What is Hair Loss?
It is a terrible thing! No one knows what we balds go through. To me, hair loss is like losing a part of my body. It is that bad. You get accustom to combing your hair, the wind playing with them, and all of a sudden they start to disappear. You become someone else, a major shift in looks.
Some might say bald is beautiful, blah blah blah. You do not have to lose your hair to be bald, just shave it.
Worst part is that it does not happen overnight. You have to suffer for years and see just when will it be enough for DHT to stop ruining your head. It also makes you look older than you are, especially if you start to lose your hair when you are young.
Anyways, enough with the pessimism. We will change that together, right? That` s at least how I feel about it. Let`s discuss why it happens below.
Male Pattern Baldness (also called alopecia or baldness)
It is genetic and mostly because of your hormones. There are other types of hair loss which affect both females and males. Our discussion here is concentrated on the most common type; male pattern baldness.
Ever heard of DHT, the mighty dihydrotestosterone? It is the monster behind all this. But it is also vital for men; DHT plays a major role giving males their male characteristics.
DHT is synthesized from testosterone by the enzyme 5α-reductase. 1 Ulrike Blume-Peytavi; David A. Whiting; Ralph M. Trüeb (26 June 2008). Hair Growth and Disorders. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-3-540-46911-7. I have no idea what that means so I put a footnote in there in case if you want to look deeper into it. DHT also has an impact on prostate cancer.
We are not going to discuss any further what DHT is because I really do not care. My focus here is on what it actually does.
DHT miniaturize hairs till they all become so tiny and disappear.
DHT builds up in the hair follicles, preventing them from producing healthy hair. Eventually, your hairs first start to get thin, and over time they reach to a point where they can not grow. They become almost invisible, something like colorless tiny, body hair. Time frame and the area gets affected changes from person to person2 “Hair loss”. DermNet. Archived from the original on 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-03. . However, it does not attack on the hairs at the sides and the back. These sections are harvested when getting hair transplants since they are genetically coded to stand against DHT.
Hair Growth Cycles
Hair grows in cycles. They are called Anagen (growing phase), Catagen (transitional phase), and Telogen (resting phase). Hair falls after the resting phase and a new one starts to grow. But do not confuse this with the hair loss. Every healthy hair goes through this cycle. So, do not be alarmed when you see some hairs fall out, this happens every day on a healthy head. You should be concerned when you see bald spots or a receding hairline in the mirror. In the case of male pattern baldness, hairs get thinner and become unable to grow thick hairs.
Hair Loss Treatments
There are so many hair regrowth products all over the world as you would also know. Huge marketing campaigns pushed everyday and bombarded to us via various mediums. But if any of these products is a real cure then how come there are still so many bald people around?
It takes patience and commitment in order to reverse hair loss. Follicles will start to regrow hairs once DHT is blocked. Initially, they will be tiny and only will turn into real thick hairs over some time. As we discussed above, due to hair growth cycles, follicles need time to produce new hair. A follicle will produce weaker hair at first if it had not produced any for a long time. Note that a certain amount of time needed for the hair follicles to adapt and produce thick hair even after hair transplants. You should take all these into consideration when starting to use hair regrowth products.
Some companies take advantage of this time issue of follicles to take away your money. So many hit and run companies emerge and all they are looking for is to sell you some for 2-3 months period.
First of all, when choosing a product, make sure that it fights DHT. You need something to prevent DHT from blocking the hair follicles. Stop if you get no progress within 60 days. Taking photos is a must to track the new hair growth, otherwise you can not bu sure if there is any improvement within the first few weeks.
Hair Regrowth Products
Below is a small list of the most famous products. You can check the treatments page for more brands with detailed review on them.
Finasteride: (Propecia, Proscar)
It was first developed to treat enlarged prostate and it is not to be used by women3“Propecia label” (PDF).. Finasteride is a pill. It is not a hair growth treatment that is applied on the scalp. Most men use it along with minoxidil. There are some side effects and you should consult a physician before you start using it.
It has been around for a while now. Minoxidil is most effective when you just start to lose hair. The longer the hair stopped growing, the less useful it will be. It comes in liquid or foam for people allergic to propylene glycol. Used twice a day. It helps to keep the remainder of your hairs which is vital if you just started to lose hair. Available for both men and women.
Well, I am fan what can I say. It is a DHT fighter. We use procapil just as minoxidil, twice onto your scalp every day. It combines vitaminated matrikine with apigenin and oleanolic acid to form two powerful functions that target the main areas of hair loss4http://www.procapil.org/what-is-procapil/. These two functions are mainly to fight DHT and increase blood flow on the scalp. It is completely natural and topical and also comes in liquid or foam like the minoxidil. Available for both men and women.
Saw palmetto benefits prostate and stop hair loss. It is a small palm called serenoa repens. Saw palmetto is a natural supplement in the form of pills. The Mayans drank it as a tonic, and the Seminoles (a Native American tribe) used the berries as a cough syrup and antiseptic 5“Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens [Bartram] Small)]”. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2011-12-15.. Saw palmetto proved itself over time to fight against hair loss. If you are having hair loss then you should really meet this effective plant extract. Widely available at the counters.
A common issue with most of the regrowth products is that your hair loss resumes when you stop using them.
Surgery – Hair transplants
Hair transplants became very popular and advanced over the last years. They had been around for a long time as a surgical treatment for baldness. But in the past they looked like baby doll heads.
The punching method got really better and the final results look very natural nowadays. Results with hair transplant varies individually from person to person due to the level of balding and the hair type.
If you have thick hair and a small area to cover then you are lucky, if your hairs are too thin and the balding area is huge then you might consider getting them mostly on the front. Many do this and grow their new hairs back to cover the remainder bald or thinning area.
In simple terms, hair transplantation is moving the healthy hairs from the back and sides to the thinning area.
Hair transplantation method used has an impact on the final outcome. Strip method creates a bigger scar at the back. There are two most common hair transplant techniques:
- Strip Harvesting
- Fue technique (Follicular unit extraction)
Strip harvesting is easier for your doctor and it also allows more hair follicles to harvest. The scar is big and you will not be able to shave your head or cut them very short because of this. What they do is that they cut a rectangle shape skin usually from the back of your head and harvest the follicles from that. You will get stitches and it will take longer to heal.
Fue technique, on the other hand, is an easier method for the patient but not so much for your surgeon. There is no need to cut a strip on your head with the FUE technique. They take out hair follicles either single or in four units. Thus, you do not really get any visible scars on your head. Recently, FUE has become a more popular method than the strip harvesting and it is usually more expensive.
We have more resources today than our predecessors. But this does not mean that you can have your hairs back in a week. Either if you use hair regrowth drugs or have hair transplants, it will take you at least 4 – 6 months to have more hair on your head. So, patience is the key here. And when choosing treatments; you have to decide what you really want to achieve in the long run. Do you want to use hair lotions as long as you live or do you want to have hair transplants and cover some part of your head instead? You should search about available options thoroughly before you take any action since surgery is irreversible and some treatments are just a waste of time.
I am doing the bald test with procapil. Come see the progress.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Ulrike Blume-Peytavi; David A. Whiting; Ralph M. Trüeb (26 June 2008). Hair Growth and Disorders. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-3-540-46911-7.|
|2.||↑||“Hair loss”. DermNet. Archived from the original on 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-03.|
|3.||↑||“Propecia label” (PDF).|
|5.||↑||“Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens [Bartram] Small)]”. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2011-12-15.|