Hair Loss Treatment
There are many different methods of hair loss treatment, from natural remedies to medications and hair transplantation procedures. In this article, we will take a brief look at each hair loss treatment and explain whether it is suitable for the certain form of hair loss.
Natural Home Remedies
As part of naturopathy, natural home remedies are readily available and cheaper alternatives to conventional medications. Here are some home remedies believed to help with hair loss:
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil has an ability to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT, thus helping to prevent hair loss caused by genetic or hormonal causes. It was proved to be effective in men suffering from androgenetic hair loss. The study showed that the hair density of participants who orally took 400 ml of pumpkin seed oil daily for 6 months increased by 40% compared to those who took the placebo.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a versatile, medicinal plant that has many beneficial properties and one of its properties is its anti-hair loss effect. alkaline effect and beta-sitosterol in Aloe Vera can increases blood circulation in the scalp and balanced pH, it therefore should help stimulate the hair growth. Aloe Vera is available in the form of juice or gel in most drugstores. Instructions: Apply daily to the scalp, massage and left it absorb into the scalp without rinsing.
In addition to its positive effects on memory, Ginkgo is also helpful to with hair loss as it can increase blood circulation thereby preventing the hair from nutrient deficiency. Instructions: Apply ginkgo serum to affected area daily as a solution against hair loss.
- Green Tea
Tannin in green tea has an anti-inflammatory activity and is believed to stop hair loss. Green tea contains many antioxidants, so it can provide radical scavenging effect. Based on the principle that free radicals are one of the causes of hair loss, it is therefore believed that antioxidants can stop hair loss. To get these antioxidants, you can drink green tea on a daily basis.
- Argan Oil
Argan oil has beneficial effects on the skin and hair. In addition to antioxidant properties, Argan oil can also stop hair loss since it contains carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamin E. The polyunsaturated fatty acids in Argan oil have the nourishing and strengthening effects on the hair follicles and hair shafts, thereby mitigating hair loss problems. Instructions: Massage Argan oil into the scalp, then rinse. It can be used on a daily basis.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which stimulates blood circulation to the hair follicles. The increase in blood circulation provides hair follicles with nutrients, thus reducing hair loss and stimulating the regeneration of hair. Coconut oil is also effective in treating thinning hair as it contains fatty acids with nourishing effects on the hair roots and hair shafts. Instructions: Massage coconut oil into the scalp, then rinse as. It can be used on a daily basis.
Nettle is a medicinal plant that can help with hair loss as it is rich in minerals and vitamins such as potassium, iron and B vitamins. In addition, nettle seeds contain phytoestrogens with an inhibiting ability against 5a-reductase enzyme, thus preventing testosterone from converting into DHT, a hormone responsible for hair loss. It is therefore can help reduce hair fall. Instructions: Apply nettle extract to hair once a day.
- Vitex Agnus-Castus
Vitex Agnus-Castus or Monk’s pepper is a plant native to the Mediterranean region that contains plant hormones called phytohormones. It can help balance the hormonal levels in the body and is commonly used to regulate the menstrual cycle in women. It has been reported to have beneficial effects on hair growth.
Fenugreek is a native plant to the Mediterranean region. It seeds contain nutrients important for hair growth, such as vitamin C, B vitamins and iron. Therefore, it can strengthen and increase hair density by taking fenugreek tablets daily.
- Castor Oil
Castor oil is extracted from Ricinus Communis plant and is said to be beneficial for hair loss as it is rich in omega-9 fatty acids, which nourish, strengthen and stimulate hair growth. You can use castor oils marketed as a hair treatment and general castor oil as ingredients are not much different. Instructions: Apply directly on the balding area.
- Biotin Tablets
Biotin, which is also referred to as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is important for strength of skin and hair. It can help with hair loss as it is an important constituent of keratin and since nails, hair and skin are made up of keratin, biotin is essential for keratin production. Therefore, biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss. Symptoms of biotin deficiency are such as muscle pain and loss of appetite. Nuts, spinach and oatmeal are rich in biotin. In addition, you can purchase biotin tablets from pharmacies. Taking biotin-rich plants or biotin tablets can provide you with its effects.
Zinc is a mineral that is important for collagen production and collagen is important to hair because it is a structural protein that is responsible for holding hair follicles to the skin. Therefore, zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss and circular hair loss (alopecia areata) is known to be more prevalent with zinc deficiency. In most cases, we can get zinc from diet such as Brazil nuts, lentils or meat and fish or zinc tablets.
- Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is a native plant of North America. Its seeds can be used to keep the hair healthy and improve the appearance of the skin. Saw palmetto extract can inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone responsible for hair loss. At present, saw palm oil is available in any pharmacies in the form of shampoos and extracts.
Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound found in broccoli, horseradish, and rucola. It has an ability to lower DHT level and thereby reducing hair loss. A study in Japan confirmed that sulforaphane stimulates the production of 3-alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and significantly reduce DHT level. You can eat the plants mentioned above or take sulforaphane extract tablets to get its effects.
Conclusions: Natural home remedies for hair loss and hair thinning
Although natural home remedies are readily available at cheap price without harmful side effects, there is no definitive scientific proof of their effectiveness in treating hair loss.
Beauty Care Products
- Caffeine Shampoo
Hair loss shampoos are available over-the-counter at drugstores and are intended to provide quick solution. Caffeine-containing shampoos can stimulate hair regrowth, but there is no definitive scientific proof that caffeine has a therapeutic effect on hair loss. However, caffeine shampoos are cheaper than other methods and are readily available so they can be used as an initial treatment.
Alpecin is the most well-known caffeine shampoo developed by Dr. Wolff. The manufacturer states that this shampoo is intended to stop androgenetic alopecia by prolonging the growth phase of hair follicles. Alpecin is also said to help with scalp issues, but it is still controversial whether Alpecin can actually treat hair loss.
- Ketoconazole Shampoo
Ketoconazole shampoo was originally developed to treat eczema, not hair loss. Although there is not enough scientific evidence to support this claim, this shampoo was later reported to be helpful in treating hair loss and stimulating new hair growth. However, the use of this shampoo may cause some side effects such as skin irritation, acne, and dysgeusia and eye irritation. Therefore, in many countries, this shampoo is required by laws to be sell as medical product which requires a prescription instead of selling it as a cosmetic product.
- 2% Pyrithione Zinc Shampoo
Pyrithione zinc is an active ingredient used in many anti-dandruff shampoos for get rid of dead skin cells from the scalp. Therefore, this shampoo is useful if the cause of hair loss is due to the accumulation of dead skin cells that inhibit hair growth. However, it has no effect in the hair loss caused by genetics.
Nioxin shampoo contains caffeine, niacinamide, and panthenol, which stimulate hair growth and prevent hair breakage. This shampoo is also recommended for preventing excessive hair loss in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, as other caffeine shampoos, there is not enough scientific proof.
- Thiocyn Hair Serum
Thiocyn is a hair serum developed using knowledge of thiocyanate, a molecule found naturally in the body and is believed to increase the density of hair. In addition to thiocyanate, this hair care product also contains arginine and panthenol. Although there is no definitive evidence for the effectiveness of Thiocyn, the active ingredient is only effective for the hair present on the scalp. Instructions: Apply to the scalp once a day.
Trichosense is topical hair care product containing melatonin, ginkgo, and biotin. However, it has not been proven effective in treating hair loss. Instruction: Apply the product to the scalp at bedtime.
Conclusions: Beauty Care Products
Beauty care products such as anti-hair loss shampoos and serums are often claimed as instant, magical cure for hair loss. But in reality, these products tend to be slow to produce results and there is no strong scientific evidence to support their effectiveness (especially by clinical trials). However, these products usually do not cause side effects, so it’s not hurt to try some of them.
Minoxidil was originally developed as an antihypertensive. However, several studies have shown that minoxidil can stimulate hair growth and prevent the progression of hair loss. Although there is a lot of research proving that it is effective, scientists are still not sure how it can prevent hair loss. It is said to be the result of increased blood circulation in the scalp. Instructions: Apply minoxidil foam or solution to the affected area.
Rogaine (also known as Regaine) is one of the most well-known minoxidil-containing products. It is manufacted by Johnson & Johnson and is claimed to be a preventative treatment for hair loss and it can even stimulate hair growth in some cases. According to a one-year observational study with 11,000 users, 92% of users showed decreased degree of hair loss and about 30% of users reported improvement in hair growth. There are also medical guidelines confirmed that minoxidil is effective in treating hair loss. However, the effect of minoxidil is not permanent. Continued use is recommended as the symptoms of hair loss resume 3 months after medication is discontinued.
