Approved by the FDA and available in over-the-counter form for both men and women, minoxidil has been found to work in two out of three men. However, and this is a huge problem, if you stop using it, then your hair will actually fall out again and potentially faster than before. Plus, you might not even notice any changes until you’ve been using this medication for at least four months!
Two of the most common LLLT products in the market are the Hairmax Lasercomb and the Capillus 272. The Lasercomb is a hand-held device that is used to comb the hair for 10-15 minutes every treatment, and takes about eight weeks of use in order to see a noticeable improvement in the thickness and quality of the hair. The Capillus is a laser cap that must be worn, and is more convenient because this can be used at home or even out in public (it can be worn underneath a cap or a turban).
I wonder whether hair loss would get as much attention if it were primarily suffered by women. But Kobren corrects me. “Actually, 40% of hair loss sufferers are women,” he says. “Except women are able to wear wigs and hair extensions and they can camouflage it in a way that men aren’t really allowed to.” He describes female pattern hair loss as a “silent epidemic of biblical proportions” that he puts down to the use of cosmetics and birth control (some women experience hair loss as a side effect to contraceptive pills).
One hard truth: Hair loss is mostly out of your control. “Baldness comes down to your genes,” says Frederick Joyce, M.D., founder of Rejuvenate! Med Spa and a member of the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. “If you have the baldness gene, there are some natural remedies that may make your hair stronger and healthier to slow your hair loss slightly—but they won’t prevent you from going bald. Still, maintaining hair health by eating well and using the right products—combined with medical-grade treatments—can really work all together to help you have a fuller, thicker head of hair.”
My favorite shampoo to tackle dry and itchy scalp problems. Make sure to read my old post on Nizoral. However, do not overdo it! I try to use this product twice a week at most. Keep it in your hair for at least several minutes before rinsing it off for best effect. This product contains 1% ketoconazole, which has anti-fungal as well as anti-androgenic properties. This makes it a top hair loss shampoo for men.
Researchers from the NIH and the University of Alabama, Birmingham have discovered a connection between the body’s innate immune regulation and hair graying. It was found that the transcritpion factor known as MITF, which plays an important role in melanocyte function, also plays a major role in hair graying. When the body’s immune system is dealing with a pathogenic infection such as bacteria or virus, molecules called interferons will send out signals to the body to take action against the pathogen. If MITF loses control of interferon response in melanocyte stem cells (due to an immune system response), hair turns gray. Essentially, immune system response may contribute to the process of hair graying according to the study.
There have also been studies on the effects of 1% pyrithione zinc shampoo and a 5% minoxidil solution. In one study, 200 men between the ages of 18 to 49 who experienced baldness between type III and type IV on the Norwood scale were given this treatment for a six-month period. They found that minoxidil, when used on its own, was approximately twice as powerful as pyrithione zinc at stimulating hair growth, but that both products were successful at increasing the amount of visible hair when used over a 26-week period.
A substance produced by bees, Propolis was found to help hair growth in mice. A group of scientists from Hokkaido University in Japan caused a good deal of hype in hair loss circles following their discovery. However, it appears that this may only cure hair loss that is a result of inflammation such as alopecia areata. Little is known about its benefits for treatment of androgentic alopecia.
A separate study, published in Skin Therapy Letter — a professional reference site for dermatologists — found that women also benefit from using the more potent 5 percent minoxidil treatment. “Patient-reported improvement in hair volume and coverage appears to be greater with 5 percent minoxidil foam,” reads the report. Plus, because the 5 percent treatment is stronger, women only have to apply it once a day to get the same results as they would with the 2 percent treatment applied twice daily.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is another vitamin that you can find in a lot of men’s hair loss shampoos. Like biotin, niacin and its derivatives are scientifically proven to increase hair growth when topically applied to hair growth areas over the course of several months. However, it's important to call out that this pilot study used female participants.
Whatever shampoo you use, look for the following four ingredients. Research, though in its preliminary stages in most cases, has shown that all four can not only slow hair loss but also generate new growth. And keep in mind that the only Food and Drug Administration medications used to treat male pattern baldness are topical minoxidil (a.k.a. Rogaine) and finasteride, more commonly referred to as Propecia.
The most popular low-light laser therapy product is developed by Hairmax. They have a series of Hairmax Laser Combs. Treatment is applied weekly or more frequently. Notably, the Hairmax Laser Comb was the 3rd product to receive FDA approval for treatment of genetic balding. It followed Minoxidil and Finasteride. Though some scalps are very responsive to this laser treatment, others seem to only reap the benefit of slowing hair loss. Another downside is that each treatment session takes about 15 minutes, where the laser comb must be directed towards thinning and bald areas. Unless you have a handy device such as the one in the image, you stuck doing things manually.
It is called the vampire treatment because blood is taken from the patient that removes the platelet rich plasma. Then, the PRP is injected back into the scalp. This energizes the scalp with new active blood flow. Treatment is available at select clinics but widespread adoption may become the norm. It is less invasive than hair transplants but costs more if you count the cost of doing many sessions.