Latest in Stemming (and Hiding) Hair Loss – The Hollywood Reporter

“Full, healthy hair is seen as a symbol of beauty,” says Miriam Bloch, celebrity wig designer and founder of The Wig Addiction Hair Care Products.

But what if that mane starts to fade?

Although hair loss is thought to mainly affect men, according to the American Hair Loss Association, about 40 percent of those who experience it are women.

The error is accompanied by various factors. “Hormonal changes, genetics, stressors, diet, environment, disease, illness, and medications can all contribute to hair loss and thinning,” says dermatologist and hair surgeon Craig Ziering. “And for those involved in stress-creating hairstyles, hot tools, color and excessive use of chemicals, this can lead to follicle damage and destruction over time, leading to thin, weak hair.” In other words, consider dumping the daily use of that flat iron.

Time is of the essence when dealing with a problem. “The good news is that many effective interventions exist, but these treatments work best in the early stages of loss with a multifaceted approach and for those without medical conditions such as anemia and hypothyroidism,” says dermatologist Tess Mauricio (recently employed). Khloe Kardashian to remove facial skin tumor). For those looking to avoid the hair transplant surgery route — which can easily cost $15,000 and more — here are alternative ways to prevent (or hide) the loss.

Laser treatments

Ava MD and Skin Five’s Dr. Ava Shamban is seeing impressive results with the Fotona Hairstart Stimulation Program. During each 30- to 40-minute session (about $250 and up per treatment), a handheld laser unit delivers energy to targeted hair follicles. “This controlled laser energy stimulates follicle function and has helped slow hair loss and regenerate new hair growth for women and men with no pain or downtime,” he says. Because each client is unique and results may vary, four to six visits (one week apart) are recommended for best results.

Another pain-free, doctor-administered option causing a stir is KeraLase Ultra. During each 30-minute treatment ($4,500 for three packages that include at-home products), a laser is applied to the scalp, creating microchannels in the epidermis to infuse a serum of five growth factors and proteins. “It’s especially helpful in the earlier stages of thinning, and it can firm and strengthen the growth and slow the loss process,” Ziering says.

Wigs, toppers and extensions

More than ever, fitted wigs offer instantly thicker locks – with considerable ease and versatility – especially under the expertise of LA’s most respected artisans, whose natural-looking, customized work has dramatically elevated the craft. “There are a significant number of people wearing wigs now; It’s very common,” says Bloch. Adds wigmaker and extensions expert Merriah Dearman, whose clients include Gisele Bundchen and Madonna, “When the work is really good, you can’t tell — it’s like good plastic surgery.”

Working only with ethically sourced, 100 percent human hair, both Bloch and Dearman seek out women with thinning hair, genetic hair loss, alopecia and cancer, as well as clients seeking a new look.

One of their most popular items is the topper (think of it like a mini wig), which fits snugly at the back of the hair for a dose of volume and fullness at the top of the head.

“The hair on the topper should match your real hair flowing underneath,” says Bloch. Toppers are so common in Hollywood that Dearman is now training celebrity hair stylists how to design and style them.

Prices for his designs start at $2,000 and can take anywhere from two weeks to six months depending on the work involved. With proper care (both Bloch and Dearman stress using a UV protector to preserve color and texture), their tour de force creations can last up to 5 years.

And if you’re longing for extensions to add volume, but freak out about the potential damage they can cause and the thought of sitting in a chair for 8-plus hours, it’s time to schedule a visit with Priscilla Valles Aguilar. The reigning queen of hair extensions (her clients include Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian and Jake Gyllenhaal for her role Prince of Persia) is respected for her efficiency, attention to detail, maintaining hair health (thanks to her technique and using separate keratin bonds) and remarkable speed – she does a full head of hair in less than an hour.

“Extensions have a reputation for bad application, but I’ve mastered the application and removal process and the length of time they stay on the hair before any damage is done — five to seven weeks,” she says. “My clients are actually getting healthier hair under my extensions.” Expect to pay anywhere from $2,000-$8,000 depending on the number of lines for Valles Aguilar’s artwork.

From left: The Root Serum by hairstylist Jay Smalls Are; $55, Aregrey. com; Custom Meria Dearman wig in progress; Handheld Photona Hairstart Laser Device

Are, Laser: Courtesy of the brand. Wig: Martin Crook.

Topical treatments

Minoxidil, a popular FDA-approved topical treatment for patterned hair loss, has recently made headlines for promoting hair growth when taken orally as an off-label drug, which some hair doctors, including Century City-based Mark Dauer, are not recommending. Because of concerns over side effects including drops in blood pressure when taken orally.

Other docs say they continue to find success with serums applied directly to the scalp. Dermatologist Makren Alexisides, whose client list includes writer-director Christopher McQuarrie and Sienna Miller, can’t keep her topical hair growth prescription product in stock. “It is an FDA-approved combination of finasteride [the generic term for propecia] And minoxidil doesn’t leave a residue and it works. Alexidedes is a proponent of taking the hair supplement Neutrafol. “A significant percentage of subjects reported improvement in hair growth, volume, thickness and rate of hair growth,” he adds.

Ziering offers his own minoxidil- and antioxidant-fueled topical, ZMin: “It’s a customized prescription solution that requires a steady 20 drops per day, and results are visible in three months.”

Over-the-counter products that help keep hair healthy include Beverly Hills Hair Clinic Horclinicken’s Customized Extract ($88) with burdock root and cow’s milk products and cult beauty brand Agent Nature’s Holly (Lox) Treatment Oil ($88) with milk-based bioactive ingredients.

Celebrity-worshipped, Ayurvedic line Ranawat (fans include Mindy Kaling and Gwyneth Paltrow) is often sold on her fortifying hair serum. Founder Michelle Ranawat suggests a weekly hair oiling routine that includes a deep scalp massage to invigorate the scalp. “It helps promote healthy hair growth,” she says.

Celebrity hairstylist Jay Small (Matt Damon, Noah Centineo) has created his own Serum to the Root by Are. “It combines antioxidants and peptides with a volumizing ingredient, and we’ve kept out fragrance, oil and fillers to provide the scalp with support for hair follicle growth,” she says. The patent-pending formula is billed as a triple threat because it’s designed to slow and reverse gray hair growth.

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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