According to the American Hair Loss Association, nearly two-thirds of the population will have hair loss by the age of 35. People of Western countries seem to show a higher percentage of baldness and hair loss than the East. There are various reasons to hair-loss from genetics to lifestyle, but if you have started balding recently, you can still be able to regrow hair at a low price. In this article, I’ve listed the top cheapest and the best way to treat hair loss.
What is the Cheapest Hair Regrowth Treatment? Minoxidil is the cheapest form of hair growth treatment with over 60% success rate. It costs nearly $5 to $10 per month, and you will get visible results in 6 months, which in total will cost you some $30 to $60.
For most people, they can prevent balding by using Minoxidil formulas. However, that may not be the case for everybody. There are other treatments as well which show significant results. On the other hand if the balding is severe and unresponsive to any topical medications, then you may have to go for medical treatment such as hair grafting and scalp reduction.
From Cheapest to Expensive Hair Growth Treatment
- Minoxidil ($5 – $10 per month)
- Finasteride ($10 per month)
- Natural oil such as Pumpkin seed oil and Rosemary oil ($10 per month)
- Saw Palmetto ($30 per month)
- Laser comb ($350)
- Medical laser treatment ($3000 – $5000)
- Hair Grafting ($5000 – $15000)
01. Minoxidil Hair Growth Treatment
Minoxidil solution or foam is the cheapest and effective hair growth treatment. However, minoxidil is not a treatment for baldness at the front of the scalp or when you have severe hair loss. It is effective when you treat from the beginning stage of balding. It is one of the FDA-approved drugs and is highly effective to stop hair loss and promote hair growth for male pattern baldness. The most solution has 2% minoxidil, designed for women and 5% minoxidil, designed for men.
It is a vasodilator type of drug which widens the blood vessels to increase blood flow in the applied area. This effect causes more nutrients and oxygen to flow to the hair follicles, thereby promoting hair growth. It actively promotes hairs in the telogen phase to shed and replace them with new hairs in the anagen phase. It is one of the many reasons for initial hair loss with minoxidil treatment.
Minoxidil side effects do occur among a few individuals. Its side effects include unwanted body hair or facial hair, fainting, chest pain, tiredness, swelling, rash, itching etc. For any of these side effects after a minoxidil treatment, you should contact your doctor immediately.
02. Finasteride Hair Growth Treatment
Finasteride or Propecia is the first drug in history to effectively treat male bald patterns. In December 1997, FDA approved 1mg of Finasteride for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. At this point, it is worth noting that Finasteride treatment is only for men. Finasteride is a 5α-reductase inhibitor which prevents hair loss by stopping testosterone from being converted to DHT. DHT or Dihydrotestosterone is the androgen responsible for hair loss among men. 1mg of Finasteride can effectively lower DHT levels in the scalp by 60 per cent. It has been effective among 86% of the men, who have either stopped hair loss or and regained hair growth.
Finasteride is highly effective but many avoid for its side effects. Some common side effects of Finasteride treatment include skin rash, runny nose, impotence, weakness, dizziness etc. That said, these side effects are seen only among 2% -3% men using Finasteride.
03. Natural oil such as Pumpkin seed oil and Rosemary oil
Pumpkin seed oil has shown some positive results to promote hair growth among men. According to a study in 2014, 30% of people showed positive results in treating pattern baldness. It is available either in supplements or topical application. It is preferred for a hot oil hair treatment and is done one a week. The results typically show up after 24 weeks, and the procedure is effective for the possible effects of 5-reductase inhibition.
Rosemary oil has shown useful results on male pattern baldness which is caused by DHT attacking the hair follicles. Its effectiveness is believed to be the result of DHT prevention. It is especially effective when baldness is due to infection on the scalp as rosemary oil is effective at killing some fungi and bacteria. It is also used alongside other treatments such as minoxidil to increase its effectiveness on hair growth.
