25 Jul What Causes Hair Loss and How Can We Prevent It?
Sales of hair growth products (both those that work and those that don’t) have shot up for men and (even more so) for women. But why do we lose our hair anyway?
Genetic Hair Loss
Almost all evolutionary phenomena have an obvious (or at least semi-obvious) purpose. But it’s difficult to think what the purpose of genetic hair loss could be.
Perhaps, with continuous protection from the elements at home, at the office, and in our cars, we just don’t need hair to keep our head warm. Maybe nature decided that hair is not a necessity anymore. I mean, heck, when you look at any depiction of aliens from much more evolved species, they all have huge brains and no hair. Or maybe it’s just a fluke, like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a consequence of aging that afflicts the unlucky…
Who knows. But if you look closely, except for a very few lucky people, it seems that, if we live long enough, we eventually all start to lose our hair. Statistics show that about 50 million men and women suffer from hair loss. I think that the actual number is much higher and that most of us will have to grapple with hair loss at some point in our lives. Worse still, once it starts, it’ll never stop — unless you receive treatment.
How Does Hair Loss Start?
The culprit is one of our most important hormones: dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is the hormone that stimulates male characteristics in men and keeps estrogen in check in both sexes.
Once the genetic switch turns on (this could be at 18, 30, 40, 60, or even 70 years of age), DHT starts to bind to DHT receptors located on our scalps (and, in men, on our prostates). A predetermined pattern starts to cause inflammation around hair follicles. In turn, this slowly constricts blood supply and eventually ends up choking out the follicles.
There is a difference between men and women hair loss that we studied it in another article you can find here. But in a nutshell, what exactly happens is this: capillaries delivering blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the hair become tight. This causes the hair to fall out prematurely. The next hair that grows out of the follicle is unable to receive the blood supply it needs, which causes the hair to grow in thinner and fall out even sooner. This hair is replaced with one that is even thinner still. And so on — until no hair is able to grow from the follicle and baldness sets in. This is why hair starts to become thin before a person goes bald.
Hair loss among women, particularly over the past couple of decades, has become much more prevalent. The artificial hormones that we unwittingly consume in our food, the toxins that are all around us, the chemicals in prescription drugs and cleaning products, etc. all affect our hormonal balance. Women’s hair loss is one of the more visible effects.
Solutions to Hair Loss
The rise in hair loss has given wings to a slew of companies looking to make an easy profit. Let’s take a look at some of the options on the market.
Finasteride is a drug approved by the FDA to treat genetic hair loss. It works by debilitating the enzyme 5-AR type II in the body, prohibiting the enzyme from binding to free testosterone and forming DHT.
This drug CANNOT BE USED BY WOMEN. There are serious side effects involved in using Finasteride (Propecia). In men, a potential side effect is an erectile dysfunction. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, when you decrease levels of the hormone that gives us our male characteristics, this is a side effect.
In fact, there are even scarier side effects due to the hormonal imbalance, including depression and suicidal thoughts. Just look at lawsuits against the maker of Propecia®. The company claimed that the side effects were temporary and would dissipate once the patient stopped taking the drug. But this was proven to be untrue over the course of several lawsuits. Currently, there are many studies being conducted to prove the side effects of Propecia®.
If you know anyone who has had one or more hair transplant procedures, you’ll have noticed that the results never look like what the ads portray. This is down to three reasons:
- We have more than 100,000 hairs on our scalp. Even if you receive three thousand hairs (in a session that costs upwards of $15,000), this will not give you a fraction of the coverage you need. Compare to other hair loss solutions, it is very expensive.
- The procedure involves transplanting hairs into an area that is still going bald. Your existing hair will eventually fall out, causing your scalp to go bald in a different place. Then, you will have to go back for another procedure. You’ll go through all the pain and expense again, still only to receive partial coverage. You’ll need to keep returning until your scalp has no more viable donor area.
- The results you see in “after” pictures are temporary. The appearance of these patients quickly changes as they continue to lose the hair between and around transplanted hairs.
The effectiveness of hair transplant is studied in detail in another article you can find here.
Your hair starts to thin, so you go to get a hairpiece. To glue the hairpiece to your scalp, it’s necessary to shave what hair still remains. That glue will damage the heck out of your scalp — the scarring will hinder the growth of healthy hair, meaning you are pretty much stuck with wearing the wig permanently.
When you first receive your wig, it will be combed and your hair will be cut to blend. However, your hair will keep growing, whereas the hair piece will stay the same length. Within a week or so, your hair won’t match the wig anymore — you’ll need to get another hair cut.
