Hair loss is a distressing condition that 1 in 5 Americans experience at some point in their lives. Given this, the market for hair loss treatments has grown rapidly, and there are many alleged hair regrowth products available. However, despite the lofty promises of some commercial hair regrowth products, medication still remains one of the most effective hair loss solutions. If you’re thinking about starting hair loss medication yourself, here are some tips to enhance the experience:
1. Don’t self-medicate
Although many hair loss medications are available over-the-counter (OTC), it will be very difficult to choose the product with the correct ingredients or medicinal percentages. Most medicated shampoos, for instance, contain either minoxidil or ketoconazole in varying percentages. To determine the correct shampoo with the appropriate drug percentage, those suffering from hair loss are better off consulting with a dermatologist with training in trichology — the study of the hair and scalp. As explained by PracticalAdultInsights.com, dermatologists who’re also trichologists can provide the most accurate diagnoses and treatments. What’s more, they’ll be able to safely prescribe you medication that won’t counteract with your other medicines.
2. Be mindful with your application
Because some hair loss medicines come in liquids or foams, it’s easy to go overboard. However, just like any other medication, you should be strict about how you use them. In their posts on hair loss, SymptomFind.com advises patients to only apply the doctor-recommended amount of topical product to affected areas. Applying too much can cause irritation, and applying to unnecessary places may trigger hypertrichosis. Moreover, make sure to inspect your scalp for any cuts before using the product. Accidentally applying these medications onto broken skin can let it into the bloodstream, which may cause low blood pressure. This is also the reason why you want to let it dry completely afterward.
3. Practice consistency with your medication
Some people tend to stop or get lax with their hair loss medication once they see their desired results. However, unless advised by your doctor, you must maintain your treatment. Consistency is especially crucial if you’re also treating other conditions which may cause hair loss. For instance, Simon Greenberg explains that those with thyroid issues must be careful not to miss their medications since this can cause a recurrence of hair loss. In the end, this will only cause you to disrupt your regrowth cycle and prolong your treatment. If you need help remembering, try out the MedManage app here for tracking, alerts, and reminders.
4. Supplement it with diet and exercise
Of course, medications are most effective in a healthy and happy body. According to doctors, a nutrient-rich diet is a great way to satisfy any deficiencies that may be causing your hair to grow poorly. Often, patients with hair loss are advised to increase their protein, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. Because these foods have Vitamins A & E, zinc, iron, and selenium, they can help the body grow hair. Meanwhile, experts claim that cardio workouts can increase circulation in the scalp. This also supports research from Massachusetts General Hospital that says thicker blood vessels promotes thicker hair.
5. Avoid stressing about it
If you’re constantly stressing about whether your medication is working, you’re likely just slowing it down. Stress is a known contributor to hair loss, after all. According to The Atlantic, when you’re in a state of worry, your body enters the telogen effluvium state. At this point, up to 70% of your hair can be propelled into the telogen phase. This means that those hair strands stop growing and are cut off from the blood supply needed for growth. When this happens, hair loss follows soon after. To prevent this, have faith in your medication and your doctor’s advice. Take your medication as prescribed, then move on with your day.
If you’re dealing with hair loss, feeling frustrated is understandable. There is no one-size-fits-all cure for it. But finding and sticking to prescribed medication can help you take control of your situation by improving regrowth and giving you back your confidence.