treatments for hair loss

Effective Treatments for Hair Loss: An In-Depth Analysis

Written by: prerna khemka


Did you know? 80% of ALL adults experience hair loss, but less than 1% of men actually get help?

So why is it that only 1% actually seek help? Finding a solution to your hair loss can be extremely overwhelming. From the vast amount of information on the internet to trying to schedule an appointment in our busy schedule.

At HairSmart, we are passionate about education. We believe knowledge is power. We don’t like to preach fear, misinformation or take advantage of ignorance. In fact, one of our core values is honesty. So here is a complete and detailed list of treatments for hair loss options out there. 

We have categorized them into surgical and non-surgical solutions and then further divided the non-surgical into invasive, non-invasive, drugs and plant-based drug alternatives. So without further ado, let’s dive into each option.

Common Types of Hair Loss

types of hair loss

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, can affect just your scalp or your entire body, and it can be temporary or permanent. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or a normal part of aging. Here's an overview of some common types of hair loss:

  • Androgenetic Alopecia
    • Male-pattern baldness: This is characterized by a receding hairline and bald spots in men.
    • Female-pattern baldness: Women may experience thinning hair over the entire scalp, often with most loss at the crown.
  • Alopecia Areata: An autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable, patchy hair loss.
  • Telogen Effluvium: A temporary condition that causes hair follicles to go into a resting phase and fall out during brushing or washing. This can be triggered by significant stress on the body, like childbirth, surgery, or severe illness.
  • Traction Alopecia: Hair loss caused by tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time.
  • Scarring Alopecia: Hair loss happens due to inflammation that destroys the hair follicle, leading to scarring and the inability of hair to grow back.
  • Anagen Effluvium: Rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment, such as chemotherapy.
  • Cicatricial Alopecia (Also Known as Scarring Alopecia): This is a group of rare disorders that destroy hair follicles, replace them with scar tissue, and cause permanent hair loss.
  • Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA): Hair loss that begins at the crown of the head and leads to scarring.
  • Trichotillomania: A psychological disorder where a person has an irresistible urge to pull out their hair.
  • Hormonal or Endocrine Alopecia: Hair loss associated with hormonal changes or imbalances, such as thyroid disease or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of essential nutrients, like iron, protein, or vitamins, can lead to hair loss.

Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss (alopecia) can be caused by a variety of factors, often acting in combination. Here's a rundown of the primary causes:

1. Genetic Factors

Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss, inherited genetically.

2. Hormonal Changes

  • Hair loss can be triggered by hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid problems.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also cause hormonal imbalances that may lead to hair loss in women.

3. Medical Conditions

  • Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes patchy hair loss.
  • Infections such as ringworm can invade the hair and skin of the scalp, leading to hair loss.
  • Scalp conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis can result in temporary or permanent hair loss.

4. Medications and Supplements

Certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout, and high blood pressure, can cause hair loss as a side effect.

5. Radiation Therapy

Hair may not grow back the same as it was before after radiation therapy to the head.

6. Stressful Events

Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.

7. Hairstyles and Treatments

  • Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause traction alopecia.
  • Hot oil hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss.

8. Poor Nutrition

Lack of protein, iron, and other nutrients in your diet can lead to thinning hair. Eat the right food for hair growth: proteins, vitamins, and minerals are essential to prevent hair loss and ensure strong, healthy hair.

9. Age

As people age, hair tends to gradually thin.

10. Sudden Weight Loss

Sudden or excessive weight loss can cause hair to fall out due to the stress it puts on the body.

11. Autoimmune Diseases

Lupus and other autoimmune diseases can lead to hair loss.

12. Excessive Styling and Heat

Over-styling and applying heat to the hair can cause the hair to break and fall out.

Treatments for Hair Loss: Surgical Options

Surgical Option

Frequency & Duration

Mechanism & Benefits

Side Effects


Hair Transplantation

Single session to multiple sessions, depending on the extent of hair loss. Each session can last several hours.

Transplanted hair follicles grow in balding areas. Natural-looking results and permanent solution.

Swelling, bruising, and bleeding. Risk of infection and unnatural hair growth.

High; typically ranges from $4,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the number of grafts.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

Usually requires a single session but may need additional sessions for larger areas.

A strip of hair from the back of the head is used to cover bald areas. Suitable for significant hair loss.

Linear scarring at the donor site, potential for nerve damage, and longer recovery time.

Similar to hair transplantation, with the cost depending on the number of grafts.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

May require multiple sessions spread out over several days.

Individual follicles are extracted and implanted, reducing scarring. Allows wearing short hairstyles.

Tiny scars in the donor area, post-operative pain, and longer procedure time.

Generally more expensive than FUT due to the intensive nature of the procedure.

Scalp Reduction

Typically a single session, but may require more for larger bald areas.

