6 Best hair transplant alternatives
By Tamim Hamid Posted on 01/17/2024

6 Effective Alternatives to Hair Transplant Procedures

Even though hair transplant procedures have a high success rate, they can carry certain risks, such as infection, scarring, and post-operative discomfort. Like any medical procedure, there can be possible complications and risks involved. If you're seeking alternatives to hair transplant surgery, there are effective options available that can help you address hair loss without undergoing surgery.

In this blog post, we'll explore six simple and safe alternatives to hair transplant procedures that you can consider. These alternatives offer a range of solutions to promote natural hair growth and boost your confidence. We've got you covered whether you're seeking topical treatments, laser therapy, or lifestyle changes.

Risks with Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair transplant surgery is a widely recognized, expensive procedure for restoring and addressing hair loss. Up to 3,000 new donor hairs can be transplanted at an average cost of $5.44 per hair graft in the U.S.  Along with the high surgery cost, certain risks need to be considered before going for hair transplant surgery:

Infection

Like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection at the hair transplant site. There is a small chance of bacteria entering the surgical site during the procedure, which can lead to an infection.

Scarring

Scarring is a possible risk that can occur with hair transplant surgery. When hair follicles are transplanted from one area to another, small scars can form at both the donor and recipient sites. These scars are typically minimal and tend to fade over time. However, it's important to note that the extent of scarring can vary depending on individual healing factors and the techniques used during the procedure.

Bleeding 

During the hair transplant procedure, bleeding from the donor and recipient sites, where the hair follicles are extracted and transplanted, is possible. In rare cases, excessive bleeding may occur, requiring additional medical attention. 

Numbness or Lack of Sensation

Some individuals may experience temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the areas involved in the procedure, such as the donor and recipient sites. This can occur due to damage to the nerves during the surgery. Although this is uncommon, it's important to be aware of the possibility. In most cases, the sensation gradually returns as the nerves heal. However, in rare instances, numbness may continue.

Post-Operative Discomfort

After hair transplant surgery, it is common to experience post-operative discomfort. This means you might feel pain, swelling, or itching in the areas where the hair transplant occurred. 

6 Best Alternatives to Hair Transplant Surgery

Since the transplant procedure is quite expensive and the desired outcomes are not guaranteed, why go for it? Fortunately, there are alternative options available that are effective, affordable, and carry fewer risks. The 6 best hair transplant alternatives are:

1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil as hair transplant alternative

Minoxidil is considered one of the best hair transplant alternatives. Minoxidil works by stimulating hair growth and slowing down hair loss by prolonging the duration of the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. It is applied directly to the scalp and is suitable for both men and women experiencing hair thinning or pattern baldness. Minoxidil promotes blood circulation to the hair follicles, improving hair density and regrowth over time. It is a convenient and cost-effective option for those seeking to address hair loss without undergoing surgery.

One of the advantages of minoxidil is its ease of use. It typically comes as a liquid or foam that can be applied directly to the scalp once or twice daily. It requires minimal effort and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. However, it is important to note that results may vary among individuals, and consistent use over a prolonged period is often necessary to see noticeable improvements. Minoxidil is considered a safe option with few side effects, making it a popular choice for individuals looking for a non-invasive alternative to hair transplant surgery. However, it causes shortening of the resting phase, causing more hair to be shed during this time. Minoxidil may also cause skin irritation, scaly and itchy scalp.

2. Finasteride

Finasteride for hair transplant alternative

Finasteride, commonly known as Propecia, is another drug that can be used as an alternative to hair transplant surgery. Like Minoxidil, it wasn't originally developed as a hair-loss treatment. It is a pill that you take orally to treat non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Later, it was found to help improve hair growth in patients. Now, Finasteride is an FDA-cleared treatment for an enlarged prostate as well as for androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern hair loss). It is usually marketed in 1 mg tablets.

Remember DHT, the hair assassins? Finasteride attempts to reduce DHT levels. In a 0.01mg dose, Finasteride didn't inhibit DHT production any better than a placebo. But with a dose of 0.05mg, there was a 60% for. By reducing the levels of DHT in the body, Finasteride can help slow down or even stop hair loss in some people. However, there can be side effects since the drug alters DHT levels. Although they may disappear if a person stops using Finasteride, this can take one to three years. Also, as mentioned, if one stops taking Finasteride, the hair that was gained while on medication will most likely be lost again.

3. Scalp Micropigmentation

scalp micorpigmentation for hair transplant alternative

Scalp micro-pigmentation is a non-surgical procedure that involves the application of specialized pigments to the scalp, creating the illusion of a fuller head of hair. Much like a tattoo. This hair transplant alternative is particularly useful for individuals looking to address areas of hair loss or thinning hair. Scalp micro-pigmentation can effectively replicate the appearance of hair follicles and create the look of a closely shaved or buzzed hairstyle.

One of the advantages of scalp micro-pigmentation is its ability to provide immediate results. Unlike hair transplant surgery, which requires time for transplanted hair to grow, scalp micro-pigmentation delivers instant visual improvements. The procedure is typically performed in multiple sessions, allowing for precise adjustments and a natural-looking result. Additionally, scalp micro-pigmentation is a relatively low-maintenance option, as the pigments are long-lasting and can retain their appearance for several years. Regular touch-ups may be required to maintain the desired look.

4. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

low level laser therapy

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is often considered the best alternative to hair transplant surgery. It is a non-invasive treatment using red light wavelengths to stimulate hair follicles and promote growth. One of the advantages of LLLT is its simplicity and convenience. Laser hair growth devices like Theradome can be used at home to provide convenient and effective hair loss treatment. These devices emit low-level laser light directly onto the scalp, which can help improve blood circulation, stimulate hair follicles, and encourage hair regrowth.

Theradome is a popular LLLT device that is designed for home use. It is a laser hair restoration helmet that covers the entire scalp and delivers the necessary laser light to first stop hair from shedding and promote hair growth. Using Theradome for a few minutes daily can provide the benefits of LLLT without surgery. The red light wavelengths emitted by Theradome are the strongest and most effective in the at-home treatment market and penetrate the thick skin of the scalp (3-5mm), energizing the hair follicles and promoting healthier, thicker hair. This non-invasive approach makes Theradome a convenient and accessible option for individuals seeking the best alternative to hair transplant surgery. Best of all, LLLT has been shown to be an effective adjunct when used with Minoxidil 

5. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

prp therapy for hair transplant options

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a non-surgical treatment involving injecting a concentrated solution of platelets derived from your blood into the scalp. These platelets contain growth factors that stimulate hair follicles and promote growth. PRP therapy is often recommended for individuals experiencing hair loss or thinning, as it can help improve hair thickness and overall health.

One of the advantages of this hair transplant alternative is its natural approach. Since the platelets used in the treatment are obtained from your own blood, there is a reduced risk of adverse reactions or complications. The procedure is relatively simple and typically involves several sessions a few weeks apart. During each session, a small amount of blood is drawn from your arm and processed to extract the platelet-rich plasma. The concentrated plasma is then carefully injected into the scalp areas requiring treatment. PRP therapy can be an effective option to address hair loss without transplant surgery, but it is important to note that results may vary among individuals. The cons of PRP are the cost, time, maintenance, and contradictions in outcome.

6. Hair Thickening Fibers

hair thickening fibers

The microscopic hair-thickening fibers, usually made from natural keratin, can instantly add volume and thickness to the existing hair strands. Hair thickening fibers come in various shades to match different hair colors, and they can be easily applied at home without any professional assistance. One of the advantages of using hair-thickening fibers as a hair transplant alternative is their immediate and visible results. When applied to the hair, these fibers adhere to the existing strands, making the hair appear fuller and denser.

Hair-thickening fibers are also convenient and easy to use. They are typically applied by sprinkling the fibers onto the thinning areas of the scalp and gently patting them into place. The fibers can withstand normal daily activities and can be easily washed with regular shampooing.

They offer a cosmetic solution rather than a long-term remedy for hair loss. They are temporary and may need to be reapplied each time you wash your hair. Hair thickening fibers work best when used in conjunction with other hair care practices and treatments.

Conclusion

If you're considering alternatives to hair transplant surgery, these are the six best options to help address hair loss. These hair transplant alternatives include Minoxidil, scalp micro-pigmentation, low-level laser therapy, PRP therapy, and hair-thickening fibers, which can slow down hair loss and stimulate new hair growth. These options are less expensive and come with fewer risks.

Among them, the low-level laser therapy device Theradome stands out as a top contender. With its user-friendly design and positive outcomes, Theradome offers a convenient and non-invasive solution for individuals seeking to address hair loss concerns. By stimulating hair follicles and promoting hair growth, Theradome provides an accessible and affordable option that may help reduce hair loss and improve the thickness and density of the hair. The best thing about Theradome is that you can use it after the hair transplant.

If you're experiencing the distress of losing your hair, this amazing ”Grow It Back” book is just what you need. It will give you all the information you need to know about how to stop hair loss and regrow your own hair naturally. The book is a step-by-step guide written in an easy-to-read format that explains everything you ever need to know about how you lose your hair, which products and treatments work and which do not, and finally, it explains the latest ground-breaking, proven technology that is an FDA-cleared treatment called laser phototherapy.

FAQs

Are there alternatives to hair transplants?

Yes, there are alternatives to hair transplant surgery. Some alternatives include medications and treatments like minoxidil, finasteride, low-level laser therapy, and scalp micropigmentation.

Which is better than a hair transplant?

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is considered a better option than a hair transplant because it is a non-invasive treatment that uses light to stimulate hair growth without surgery. Additionally, LLLT is more affordable than hair transplant.

Why are hair transplants not worth it?

Hair transplants may not be worth it for some people because they can be expensive and require multiple sessions, with results taking several months to become visible. Additionally, there is a risk of complications, and the procedure may not always provide the desired outcome.

Who is not a good candidate for a hair transplant?

Individuals with insufficient donor hair, severe hair loss, or unrealistic expectations may not be good candidates for a hair transplant. Additionally, people with chronic issues like heart disease, kidney or liver failure, and diabetes may not be suitable for hair transplant surgery.

Can I Use the Theradome if I have had a Hair Transplant?

Yes, you can use the Theradome laser helmet even after a hair transplant. It can help promote hair growth and improve the overall health of your existing hair follicles, regardless of whether they are transplanted or natural.

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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.