Non-surgical Treatments for Baldness
Hairmax LaserComb was the first non-drug hair loss treatment approved by the FDA. Men hold a device to their head for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, three times a day. The LaserComb sends out a low-level laser light, which reportedly promotes hair growth. In one study, the LaserComb increased the growth of terminal (thick) hairs in 93 percent of the men who used it. Although it appears to work, the LaserComb isn't cheap. According to the manufacturer's website, it can cost more than $500.
There are a number of decidedly lower-tech solutions to hair loss, from wigs and toupees to semi-permanent hairpieces. There's even spray-on and powder hair, which have been touted in many infomercials. These temporary patches are made up of tiny fibers that are meant to look like real hair. How realistic they actually look is a matter of opinion.
Several alternative remedies have been touted as baldness treatments, including:
- Saw palmetto (it acts on male hormones and some believe it might work like the drug, Propecia)
- Green tea (also might affect hormones related to baldness)
- Licorice extract
- Apple cider vinegar
One company markets a product called Retane, which contains a combination of vitamins B5 and E, folic acid, aloe vera, biotin and other natural substances. In its own unpublished study, the company found that 86 percent of patients who took Retane experienced less shedding, with no side effects.
Be wary when using any natural remedy, because the FDA most likely hasn't approved them. And some can have side effects, especially when taken with certain medications.