Hair Disorders and Hair Loss Prevention Treatments

Northwestern Medicine specialists offer advanced treatment for hair loss by performing surgical and non-surgical hair replacement procedures. Options include:

  • Hair transplant surgery: In this procedure, the surgeon removes patches of skin containing hair and applies it to balding or thinning areas.
  • Tissue expansion: Tissue expansion involves hair-bearing skin being stretched to cover balding areas.
  • Flap surgery: In this surgery, a portion of balding skin is removed and replaced with a flap of hair-bearing skin.
  • Scalp reduction: Sections of bald scalp are removed and the hair-bearing parts of the scalp are pulled together to fill in the area.
  • Non-surgical options: 
    • Finasteride (a pill for treating baldness that blocks the enzyme responsible for hair loss)
    • Over-the-counter topical solutions such as minoxidil (Rogaine®)

Sunscreen and head covering are essential for people with thinning hair or baldness to protect the scalp from sunburn and skin cancer.

Hair loss prevention techniques include:

  • Switching from medications that cause hair loss
  • Eating a diet rich in protein and iron
  • Changing hairstyles to one that doesn’t pull hair tightly
  • Stress-reduction techniques
  • Laser phototherapy devices
  • Avoiding harsh hair treatments

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