Hair loss is something that affects a huge proportion of men, and yet unfortunately there is no cure. Though you may have heard of certain medicines such as Propecia (finasteride) or Regaine (minoxidil), it is far more accurate to think of these medicines as effective long-term treatments. There are interesting experimental options being trialled currently, yet these established treatments can be effective at preventing hair loss in up to 90% of men.
A little farther up the follicle is the mysterious feature called the bulge. That's where follicle stem cells live. When they get the right set of chemical signals, these self-renewing cells divide. They don't divide like normal cells, in which both halves become new cells that keep splitting and developing. Only one half of the follicle stem cell does that. The other half becomes a new stem cell, and stays put for future regeneration.

But in November, after 10 years of research, Rogaine introduced a new 5 percent minoxidil formulation for women. It’s a mousse (instead of a liquid) that needs to be applied only once a day instead of twice, which means that it can be more easily incorporated into a woman’s evening skin-care routine. Teal replaces the blue and silver palette of the men’s Rogaine, and the packaging bears a lotus flower. (Also last year, Pantene introduced its Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women, which is 2 percent minoxidil.)
The truth is, the amount of propylene glycol in hair loss treatments is not likely to cause any real harm and the FDA has given the chemical approval for many uses. But even though it is safe, we wanted to ensure that our top picks would be as comfortable to use as possible. So when Dr. Khadavi told us that “a third of my patients get irritated from minoxidil products because of propylene glycol,” we decided to cut any treatments with it. In any case, it’s the minoxidil that helps curb hair loss and not the propylene glycol.
First, hair grows and gets longer in the anagen phase which can go on for several years. Then, during the ~10-day catagen phase, hair stops actively growing and separates from its follicle, which is what holds the hair in place beneath the skin. Finally, in the telogen phase, the follicle goes into rest mode for several months until the hair falls out. Then, the process starts anew.
There have been recent discussions on Italian hair forum websites that indicate the Brotzu lotion may very well be moving ahead and preparing for imminent release. After commenter “Ahmed” brought it to my attention, I went back to check the Bellicapelli forum (the site which had the information on the Brotzu presentation at the Sitri Congress in April). I found a response from user “carlitos71” on this page which seems to display the new theories on the Brotzu lotion.
The combination of silent suffering, public shame and poorly understood science makes hair loss sufferers easy prey – type “hair loss” into Google and you’ll see what I mean. Kobren tells me that he had to remove the personal messaging function on the Bald Truth message board, as users were being bombarded by scams. Meanwhile, the higher visibility of celebrity transplants means that baldness is at risk of being seen as a sign of poor self-care. Many treat surgery lightly – and enter into punitive financing deals. One of Kobren’s recent guests was The Only Way is Essex star Maria Fowler, who complained that surgery at the controversial KSL Hair in Glasgow left her with an unnatural hairline. “She ended up having a hair transplant because her fiancé was having one. She had always thought her hairline was too high. She went in like she was having her nails painted – and it destroyed her life.”
And just like that, more fascinating hair-related research was published in PLOS Biology. A team of researchers lead by Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw of the University of Manchester have identified the drug ‘WAY-316606’ as a potential candidate for hair regrowth. WAY-316606 is an existing drug used to treat osteoporosis. It’s not clear at this time whether WAY-316606 is approved and on the market, or if it was partially developed to treat the bone disease.
"Despite some of the claims, a shampoo or conditioner won’t be able to stop or slow hair loss, nor help with a receding hairline or thicken hair that’s becoming thinner," says trichologist Anabel Kingsley from The Philip Kingsley Trichology Clinic in London. "At best, a thickening shampoo will make hair temporarily thicker for a short period of time, but they certainly won’t help with hair loss or thinning."
Jimenez, J. J., Wikramanayake, T. C., Bergfeld, W., Hordinsky, M., Hickman, J. G., Hamblin, M. R., & Schachner, L. A. (2014). Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 15(2), 115–127. 

Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
If you think over-the-counter hair loss shampoos are for you or just want to promote growth and strength, Dr. Schwieger recommends formulas with antioxidants such as vitamin E and ginseng, amino acids, and B-vitamins to help rebuild hair and reduce environmental damage. She cautions against those with parabens, sulfates, and fragrances, which can irritate hair and reduce moisture. Ahead, eight vetted hair loss shampoos to try.
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.
In their research, the doctors established a correlation between androgen hormones and hair loss. They found that for reasons not completely understood, some people are susceptible to androgens that attack the hair follicles, while others are not. “They found that the androgen hormone decimates the cell population at the base of the hair follicles,” Buckler said. “The hormone attaches to these cells throughout particular receptors and starts to attack.”
There are pharmaceutical solutions, too. Finasteride (often referred to by its brand name, Propecia) and Minoxidil (aka Regaine/Rogaine) are both available via online prescription in the UK. They stop hair falling out as opposed to making it grow back again, though some report more lustrous locks after three months or so. Donald Trump is the world’s most famous Propecia user. “Never go bald,” he once counselled. “The worst thing a man can do is go bald.” He’s not wrong. The anti-bald dating prejudice that David lamented extends to politics. Only five US presidents have ever been bald. As laughable as Trump’s follicular arrangements are, chances are that if nature had taken its course, a bald Trump wouldn’t have got to the White House. Careful what you wish for.
Aclaris Therapeutics has announced on March 9, 2018 that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued their company U.S. Patent No. 9,895,301, for methods related to  the use and administration of a certain janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor for treating hair loss disorders. This patent covers the treatment of both alopecia areata as well as androgenic alopecia.
Now known as RCH-01, RepliCel’s procedure is a patented cellular replication and implantation technology designed to rejuvenate damaged and miniaturized hair follicles in a balding scalp. According to Buckler, the technology involves the extraction of as few as 20 hair follicles from the back of a patient’s scalp where healthy cycling hair follicles reside.  Specific cells are isolated from hair follicles and are cultured using the company’s proprietary cellular replication process.  The cultured cells are reintroduced or injected back into balding areas on a patient’s scalp and are expected to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles leading to the growth of new healthy hair fibers.
“It all started with a particular drug, Cyclosporine A, which is an immunosuppressant,” Hawkshaw explains. “It’s typically given to transplant patients to stop them rejecting new organs post-surgery and it’s been observed that it enhances hair growth. But the thing is, you don’t really want to give this to patients normally because you don’t want to suppress their immune system. So, I used that drug to treat human hair follicles in the lab to try and identify how it actually worked.”
With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?
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Studies have indicated that one of the ways to slow hair loss is by maintaining a healthy scalp environment. Regular shampooing aids in the prevention of genetic hair loss by removing excess sebum containing elevated levels of DHT. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet hair loss shampoo on the market that will regrow a full head of hair in a couple weeks.
“There are so many different groups going down different avenues to tackle this problem,” says Hawkshaw. “Some use stem cells, some use pharmacological drugs, as we did. There’s a lot of promise in these pre-clinical studies. But whether that extends to real life, we’re not sure yet.” While it is essentially a cosmetic issue, that doesn’t mean it’s trivial. “It causes severe psychological distress,” he says bluntly. “It makes a big difference to a person’s perspective of life.” While he’s pretty lustrous at 28, he does worry about losing his own hair. “It’s a human universal.”
In Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” Kuntzman’s theory is bolstered. Wolff writes that Ivanka Trump “often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate—a contained island after scalp-reduction ­surgery—surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.”

