Men and Hair Loss: What Are the Options?
From rugs to transplants to laser combs, the bald truth about hair loss products
Laser combs: The Star Trek solution
For those concerned that the existing treatments lack a certain sci-fi
quality, behold the Laser Comb. The Laser Comb recently became only the third
hair loss treatment to receive FDA approval. And it is the first that doesn’t
use drugs or surgery. By stimulating follicles with a low-level laser, the
hand-held device was shown in test trials to increase hair volume in a majority
The 545 dollar product is a source of great optimism among some -- and some
wariness among others. "We've definitely seen some benefit, probably on the
order of minoxidil," Bernstein says. "But the study was only six months
long. And there's suspicion among many of us about the long-term effectiveness.
The process doesn't affect DHT."
Even more fantastical than a laser-emitting comb is that longed for promise
of a total cure to baldness - hair cloning. By culturing and successfully
implanting new hair cells, scientists might be able to grow follicles where
once there were none. But don't be fooled by Dolly. Making hair isn't the same
as making sheep.
"We've been saying it's 10 years off for many years now. I still say
it's 10 years off," Bernstein says. "There are some major scientific
barriers to overcome. Then there are the trials to go through, the approval,
the cost constraints. But I definitely think it will happen --
Cotserelis speaks even more guardedly: "Will it be a total cure for
baldness? I'd say the future will hold many more treatment options. But there
won't be one solution for everyone. You'll still have to use multiple
approaches, like you do now."
Get over it
Just letting go is possibly the most challenging of the available options.
It’s also the cheapest and ultimately the most effective in the struggle with
hair loss. Given the imperfections of surgical, medical, and technological
options, there are many who advocate simple acceptance. (BaldRUs.com is one of
several sites devoted to embracing the scalp's natural fate.) What's more, the
health benefits of happier mirror time -- and fewer years of harmful anxiety --
just might offset the loss of those Samson-like powers.