Hair Treatments From Hell?

4 ways hair loss treatments could go wrong, and how to avoid them

Disclaimer: The following contains real cases of hair loss treatments with undesirable results. Some of you might find the imagery below disturbing. The Global Hair Loss Organization is committed to providing you with high-quality, well-researched, useful information on the range of hair loss options available and their respective pros and cons.

You probably didn’t see it coming. What once seemed like a distant reality has slowly crept into your self-esteem, and even your career and relationships. Yes, hair loss can be devastating and debilitating. Having a full head of thick, shiny hair can make a world of difference in landing that dream job or getting that first date. In worse cases, hair loss can even cause serious psychological issues such as depression or anxiety. That’s why the temptation to look for a quick, easy fix for hair loss is pretty understandable.

But these treatments, which usually come in the form of medication or surgery, can be risky and dangerous. When done haphazardly or without a highly-trained medical professional, they can even make you a lot worse off than when you started. That’s because aside from its bad effects, most treatments don’t really get to the root cause of hair loss which is nutritional deficiency. While they can provide quick solutions, the underlying problem doesn’t really go away, so a recurrence of hair loss becomes inevitable.

What’s the worst that could happen? Here are four ways hair loss procedures and medications could go wrong:

1. Trouble down there, possibly forever. Yes, there. Lots of users of Propecia (a common brand of Finasteride, a prescription drug to treat hair loss) have reported sexual dysfunction after using the drug. The culprit? Its main ingredient’s testosterone-suppressing properties. It blocks DHT, a male hormone responsible for libido and other biological functions that get the body ready for sexy-time.

Some have not even been able to get their sexy powers back, EVER, which resulted in over a thousand lawsuits against Merck & Co., the drug’s manufacturer. A study conducted by George Washington University resident urologist Michael S. Irwig corroborates this claim, finding that men who were perfectly virile and functional before taking the medication, suffered sexual performance issues even after they stopped using the drug. For at least three months after discontinuing medication, 71 men aged 21 to 46 reported:

  • 94%: Decreased libido
  • 92%: Erectile dysfunction
  • 92%: Decreased arousal
  • 69%: Problems with orgasm

So if you’re a guy and you’re considering taking this medication to have a full head of hair on your Tinder profile photo, or to be as sexy as you were when your partner first met you, think twice. You might want to consider your big guy down there--he might not be able to get any action at all no matter what you do.

2. Allergic reactions and scalp micropigmentation (SMP) rejection. Scalp micropigmentation pretty much works like getting a tattoo on tattoo on the scalp to create the illusion of a full head of hair. While it is non-surgical and non-invasive, it also has its downsides. The scalp resists the absorption of the pigments applied to it, which is the body’s natural reaction to foreign substances on the dermis. This is called SMP rejection, which can, at the worst, render the treatment useless. Proper preparation and aftercare can minimize SMP rejection, but it’s pretty much inevitable.

Aside from this, some people may also be allergic to the pigments used in SMP, which can lead to itching, irritation or worse reactions. When done in unsanitary facilities using substandard equipment, it can even lead to serious infections. When choosing a clinic to undergo this procedure, make sure you choose one that is supervised by highly trained professionals, using sanitary equipment. Make sure to also check for any allergies you may have.

3. More hair loss. Also known as shock loss, this is a side effect of most hair loss treatments, whether it’s through medication or surgery. Accelerated hair loss happens when taking meds because the scalp gets rid of old, brittle hair strands. Then it repairs the follicles so that it can produce stronger hair. In a nutshell: It gets worse before it gets better.

Unfortunately, some people remain on the worse side. For instance, after the shedding part, the hair may stop growing back because the follicles have shrunk. Patients experience an excessive amount of loss and no regrowth to boot; frequently, even long after medication is taken consistently.

In cases of hair transplant, some patients end up being worse off than before surgery. This happens mostly because the grafts don’t actually produce new hair.

4. Hair transplant fail. As mentioned in the previous item, the graft’s incapacity to grow new hair causes stunted or even zero hair growth after surgery. In other words, you could be wasting thousands of dollars on a useless procedure. This is caused by several factors:

  • Graft exposure. Exposure to air for as short as 10 to 20 seconds can kill the graft, rendering it useless. This usually happens when the grafts aren’t handled well and they aren’t immersed in physiologic solution the moment they’re removed, during the trimming process, during the movement from one place to another, or even during placing.
  • Graft storage. The longer the grafts are not in the person’s system, the more damaged it gets. A very skilled surgeon and surgical staff can minimize this.
  • Graft placement. This should be done by a skilled professional with years of practice and training. Grafts must be delicately placed on their appropriate spots for them to be able to grow hair naturally. Otherwise, the patient may suffer crush injuries. These are injuries caused by trauma of a foreign object leading to compression of the scalp.
  • ​​​​Graft depth. If they are placed too deep, it may restrict the graft from growing hair. The body then thinks it’s a foreign body rejects it, so it ends up dying. On the other hand, when the placement is too superficial, it will also produce zero results, only causing pimples some weeks after the procedure is done.
  • Graft Source. When grafts are harvested from the wrong places such as the neck instead of the scalp, they fail to produce hair.
  • Fraud, incompetence and false claims. Some surgeons may charge way, way less than the competition, but they could be inexperienced and likely to botch the procedure. This may also happen in clinics that charge an expensive fee, when they’re staffed with incompetent and greedy “professionals.” In these cases, the number of grafts they place may not be equivalent to the amount they charged the client. In some cases, they might not have even harvested the grafts to begin with.

Don’t be a victim: How to avoid these hair treatments from hell

Before taking any medication or undergoing any procedure, do your homework. While some of these adverse effects are inevitable, some can be prevented by making sure that you’re in the good hands of a highly-trained professional. In either case, these treatment methods don’t really get to the root of the issue: nutritional deficiency.

You can avoid these dangers altogether while also addressing nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss: through natural health supplements. Aside from being absolutely non-invasive, they are also safe because they contain all-natural ingredients best suited to stimulate healthier hair regrowth. Good hair loss supplements contain no harmful ingredients or fillers, thus they have no known side effects. Although they take time and commitment to work, it’s a more effective, sustainable treatment compared to quick (and possibly dangerous) fixes.

Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself, and to healthier, thicker hair? You know you want to be. You deserve it!

Find out more about health supplements for hair loss in our in-depth hair loss treatment guide.

Reviewed and writing contributions by

DR. CHARLES JERRY WILLIAMS III

Board Certified Medical Doctor

  • Doctor Specialist 
  • Licensure: Board Certified
  • Reviewed and Approved GoHairHealth.com

Resources

Link #1 - https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/biotin-oral-route/description/drg-20062359
Link #2 - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926
Link #3 - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820