Certainly a company with a unique background and game plan, HairClone has received some recent media attention. The UK biotech startup was featured in this month’s publication of “Consulting Room” online magazine. In the article both Dr. Bessam Farjo and Paul Kemp of HairClone provided insight as to the company’s current progress and plans for the future. Things seem to be coming along well for HairClone and we should expect to hear from them again within the next several weeks. Full story is on Articles main page.
We’re not exactly sure about that “growth potential” stuff; for our purposes, the question is whether the product works to stop hair loss. Several of the confusing phrases the company uses actually address that question. The shampoo works to protect mitochondrial DNA, an important component in protecting and growing hair follicles, with fatty acids. It also contains ingredients which prevent further damage to the follicles. In other words, it protects and strengthens the hair you already have.
It's for this reason that grocery stores have shelves stocked full with hair care and hair grooming products of all forms and kinds, for different purposes, and even specialized and customized for use of men and women. In one study, it was found that more than half of the men in the UK use about six to ten hair grooming products alone, from the staple shampoos and conditioners to hair gels and other styling products.
There’s also a women’s version (Women’s Rogaine Foam) — but a three-month supply costs $22 more online. The only difference between the two products are the instructions; women are instructed to apply once a day instead of twice. If you’re a woman who doesn’t feel like paying extra for marketing, the men’s product will suffice. A cheaper generic version is Kirkland Signature Minoxidil Foam, but with a longer history on the market and more customer testimonials, Rogaine is our first choice.
Consider other factors besides color. Color is important - your wig or hair piece should match your natural hair to look natural. However, consider also texture. You wig should feel like real hair; it should have a smooth and silky feel. For those that need full coverage, choose a wig that bounces to give the illusion of volume. A wig that has a lacing that fits your natural hair also helps in making sure that you have a more natural looking hairline.
"Despite some of the claims, a shampoo or conditioner won’t be able to stop or slow hair loss, nor help with a receding hairline or thicken hair that’s becoming thinner," says trichologist Anabel Kingsley from The Philip Kingsley Trichology Clinic in London. "At best, a thickening shampoo will make hair temporarily thicker for a short period of time, but they certainly won’t help with hair loss or thinning."

Drugs normally used for rheumatoid arthritis and bone marrow cancer, they are now being studied for their uses as a hair growth medicine. These are a new class of medicines labeled as JAK inhibitors. In one study, 6 out of 9 patients dramatically went from bald to a full head of hair after taking Ruxolitinib for 5 months. In another study several subjects were able to regrow full heads of hair. Unfortunately, sustained use of such drugs will have severe side effects. Many of these concerns would be side stepped if a topical formula could be developed. Researchers at the Department of Dermatology and Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical center are now studying other JAK inhibitors in placebo controlled studies.

Coconut milk / coconut oil. Coconut milk/oil, like aloe vera, is one of the oldest and most common natural ingredients for promoting hair growth and growing healthy, shiny hair. Coconut is rich in protein, iron and other minerals that promote healthy hair and prevent breakage. Apply the coconut milk/oil on your bald spots or all over the scalp, and leave it on overnight. Rinse the next day with cool water. You can do this every time you wash your hair.


Laser treatments are the latest frontier in staving off hair loss, and they’ll be the first choice for fans of sci-fi. As silly as they may sound, these treatments do work — the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2014 reported a “statistically significant difference” in hair density with no “serious adverse events” or side effects.The bad news: Laser treatments tend to be expensive, progress is slow, and they don’t always produce stellar results.
As we wait and anticipate the market release of a new hair treatment there may be times when the waiting gets to us and we feel disappointed, frustrated, and even depressed. This is understandable. However, like many other times in life, a simple change of perspective can lift our mood and positively impact how we feel about a situation. When we look at these companies, are we looking at them as commodities? Are they people who owe you something? Or, are they actually rare groups of folks who are working to bring a gift to your life? How often do you really feel grateful to these companies for the work they are doing?
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