Premature Balding

Symptoms: 

There are no symptoms for balding except for hair loss.

Tests to diagnose: 

A physical examination of the scalp or scalp biopsy is done to diagnose balding

Treatment: 

One or more of the following treatments may be part of your treatment plan.

Treatment available without a prescription

  • Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
  • Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.

Prescription medicine

  • Finasteride: The FDA approved this medicine to treat men with hair loss. It comes in pill form and helps slow hair loss in most (about 88%) men. It helps stimulate hair re-growth in many (about 66%) men. Finasteride works by stopping the body from making a male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
  • Corticosteroid: If your hair loss is caused by inflammation in your body, a dermatologist may inject a medicine called a corticosteroid into your scalp. This can help stop the inflammation that happens when a person has alopecia areata. A corticosteroid is different from an anabolic steroid.

Procedures

The type of procedure that a dermatologist recommends will depend on how much hair you have lost. To achieve the best results, a dermatologist may use one or more of the following procedures:

  • Hair transplantation: Skin on the scalp that has good hair growth is removed and transplanted to areas of the scalp that need hair.
  • Scalp reduction: Bald scalp is surgically removed and hair-bearing scalp is brought closer together to reduce balding. Scalp reduction surgery can be performed alone or in conjunction with a hair transplant.
  • Scalp expansion: Devices are inserted under the scalp for about 3 to 4 weeks to stretch the skin. This procedure may be performed before a scalp reduction to make the scalp more lax. It also can be performed solely to stretch hair-bearing areas, which reduces balding.
  • Scalp flaps: A hair-bearing segment of scalp is surgically moved and placed where hair is needed.