Removal of bald scalp and closure with hair-bearing skin. Immediate results for specific balding areas.

Scarring, stretching or tightness of the scalp, and potential for an unnatural appearance.

Generally less than transplantation but varies with the complexity of the procedure.

Scalp Expansion

The expander is worn for several weeks before the final surgical procedure.

The expanded hair-bearing skin is stretched and repositioned. More coverage with less donor hair.

Discomfort while wearing the expander, risk of infection, and visible bulging of the scalp.

Similar to or higher than scalp reduction.

Scalp Flap Surgery

Usually completed in a single session.

Immediate coverage with a large flap of hair-bearing skin. Quick results.

High risk of complications, including poor healing, necrosis of the flap, and conspicuous scarring.

Can be very costly due to the complexity and risks involved.

Artificial Hair Implantation

The procedure can be completed in one session but may need touch-ups.

Instant results with synthetic hair. No need for donor hair.

High risk of infection, rejection, and scarring. Not approved in many countries due to associated risks.

Varies widely, often less than natural hair transplantation but with higher risks.

Tissue Expansion

The expander is worn for about 3 to 4 months before the final surgical procedure.

Allows for a significant amount of hair to cover a bald area after the expander is removed. More natural-looking results.

Discomfort and pain while wearing the expander, risk of expander exposure or infection.

Costly, often on par with or more expensive than other transplant methods.

Treatments for Hair Loss: Non Surgical Options

Treatment Modality

Frequency & Duration


Side Effects



Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) / Platelet-Rich Fibrin/Exosome

Every 3 months

Using platelet growth factors that promote tissue repair and stimulate cell growth for hair follicles.

Transient pain and erythema, bleeding, infection, pain



Low-Level Laser Therapy

Daily for > 6 months can be done at home

Enhances ATP production, stimulating cellular metabolism, and increasing blood flow to the targeted area lead to heightened cellular activity. This, in turn, fosters the growth of hair, initiates and prolongs the hair cycle's growth phase, ultimately resulting in the improvement of existing hair's overall health and thickness.

No known side-effects

$1500 for a lasercap

Treatments for Hair Loss: Pharmacological Drugs

Treatment Modality

Frequency & Duration


Side Effects


Minoxidil (FDA-Approved)

Daily for >6 months

Works by widening blood vessels to increase blood circulation to hair follicles and may stimulate hair growth cycle.

Burning, irritation, itchiness, scaliness, dizziness, allergic reaction, hypertrichosis, cardiovascular effects, unwanted facial hair.


(long-term use)

Finasteride (FDA-Approved)

Daily for > 6 months

Works by stopping the enzyme AR-5 from converting testosterone to DHT. By stopping this, it reduces further hair loss and allows existing hair regrowth.

Decreased sex drive, reduction in penis, erectile dysfunction, decreased concentration, depression


Dutasteride (Not FDA-Approved)

Daily for > 6 months

Has similar mechanisms as finasteride and may be used when finasteride doesn’t provide satisfactory results.

Decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorder, psychological impairments


Spironolactone (Not FDA-Approved)

Daily for > 6 months

Blocks the activity of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone. In female pattern hair loss, excessive androgens contribute to hair thinning or loss. Aims to slow down or even reverse hair loss in affected individuals.

Headache, decreased libido, menstrual irregularities, gynecomastia


Plant-Based Drug Alternatives for Hair Loss Treatment

Treatment Modality

Frequency & Duration


Side Effects


DHT Blockers Drug-Free Alternative to Finasteride

Daily for > 6 months

Proven ingredients hinder testosterone to DHT conversion, coating follicles to block DHT and preserve the natural hormonal cycle.

No known side-effects


Growth Factors (Oils/Serums/Vitamins)

Drug-Free Alternative to Minoxidil

Daily for > 6 months

Vitamins: Supplies hair growth nutrients through blood vessels.

Serum: Nourishes the scalp, boosts blood circulation, and enhances nutrient delivery.

Oils: Hydrate, protect, and prevent breakage, while also being suitable for scalp massages.

No known side-effects


We hope this was helpful. We believe whole-heartedly in holistic health and wellness, and treat hair loss from its root cause with non-invasive, drug-free, pain-free solutions. It is important to know all of your options to make the best informed decision for your hair.

If you'd like more help making this decision and what is the right plan for you. Connect with us! We're here to support and guide you.

prerna khemka

Prerna Khemka

Our founder, Prerna Khemka, confronted hair loss in her twenties. Fueled by a profound passion for Ayurveda and equipped with insights from Western technology, she embarked on a transformative odyssey. Determined to find a solution that resonated with her cultural roots, Prerna delved into extensive research and innovation. The result? A line of clean, effective products that not only revived her own hair but also empowered countless others facing similar challenges.