For most people, it is normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day, which are typically replaced by new hair growth. However, for some, this new hair growth does not occur, and bald spot can form. Bald spots can be embarrassing for some people, especially women, as it is more commonly accepted for men to be bald. When facing a bald spot, there are several different ways that you can approach the problem.
Cover the bald spot with a hair piece. Technology has come a long ways in wigs and hair pieces with both real hair and realistic synthetic hair being an option for most heads. Hair pieces can vary significantly in price depending on how large the piece is, what the piece is made from, and whether it is generically made or custom made for your head.
Use over the counter hair treatments to regrow your own hair. Apply products like FDA approved minoxidil to the affected area of your scalp twice daily, once in the morning and once at night before you go to bed. Minoxidil is a vasodilator which means it dilates the blood vessels of the scalp, allowing better follicle function and stimulating hair growth. Choose the correct version of the product, as products are available specifically for men or women.
Talk to your doctor about whether oral or topical prescriptions are best for your situation. Topical options include a prescription strength version of minoxidil called Loniten. Oral medications include the FDA approved finasteride which works by blocking a hormone commonly associated with hair loss, Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Finasteride is only for men.
Consider a surgical hair restoration procedure when prescription treatments are unsuccessful at growing new hair. Surgical restoration typically consists of a hair transplant or scalp reduction performed by a medical professional. In a hair transplant, healthy hair follicles are removed from other areas of your scalp and moved to the area of your scalp that is having difficulty growing hair. A scalp reduction involves removing the area of bald scalp completely, and pulling the remaining healthy scalp together and securing it in place.
When using over the counter minoxidil, stop using the product and contact your doctor if you experience any signs of severe allergic reaction or other rare severe side effects such as chest pain, dizziness or fainting. Both prescription and surgical options have a long list of possible side effects from swelling and loss of libido to infection. Talk to your doctor about potential side effects before taking your prescription or agreeing to surgical hair treatments.