The Ultimate to Stop (and Hide) Hair Loss – The Hollywood Reporter

The Ultimate to Stop (and Hide) Hair Loss – The Hollywood Reporter

“Complete, healthy hair it’s seen as a sign of beauty,” says Miriam Bloch, famous wig designer and founder of The Wig Addiction hair care products.

But what if that mane starts to thin out?

While hair loss is often thought of as primarily affecting men, according to the American Hair Loss Association, nearly 40 percent of people who experience it are women.

The failure lies in a variety of factors. “Hormonal changes, genetics, stressors, diet, environment, disease, and medications can all contribute to hair loss and thinning,” says dermatologist and hair surgeon Craig Ziering. “And for those who engage in stress-creating styling, excessive use of hot tools, color and chemicals can lead to follicle damage and destruction over time, leading to thin, weak hair.” In other words, consider getting rid of daily use of that iron.

However, time is of the essence when it comes to the problem. “The good news is that there are many effective interventions, but these treatments work best in the early stages of loss with a multipronged approach and for those without underlying medical conditions, such as anemia and hypothyroidism,” says dermatologist Tess Mauricio (who recently worked with Khloe Kardashian to remove a tumor on the skin of the face). For those who want to avoid the hair transplant surgery route, which can easily cost $15,000 or more, here are alternative ways to stop (or hide) the loss.

LASER TREATMENTS

Ava MD and Dr. Ava Shamban of Skin Five are seeing impressive results with the Fotona HAIRestart stimulation program. During each 30-40 minute session (about $250 and up per treatment), a portable laser unit delivers energy to targeted hair follicles. “This controlled laser energy triggers follicle function and has helped slow hair loss and regrow new hair growth for both women and men without pain or downtime,” she says. Results may vary as each client is unique, with four to six visits (spaced one week apart) suggested for optimal results.

Another doctor-administered painless option causing a stir is KeraLase Ultra. During each 30-minute treatment ($4,500 for a suggested three-pack, including home products), a laser applied to the scalp creates microchannels in the epidermis to infuse a serum of five growth factors and proteins. “This is particularly helpful in the early stages of thinning, and will solidify and strengthen growth, as well as help slow down the loss process,” says Ziering.

WIGS, TOPPERS AND EXTENSIONS

More accepted than ever, wigs offer instantly thicker locks, along with great ease and versatility, especially under the expertise of Los Angeles’ most revered artisans, whose custom, natural-looking work has dramatically elevated the craft. “There are a significant number of people who wear wigs now; it’s so common,” says Bloch. She adds extensions specialist and hairstylist Merria Dearman, whose clients include Gisele Bündchen and Madonna: “When the work is really good, it doesn’t show, it’s like a big plastic surgery.”

Working only with ethically sourced 100% human hair, both Bloch and Dearman are sought after by women suffering from thinning hair, genetic hair loss, alopecia and cancer, along with clients who simply want a new look.

One of their most popular items is a topper (think of it like a mini wig), which fits just behind the hairline for a dose of volume and fullness on top of the head.

“Precision is key as the hair on top needs to match the real hair flowing down the bottom,” says Bloch. Embellishments have become so commonplace in Hollywood that Dearman is now training celebrity hairstylists on how to style 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 (Bloch and Dearman emphasize the use of a UV protectant to preserve color and texture), your wondrous creations can last up to 5 years.

And if you’ve been longing for extensions to add volume, but the potential damage they can do and the thought of sitting in a chair for 8+ hours is highly unattractive, 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 in Prince of Persia) is revered for its efficiency, attention to detail, maintenance of healthy hair (thanks to its technique and use of individual keratin bonds), and remarkable speed: it makes a full head of hair in just one hour.

“Extensions have a reputation for being poorly applied, but I’ve mastered the application and removal process, and how long they stay in the hair, five to seven weeks, before any damage occurs,” she says. “My clients actually get healthier hair under my extensions.” Expect to pay between $2,000 and $8,000 depending on the number of rows for Valles Aguilar’s art.

From left: Arey to The Root Serum by hairstylist Jay Small;  $55, they're gray.  com;  a custom Merria Dearman wig in progress;  the Fotona HAIRestart handheld laser device

From left: Arey to The Root Serum by hairstylist Jay Small; $55, they’re gray. com; a custom Merria Dearman wig in progress; the Fotona HAIRestart handheld laser device

AREY, LASER: COURTESY OF THE BRAND. WIG: MARTIN CROOKE.

TOPICAL TREATMENTS

While minoxidil, the popular FDA-approved topical treatment for pattern hair loss, recently made headlines for stimulating hair growth when taken orally as an off-label drug, some hair doctors , including Century City-based Marc Dauer, don’t prescribe it orally because of concerns about side effects, including drops in blood pressure.

Other doctors say they continue to have success with serums applied directly to the scalp. Dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, whose general client list includes writer-director Christopher McQuarrie and Sienna Miller, can barely keep her prescription topical hair-growth product in stock. “It is a combination of finasteride approved by the FDA [the generic term for propecia] and minoxidil that leaves no residue, and it works.” Alexiades is also a fan of taking the Nutrafol hair supplement. “A significant percentage of subjects have reported improvement in hair growth, volume, thickness, and rate of growth,” she adds.

Ziering offers its own antioxidant-powered minoxidil topical, ZMin: “This is a custom prescription solution that requires a consistent 20 drops daily, and results will be seen in three months.”

Over-the-counter products that can help keep hair healthy include Beverly Hills Hair Clinic’s Harklinikken Custom Extract ($88) with burdock root and cow’s milk derivatives, and Holi Treatment Oil (Locks) from cult beauty brand Agent Nateur ($88) with milk-based bioactive ingredients.

The Ranavat Ayurvedic line, adored by celebrities (fans include Mindy Kaling and Gwyneth Paltrow) often run out of their fortifying hair serum. Founder Michelle Ranavat suggests a weekly hair oiling routine that involves a deep head massage to invigorate the scalp. “This helps encourage healthy hair growth,” she says.

Celebrity stylist Jay Small (Matt Damon, Noah Centineo) has created his own serum, To the Root by Arey. “It combines antioxidants and peptides with a volumizing ingredient, and we’ve excluded fragrance, oil, and fillers to give the scalp what it needs to support hair follicle growth,” he says. The patent pending formula is advertised as a triple threat as it is also designed to delay and reverse the growth of gray hair.

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

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