a crushing reality for most people. Surgery and hair implants can remedy the situation, but it comes with its own risks, and the costs can be astronomical. However, there are ways to address hair loss without breaking the bank or putting yourself under the knife.

Laser Therapy

It may sound outrageous, but low-level laser therapy has proven to be effective in preventing hair loss. Numerous devices that use laser technology — such as Hairmax, and its latest release, the Hairmax Advanced 7 — have been approved by the FDA and cleared for general use. These devices use intense red lights that penetrate the scalp. Red light stimulates hair follicles into producing hair by increasing the amount of available adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

As you might know, ATP is considered as the primary energy source for metabolic functions. Lasers therapy not only stimulates hair follicles into producing healthier and thicker hair; it also reinvigorates dormant hair follicles that have stopped their normal functions. Laser therapy involves exposing the scalp to intense red light, usually through a device that you use similar to how you would use a comb. It leaves no residue and would only take a few minutes of your time each day. Laser therapy is best used in the early stages of hair loss, as it becomes ineffective once hair follicles have completely atrophied.

Topical Medication

Minoxidil, the active ingredient in the popular product Rogaine, has also been found useful in treating the early stages of hair loss. Minoxidil is used as a topical solution that is directly applied to the scalp and left to dry. The solution seeps into the scalp, stimulating blood flow, lengthening the hair growth cycle, and energising hair follicles.

Minoxidil needs to be applied twice a day for maximum efficiency and could take two to three months before effects can clearly be seen. Minoxidil has been deemed safe enough to be purchased without a prescription, though minor side effects such as dry scalp and itchiness. Like most products that stimulate hair production, Minoxidil is unable to treat hair loss at advanced stages of balding.

Permanent Cosmetic Solutions

Hair cosmetic procedure

There are no actual treatments for advanced stages of hair loss aside from surgical procedures or the use of artificial hair products. However, a new cosmetic procedure has been successful in masking baldness by using tattoo-like treatments to mimic the appearance of actual hair. Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) works by infusing the hair follicles of the scalp with visible ink giving the impression of a buzz cut.

The procedure takes a couple of hours and will require a recovery period of two to three days, which merely limits exposing your scalp to moisture and avoiding activities that can induce sweating. SMPs work on every stage of hair loss, and the procedure can last for several years before requiring additional touch-ups.

Losing your hair can be tragic, but there are ways to stave off hair loss, and there are cosmetic procedures that can mask it even after you’ve gone completely bald.