More often than not it takes not one, but several treatments for someone to successfully overcome hair loss. Unfortunately, many of the effective hair loss treatments are not cheap, and when you are using several at a time the expenses can add up quickly.
It can be very disheartening knowing that the potential solution to your hair loss problem might be out there, but just out of reach due to your budget. But price tags do not necessarily need to determine whether or not you can get your hair back.
In this article, we are going to talk about what it takes to create a successful hair loss regimen on a budget. By learning what to prioritize, which treatments get you the most bang for your buck, and how to structure a powerful regimen, your hair loss regimen-on-a-budget will be much more effective than if you were to try and make it without a plan.
What to prioritize when crafting your hair loss regimen
There are three components that, when combined, create the most effective hair loss regimen possible (with current treatments that is). They are: blocking dihydrotestosterone (DHT), increasing blood flow, and optimizing scalp/hair health, and that is the order in which they should be prioritized.
Blocking DHT is the single most important aspect of any effective hair loss regimen. This is because DHT is what causes hair loss in the first place.
DHT is a byproduct of when the androgen testosterone reacts with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. For people who are sensitive to DHT (i.e. genetically susceptible to pattern hair loss), when DHT binds to the androgen receptors in your hair the process of miniaturization starts, which eventually leads to total baldness.
This is why, above all else, you need to prioritize using a treatment that works to block DHT. If you don’t, hair loss will continue to gradually get worse, which essentially means that any other treatments you use will practically be rendered useless. In the next section, we will talk about the best DHT blocking treatments for someone on a budget.
Second to blocking DHT on the list of importance is increasing blood flow to help regrow hair. Just to reiterate, if you do not block DHT regrowth treatments, although they might show results in the short term, will not be effective long-term.
Once you have DHT taken care of and hair loss wont progress anymore, you can then focus on trying to regrow any hair that you have lost due to miniaturization, and the most effective way to do this is by increasing blood flow.
Blood delivers vital oxygen and nutrients to your hair that they use to grow (by promoting longer growth (anagen) phases of the hair cycle). When your hair has been miniaturized, blood flow to the follicles is low, and they will not be able to turn back into healthy hairs without an adequate supply of nutrients. But, when blood flow is increased to those hairs, the growth phase re-lengthens and they can eventually turn back into normal hair. This is why most treatments that target regrowth focus primarily on increasing blood flow. Again, in the next section we will cover budget-friendly regrowth treatments.
Last on the prioritization list is optimizing scalp and hair health. Don’t get me wrong, this is still important, but it isn’t going to make or break your success in overcoming hair loss like the previous two components we talked about.
Optimizing your scalp and hair health is not so much about affecting hair loss directly, but rather giving treatments that target DHT and blood flow a better/healthier environment to work off.
When dandruff, inflammation, and oxidative stress are reduced, as well as natural oils replenished, your hair and scalp will be in the healthiest condition possible, which may help make other treatments work more effectively.
Now that you know the order in which you need to prioritize treatments, let’s talk about what you came here for: making a regimen on a budget.
Creating a hair loss regimen on a budget
First things first, if you are going to be spending your hard-earned money on fixing your hair loss, you’re going to want to get a treatment that effectively target DHT. The bang for your buck effective treatment you can get is finasteride (learn all about how finasteride works here).
Finasteride requires a prescription. If you talk to your doctor you should most likely be able to easily get a prescription, but make sure you double check to make sure it is covered by your health insurance (if it isn’t it can be much more expensive). You can also get generic finasteride through third party vendors.
Although finasteride is the most effective option, it may not be the cheapest. If you can afford it, get it, even if you can only afford one treatment it will be your best option. But, if you can’t afford finasteride there are other, less effective but cheaper, options. Please, whatever you do, if you can only afford one hair loss treatment DO NOT buy one that doesn’t work to block DHT because it will be essentially useless.
Alternatives to finasteride include saw palmetto, rosemary oil, pumpkin seed oil, and several others that you can check out here.
Now, of course everyone’s budget/situation is different, getting finasteride or an alternative DHT blocker is the most important, but some people may be able to afford to add a second treatment to their regimen. If that applies to you, you are going to want to get a treatment that targets blood flow.
The most effective option is minoxidil. It is FDA approved and has the most data backing it, but it can be expensive. If you are set on minoxidil, my advice would be not to buy brand name minoxidil like “Rogaine” as it is overpriced because you are paying for the brand, instead opt for generic minoxidil (such as Kirkland).
Don’t worry if your budget won’t allow for minoxidil, not only are there cheaper alternatives that can help with blood flow, but there are also techniques you can use that are completely free. Learn all of the best ways to increase blood flow without minoxidil here.
At this point, by utilizing treatments that target DHT and blood flow, you already have the two most important areas covered, and any additional treatments may or may not help your hair loss. But, if you can afford it they don’t hurt.
If your budget allows, the next thing you are going to want to do is try and optimize your scalp and hair health. There are many ways to do this, but your best bet is to use the right kind of shampoo. Think about it: you are going to be spending money on shampoo anyway, you might as well get a shampoo that is hair loss friendly. Learn all about the right kind of shampoo to use here.
If you love your shampoo that you currently use so much that someone would have to pry it out of your cold, dead hands for you to switch, you can also use hair supplements (like Follicle Foundation) which can help internally reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and more.
You are going to want to base your budget, and your treatment plan, around prioritizing what is most important. Make sure you use a treatment that blocks DHT, even if it is the only treatment you use, before adding other treatments to your regimen. This will not only save you money, but more importantly it will save your hair (that’s what this is all about right?). You can build a successful hair loss regimen without spending thousands, you just gotta do it the right way.