By John C. Anderson Ph.D.
As many young men and women start experiencing hair loss in their early 20s, the first question they ask is how can I nip it in the bud? Clearly, a major issue before jumping into solutions is a clear identification of the reasons for the hair loss. Good hair care is always the first step in a process of ensuring healthy hair.
Good Hair Care is the First Step
Before addressing more serious reasons for hair loss, Capily Institute has identified five easy ways to strengthen your hair to both prevent hair loss and stimulate more growth.
- Protect Your Hair From Damage. Try to avoid washing hair too often, using harsh cleaning and styling products, wearing tight ponytails, brushing hair when wet and exposing it to high temperatures or styling tools.
- Balance Your Diet. Ensuring your meals are rich in protein, iron, zinc and vitamins is integral when it comes to maintaining and promoting healthy hair. Opt for eating foods that are rich in nutrients; such as fish, meat, green vegetables, fruit, yogurt and pulses. You’ll also want to make sure to keep well hydrated, so make a conscious effort to drink six to eight glasses of water throughout the day to encourage healthy hair growth.
- Complement Your Diet with Supplements. Including supplements in your diet is a great way to provide extra care for your hair. Biotin, a B-complex vitamin, is one of the most common supplements you can take to increase hair elasticity and reduce breakage. Other vitamins and elements that can also offer beneficial properties include vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, iron and omega-3.
- Choose Natural Hair Products. When purchasing hair conditioner and treatments, look out for natural, organic products that contain botanical properties and essential oil extracts in their ingredients list. Using natural remedies, along with sulfate and silicone-free products, offers a milder, healthier alternative to care for your hair.
- Stimulate New Hair Growth. Increasing blood flow to the scalp helps provide essential nutrients and stimulate hair follicle growth. Enjoy giving yourself a mini head massage a few times a week, working in circular motions on the scalp with your fingertips, treating your scalp with a massaging brush in the evenings, or try physical exercise that will increase blood circulation. Workouts that are great for the scalp include yoga, aerobics and running.
Topical and Oral Solutions to Arrest Hair Loss May be the Next Step
The most common cause of hair loss for both men and women is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone that leads to androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness). DHT is created through a chemical reaction between testosterone and an enzyme called type II 5-alpha reductase, which lives in a hair follicle’s oil glands. The DHT binds to the follicle’s receptors, shrinks the follicle and impedes further growth. There have been and are a significant number of topical solutions on the market to address this problem.
- Rogaine (Minoxidil). To fight this form of hair loss, Upjohn released prescription-based minoxidil in 1988 under the trade name Rogaine, with FDA studies finding nearly 40 percent of men saw “moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of the head.” In 1992, a version for women hit the market, and in 1996, both were approved for over-the-counter use. It’s believed minoxidil widens blood vessels and opens potassium channels to allow more oxygen, blood and nutrients to reach the follicle.
- Propecia (Finasteride). In 1992, the FDA okayed finasteride for men after a study showed an 83 percent success rate in subjects who continued use for two years. In 1997, Merck released the drug as an ingestible pill under the brand name Propecia, which is shown to affect the anterior mid-scalp and crown regions specifically. Then, in 2002, dutasteride was brought to market as Avodart, which demonstrated a curtailing effect on androgenetic alopecia in each sex. Both drugs are available by prescription only and act as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which slow the creation of hair-loss agent DHT.
The Latest Products on the Market
Based on the research and FDA approvals of the topical and oral solutions outlined above, a number of companies have entered the market with new packages of solutions.
- Revivogen. Revivogen has released two complete treatment sets for men (Revivogen MD) and women (Revivogen PRO). Their treatment package includes a Scalp Therapy Thinning Hair Serum, Bio-Cleansing Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner developed by dermatologists. The natural ingredients utilized in Revivogen MD have been proven to reduce DHT production, block the androgen receptors, and initiate the hair follicles growth cycle. The scalp therapy has been shown in clinical studies to have an 88% success rate, showing improvement in 90 days. Customer reviews on a variety of websites have generally been positive with 4 stars+ ratings.
- Lifes2good launched Viviscal, a series of over-the-counter, drug-free vitamin supplements directed mostly at women that claim to nourish follicles during the crucial anagen (growth) phase when thinning or loss is most likely. Results are supposed to be visible in three to six months and the product can be used simultaneously with other remedies. Viviscal hair growth supplements nourish hair follicles from within in four stages. Users may notice a difference in as little as three or four months. Stage 1 – Nourishes hair follicles from within; Stage 2 – Strengthens and promotes the growth of existing hair*; Stage 3 – Promotes the growth of hair that has slowed or stopped growing and; Stage 4 – Hair is noticeably stronger, healthier and more vibrant. Viviscal received an A- review on smarter-reviews.com with a 9.1/10 rating.
- Nutrafol’s 100% drug-free botanical ingredients are shown to target the multiple causes of thinning hair without compromising sexual health, or any other kind. Nutrafol addresses dysregulated signaling molecules that disrupt healthy hair growth and deficient nutrient absorption and delivery at the hair follicle. Nutrafol includes botanicals like vitamin E extracted from palm oil, ashwagandha, and biocurcumin; vitamins, such as biotin and keratin; and antioxidants such as resveratrol shown to reduce thinning hair. With thousands of reviews, Nutrafol receives and overall rating of 4.7 out of 5.
Understanding the causes of your particular hair loss and identifying the stage of hair loss is very important in developing a treatment plan that can range from addressing the underlying cause (medical or hormonal) to topical or surgical alternatives. The doctors associated with the Capily Institute can help diagnose and treat all forms of hair loss, recommending the best strategy for hair restoration or replacement.