Signage for Shiseido Co. is displayed outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Shiseido, Japan's largest cosmetics maker, is under reform after posting losses due to weak domestic sales and an impairment loss on goodwill associated with Bare Escentuals, which it bought in 2010. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
Disruptions in the normal length of each phase, which can cause hair loss and hair thinning, may be the result of a number of internal and external stimuli. These are also what we call the triggers and causes of your hair loss. As a quick example, dieting can leave the body stressed and in need of important nutrients. Because of this stress, hair growth may be cut shorter than usual and there is an early onset of telogen or shedding of hair.
Iron supplements. Iron deficiency could be a cause of hair loss in some women . Your doctor may test your blood iron level, particularly if you're a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. If you do have iron deficiency, you will need to take a supplement and it may stop your hair loss. However, if your iron level is normal, taking extra iron will only cause side effects, such as stomach upset and constipation.
In essence, it is widely known as Microneedling, and it has the power to completely revive your head and scalp from within. It will, among other things, help rejuvenate your scalp skin, help remove old skin cells and embedded oils (sebum) that are currently blocking and clogging your hair follicles, and most of all, it will reactivate the hair follicles in your head to make them grow hairs again. How amazing is that?
Rogaine’s foam squirts out just like hair mousse and is applied with “cool, dry hands.” Applying means working the foam down to the scalp where you want to see thicker growth — for it to work, “it has to get into your scalp,” Dr. Wolfeld explains. “If it sits on your hair, it’s not really as effective.” Once massaged, it dissolves into a watery liquid that leaves a tingly sensation, “but no burning!” one of our balding testers was happy to discover.
Caffeine – Quickly finding its way in to many skincare products for both men and women, caffeine is a natural antioxidant that not only fights free radicals that accelerate the signs of aging, but also help to stimulate the growth of hair. In fact, in a recent study published on the National Institute of Health (NIH) website, it was discovered that there were ‘growth-promoting effects’ to the hair with regular application (source).
Not only does Nioxin promise that its system will deliver on denser-looking hair, it also includes a long list of ingredients that inhibit the conversion of testosterone into DHT. These ingredients include nettle extract and saw palmetto. While Nioxin does include ingredients which studies have indicated help block DHT, the primary focus of Nioxin is to improve the cosmetic appearance of thinning hair.
Minoxidil typically comes in 2% and 5% dosage. With the former, hair growth is not visible up until the fourth month (16 weeks) of use, but it could be faster with the 5% dosage.This is most effective especially if you haven't been bald for more than 5 years, your bald patches are less than 10cm across, and most of all, if the bald spots still have some tiny, fine hairs. Studies found that people who have used minoxidil have observed at least minimal to moderate hair growth. The new hair is typically downy soft, but with continued use, it will grow in thickness as the rest of the hair.
The Hair Stimulator is a shampoo from the new, fresh & hip brand Hims. The branding is really on point but let’s dig into the ingredients. Biotin, nettle leaf, tea tree and salicylic acid are the noteables. There’s some evidence to indicate that biotin and salicylic acid reduce scalp DHT levels. Additionally, Hims offers a comprehensive hair loss kit (includes the shampoo) for about $40 bucks a month that gets you hair loss prevention on multiple fronts.
Certain foods have also been found to aggravate or worsen hair fall, such as sugar, which triggers the overproduction of the male hormone, androgen, which in turn causes the hair follicles to shrink in size and for hair to fall out or stop growing. Fish products that are known to contain high levels of mercury like tuna, mackerel and swordfish can also cause hair weakening and excessive hair fall. Studies have also found that fried foods are associated with the production of high levels of DHT.
One is how much emphasis the company places on compliance, the major stumbling block in the efficacy of any treatment, said Dr. Senna, an author of studies on the subject. Prospective users are questioned about their ability to stick to a regimen because the extract must be applied every day, and they are told that the more conscientious they are, the better. Users are also reminded and encouraged with regular check-ins.
