According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, hair health is tied to two things: kidney energy and the blood, which nourish the hair. The solution: acupuncture and Chinese herbs. While there isn't a lot of hard science to back this up, Maureen Conant, a TCM practitioner at Full Bloom Acupuncture in Seattle, says that she's seen women's hair stop falling out and then gradually regenerate after a few months of weekly treatments.
A popular skin care drug—which is intended to target eczema—was just found to have an unusual side effect: hair growth. According to an article on Newsweek, the FDA-approved drug dupilumab was given to a 13-year-old alopecia sufferer to treat her eczema. The patient, who hadn’t grown hair on her scalp since she was two, suddenly grew a significant amount of hair on her head after continual use of the drug, a study in the journal JAMA Dermatology reports.
Biotin – Naturally found in many of the rich protein foods you eat including nuts, meats, eggs, etc. Biotin (or simply known as Vitamin B7) has been found in many studies to be linked directly to hair growth. Not only are men using this same vitamin to growth thicker beards, but Biotin is also prevalent in many of the leading natural hair loss shampoos on the market as you will see in just a minute. If you are going all-natural root, this ingredient should most definitely be included in the product you select.
In February, though, Ms. Telford, 46, flew from her home in London, Ontario, to Sarasota, Fla., for a new $1,400 hourlong treatment known as platelet rich plasma (P.R.P.), which is said to stimulate dormant hair follicles. The procedure involves drawing blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to extract the plasma, adding various nutrients (like more protein), then injecting the resulting mixture in one-inch intervals in a grid on the top of the scalp, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic.
Giovanni Mele, a stylist who owns Giovanni and Pileggi in Center City, said many women with thinning hair try to wear their hair long. He thinks they're much better off with short, pixie-like styles with light layering on top. He recommends that lighter-skinned women choose colors that are a little darker than blond or gray. He is a fan of a hair-thickening product made by Nioxin.
While techniques have advanced, the bald are no better served, says Spencer Kobren, who runs Bald Truth, a website and podcast in the lustrous world of the alt-bald media. He has learned to be highly suspicious of anything announcing itself as a cure; indeed, he resolutely fails to get excited about RT1640 or the Manchester findings. “I have been doing this for 20 years,” he tells me from his home in Beverly Hills. “When I wrote my book in 1998, they had just found the hair loss gene. There was talk of hair clones. There was a cell-based solution coming out of Japan. It was like: ‘This is it! We’re going to cure this in five years!’” He’ll believe it when he sees it.
“I was 21 when I noticed my hair getting thinner,” says David Anderson, 45, who has had seven hair transplants. He is now senior patient adviser at the Maitland Clinic in Liverpool, one of the country’s leading hair transplant clinics, where he raises awareness of the vulnerability of sufferers. “It was devastating. It completely consumed my existence. Now, I really regret that. But time and again, I’m meeting patients going through the same anxieties. It’s an epidemic. A lot of people don’t understand how it can make you feel.”
You can also get a hair-loss kit from Hims, which comes with both minoxidil and finasteride. Keeps has one, as well. And though it might seem like overkill to take two different hair-loss treatments at once, this is one of those rare instances where more is actually better. McAndrews calls the combination of orally administered finasteride and topically applied minoxidil a “full-court press” against hair loss. “That’s doing the most you can for preventative medicine.” Rieder notes that taking both drugs together is more effective than taking either one alone.
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.
McElwee is an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology and Skin Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in British Columbia, Canada and director of the Hair Research Laboratory in the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHI) at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). A hair research scientist, McElwee is one of only a small group of research scientists worldwide who studies hair biology and associated diseases.
Minoxidil, popularly known as brand name Rogaine, works much differently than Propecia. It does not inhibit DHT, but it increases blood flow and therefore nutrition to the scalp and hair follicles. This has been shown to revive dormant follicles to a healthy state of growth in some users. Whereas Propecia has much more consistent results, minoxidil is more dependent on the user. Dramatic results such as new regrowth can be seen in individuals who respond well, but they are the minority. Minoxidil, like Propecia, is much better at hair maintenance. It will help you keep the hair you do have for longer, but only if you use it daily.
