When the shame of balding makes you question your confidence, you will start to worry more and accumulate more stress, which consequently causes even more hair loss. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious circle that many people constantly revolve around, struggling to find a hair loss treatment that works for them. It’s not an easy job when just Amazon holds over thousands of supplements and products composed of different formulations for hair loss.
When you have that many options, it’s getting pretty tricky to keep evidence of every product, and it’s even harder to figure out which one is worth a try or not. Not even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does have the authority to review the products for safety and effectiveness before they are listed online.
- Hair Loss: What You Need to Know
- Why is your hair falling
- How to cure hair loss?
- 7 Ways to Stop Hair Loss
- 1. Medication and Drugs for Hair Loss
- 2. Redensyl, Capixyl and Procapil
- 3. Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
- 4. Hair Care & Cosmetic Products
- 5. Hair Growth Supplements
- 6. Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Loss
- How at-home laser devices promote hair growth
- LLLT stimulates hair growth at a very high rate
- LLLT Devices: How much do they cost?
- 7. Hair Transplants: What You Really Need to Know
- What to Avoid: Top Enemies that Stop Hair Growth
- This can make a huge difference in combating hair loss
- What medication causes hair loss?
- What else you should know
- Can you get rid of hair loss forever?
Hair Loss: What You Need to Know
By the age of 50, about half of men and a quarter of women are affected by pattern hair loss. As per the report published by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), in the U.S., around 6.5 million of the population are suffering from alopecia, and globally, over 147 million people are expected to develop a temporary condition of hair loss.
With such a broad audience and enormous demand for drugs and other treatments that can slow down or reverse hair loss, it’s not surprising that the hair recovery industry is worth over $1.5billion worldwide. Just in the USA, more than $3.5billions are spent every year offering a wide range of treatments from herbal remedies to shampoos, supplements, drugs, and even laser devices designed to restore thinning hair and reverse baldness.
Hair loss has remained one of the most discussed topics around the world, representing a global interest for decades. The problem of combating hair loss is so controversial that exclusively, in 2020, the industry’s biggest conference has been arranged, called The Global Hair Loss Summit. The most prestigious doctors are gathering to discuss and educate each other about the most optimal ways of treating hair loss. Dr. Alan Bauman, a hair transplant surgeon, talks a bit more about this event and even mentions a list of the attending doctors on his official Youtube channel.
Why is your hair falling
The hair follicle experience multiple cycles of degeneration and regeneration during lifetime due to stem cell involvement. These cycles are anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. Every hair follicle can be at a different stage of the growth cycle at any time.
The anagen phase is the only phase where the hair actually grows. During this stage, the hair grows about 0.4 inches every month, the hair remaining in this phase for 2 to 6 years. The catagen is a short transitional phase that lasts about 10 days, leading to the telogen phase. About 3% of all hairs are in this phase at a given time. Telogen is the resting phase where the hair follicles stay inactive for about 3 months. Also, during this stage, the strands are released and fall out. If you suffer from hair loss, the duration of the anagen phase will be progressively shortened. Also, the hair follicles count in the anagen phase will be gradually decreasing. This shortening of the anagen phase leads to the miniaturization of hair follicles, which results in a decrease of visible hair over the scalp.
How to cure hair loss?
Hair follicles are responsible for hair growth. When the follicles start to produce thinner and weakened hair, its production rate slows, resulting in hair loss. When a hair follicle dies, it will no longer produce hair, and it’s not possible to revive it in any way, which leads to baldness.
However, if you are not growing visible hair, it does not mean that the hair follicle is dead, but it tells you it’s about to die. It usually takes years, if not decades, for a follicle to die. While you still have active hair follicles, you can stimulate the production speed rate and strengthen the produced hair to combat hair loss. Therefore, it’s crucial to take action as soon as you notice you lose hair.
Does getting treated earlier improve the results?
Most of the time, the products and treatments give the highest yield in the early stages of hair loss when you still have many active hair follicles. “There’s a lot of weakening effects that occur before the follicle shuts down, so it’s gonna be important to track the miniaturization phase of the hair follicle and then intervene as soon as possible before the hair is completely dead and gone,” explains Dr. Alan J. Bauman.
