-By Geena Lawatsch, RN, BSN at Q the Medical Spa
Hair loss on the scalp is a challenging and emotional journey. By the time women reach age 50, about 50% of them will be affected by hair loss in one way or another. For men, this happens even sooner, by the time they reach age 35.
How Does Hair Loss Present in Women and Men?
Women will notice their thinning in a different pattern than men do. Female pattern baldness typically begins at your natural part line and temples or spreads across the top of the head.
With male pattern baldness, the hairline begins to recede and forms an “M” shape. The crown of the head can thin as well. Whether you have noticed the early beginnings of hair loss or have dealt with the progression for years, there are many clinically-proven products that I love to recommend for my patients.
What Factors Are Contributing to My Hair Loss?
First, it’s important to find out what is contributing to your hair loss and/or thinning. A good place to start your hair growth journey is having a conversation with your doctor about possible deficiencies in your blood. Common blood tests that help diagnose hair loss include thyroid levels, complete blood count, and iron levels. It is good to make sure nutrient and hormone levels are normal before adding supplements and prescription medications.
A common cause of hair loss found in everyone’s blood stream is testosterone. All genders have some form of testosterone in the body at varying levels. Testosterone is then processed by an enzyme to produce DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. DHT can severely damage follicles on the scalp and cause the hair to thin, fall out, and possibly never grow back.
Once you know that your bloodwork levels are within normal ranges, there are many safe and effective ways to block DHT, rejuvenate your hair, and start to feel like you again!
Hair Loss Product Options
Tricomin® Clinical has a patented Triamino Copper Complex to strengthen and thicken stressed, fragile hair. Copper peptides are a crucial element to hair growth as they can stimulate and prolong the hair growth phase. This allows your hair to grow for a longer span of time, allowing it time to become thicker. Copper peptides can block DHT, which we now know is a major culprit to hair loss. They also stimulate blood flow to the scalp and boost the healing process after a hair transplant.
A great way to start hair and scalp rejuvenation is in the shower. Tricomin’s patented formula is found in the Densifying Shampoo, Reinforcing Conditioner, and Energy Spray. The Energy Spray contributes additional peptides as a leave-in conditioner; think of this as a skin care serum for your scalp!
Now, onto one of my personal favorites, Nutrafol. I am a big fan of Nutrafol as a company because they are transparent with what you get in those 4 daily pills. Every formula and ingredient is clinically tested, ethically/sustainably sourced, and more importantly, bioavailable! This means your body will absorb every part of that formula. Many supplements on the market seem to have good intentions, but if the vitamins are processed in a cheap manner that your body does not recognize, they will just be wasted (literally).
I take Nutrafol Women every single day, not only to help grow and maintain healthy hair, but to balance the rest of my body. Here are a few key ingredients that help with that:
- Curcumin: the active ingredient in Turmeric. A super-antioxidant that addresses multiple body systems. 500x more potent than turmeric alone.
- Saw Palmetto: A potent, medical-grade extract that helps reduce DHT.
- Marine Collagen Peptides: processed to be a specific size that the body can absorb quickly to support hair and skin.
- Tocotrienol Complex: a concentrated form of Vitamin E for minimizing environmental stress and improving hair density – backed by 20 years of research.
- Sensoril® Ashwagandha: helps balance stress hormones, promote energy, sleep quality and immune support.
These ingredients are only a few among the many that keep your hair happy and growing. Each formula was created to target different populations dealing with hair loss. They currently offer standard formulas for Men and Women, Women’s Balance (for extra hormone support), and even Postpartum (OBGYN-developed, and breast-feeding friendly).
*A quick tip for getting the most out of Nutrafol: take ALL FOUR PILLS AT ONCE and with a meal. This will allow the fat-soluble ingredients to be absorbed with the food you eat.
82M and 82F
Now, onto the topicals. Most of us have heard of the brand Rogaine®, right? The active ingredient in Rogaine is called minoxidil. It was FDA approved in 1988 for increasing hair growth in those that suffer with loss.
Another medication that may sound familiar is called finasteride, also known as Propecia. Earlier I mentioned that testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme (5-a reductase inhibitor, to be exact). Finasteride stops this enzyme in its tracks so that testosterone does not get converted to DHT.
Both of these medications can be taken as a pill, however there is now a topical formula that I like to call a “cocktail” for hair growth. There are 2 formulas called 82F and 82M. They both have minoxidil, as well as tretinoin to increase the rate of scalp turnover, and a small amount of a steroid to reduce irritation to the scalp. The main difference between the two products is that 82F also contains finasteride – this product is for men only and is not safe or tested for women. 82M is formulated for women.
Dr. Quatela himself uses the product and finds great success with it. He has experienced stabilization and improvement in his hair loss after the first 6 months of use.
These products are a great start to your hair growth journey. As providers, we recommend starting with any of these options before diving into procedures and treatments. You can find the products that work best for your body by utilizing TrichoTest™. After 3-4 months of use, your hair and scalp will be fully prepared for the next step, whether it be at Q Med Spa for KeraLase™ or at the Quatela Center for Hair Restoration for PRP or hair restoration surgery.