Learning the science of hair helps us choose products, food, and supplements with confidence, and saves money for the things that work!
The science of hair is not overt, and we can get stuck buying products that have little efficacy. I will first discuss hair loss and the four helpful product categories suggested for hair growth by Dr. Angela Phipps of Bosley Hair Restoration and Dr. Shah, and Dr. Maxfield. Let's not forget Dr. Sam Ellis who helped me learn so about hair growth and health for this blog. The esteemed pharmacist Dr. Fuchs has also contributed greatly towards this field of interest. I encourage you to check out his website at Truthtreatments.com. This blog is not diagnostic or suggestive of treatment; it is food for thought and provides information to ask your doctor about.
The first product type that helps hair growth is:
Treating the underlying cause of hair loss will always be the most beneficial. The cause isn't always hormonal or genetic, but if you have an underlying hormonal imbalance such as excess testosterone (T), medication helps best. I have tried and tested many supplements and serums before, and none of them helped me hedge off the effects of high Testosterone quite like pharmaceuticals. Not all pharmaceuticals are bad. I will still add a list of supplements that lower T below. Sometimes, your serum levels can come back normal but still exhibit all the signs of high T, such as hirsutism or hair loss. This is tricky. One's body might lean more towards using the 5a pathway of processing T, which makes one more sensitive to T, even with normal levels. High T or DHEA affects the hair follicle by inhibiting glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase which is needed for us to make nucleic acids and grow hair. Medicines to treat hair loss include Minoxidil, which is in Rogaine. This is approved for both men and women and is said to work the best (as far as drugs go), having a 40% success rate. Minoxidil shortens the telogen (resting) phase of hair growth and promotes anagen growth phase. It also increases blood flow to the follicles by widening the blood vessels. Another medicine that is highly effective is Spironolactone. This is generally great for hair loss due to genetic or hormonal causes. It works by slowing down the production of androgens (sun as T). I personally think this works wonders, though everything takes time. Lots of time! If you are a woman worried about the side effects of spotting due to increased estrogen, you might consider talking to a supplement-knowledgeable doctor about taking DIM with it. This is a plant derivative that gently, naturally reduces the more harmful estrogen linked to breast cancer. I have seen great results and no side effects with the lowest dose of Spironolactone combined with DIM. Finasteride is also commonly prescribed. It increases the number of scalp hairs and blocks 5a reductase. I have also read good things about Dutasteride, which is supposedly more efficacious for male pattern baldness than other drugs, but it's not prescribed as often to my knowledge. It inhibits the production of DHT that causes hair loss.
2) Low-Level Light Therapy
These devices helps photobiochemical stimulation. Combining that with the appropriate medicine or supplement will help the most. They all work in different ways. You can buy a device to use at home, and the most important factor with buying is the type and strength of the light. Not all brands actually target the scalp appropriately. *
This is said to work the best overall for more permanent results. The first option I will mention is hair transplantation. This really works! Hair follicles are removed and transplanted to sparse areas of hair. This technique has been greatly improved and looks so much better these days. One technique is FUT, where individual hairs are transplanted. Another method is FUE, where they punch out holes in the back of the scalp to move them to more needed areas. It looks more natural than taking a strip of hair. You might want to still use medications to continue helping the hairs grow afterwards. It's all about combining methods.
Another procedural option is PRP (platelet rich plasma). Platelets/plasma is injected into the scalp. It is rich in growth factors which stimulate hair growth. Some respond, and some don't.
4) Nutrition and supplementation
Reducing & Preventing Hair Graying
TO BE CONTINUED...