Avacor® Hair Regrowth Blog
2Jan/130

New Hair Loss Treatments

Hair loss has been an issue for centuries, but scientific ways to treat hair loss began to take off in the past 60 or so years. Ointments, transplants, formulations, chemicals, snake oils, and many other products have emerged in the hair loss treatment markets, some of which work well, others which do not. When choosing a hair regrowth treatment, it is important to understand whether a product or method is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whether it will treat your specific situation, and whether the treatment has any side effects that could be potentially hazardous to your overall physical or emotional health.

Image courtesy of uk.askmen.com

Hair follicles are self-regenerating; they produce strands of hair, shed it, and reproduce new hair constantly. However, at some point, the hair follicle stops producing new hair, or produces new hair at a slower rate than the hair is shed, causing hair loss and sometimes baldness. It is this concept that must be understood when creating new ways to treat hair loss. All hair loss treatments aim to assist (or in some cases, replace) hair follicles in producing new hair, whether naturally or synthetically.

Drugs

As far as hair treatments from a lab go, two main drugs have emerged as the leaders in treating hair loss. Minoxidil slows hair loss and promotes hair growth when used correctly. It helps to maintain the hair you have, and is most effective when used in the earlier stages of hair loss, as opposed to when you are bald or close to it. The other drug commonly used is Propecia. Unlike Minoxidil, which has proven effective for both men and women, Propecia only works on men, because it works to stop male hormones (testosterone) from forming DHT, which shortens the hair growth phase. Several studies have revealed that Propecia produces more side effects than Minoxidil, including loss of sex drive, and several other side effects. (Avacor® hair loss treatment products use Minoxidil and are specifically formulated for men and women).

Men looking to treat hair loss can use one or both of these drugs. However, neither will be effective unless used correctly, as directed by the product.

Surgery

Surgeries are another way people treat hair loss, and are an $800 Million industry in the U.S. alone, and a $2 Billion industry worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hair transplants have developed significantly over the last several decades. In the 1980s, large grafts of hair follicles were removed from one area of the head and inserted onto the area experiencing hair loss. The procedure was often painful and the results were mixed; in some cases, hair transplants were quite successful, but not for everyone. Results took a long time to look natural as well. Scalp reduction is another out of date procedure that involved several small incisions on the scalp, which left visible scars.

Nowadays, hair transplant surgery is less invasive than before, requiring much smaller grafts of just one to four hairs. These smaller grafts are less painful and invasive, and have a more natural look since the areas are smaller and more close together.

The Next Evolution: Hair Follicle Regeneration

The new wave of hair loss treatment is hair follicle regeneration. This is essentially a jump start for hair follicles that have stopped or slowed new hair production. Several labs and companies are working on this process, and have seen success manipulating hair follicle stem cells in a test tube. Some companies are experimenting with removing human hair follicles and growing them in a lab. The idea is that if the hair follicles can be re-stimulated using science, then reinserted onto a person’s head, the hair follicles will begin working properly again, growing hair naturally and combating hair loss. This takes hair transplant procedures to the next level by expanding the number of new hair follicles you receive from a hair transplant.

Some people have referred to this process as “hair cloning,” but this is not an entirely accurate description, since the process does not create a new organism. Rather, it is a duplication effort that puts follicles that have the potential to produce new hair into implants that stimulate new growth. M.D. George Cotsarelis predicts this new transplant process is between 5 and 10 years from becoming publicly available.

New Genes

Another recent development in the hair loss treatment world is a new gene called “Sonic hedgehog.” This gene essentially is able to convert hair in the resting stage into new hair growth. Scientists are still in the early stages of experimenting with this gene (and others) to try to control hair follicle size and the growth rate for new hair. If successful, it could become a powerful and popular new way to treat hair loss. Similar experiments are occurring as you read this article in labs all over the world. Using genetics to treat hair loss is similar to how scientists are using genetics to treat disease and other human conditions. These processes and procedures are constantly being updated, and like many other areas of treatment, scientists are paving the way toward new and improved hair loss remedies.

Vitamin D

According to the Wall Street Journal, vitamin D is crucial to hair regrowth. Thus, many efforts to develop new hair loss treatments focus around adding more vitamin D into a person’s diet. In addition to stimulating hair growth, vitamin D also has other benefits for the body, such as improving bone growth. However, too much vitamin D can also cause kidney issues or general weakness, so take care not to overdo it. In many cases, simply changing your diet can actually help with hair loss. Adding the proper amount of vitamin D into your diet from fatty fish and sunlight can help you treat hair loss naturally.

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