Hair loss has always been accepted by the majority of men as a normal event that should happen to them sooner or later. For centuries, men have lost their hair with age and no one could do a thing about it, though they tried. Despite the inevitability of a seemingly harmless physicality, the socially damaging stigma of baldness has always stuck. In the past few decades however, I guess you could say science has made one small step for mankind, one giant leap for man – modern men are no longer destined to be bald if they do not want to be.
It is important to start with hair loss prevention as soon as possible and get expert advice right from the word go. Because hair loss is not exactly a new concept, there are a lot of bogus and useless “solutions” that have taken advantage of the situation and will sap you of your time and money. There are three FDA approved hair loss treatments and these are what you’re looking for if you’re after the most effective and reliable path to hair restoration.
The first of the three hair loss treatments to get FDA approval was minoxidil. Extensive clinical testing and studies proved it’s an effective topical treatment for hair loss, although it was essentially discovered by accident. It was first used in pill form to treat high blood pressure but users experienced hair growth in unexpected areas such as their cheeks, back of their hands and even foreheads. This unforeseen side effect, along with a slower balding process, prompted scientists to hone in on the medication and develop the first ever proven treatment for hair loss.
Minoxidil solutions vary in strength and because the treatment is dose-dependent, it’s important to get an individual assessment to get an idea of how well you’ll respond to it. Minoxidil 2% and 5% solutions are common but there’s also a stronger 12.5% minoxidil cream for the harder cases of hair loss, like at the widow’s peak area. So, we’ve got the re-growth aspect covered but what about the real reason behind hair loss – can we stop hair loss on a hormonal level? Well, yes actually.
Propecia is undoubtedly the single most effective treatment for male pattern baldness but its active ingredient was originally developed by for the treatment of enlarged prostate glands. Once again, during testing researchers discovered finasteride’s effect on the balding process was groundbreaking, even more so than minoxidil. By hindering the activity of an enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductace, Propecia inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT – the main cause of hair loss.
During 5-year studies, 48% of men taking Propecia experienced hair re-growth and 42% had no further hair loss. Two out of three men who took Propecia re-grew hair and all men not taking Propecia lost hair. In 1997, the FDA approved Propecia (which contained a 1 mg dose of finasteride) as an effective treatment for male pattern hair loss.
The most recent addition to the ranks of FDA approved hair loss treatments is the HairMax LaserComb. There are many forms of low-power laser therapy but none have proven to be effective in encouraging re-growth because they do not penetrate the scalp as effectively. The HairMax LaserComb’s patented mechanism works by using combs to part the hair in order to prevent hair from blocking the light from reaching the scalp. Think of it as the sun helping a bed of flowers to grow – the Laser Comb is specifically designed to encourage hair growth by penetrating and dividing the hair cells to enable the storage of adenosine three phosphate (ATP), a coenzyme responsible for intracellular energy transfer and known to stimulate living cells, including the hair follicles.
Just like a bed of flowers, you’ll need more than light to help a withering head of hair. If the HairMax LaserComb is your sun, think of Propecia as the water and minoxidil as the fertiliser. You’ve got a pretty good combination there to catapult you to gardener of the year stardom. A few hair growth boosters couldn’t hurt either, then the rest is up is up to luck and good advice. And it’s important to act early – if you let the seasons pass and your follicles become dormant, there might not be much hair left to grow.