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.
It’s a vicious circle that, unfortunately, 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, and while many of them are not effective.
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
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 areata and globally, over 147 million people are expected to develop alopecia areata in the coming years (alopecia areata is 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 $3.5billion is 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, this year, the biggest conference in the industry has been prepared, called The Global Hair Loss Summit.
The most famous and prestigious doctors around the world are gathering to discuss and educate each other about the most optimal ways of treating hair loss.
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 1 cm every month and the hair usually remains 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.
Therefore, if you suffer from hair loss, the duration of the anagen phase will be progressively shortened, and a progressive decrease in the percentage of hair follicles in the anagen phase will also be noticed.
This shortening of the anagen phase leads to 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 weak hair, the hair production rate becomes slower, 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, the fact that 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 is about to die. While you still have active hair follicles, you can stimulate the hair 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, and don’t let yourself discouraged.
Does getting treated earlier improve the results?
Most of the time, the products and treatments are giving the highest yield in the early stages of hair loss when you still have many active hair follicles that produce hair.
“There’s a lot of weakening effects that occur before the follicle shuts down, so it’s gonna be really, really 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.
Thus, early intervention is a critical step in curing hair loss.
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, to get rid of hair loss forever.
You may not be able to revive the dead hair follicles, but you certainly 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 make a treatment with the same efficacy for every individual system and condition.
This is important because you need to understand that dealing with hair loss is not a 1-day job, and it takes a lot of effort and time to find the right treatment for you.
If you want to start a suitable treatment, but don’t know which one, here is everything you need to know about the most popular and best-rated treatments for hair loss.
1. Medication and Drugs for Hair Loss
Drugs have always been at the top of the hair restoration industry, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested and spent annually.
They are found in forms of liquid, foam, or pills. However, it has been claimed that topical application performs better than the oral or parenteral administration of drugs for androgenic alopecia. Optimal would be a cream or lotion.
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 abandon the procedure before it is completed; therefore, they do not see any visible results. “People get tired of it, and it becomes difficult to administrate day after day,” explain Elise Arline Olsen, MD.
If you expect fast changes, you should avoid treatments based on medications. Still, if you want to start a drug-based therapy for hair loss, here is what you need to know.
Currently, there are only two drugs that have been approved by the FDA for both effectiveness and safety, namely minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral finasteride (Propecia).
Besides these, there are plenty of other drug therapies for androgenetic alopecia (the most common form of hair loss) that only have been 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.
The drug effectiveness in combating genetic hair loss has been tested for decades, and many studies show promising results when testing minoxidil in long-term treatments.
Furthermore, Upjohn, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, has undergone a long-term 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.
The minoxidil is found in two strengths: 2% and 5%. The 2% minoxidil solution was launched in 1986, followed by the 5% solution in 1993.
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 compared with the 2% minoxidil solution, which is more recommended for women.
The minoxidil market has been evaluated at over $800millions two years ago and is expected to grow up to $1,2billions by 2024. The 5% minoxidil products generated more than $715millions in revenue in 2017, and the demand for it is continuously growing.
These impressive numbers show that Minoxidil is one of the most reliable therapy for hair loss globally used by millions of people. Certainly, it is expected that the popularity of minoxidil will rise even more in the following years.
Finasteride is the other FDA-approved medication for the treatment of male pattern hair loss and is commercially found under the name of Propecia.
This drug helps combat hair loss by prohibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone with powerful androgenic properties, which makes hair follicles to shrink, weaken, and eventually die.
Does it really work?
A clinical study that involved 1879 men has demonstrated that oral finasteride encourages hair growth and prevents further hair loss in a significant proportion of men suffering from male pattern hair loss. “The results showed improvements in hair growth in 48% of finasteride recipients at 1 year and in 66% at 2 years,” explains K J McClellan, the author of the study.
Another study comparing the efficacy of oral vs. topical finasteride conducted by Hajheydari claims that the effectiveness of topical finasteride was similar to finasteride 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 level.
2. Redensyl, Capixyl and Procapil
Procapil, Redensyl, and Capixyl are powerful active ingredients used in the formulation of hair care products such as shampoos, oils, or serums.
Redensyl was developed by Induchem Laboratories (Switzerland) and it was 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 to observe how it performs against hair loss. “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, we recommend 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 with 5% topical Minoxidil.
It turns out that the combination of these three ingredients was effective in 64.7% cases compared with 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, such as 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 these 10 natural remedies for hair growth.
4. Hair Care & Cosmetic Products
Commonly used around the world, hair care products have represented a part of our daily routine for decades.
A May 2017 consumer survey found that over half of Americans use hair care products every day. After all, 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.
In this vast industry, hair recovery represents one of the largest parts offering a wide range of hair care products, including shampoos, oils, conditioners, and serums meant to promote hair growth and combat hair loss.
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
We don’t recommend relying just on your shampoo if you want to combat hair loss. Also, 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. So take a look at these harmful ingredients you can find in shampoos and make sure to avoid them as much as possible.
