Skin Deep

Dealing with hair loss

Hair loss can have a major impact on self-esteem, and although this is a concern more associated with men, it can be especially problematic for women.

A variety of factors contribute to hair loss, including stress (yes, it’s true), medications, genetics and more. If you’re experiencing hair thinning and loss, the best first step is to see a dermatologist, so he or she can determine the cause — and the best course of treatment.

Fortunately we’ve seen tremendous advances in hair loss therapies in recent years, and here are the ones you need to know about.

Hair transplants

Forget everything you think about hair transplants, or “plugs,” because technology has revolutionized this hair loss treatment. Thanks to new computer-guided techniques that involve the removal and transplantation of tiny tufts of only a few hairs, the results are so natural it’s nearly impossible to tell.

Additionally, today’s hair transplants also offer much faster recovery, better success rates and significantly fewer complications than procedures of the past.


A prescription medication designed to treat hair loss caused by sensitivity to male hormones, Propecia blocks the production of a hormonal byproduct called DHT, which causes hair follicles to shrink, in turn preventing normal hair production. Although this drug is technically approved for use in men only, there’s a new genetic test that can determine if a woman’s hair loss is due to sensitivity to male hormones.

If this is the case, Propecia can be an effective solution for women as well.


This topical treatment for hair loss has been around for quite some time, and it is now available over-the-counter. A liquid or mousse that’s applied to the scalp, Rogaine regrows hair in as little as four months, and can visibly improve thinning as well.


For those looking to try a natural approach before moving onto other hair loss treatments, I’ve seen amazing results with Viviscal. I find the professional version (available through dermatologists) to be more effective, and this natural marine-based supplement also strengthens the nails as well.

Permanent makeup

Not just for brows, eyeliner and lip liner anymore, permanent makeup is now being used to create the illusion of fuller hair. By tattooing balding or thinning areas of the scalp, sparse patches blend in with surrounding hair. Results are visible instantly and the scalp fully heals in about five days, but the final outcomes depend on the skill of the professional, so I recommended seeking out someone with extensive experience using permanent makeup on the scalp.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.

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