But the male propensity to internalise their feelings often leaves them particularly vulnerable. “I know guys who have changed their career paths because of their hair loss,” says Kobren. “I know a lawyer who began delivering potato chips so he could wear a cap to work. I know an NYPD officer who was so devastated by a bad transplant, he had to retire and he ended up on disability benefit.”
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.
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.
Androgenic alopecia. In this condition, hair loss begins at the crown of the head, the top and center, forming the popular horseshoe shape. Because hair thinning seems to follow a particular path, the condition is also commonly referred to as pattern baldness. It is more common among males than females, and is generally thought to be due to genetics/heredity and the natural aging process (about 40% of men start to have noticeable hair loss in their 30s and lose about 65% of hair by the time they reach 60.).
In either sex, hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, a hair's growing phase, and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. (See "Life cycle of a hair.") That means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called "follicular miniaturization." As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived "terminal" hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs called "vellus."
Again, as we've mentioned at the start, these treatments and cures are dependent on the cause and type of hair loss. While massage oils and a hair spa treatment can work on hair loss in men caused by a skin or scalp infection, these may not work for cases of pattern baldness that are hereditary or caused by DHT associated with male hormones. Even medications like minodixil and finasteride cannot offer a permanent cure. In cases of permanent hair loss like pattern baldness, sometimes the best type of cure is simply management of your condition.
1. Collagen powder. Preliminary studies suggest that marine-sourced collagen may stimulate hair growth, says New York City dermatologist Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae. Though more research is needed, participants in studies reported thicker hair after three to six months of daily use. Crushed Tonic Original Powder ($105) easily mixes into coffee, tea, and water.
In the nineteen-forties, a Brooklyn anatomist named James Hamilton studied prisoners in Oklahoma who, having been convicted of sexual assault, were castrated. Hamilton identified testosterone as the root of hair loss, and showed that men castrated before or during puberty did not go bald. He then injected groups of castrated adult men with testosterone and—duly, cruelly—watched their hair fall out.
Besides cost considerations, a hair transplant is generally prescribed as a last resort for permanent hair loss problems. It is also not allowed for people under the age of 25, those with a continuing problem of hair loss, as well as those with other health conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, serious heart problems and hypertension. Patients whose hair loss is caused by other factors, such as a skin or scalp disorder or who suffer from a psychological condition that causes them to pull at their hair are not recommended for this procedure. Since the procedure requires taking a sample from the back of the head, those who do not have enough follicles from this section that can be used for transplant are not also eligible.
See a doctor. While it may be easy to treat hair loss that's caused by stress or other physical or emotional shock, other types, especially those caused by medical conditions, require expert attention. Do not self-medicate. A medical test is necessary to determine the real cause of your hair loss. A medical diagnosis is important in order to rule out other factors that might be the cause of your hair loss. On the surface, it's easy to attribute hair loss to stress or the lack of sleep, but it is highly possible that the hair loss may be caused by an unknown or undetected condition related to hormones or genetics. With the right diagnosis, you'll be able to get the right medication and course of treatment.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
OK, we know what’s on your mind at this point, and the answer is no. Drinking massive quantities of coffee or other caffeine-laden drinks will not help make hair grow. As one scientist pointed out, you’d have to drink 40 to 50 cups of coffee for caffeine to have any kind of therapeutic benefit for your hair roots because caffeine is easily diluted and quickly excreted by the body. Besides, that amount of coffee would be toxic because caffeine is, well, kind of a drug.
Nizoral is the gold-standard in hair loss prevention. Its main ingredient is ketoconazole. The nice thing about Nizoral is that you only need to use it twice a week (because ketoconazole binds to the proteins in your hair so it will keep working many days after use). If you were to use it daily your scalp would be drier than a desert and itchy as all heck.
Sadick suggests avoiding “products with dyes and preservatives, like parabens and synthetic fragrances.” Ingredients that thicken the hair include amino acids, biotin, ginseng root, and menthol or peppermint oil — these are what you want to look for. “Amino acids provide the building blocks to build new strands, while biotin, part of the B-vitamin complex, is required by hair to metabolize amino acids and can help strengthen hair,” Sadick says. “Antioxidants such as vitamin E and ginseng are beneficial to promote hair growth because they reduce free radicals from sun, stress, or overprocessing and have anti-inflammatory properties.” Last but not least are the botanicals, which are great as they are rich in antioxidants and other compounds that stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth.
The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs per day naturally due to this cycle. But if the process is interrupted at any stage—for example, if the follicle doesn’t come back out of resting mode or starts to shrink—hair loss and hair thinning can result. Interruptions to the cycle can be caused by hormones, stress, poor diet, chemical hair treatments, certain medications, and, of course, good ol' genetics.