Unfortunately, only a specialist will be able to cut your hair, as regular hair stylists lack the necessary training to cut only your hair. If you do receive a haircut from your regular barber and he cuts the hairpiece, your warranty is immediately void. As a result, you will need a very expensive hair cut every week or so — or you’ll look like you’re wearing a dead animal on your head.
Temporary Thickening Product
Whereas some of the products may cover up thinning hair or even thicken your hair to some extent, the effects usually go away within a few hours or right after the next time you wash your hair. Meanwhile, your hair continues to thin and eventually bald to the point that nothing will be able to cover it up. So, this solution doesn’t regrow your lost hair.
However, using a thickening product that is effective and reliable could help you keep your hair healthy and thick. Read more on how thickening products work and how ScalpMED can help you here.
Biotin Gummies and Supplement
Although biotin is essential for healthy hair growth, the daily recommended intake is extremely low (below 30 micrograms). For this reason, it is almost impossible for a person to be biotin deficient. Too high a dose, however, is not only useless: it could render certain cardiovascular tests incorrect — with potentially fatal results. If you are taking biotin supplement or are planning to take for hair growth, read this article on Taking Biotin Supplements for Hair Growth.
There is absolutely zero evidence that marine extracts do anything to stop or reverse hair loss. Yet empty promises encourage people to buy these products and keep using them until it becomes obvious that the products do nothing.
So-Called LASER Hats
LASER is the acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. If you have any type of laser pointing at your scalp, it’ll most likely burn your skin. The LED (light-emitting diode) caps are the opposite of a laser: there is no amplification happening. For this reason, the term LASER is quite misleading.
But it’s worse than that. These so-called LASER caps have gone through a simple 510K process, which allows medical devices to reach the market. This gives the caps FDA-cleared status. FDA-cleared in NO WAY implies the device has been tested for any sort of efficacy or long-term safety. (For reference, vaginal mesh, metal joint replacements, and hernia mesh are just a few FDA-cleared devices that not only do not work but have caused severe injuries and, in some cases, death.)
At best, shining an infrared LED on your scalp for an hour a day could stimulate the sebaceous secretion and make your hair look a little thicker for a while. But even if these devices stimulate any blood flow during the hour you use them, this will do nothing to reverse the constant constriction of the blood flow caused by the androgenic alopecia (baldness). Plus, there have been no safety studies to determine if there are long-term side effects associated with this type of treatment.
A Better Solution to Hair Loss With No Surgery, Sexual Side Effects, and Wigs
If one decides that they really want to fight this “condition” head-on, It is very important for one to do research and use their own judgment based on what they see.
Scalp Med® was developed at Nevada Hair and Scalp Institute 17 years ago. The only other drug examined, studied, proven and approved by the FDA to re-grow hair is minoxidil. The mechanism is to open the channels back up by dilating the constricted capillaries that feed the follicle. The hypothesis behind Scalp Med®’s development was that the longer you keep those channels open, the faster and more effectively the follicle would be brought back to life. At the same time to topically and internally nourishing the hair for ultimate healthy growth and develop hair care products to detoxify the scalp, cleanse and nourish the hair and thicken the hair shaft, all without the use of toxins and carcinogenic ingredients like sulphates and a lot of other ingredients that are hard to read and pronounce, but have proven to be toxic or carcinogenic. Scalp Med®’s NutriSol® has earned 11 patents worldwide and has been used by over 2,000,000 around the world. To prove our theory to ourselves, we followed the progress of hundreds of Scalp Med® users for a period of between 6 months to over 2 years. These results were documented and certified by each user. Our website is full of countless men and women who grew their hair back with Scalp Med® and voluntarily and for no financial compensation came forward and spoke live on camera about their individual experiences with their process clearly chronicled on our results page and throughout the site. Once we saw this for ourselves we started a series of studies to prove this to the world. Our first study was a large RIPT (Repeated Insult Patch Test) study conducted by an independent CRO who designed and conducted with over 200 participants. This was just to test the tolerance of the product. Our next study was an in-vitro study to see how long it takes for the active ingredient to travel through the dermal layer with and without incorporation of NutriSol®. The study showed the active ingredient to stay at the dermal level for up to 6 times longer (26 hours vs. 4 hours for the peak flux blood level to occur). Of course, larger sized and more studies are required and are planned to follow. Now that we have seen these results we are conducting several other studies and will post them as the results become available.
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