Hair restoration has two basic forms - medical restoration and surgical restoration. In this instance,
the term medical refers to the use of medications to restore lost hair and prevent further hair loss. The most common medications in use today
are minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil is a topical medication that is applied to the scalp multiple times in a day, and is often
used in conjunction with a specially-formulated shampoo to increase its effectiveness. The regimen must be maintained on a daily basis and it
usually takes 6 to 12 weeks to see any results. The treatment program must also be continued indefinitely, because once the treatments are
stopped, the hair recovered will be lost once more. Minoxidil has been proven equally effective for both men and women with hair loss. The
cost of minoxidil ranges from U.S. $35 to U.S. $50 per month depending on the brand name under which it is manufactured.
Finasteride is a prescription drug taken orally which has been demonstrated to treat male pattern
hair loss. It must be prescribed by a physician and taken only as directed. It can also take from 6 to 12 weeks to show results and must be
continued to maintain the reclaimed hair. Finasteride is not usable by women, and is so hazardous for women who are or may become pregnant
that they are warned not to even touch a broken pill and avoid exposure to whole pills for the sake of safety. Finasteride costs from U.S. $50
to U.S. $75 per month depending on the brand name under which it has been manufactured.
Surgical hair restoration covers a couple of types of procedures - altering the scalp, or transplanting the hair.
In procedures that alter the scalp, for example, a man who has a receding hairline might have his
hairline pulled forward in a process similar to that of a face lift. The result is that the hairline appears to be in a more normal position,
and the incision is generally kept close to the hairline for the purpose of camouflaging it.
Hair transplanting consists of surgically transplanting follicles of hair from areas where the growth
is denser, into areas where thinning has occurred, creating the effect of thicker (or at least more even) hair coverage. The techniques in this
field are constantly being refined (and often renamed) but are effectively the same basic principles. The key differences in the advances made
are the number of follicles being moved at a given time and how natural the results appear to be afterward.
Surgical hair restoration is quite expensive and can run into the thousands depending on the amount
of hair being moved. It is also a process that will likely have to be repeated later in some cases.