The organic products are definitely a better alternative. They’re harmless for your hair and some of them can improve a lot the condition of your scalp and hair.
Ingredients like Castor Oil, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Moroccan Argan Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Avocado, Caffein, or Biotin have shown great potential in promoting hair growth and they are commonly found in organic shampoos. After all, it’s wise paying attention to what you are applying to your hair, even though it’s about your shampoo, oil, or serum.
Pick safe products so that you don’t worsen your condition. Also, choose the ones formulated for hair growth so they can support other therapies and increase the recovery rate.
5. Hair Growth Supplements
The deficiencies of micronutrients in the body represent 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.
The most critical elements required from the body so that the hair can grow healthy are vitamins A, B, C, D, E, Iron, Selenium, and Zinc. 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.
If you lack essential nutrients and want to start a supplement diet, this is the right place to purchase the best supplements for hair growth.
Nevertheless, one fact that worths being highlighted is that such 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.
However, you have to know that the U.S. FDA does not have the authority to review dietary supplements for safety & effectiveness before they are marketed. Yet, since the FDA does not regulate supplements, it’s also 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 nowadays continues to have one of the highest success rates in the hair recovery field.
So popular 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, for both efficacy and safety for home use.
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. More than that, the increased blood circulation helps to enhance 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. They use up to 272 lasers meant to cover the entire scalp.
These devices are very comfortable for home use, some of them 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 any 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.
At the end of the therapy, the results showed substantial new hair count in all patients, recording 55-65% new hair in women, respectively 74-120% new hair in men.
Until today, the LLLT was subjected to dozens of official trials performed to test the efficacity and safety of the therapy.
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 area, or salon’s popularity.
However, complete 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.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that this is one purchase. If you do the right pick, it can last a lifetime.
For this reason, when you make such an investment, we suggest you consider purchasing an FDA-approved device.
If you have decided to try the laser therapy, we highly recommend these 9 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, but the technique and technology advanced a lot since then.
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 the removal of the donor follicles. Then, the harvested area is 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. Then, the removed hairs are 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 it can be repeated if you want even more hair. However, for consistent results, the procedure requires to be performed once in a decade.
The process is 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 are influencing this score, including the surgeon’s skill, the technology used, and the client’s satisfaction.
Most of the 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 is 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.
How much it costs?
A hair transplant procedure can cost anywhere from $4000 to $15,000. The final price is influenced by many factors, such as country, the method used, the surgeon’s experience, and eventually traveling.
Still, most of the people who appeal to this procedure are of an average income level.
After the intervention, the scalp might become sensitive, so for the first two days, your doctor will have you wear bandages for one or two days.
Also, you may be prescribed some antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs for several days. In most cases, people are able to 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, among we can count 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 effect 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 the 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 renovated. 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.
This study concluded that some drugs might be suspected as a cause of DHT in females, the most common drugs group responsible for hair loss being antihypertensives.
It turns out that Atenolol, Propanolol, Nebivolol, and Metoprolol may produce diffuse alopecia by causing telogen effluvium.
Moreover, also thiazide diuretics and hydrochlorothiazide may be implicated in causing hair loss, such as Amlodipine, Ramipril, and Captopril.
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 been associated with 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, and 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.
Moreover, when we lack sleep, the stress level increases, and cellular functioning is indeed reduced, a thing that may result in a condition of hair loss. This study provides sufficient data to show that systemic stress influences the immune system’s function, regulating hair growth.
Thus, sleep is vital for healthy hair growth. When we sleep, certain hormones are secreted, repairing, and restoring the work of all body cells, including hair cells.
Consider what you eat
Furthermore, it would help if you pay special attention to your daily diet. Nutritional deficiency may affect the hair structure and hair growth negatively.
The most common effects on hair growth include acute telogen effluvium, a well-known effect of sudden weight loss or decreased protein intake, as well as the diffuse alopecia seen in niacin deficiency.
Most people who face hair loss must rethink their diet. The reason is that hair loss is often caused by a lack of necessary nutrients, such as iron, zinc, niacin, fatty acids, selenium, vitamins A, D, E, folic acid, biotin, proteins, and antioxidants.
Check out these 14 super foods for hair growth and try to include them in your daily diet.
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 bring any benefits to your hair.
How can sport help hair grow faster? While exercising, the blood circulation in the scalp increases, allowing more nutrients to reach the follicles to promote hair growth.
Also, 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 type, condition, and severity.
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, thus don’t underestimate the power of nature.
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 at least won’t make your hair fall more.
If you still 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 and are usually found in serums and oils.
More or less, Minoxidil and Finasteride are remaining the most reliable way to treat hair loss at home. These are the only two medications approved by the FDA and officially proven to promote new hair growth. Don’t expect miraculous results overnight as it can take up to 3 years to finish the treatment and see visible improvements.
The 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.
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
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