Originally, finasteride was developed for the treatment of other conditions, but there are many reports that it can stop hair loss. There are several studies that proved that finasteride has an inhibiting activity on 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, preventing testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), thereby stopping hormone-induced hair loss. One of the celebrities who used finasteride is Donald Trump. Despite his old age, Donald Trump still has a full hair on his head. However, some users experience sexual dysfunction (and also mental issues in rare cases).
- Propecia and Proscar
Propecia is a product from Merck & Co. containing 1 mg of finasteride. When used regularly, Propecia is as effective as other products containing finasteride or minoxidil. It is not recommended for women with hair loss. Instructions: Take a tablet a day (requires a prescription). Merck & Co. also sells a drug for the treatment of an benign prostate enlargement under the brand name Proscar, which is priced similarly to Propecia. This product contains 5 mg of finasteride. For this reason, the doctors may prescribe Proscar to patients suffering from hair loss with 1/4 tablet of this medication.
- Trent, Actavis, TopFond and Finpecia
The patent on finasteride tablets held by Merck & Co. expired in October 2014. This allows other companies to produce finasteride and currently, finasteride tablets can be found under various brand names: such as Trent, Actavis, TopFond, and Finpecia. They are much cheaper compared to Propecia and Proscare despite the same active ingredients,
Dutasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. It prevents testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone responsible for androgenetic hair loss. This substance has very similar effects to finasteride and was originally developed for treating benign prostate enlargement. Although Dutasteride may be effective against hair loss, it hasn’t been proven with enough scientific research. Instructions: Take dutasteride tablet once a day.
Pantosin is a product from Merz. Its active ingredient is Alfatradiol. Pantosin can be used in both men and women. Alfatradiol is effective as finasteride in inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, the effect of Pantostin or Alfatradiol is still controversial and not sufficiently scientifically proven. Instructions: Apply the product to the affected area once a day.
The active ingredient in Ell-Cranell is Alfatradiol. Instructions: Apply to the scalp as with Pantostin.
Priorin is a product from Bayer. It contains mineral and vitamin complex, L-cysteine, millet extract, wheat bran oil and pantothenic acid. It is used to treat hair loss caused by malnutrition or vitamin deficiency, but is not suitable for androgenetic alopecia. Instructions: Take once in the morning and once in the evening.
Pantovigar is a product of Merz. It has the same exact ingredients as Priorin. Pantovigar also contains medical yeast and keratin. Like Priorin, it is recommended for improving hair loss caused by malnutrition or vitamin deficiency. However, there is no definitive proof that it is effective in treating androgenetic alopecia.
Finasteride and minoxidil are among the drugs that are scientifically proven to be effective in treating hair loss. In most cases, these medications can stop the progression of androgenetic alopecia and are also effective in stimulating hair regrowth in some patients. However, they pose some side effects and only work on existing hair, it cannot regrow hair in the bald area with no hair left.
- Topical Immunotherapy
Topical immunotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for alopecia areata or circular hair loss. During treatment, the immune sensitivity to allergens (e.g. diphenylcyprone (DPC)) in the problem area is increased to induce an allergic reaction to stimulate hair growth. This method has been scientifically proven to be effective with the success rate of about 50%. However, this method is not suitable for androgenetic alopecia.
Mesotherapy involves injection of a high concentration of vitamin solution into the balding area to restore and strengthen the hair follicles and improve blood circulation. Mesotherapy is a non-severe side-effect hair loss treatment and is a combination of medication, naturopathy and Asian acupuncture. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to support it and it is controversial whether this method is effective.
- PRP Platelet-Rich Plasma
PRP stands for “platelet-rich plasma”. In PRP, the patient’s blood is processed to separate red blood cells from the plasma. Then concentrated plasma (PRP) is injected directly at the hair follicles to stimulates hair follicles and promotes hair follicle regeneration. A study in 2014 in Italy by the University of Padua confirmed that PRP has a positive effect on the treatment of hair loss.
- Low-Level Laser Therapy
Not only removal of existing tattoos and birthmarks, modern laser techniques can also be used in treating hair loss. It was found that applying a low-intensity laser to the scalp in the infrared range for about 15 minutes can stimulate hair growth. The effect of this laser treatment has not yet been confirmed through scientific research. This method is performed twice a month and may take more than a year.