7 Ways to Stop Hair Loss
Even though there is no perfect cure for baldness, you still have plenty of options that can help you fight back, and eventually, get rid of hair loss forever. You may not be able to revive the dead hair follicles, but certainly, you can stimulate the hair production rate in the active ones and make the newly growing hair stronger and thicker. Some methods are more effective than others, and no therapy works for everyone. Many factors influence hair loss, so it would be impossible to get the same efficacy for every individual system and condition.
Ever wondered what people actually use to treat hair loss? Here are the most popular therapies to stop your hair from falling.
1. Medication and Drugs for Hair Loss
Drugs have always been at the top of the hair restoration industry, with millions of dollars invested and spent annually. You can find them in liquid, foam, or pills form. However, the topical application performs better than the oral or parenteral administration of drugs for androgenic alopecia. One of the biggest concerns raised by patients about drug-based treatments is how easy it is to maintain this therapy over a lifetime. Because drugs take a long time until they work, most people quit the procedure before completing it. “People get tired of drugs, and it becomes difficult to administrate day after day,” explains Elise Arline Olsen, MD.
There are currently only two drugs approved by the FDA for both effectiveness and safety, namely minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral finasteride (Propecia). Of course, there are also other drugs for treating androgenetic alopecia. But these have been only clinically tested and not officially approved. View the full list of approved and clinically tested drug therapies for androgenetic alopecia.
Minoxidil is the first medication approved by the FDA for treating genetic hair loss, and it’s sold as a liquid or foam. Minoxidil is a worldwide known drug proven to stimulate hair growth and stop hair loss and is expected to work for 2 out of 3 men. Minoxidil is found in two strengths: 2% and 5%. The 2% minoxidil solution was launched in 1986, followed by the 5% solution in 1993.
Many studies show promising results for minoxidil in treating alopecia, even though its effectiveness has been questioned for decades.
Upjohn, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, has undergone a study involving 2300 patients, testing the minoxidil’s effectiveness in treating androgenic alopecia. “At the end of the year, 39% of the men had experienced moderate or dense hair growth on their balding spots, while the remaining 61% experienced little or no growth,” they explain.
Does it really work?
As a conclusion of numerous clinical trials, the 5% minoxidil solution has proven to be 45% more effective with significant differences in hair density for men than the 2% minoxidil solution, which is more recommended for women. The minoxidil market has been evaluated at over $800million in 2018 and is expected to grow up to $1,2billion by 2024. The 5% minoxidil products generated more than $715million in revenue in 2017, and the demand for it is continuously growing.
Finasteride is the other FDA-approved medication for the treatment of male pattern hair loss, commercially found under the name of Propecia. This drug helps combat hair loss by prohibiting testosterone conversion into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone with powerful androgenic properties, which makes hair follicles shrink, weaken, and eventually die.
Does it really work?
A clinical study that involved 1879 men demonstrated that oral finasteride encourages hair growth and prevents further hair loss in a significant proportion of patients suffering from male pattern hair loss. “The results showed improvements in hair growth in 48% of finasteride recipients after 1 year and in 66% after 2 years,” explains K.J. McClellan, the author of the study. Another study comparing the effects of oral vs. topical finasteride conducted by Hajheydari claims that topical finasteride’s effectiveness was similar to oral intake. However, the penetration level of topical finasteride seems to be an issue, so the researchers tried to combine the topical finasteride with minoxidil to enhance deeper penetration and better absorption.
Their results prove that the combination of topical minoxidil and finasteride is an effective treatment to increase hair density after finishing the initial treatment with oral finasteride.
Besides these, oral finasteride may cause side effects such as decreased libido or erectile dysfunction due to reduced blood DHT levels.
2. Redensyl, Capixyl and Procapil
Redensyl was developed by Induchem Laboratories (Switzerland), found to improve the hair growth cycle by promoting the conversion of hair follicles from the telogen phase to the anagen phase.
The Swizz company has subjected Redensyl to multiple trials. “Clinical investigations have shown that Redensyl is efficient to treat androgenic alopecia male pattern, and more generally to treat hair loss.” It’s known that Redensyl can add up to 28,200 new hairs after 84 days of treatment. “The efficiency of Redensyl as alopecia hair loss treatment was also confirmed by the high user satisfaction rate (+71%) recorded during the clinical investigation,” they concluded.