While the drug is generally safe for use, some possible side effects are mild irritation of the scalp, dryness and growth of hair on some parts of the body, especially the sides of the face and hands. In some cases, you might observe some increased hair loss around the first few days of use. If the hair fall continues after two weeks upon application of minoxidil, stop the treatment first and see a doctor.
As with the Nioxin shampoo, the PhytoCayne shampoo is meant to be used in conjunction with another product, the company’s revitalizing treatment serum. The shampoo is designed to “prepare” the scalp to absorb the serum. For that reason, you’ll find that this shampoo doesn’t really moisturize your scalp in the way the first two entries on our hair loss shampoo list do. What it does, though, is thicken hair for a fuller appearance, and many users say that it also significantly slows additional hair loss and breakage.
Traction alopecia. Unlike the other two that are caused by genetic or natural factors, this condition is self-caused and occurs most in women. Hair loss happens because of the continuous and constant pulling on the hair that puts pressure on the follicles. Pressure on the hair, brought about by wearing tight hair styles, braiding, weaving, or even hair treatments like bleaching, causes the follicles to loosen their grip on the shaft and eventually cause hair to fall out, leaving bald spots on the scalp or very thin hair strands.
How about if you’d rather not get your head punctured? In Sweden, a company called Follicum is now doing Phase IIA clinical studies and planning to communicate results by the end of the year. The end product will be a cream or a lotion, one that could be applied as few as three times a week. In the first trial, Follicum claims, more than seventy-five per cent of patients experienced hair growth. This is the real dream, the one so artfully captured in the Hims ads: pop a pill, slap on some cream, and get Hair God locks.
The pull test may be used to diagnose hair loss conditions.1 The examiner grasps approximately 40 to 60 hairs at their base using the thumb, index, and middle fingers and applies gentle traction away from the scalp. A positive result is when more than 10% of hairs (four to six) are pulled from the scalp; this implies active hair shedding and suggests a diagnosis of telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium, or alopecia areata. However, a negative test result does not necessarily exclude those conditions. The pull test is difficult to standardize because the pulling force is not distributed uniformly and because it is difficult to approximate the number of hairs grasped, thereby leading to false interpretations.
The earlier you begin treating hair loss, the more effective the treatment will be. Androgenetic alopecia is a condition that gradually worsens over time, so the general rule is that the earlier you seek treatment, the better. “If you’re losing your hair and you have genetic hair loss, using medication such as Propecia or minoxidil is most effective when started early,” says Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, Dr. Wolfeld’s colleague at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. Because not everyone loses hair on the same timeline, you can’t rely on statistics to tell you when you should start treatment. Some men start to notice thinning in their early 20s, while others maintain a thick head of hair well into their 50s. If you suspect that you’re starting to lose your hair and want it to stop, act quickly.
While there can be numerous reasons behind the thinning of your hair, including certain hairstyles, excessive chemical processes, hereditary factors, and nutritional deficiencies, the most common is aging. But why does hair become thin as we age? Well, as we get older so do our hair follicles. With age, the size of hair follicles begins to shrink, meaning the rate of hair growth begins to slow down and, in some cases, ceases completely. Another reason for thinning hair lies in the production (or lack thereof) of estrogen as we age. Aside from regulating the reproductive system, estrogen plays a big part in hair growth. So, when we begin to produce less estrogen, there's less available to stimulate new hair growth (especially after old hair has shed), ultimately resulting in thin hair.
Women’s magazine ‘New Beauty’ recently featured several prospective hair growth therapies in a print article. The feature contains several interesting and worthwhile anecdotes. Check the Articles main page to read about Dr. Cotsarelis’ new research on setipiprant for female alopecia, Histogen’s view on the number of injection sessions which may be necessary to get the most out of HSC, and more.
Farrell makes what he calls “hair systems.” They’re not quite wigs or toupees—you can keep them on for weeks at a time. They cost more than a thousand dollars. Farrell was in New York for a week, holding meetings with clients in his hotel room. Now his rolling suitcases were packed. Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Russia: he’s almost always on the road, satiating international demand for high-end hair pieces.
Hair transplants will likely lead to better results in the long run (you are introducing new hairs to the balding areas), but you’ll still need to use minoxidil or finasteride after surgery to maintain the results. Like all hair loss treatments, hair transplants are best when combined with other methods, and you’ll want to speak with your doctor to see what combination is best for you.