Question: Hi. I've been bald for a few years now but am starting to miss my hair so my question is can minoxidil revive dead follicles?
Answer: Hi, Ash. We're answering this query based on the assumption the reason for your baldness is Male Pattern Hair Loss, however, if this is not the case, we recommend a consultation with a specialist, trichologist or a dermatologist to determine why you went bald.
As you may already know, minoxidil is one of only two clinically-proven male hair loss treatments that is both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved. Topical solutions of high strength minoxidil are known to encourage hair growth and can be used on their own or accompanied by an oral DHT-blocker.
DHT - full name, dihydrotestosterone - is the testosterone byproduct which causes hair loss in those with a genetic predisposition to Male Pattern Baldness. During puberty it helps men to develop their sexual characteristics but after that time it is understood to attach to hair follicles located around the top of the scalp, from crown to hairline and temporal regions.
In men predisposed to hereditary hair loss, the DHT binds to receptors in these follicles, slowly weakening them, causing gradually thinning hair, receding and often eventual baldness. This process is known as follicular miniaturisation.
Those taking steps towards preventing baldness will need to do so whilst the hair follicles are still active - even if the hairs that are present are thinning this is a sign of life! - if they wish to pursue non-surgical hair loss treatment options, such as minoxidil.
Once the follicle have been destroyed and baldness has set in - signified by the smooth, shiny appearance of the scalp - these are no longer capable of producing hair growth, even with stimulation.
In some cases bald men may be able to have hair transplant surgery to get their hair back, however, this depends largely on the size of the area involved and the amount of good quality donor hair they have available.
Donor hair is found in the areas of the scalp that are immune to the effects of DHT, namely the back and sides, roughly from in line with the top of the ears down to the nape.
A highly-skilled surgeon should be consulted before embarking on such a delicate procedure, especially where there is a large area to be covered. They can not only advise you on whether or not you are a good candidate for a hair transplant, but can advise as to the type of surgery that best suits your situation, and whether natural-looking results are possible and how long it is likely to take for you to achieve your preferred look.
Additionally, choosing a reputable surgeon who is local to you ensure proper after care which is especially valuable should anything go wrong afterwards. Whilst hair transplants abroad may be cheaper than in the UK, there are significant dangers associated with this type of medical tourism - which it is important you make yourself aware of before considering such a move.
Although a hair transplant is not often seen as a 'big deal' now, it is still an invasive operation and requires a high degree of skill, precision and professional medical training to be done correctly - not to mention good quality, sterile equipment and proper aftercare.
There are cosmetic options, where non-surgical hair loss solutions are no longer possible and a hair transplant does not appeal. One of the most popular new services is called micropigmentation and involves medical-grade fine tattooing of the area where hair would normally grow. Many dots are applied in a number of different shades over several sessions, mimicking the natural appearance of hair in a buzzcut style, such as that worn by Vin Diesel.
As with hair transplants, this is not a service we offer at Belgravia, but, again, it also requires a highly adept and specially-trained professional to carry it out, not a regular tattoo artist nor beautician. Getting it wrong can not only be a costly and painful error when laser-removal is necessary, but the results can look extremely unnatural as various YouTube videos can attest to.
Whichever route you choose, it is so important to do your homework first to ensure you are happy with not only the option you select, but also that you feel comfortable and safe with the person carrying it out, and understand them to be both properly qualified, trained and licensed to perform this for you.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.