Dr. Zeichner recommends choosing a shampoo and conditioner that matches the issue you're experiencing. If you have thinning or shedding hair, he says to opt for strengthening products made with keratin or to choose one infused with vitamins and antioxidants, as these can all strengthen strands and create a better environment for your hair follicles to function.
In Vancouver, a Canadian company called RepliCel focusses on the hair follicle’s “dermal-sheath cup cells,” its C.E.O., Lee Buckler, explained. Buckler believes that DHT attacks these cup cells “like a parasite.” Like Histogen, RepliCel’s consumer product would be an injectable. The company would generate new versions of your cup cells, which would be implanted into your “affected area”—the places where your hair has fallen out. Boom: new hairs. (Theoretically.)
In-office laser light treatments or at-home handheld devices, such as the HairMax LaserComb, supposedly grow new hair by stimulating blood flow to the area (think: an amped-up version of a scalp-stimulating shampoo). Just don’t expect the device to make your noggin go from looking like George Costanza’s to Jerry Seinfeld’s. “These lasers won’t grow any new hair. If anything, they may just help you hang on to some of the hair that you already have a bit longer,” says Dr. Joyce.
The trick about all of these hair-loss products and treatments is that they’ll stop working as soon as you stop using them. “They have to be ready for a lifetime commitment,” says Rieder. But, just like brushing your teeth, as long you keep on keeping on with the scientifically proven preventative treatments, those hairs on your head should be just fine.
3. Surgical hair replacement. If you opt for hair transplantation (which runs $5,000 and up), your dermatologist or hair-replacement surgeon will remove single hair follicles from the back of the head, near the nape of the neck, where your hair is fullest. Once those follicles are harvested, they are then dissected and reimplanted into an area of the scalp where hair is thinning. The procedure takes anywhere from three to six hours, and newly implanted hair will usually begin to grow on its own 3 to 12 months after the treatment session. Traditionally, hair transplantation required removal of an entire strip of scalp, Sadick says, but this new follicle-by-follicle technique looks more natural when it heals and allows patients to get heads of hair as dense-looking as before they started losing it.
An extremely popular organic product. There is significant evidence that biotin aids hair quality, while caffeine and saw palmetto are both somewhat beneficial to hair growth. Saw palmetto blocks the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and is often described as a natural (but weaker) alternative to finasteride. For more, see my post on natural cures for hair loss. This Botanical Green Care shampoo product also contains numerous other helpful ingredients such as nettle extract, panax ginseng, pumpkin seed oil, amla oil, bhringraj oil, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and more.
2. Volumizing shampoos and treatments. Typically, these work by depositing ingredients, like wheat protein and keratin, that adhere to the hair shaft to a) thicken it and b) create spaces between hairs so you look like you have more of it. Try Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo ($18) with hydrolyzed wheat protein; Rogers likes Redken Cerafill Defy Shampoo and Conditioner ($20 each) with ceramides that bulk up hair.
Some factors that are thought to play a role in female hair loss include high androgen birth control pills, menopause, pregnancy, ovarian cysts, and other factors tied to the actions of hormones. The American Hair Loss Association said it’s important that women who have a history of hair loss in their family to be made aware of the potential effects of birth control pills on normal hair growth.
The other main hair-loss treatment that was recommended by all four dermatologists I interviewed is finasteride, often called by its brand name Propecia. This FDA-approved medication is only available with a prescription, but these days, it’s found as a generic and ordered online after a virtual consultation, through start-ups like Hims, Keeps, and Lemonaid.
Christiano is more of a skeptic. Lab results are nice, she said, but “you can grow mouse or rat hair sixteen ways till Sunday. They grow beautifully!” She laughed. “Humans, not so much.” She points out that there’s so much we still don’t understand. For one: Why does the hair on the back of men’s heads stick around, even when all the rest drops? She also counsels caution when playing God with hair loss. Some companies are seeking hair-restoration cures by attempting to modify developmental-cell pathways. Those pathways, Christiano says, “are potent, and so it’s tempting, but you have to make sure it’s well enough controlled that you don’t initiate a cancer signal.”