Rendesyl is mostly found in a proportion of 3% as an active ingredient in serums and oils. If you are interested in including this wonder ingredient in your hair care regimen, see these Redensyl products for treating hair loss.
Capixyl, and Procapil are two new breakthrough formulas obtained from International Flavors and Fragrances Laboratories (France), respectively Sederma Laboratories (France). They have a DHT-blocking mechanism and are known to increase hair growth and combat hair loss.
Better than Minoxidil?
Redensyl, Capixyl, and Procapil (RCP) are often compared with topical Minoxidil, and individually, they seem to have the same results. This study conducted by Nezih Karaca evaluated the effectiveness of topical Redensyl, Procapil, and Capixyl as a single treatment for hair loss compared to 5% topical Minoxidil.
It turns out that the combination of these 3 ingredients was effective in 64.7% cases compared to Minoxidil, which showed significant recovery in only 25.5%. “At the end of the 24-week treatment period, hair recovery in the RCP group was 2.54 times higher than that in the minoxidil group, a difference that was found to be statistically significant,” explains Nezih.
3. Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
Some natural ingredients, including herbs, spices, and oils, are considered useful for stimulating the follicles and help hair grow since ancient times. Chemical damage by bleaches, dyes, straighteners, and even sunlight can weaken hair and increase inter-fiber friction, leading to hair loss. In case your hair is chemically treated, natural remedies have fewer chances of success. Instead, if your hair is not dyed or chemically treated, you can opt for saw palmetto, castor oil, or peppermint oil.
Read more about natural remedies for hair loss.
4. Hair Care & Cosmetic Products
Commonly used, hair care products represent a part of our daily routine.
A May 2017 consumer survey found that over half of Americans use hair care products every day. The global hair care industry market was valued at $85.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $102 billion by 2024 for a reason. This vast industry offers a wide range of anti-hair loss products, including shampoos, oils, conditioners, and serums. According to Statista Research Department, 11.34 million Americans used hair regrowth products in 2019 and is expected to increase to 11.94 million in 2023.
Most people prefer to start treating hair loss using hair care products because it offers an affordable and safe solution. It’s not the best approach since none of these have been officially tested or approved, so they cannot be marked as treatments for hair loss. The FDA explains that “the law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, except for color additives, to be approved by the FDA before they go on the market.”
Why you should not depend on hair care products
You have to be careful, the hair care products may not be a great help, but they sure can do a lot of damage. Chemicals, parabens, sulfates are commonly found in hair care products and can worsen your condition. Better take a look at these harmful ingredients you can find in shampoos and try to avoid them.
- 9 Best Serums for Hair Growth
- 12 Best Organic Shampoos & Conditioners for Hair Growth
- 11 Best Shampoos for Hair Loss
- 7 Best DHT Blocker Shampoos to Stop Hair Loss
5. Hair Growth Supplements
The deficiencies of micronutrients in the body are one of the most common causes of hair loss. If the hair is not fed with the necessary nutrients, it’s hard to keep its cuticle integer and hold enough water in its fibers to stay elastic, so it breaks easily, making you lose hair.
Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iron, selenium, and zinc are the required elements to grow healthy hair. A deficiency of any of these components can lead to severe hair loss. From this experiment, it turns out that the use of oral supplements in case of deficiencies was associated with a visible increase in hair growth after 90 and 180 days, without adverse events. But there’s another fact that worths being highlighted. Supplements are not without risks, as in the absence of a deficiency, supplementation may be harmful to hair. In fact, over-supplementing certain nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium, have been linked to hair loss.
If you lack essential nutrients and want to start a supplement diet, this is the right place to purchase hair growth supplements.
Unfortunately, the U.S. FDA does not have the authority to review dietary supplements for safety & effectiveness. Yet, since the FDA does not regulate supplements, it’s your responsibility to review their efficacy and safety. Websites such as the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database or the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements’ PubMed Dietary Supplement Subset and Dietary Supplements Ingredient Database may be of help in this exploration.
6. Low-Level Laser Therapy for Hair Loss
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) showed great potential in treating the genetic forms of hair loss since Endre Mester discovered it in 1967, and it continues to have one of the highest success rates in the hair recovery field. At this very moment, low-level laser therapy is a non-invasive, safe, officially approved, and effective solution that stimulates hair follicles growing fuller and thicker hair.
