The researchers, at the University of Southern California (USC), say that they have discovered that hair loss such as that which occurs in Male Pattern Baldness, is not just triggered by hormones present in the follicles, but in the tissue surrounding the follicle too.
The study’s lead author, Dr Cheng-Ming Chuong of USC, told MyHealthNewsDaily, “The hair-follicle stem cell is not only listening to the voice in the stem cell, but also the voice from outside.” He says that this is very similar to the way in which many animals grow thicker coats or shed fur according to the seasons, but that the signal which enables this to happen is not present in humans.
“This extra follicle-affecting factor has disappeared during human evolution,” Dr Chuong points out. But the scientists are hopeful that their research may pave the way for new hair loss treatments, using methods which not only focus on the hair follicle, but also the tissues surrounding the follicles.
“To deal with the hair growth you not only try to help the stem cell, but you can improve the ‘soil,’ like – you put a tulip bulb in a nicer soil, you will grow nicer hair,” said Chuong.
Understanding Male Pattern Baldness
The current understanding of the causes and processes of Male Pattern Baldness are that the follicles are affected by the chemical dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of testosterone triggered by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.This DHT causes the follicle to shrink, to the extent that it, and the hair it produces, may become microscopic in size.
While these new findings may further aid research into Male Pattern Baldness, it should be remembered that there are already hair loss treatments on the market which can be used to effectively reduce hair loss and even re-grow hair.
Some current hair loss medications, such as Propecia (which is licensed by the MHRA), work by reducing the amount of DHT present in the system. Propecia – the original brand name for the drug finasteride 1mg – has been clinically proven to be both safe and effective for hair regrowth and stabilisation of shedding from pattern hair loss.
Other treatments, such as Minoxidil (also MHRA licensed) take a more holistic approach, as Dr Chuong suggests, dilating the blood vessels in the area surrounding the hair follicles, leading to an increase in nutrient flow. It should be pointed out though that, while Minoxidil has been scientifically proven to work, the reason why it works has not yet been established.
At The Belgravia Centre we use these two treatments together with a range of other personally tailored hair growth boosters, in order to maximise hair growth. One of our key goals is to get the scalp as healthy as possible too, as Dr Chuong puts it, ‘improve the soil’. To do so, we use hair growth boosters such as HairMax LaserCombs, and our own specially formulated hair health food supplement, Hair Vitalics, as well as clinical treatment sessions especially for the vitality of the hair and scalp.
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.