Being a natural treatment, it doesn’t produce any significant side effects. On the contrary, it is somewhat healthy to apply pumpkin seed oil and rosemary oil topically. However, if you are allergic to these natural products, it could produce some minor side effects.
04. Saw Palmetto Treatment
This is a plant with small berries that has been used by Native American for hundreds of years. It is used in multiple medical treatments and hair growth product is one of them. Saw Palmetto extract has been seen effective at blocking 5-alpha-reductase, which is the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to DHT. A study show saw palmetto to be effective in promoting hair growth among 50% of the subjects with an increased hair count of 12% after 4 months of treatment. It is taken as whole dried berries, tablets, liquid extracts, and powdered capsules.
It rarely produces any side effects and if it does, the side effects are in the form of mild headaches and stomach pains. It is advised not to take saw palmetto alongside other treatments and supplements, which may trigger major side effects.
05. Laser Comb
Laser comb is a low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and can be effective in stopping hair loss. It is also approved by FDA for its safety and effectiveness. This is a non-chemical and non-invasive option for people with hair loss. Some show an exceptionally positive response to LLLT, whereas others show average effectiveness. It has been used in salons and now you can buy one to use at home. On the downside, it is relatively expensive.
If used correctly it produces no side effects even after prolonged use. In some cases, it produced mild itching and tingling of the scalp.
06. Medical Laser Treatment for Hair Loss
It is again a low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and is also referred to as red light therapy and cold laser therapy. The system primarily shoots photons on the scalp, which are absorbed by the weak cells to encourage hair growth. It is theorized that the laser invigorates circulation and stimulation which encourages hair follicles to grow. A study in 2013 showed that 44 males aged between 18 and 48 had 39% hair growth with laser treatment for 16 weeks. It is a safe, painless, method of hair growth treatment and as mentioned above, some show significant positive results, if not all. When opting for a laser treatment you should consider the fact that it takes several session which may last for months, it’s expensive and may not produce the results as you expected.
It has no side effects except for the fact that it may react to a specific type of medication. It is not advised for people who are taking medications that are photosensitizing.
07. Hair Grafting
Hair grafting or hair transplant is an expensive process and is suitable for men with male-pattern baldness, female with genetic hair loss, those who have lost hair due to injuries or those who have experienced recent hair loss.
This is a surgical procedure where hair is transplanted in grafts. There can be 1-2, 4-10, 10-15 or 30-40 hairs per graft depending on the procedure. In the process, the surgeon removes a part of hair-bearing scalp from the back of the head and then transplanted into the balding area. The method takes multiple sessions and in each session, 50 or more hair-bearing segments are grafted. After completion, the scalp needs nearly four months of the healing period.
The procedure is not suitable for women with wide-spread pattern hair loss and men with insufficient ‘donor’ site. The donor site is the hair-bearing portion, from where hair is taken for transplant.
The produce does produce some discomfort and side effects such as swelling, crusting of a scalp, lack of sensation in the scalp or itching on the scalp.
What is the best vitamin for hair growth? One of the best is the B-vitamin called Biotin. Most hair care brands use Biotin in their products and studies link hair loss to lack of Biotin.
What is the first sign of balding? Among most men, an‘M’ shaped hair thinning is a common indicator of balding. Front hair thinning is another strong indicator of future balding.
Can dandruff cause hair loss? Yes, it does cause hair loss temporarily but doesn’t affect permanently.
Can I grow hair after I am completely bald? At this point, it is unusual for the scalp to recover. If it’s a genetic cause, it is unlikely to regain complete hairline and its natural thickness.
The treatment mentioned above works for most of the cases, but they are unlikely to regrow all your lost hair. Hair loss is pretty common and mostly in western countries. If you see thinning of your hair or losing hair from the front of the scalp, you should immediately consult a dermatologist. Be it minoxidil or Propecia; the treatment gives maximum results when started at an early stage of hair loss.