The LLLT couldn’t be performed at home until 2007 when the FDA has officially approved the first device that used low-level lasers to stimulate hair growth. It’s about HairMax LaserComb, a handy and comfortable brush-like device designed with 9 medical-grade lasers.
How at-home laser devices promote hair growth
When the device is above your scalp, the lasers penetrate the scalp layers, increase blood flow in the scalp, and stimulate metabolism in catagen or telogen follicles. Just like that, it moves the hair follicles into the anagen phase, naturally stimulating new hair growth. Moreover, the increased blood circulation enhances the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, eliminating the toxins and harmful DHT.
Today’s devices have taken many forms, from combs to helmets or even simple caps. Most of them use up to 272 lasers intended to cover the entire scalp. These devices are very comfortable for home use. Some don’t even require to be plugged-in while running so that you can get other jobs done during the therapy sessions.
But do they really work? Can LLLT promote hair growth for every individual, regardless of the hair loss condition, hair type, or other factors?
LLLT stimulates hair growth at a very high rate
John L. Satino tested the efficacy of laser hair growth devices on 28 males and 7 females suffering from androgenetic alopecia. Each patient used HairMax LaserComb, 10 minutes every day, for 6 full months. The results showed substantial new hair count in all patients at the end of the therapy, recording 55-65% new hair in women, respectively 74-120% new hair in men. Until today, LLLT was subjected to dozens of official trials performed to test the therapy’s efficacity and safety. All of them have reached the same conclusion that low-level lasers can promote hair growth at a fast rate, and the process is painless and safe for home use.
LLLT Devices: How much do they cost?
If the therapy is performed in a salon, you will pay approximately $60 per session; the amount depends on many circumstances, such as the area or salon’s popularity. However, the entire treatment takes many sessions and products, which might cost around $2,000 on average.
For an at-home device, such as LLLT caps and combs, the price can vary anywhere between $40 and $2,500. If you have decided to try laser therapy, try these 12 hair growth devices worth buying in 2020.
7. Hair Transplants: What You Really Need to Know
It’s been a while since the first hair transplant has been performed, in 1952, in New York City, by Dr. Norman Orentreich. Briefly, this type of cosmetic surgery involves moving hair to thin or bald areas. There are two popular methods for hair transplant: follicular unit strip surgery and follicular unit extraction.
- FUSS method starts with a linear incision across the back of the scalp, allowing for removing the donor follicles. The harvested area is then separated to create tiny units for transplantation, all the follicles being placed into the desired area using micro incisions.
- FUE procedure requires the removal of individual hair follicles for grafting into the balding patch. The removed hairs are then treated and prepared to place into the thinning area to produce a natural hair growth process.
The process might take between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the size area, and can be repeated if you want even more hair. However, for consistent results, the procedure requires to be performed once in a decade. Hair transplants are viral among celebs, too! Naomi Campbell, Fergie Duhamel, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey are just a few of the famous females who appealed to this procedure.
As one might assume, the success rate can vary as many factors influence this score, including the surgeon’s skill, the technology used, and the client’s satisfaction. Most famous hair transplant doctors would claim a 90% rate to be the lowest acceptable outcome regarding the follicles that become permanent hair.
In general, it’s believed that anywhere ranging from 10 to 80% of transplanted hair fully grows back. As hair loss is not a scalp issue, but a follicle’s, the transplanted hair doesn’t fall out like previous hairs.
A hair transplant procedure can cost anywhere from $4000 to $15,000.
After the intervention, the scalp might become sensitive, so your doctor will have you wear bandages for the first two days. Also, you may be prescribed some antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs for several days. In most cases, people can return to work 2 to 5 days after the intervention.
In 2014, this study analyzed the side effects and complications of hair restoration surgery. Even though rarely occurred, there were registered cases of side effects and complications, like the failure of growth of transplanted hair, skin texture change, hiccups, wide scar, bacterial folliculitis, postoperative edema, or excessive bleeding.
What to Avoid: Top Enemies that Stop Hair Growth
Knowing your enemies when it comes to hair loss has more value than any product or treatment. What good to follow strict routines that stop hair fall if you keep having the same bad habits that hinder the hair from growing? Hence, the following practices need to be considered by everyone who wants healthy hair and stop hair from fall.