- Micro Hair Pigmentation (MHP)
In recent years, scalp micropigmentation or micro hair pigmentation has grown in popularity. This method does not stimulate hair growth, but instead the ink is deposited on the scalp to make it appear thicker. There are also several advantages of this method, such as no need for surgery and the cost is cheaper than hair transplantation. Of course, micro hair pigmentation has its drawbacks too. It is not suitable for people with dark hair and the ink may fade after a few years.
Rolling Dermaroller along the scalp is believed to stimulate hair regrowth as it may improve blood circulation. It has been reported that the combination of Dermaroller with minoxidil is more effective than minoxidil alone.
Conclusions: Non-surgical Treatments
These hair loss treatments have not been scientifically proven in terms of efficacy and side effects. From the results of recent studies, many hair loss experts hope that stem cell therapy will lead to advances in hair loss medications but this treatment is still not very common.
Hair Loss Treatments From Researches (not yet approved by FDA)
- JAK Inhibitor Olumiant (Baricitinib)
Interest in JAK inhibitors, inflammatory enzymes related to various types of immunosuppressive diseases and can be used to treat androgenetic areata, was sparked by Angela Christiano, a geneticist at Columbia University. They were found to have positive effects in stopping the progression of hair loss. Many pharmaceutical companies are currently researching the effects of these inhibitors through clinical trials, but more studies are needed to get approval by FDA.
- Stem Cells and 3D Printing
Hair transplantation using stem cells combined with 3D printing technology is believed to be a major advancement in hair transplantation. This is because one of the major problems with hair transplantation today is that the grafts must be taken from the donor area on the patient’s head. Therefore, the amount of grafts that can be extracted is limited and the donor area becomes thinner.
Stem cells would be able to provide a new source of hair however, 3D printing must also be used to replicate hair follicles to direct the stem cells growth. There are still issues with finding a way to get the stem cells to grow in with the patient’s original color or texture. Stem cell treatments may be able to reconstruct hair by using 3D printing technology to replicate hair follicles. But there is still a problem in getting the stem cells to grow in the same color or texture as the patient’s original hair.
- Tissue Engineered Hair Follicles (hair cloning)
Many scientists and physicians hope that in the coming years, biometric engineering research will make it possible to perform hair transplantation from human cell culture. The cells act as a scaffold for the new hair follicles to replicate the natural appearance of the original hair, thereby solving problems in patients with insufficient grafts for hair transplantation
- Hair Transplantation
The number of hair transplant patients in Europe nearly doubled from 45,000 to nearly 80,000 between 2014 and 2016. One of the main reasons is the lower cost due to the affordable offers from other countries (especially cheap hair transplantation procedure in turkey). A recent study found that the vast majority of US users are willing to travel abroad for hair transplant services. Therefore, the price of hair transplants has been reduced to make it more accessible to the general public. Therefore, the price of hair transplantation has been reduced to make it more accessible to the general public.
In hair transplantation, the patient’s hair is taken from a donor area and inserted in the recipient area. The transplanted hair will not fall out from the scalp as it is still resistant to DHT, a hormone responsible for androgenetic alopecia. Therefore, hair transplantation is a permanent solution to hair loss. FUT and FUE are the most commonly used hair transplantation methods.
Hair transplantation is a cost-effective long-term option as is provides permanent results. Many hair loss treatment products will only produce good results with regular use, making them much more extensive than hair transplantation over time.
There are many medications and products that are beneficial for hair loss, but only a few have been proven effective in treating it.
Minoxidil and finasteride are the only two medications that have been proven effective in stopping the progression of hair loss and stimulating hair growth. However, minoxidil and finasteride also have side effects, such as a rapid tachycardia or sexual dysfunction. In addition, these medications only produce good results with regular use, making them much more extensive than hair transplantation over time.
For this reason, hair transplantation is necessary in many patients, especially those with androgenetic alopecia. It is the only method that produces permanent results and has fewer side effects than minoxidil and finasteride.
Many hair loss remedies claim to be miracle cures. However, only a few of these treatments have been proven by scientific studies as effective in treating hair loss, such as finasteride and minoxidil, including hair transplantation.
No. Hair cannot be regrown in the area with no hair follicle left. The only way to do that is by transplanting hair from another area of the body or head into the balding area. However, finasteride and minoxidil have been proven effective in stimulating growth and increasing density in areas with thinning hair.
Minoxidil and hair transplantation are suitable methods for female androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil is to be applied to the affected area in the morning and evening. However, finasteride is not an effective treatment for female hair loss.