While topical applications of the clinically-proven hair loss medication Minoxidil have achieved significant regrowth success in many cases, like most drugs it does not have a 100 per cent success rate. For people buying the product off-the-shelf – as opposed to using it following a diagnosis and prescription from a hair loss treatment clinic as part of a supervised regrowth plan – a new product is being tested that could eliminate some of the guesswork.
When people choose to undergo hair loss treatment at a professional clinic their bespoke treatment plan is overseen by experts, but those who choose to ‘go it alone’ can sometimes find themselves wondering if the products are working at all. This new device, which is now in the final stages of a two-year study, aims to help give people a better idea if they are likely to benefit from using Minoxidil or not.
The trial is being conducted by California-based Applied Biology Inc, whose business spans a number of dermatological and hair loss interests.
In the trial registration information submitted to the clincialtrials.gov website, they state that “Minoxidil is converted in the scalp to its active form, Minoxidil sulfate, by the sulfotransferase enzyme SULT1A1. The enzyme expression is variable among individuals. We have demonstrated in two prior feasibility studies that the SULT1A1 enzyme activity in plucked hair follicles correlates with Minoxidil response in the treatment of AGA (Male Pattern Baldness) and thus can serve as a predictive biomarker. Consequently, we developed a minoxidil response in-vitro diagnostic kit intended to identify non-responders prior to initiating therapy with 5% topical Minoxidil foam.”
The study has involved 300 men between the ages of 18 and 49, all of whom have the genetic hair loss condition measuring IIIv, IV or V on the Norwood Scale. If their findings prove fruitful, it seems likely that Applied Biology Inc will market their device at men who are intending to buy Minoxidil off the internet or in high street chemists so that they will have a better idea of whether or not the product is likely to be right for them.
Knowing when to stick with it
There is little doubt that such a product could prove useful, as some men do abandon treatment too quickly, convinced it isn’t working for them. In fact it usually takes between three to six months to notice a real difference from using hair loss treatments, depending on the level and pattern of shedding before starting the course.
It is even common for a period of increased hair shedding to occur when starting minoxidil treatment. This can be alarming for people who are not made aware of this or told why it can happen – and that it’s a good sign! – beforehand, causing them to stop treatment early before it has had a chance to work.
A key difference for men who decide to seek treatment via a dedicated hair loss clinic, is that their hair growth is regularly assessed and photographed, with access to on-going support from a dedicated treatment advisor, as well as a team of hair loss specialist nurses, so that prescriptions can be adjusted to suit the individual as their needs change. This experienced approach, combined with the range of high strength minoxidil products used at Belgravia – with and without the additional benefits of complementary hair growth boosters, have provided copious regrowth Success Stories.
For men who are losing their hair and want to address this through pharmaceutical means, minoxidil can also be combined with the daily oral pill finasteride 1mg. This inhibits the formation of DHT – the hormone byproduct which causes thinning hair from genetic hair loss – and is available to men aged 18 and over. However, there are no indications that the device will be able to predict the results of this popular type of combination treatment course at this time.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.