This can make a huge difference in combating hair loss
The cumulative effects of environmental factors, such as UV, humidity, wind, and chemicals in hair products & procedures, hurts the physicochemical hair structure. Grooming habits have a vital impact on hair fibers. Daily shampooing cleanses off the protective layers of sebum covering the hair, causing the shaft to dry out, becoming more prone to friction. Briefly, the critical aspects of preventing hair weathering include avoiding unnecessary damaging hair styling techniques, daily shampooing & conditioning, and excessive use of photoprotection. Fortunately, hair is in continuous growth, and unless the follicles are affected, hair shafts can be totally restored. If weathering is prevented, new hair fibers will grow healthy and strong.
What medication causes hair loss?
Drugs may induce hair loss, stimulate hair growth or, more rarely, induce changes in the hair shape and color. Drug-induced hair loss is usually reversible and is, in most cases, the result of a toxic effect of the drug on the hair follicle matrix.
A few drugs may interfere with the hair growth cycle and produce diffuse hair loss. Studies concluded that some drugs might be suspected as a cause of DHT in females. The most common group responsible for hair loss is antihypertensives. It turns out that Atenolol, Propanolol, Nebivolol, and Metoprolol may produce diffuse alopecia by causing telogen effluvium.
What else you should know
First of all, quit smoking if you didn’t yet. Besides being the single most preventable cause of significant morbidity in the population, tobacco smoking has adverse effects on hair health. This observational study indicates a significant association between smoking and hair loss.
Late nights? Such a bad idea!
How sleep influences hair’ health and growth? While sleeping, the epithelial hair follicle stem cell goes to work. Only good nights of rest can help ensure that the process occurs seamlessly. Contrarily, lack of sleep hinders the cells from doing their job, and the result can lead to hair loss.
When we lack sleep, the stress level increases, and cellular functioning is reduced, which may result in hair loss. This study provides sufficient data to show that systemic stress influences the immune system’s function, regulating hair growth. On the other hand, when we sleep, certain hormones are secreted, repairing, and restoring all body cells’ work, including hair cells.
Have an active lifestyle
Last but not least, consider having an active and healthy lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle where sitting all day in front of your TV or computer won’t benefit your hair. How can sport help hair grow faster?
While exercising, the scalp’s blood circulation increases, allowing more nutrients to reach the follicles to promote hair growth. When the scalp is sweating, it helps open the pores, giving room for new hair to grow.
Can you get rid of hair loss forever?
Dealing with hair loss it’s a stressful job that requires a lot of patience. You have to pick the right treatment based on your hair loss cause, condition, and severity. It’s no secret that preventing hair loss is much easier and convenient than dealing with it. The natural remedies are a good way to enhance and revitalize your hair every day, so it won’t be prematurely prone to fall.
Don’t count on shampoos, serums, or oils if you want to treat severe conditions like genetic hair loss. Keep in mind that none of the products are approved or tested before release. Still, it’s essential to use quality and exclusive products for hair growth because it won’t make your hair fall more. If you want to use hair care products for hair loss, try the ones formulated with Redensyl, Capixyl, or Procapil. These are the most potent active ingredients that can make your hair grow faster.
More or less, Minoxidil and Finasteride remain the most reliable way to treat hair loss at home. These are the only two treatments approved by the FDA and are officially proven to promote new hair growth. Don’t expect miraculous results overnight. It can take up to 3 years to see visible improvements. Low-level laser therapy is another great alternative you should consider. It’s safe and very effective in stimulating hair growth naturally. Modern devices are incredibly comfortable and easy to use at home.
In the end, if none of the above treatments have results for you, the hair transplant might be the last solution you’ve got for now.
You might also want to read:
- 11 Best Anti-Hair Loss Shampoos for Women & Men
- 9 Tips About How to Wash Thinning Hair to Prevent Hair Loss
- 7 Things to Avoid if You Want to Stop Hair Loss in Women
- 9 Good Reasons Why You Should Use A Laser Cap For Hair Loss
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339524/ published by Zenildo Santos, February 2015
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/ published by Emily L. Guo, January 2017
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/ published by Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias, January 2015
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/ published by Hind M. Almohanna, March 2019
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