When it comes to image maintenance, men have comparatively easy or at least that’s what the world assumes. You can skip over makeup, Brazilian waxes, and cellulite lotions but thanks to the double-edged sword called life, men also have their own cross to bear in the name of aesthetics: namely hair loss and the search for baldness cures.
According to research, almost 50 percent of men will experience some degree of male pattern baldness by the time they’re fifty. And, for many, that starts far earlier, with some battling the condition in their late teens.
So, biologically speaking, what exactly is the root of the problem?
Ironically, you are. Or rather blame your testosterone. Once a man starts aging it morphs into an androgen – a female sex hormone, known as Dihydrotestosterone – that attacks the hair follicles like a poison. It slowly kills the roots, causing hair to weaken until they die. It happens randomly and society tends to offer little sympathy – which unfortunate considering many men find this process frustrating. There has been a revolution in biology. Armed with powerful new tools, scientists are learning how to read the complex chemical languages of the body, including new treatments for hair loss.
Here are some promising cures for hair loss. Some of them are already available while others are still developing.
Table of Contents
1. Stem Cells
One of the main limitations of having a hair transplant is that the number of hair could be produced from the back of the scalp which will look thin, stem cloning will address that issue completely. A team of researchers from the University of Southern California has managed to grow hair starting from stem cells. In the future, this work can inspire a strategy for stimulating hair growth in patients with conditions ranging from alopecia to baldness. Research conducted in Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute has also used stem cells originated from the skin of human being to grow hair if grafted onto the animal skin.
A document explaining this study that was published on the 21st of January 2015 could found in the PLOS One medical magazine. One member of the research team, Dr. Alexey stated: “Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isn’t limited by the availability of existing hair follicles.” Once successfully developed, this could transform a fully bald man or woman to the head of hair they had as a teenager. The main challenge now will be replicating their results in large-scale human trials.
By now, many people know that men can buy shampoo with an ingredient called minoxidil. Minoxidil was originally developed as Rogaine, that fights androgenic alopecia in both men and women.
It is still not clear how minoxidil works. And there is disagreement about how well it works. If used properly (twice a day, massaged deep into the scalp ) it might help to slow hair loss. It also promotes new hair growth, even though experts disagree about how much. This drug is not something a bald person would use, but someone starting to go bald can use it. The goal is to maintain the hair you have.
The other currently approved drug for hair loss is Propecia (generic name, finasteride). It works only for men. It keeps the male sex hormone testosterone from forming its DHT by-product. DHT signals shorten the growth phase and lengthen the rest stage of hormone-sensitive follicles.
One side effect of Propecia can be the loss of libido. But it usually goes away later.
3. 3-D printers
3-d printers might be the solution to finally cure baldness. Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is attempting to print living hair follicles and transplant them on to a patient’s head. Those follicles can be printed and inserted into the patient’s head by using living cells of their own hair.
The printer works by firing a laser at a cartridge containing “ink”, which is, in fact, a suspension of cells. The laser propels a stream of these cells onto a substrate, a substance containing nutrients on which they can grow.
By doing this layer by layer, researchers believe they could grow something similar to a hair follicle. It is a difficult process but scientist believes that growing hair follicle in a lab might one day revolutionize the hair loss problems.
4. Bee Glue-Propolis
Propolis, a resin-like substance used by honeybees to patch up holes in their hives, has been known for its healing properties. But this magical substance might also be your solution for hair loss. researchers have been successful in growing hair in mice with the help of propolis. The study is clear that its findings are related to hair loss caused by inflammation. This includes hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, and alopecia universalis. However, as genetic hair loss is caused by a predisposed sensitivity to the hormone DHT and is nothing to do with inflammation, propolis is unlikely to aid hair regrowth in cases of female or male pattern baldness. Scientists continue to study the effect of propolis on human hair follicles.
5. The “Vampire Treatment”
Also called as Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, this treatment is one of the best-preferred treatments by hair loss sufferers. It is extensively used in Dentistry, Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery. This hair loss cure takes after vampire facelift that is done on the face in order to minimize acne scarring, reduce lines as well as wrinkles. This is not a new method; however, it’s becoming popular due to its capability to cure the aesthetic state of thinning hair. According to the reports published in the May 2013 issue of British Journal of Dermatology, stated that restoring hair development on bald patches is likely through injecting with platelet-rich plasma. It’s called the vampire treatment as blood is taken from the patient who gets rid of the platelet-rich plasma. And then the PRP is inserted back into the scalp, thus energizes your scalp with new and active blood flow.
6. Follicular Unit Extraction technique (FUE)
This is a one of less invasion technique which harvests the Hair Follicles of affected people and later transplants the same on them to witness effective improvement in baldness. FUE is a method of hair restoration where hair follicles are extracted from areas of the head where the hair is thicker under local anesthetic then implanted into the bald area.
7. Low Light Laser Therapy
Hairmax low light laser therapy products are said to be the most reliable and effective ones. The company has a series of Laser Combs. The cure is applied on weekly basis or more often. Remarkably, the Hairmax Laser Comb was the third product to get FDA support for a cure of genetic balding. Though various scalps are extremely responsive low light therapy, others seem to just reap the advantage of slowing hair loss.
DNA-testing is only starting to be available commercially and by the year 2020, you will be able to depend on the possibility that it will be more affordable and advanced. Knowing for a reality at a young age whether or not somebody will be liable to baldness will make a big difference. Thus it will aid an individual to plan, budget, as well as research their choices before their hair starts or begins thinning.
9. Hair Regeneration Technique
Hair Regeneration is another technique under stem cell therapy which is a non-surgical, non-invasive method of treating baldness or hair loss. Usually, an adult’s stem cell that has wound-healing properties is injected into the scalp.
There are three treatments used for hair regeneration
- Extracellular matrix (ECM)
ECM has wound-healing properties that attract an increased supply of blood as well as adult stem cells which lead to the duplication of tissue. When this is used for treating hair loss, it can restore healthy cells to stimulate hair growth.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
PRP is taken from the patient’s blood. It is the serum that is isolated and has regenerating properties. Vitamin D can help in the transformation of cells to become healthy follicles
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D can help in the transformation of cells to become healthy follicles.
10. Caffeine shampoo
Alpecin C1 is a shampoo that contains caffeine. Why put caffeine in a shampoo? Well, Dr. Wolff-Research, the people behind the product, claims that the caffeine actually promotes hair growth and strengthens hair. It was proved that caffeine prevented the negative effects of testosterone on hair. If you are suffering from male pattern baldness, it may initially improve the appearance of your hair slightly. But this might just be as a result of reduced telogen hair. This is only a temporary solution and doesn’t address the root cause.