Another day, another story of a potential hair loss
remedy. So great is the public's interest in preventing baldness
that research into developing the next best hair loss treatment seems to be more active than ever.
Whilst a number of innovations, from hair replication
to the use of JAK inhibitors
, seem to be making great strides towards fighting Male Pattern Baldness
, many potential customers are looking for a 'natural' alternative.
Investigators at the Department of Dermatology at Sina Hospital in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan, have taken up this challenge to a certain extent; they are currently recruiting for a clinical trial into a topical herbal hair loss solution for men with androgenetic alopecia, which is to be used alongside high strength minoxidil
- currently the only topical MHRA licensed and FDA approved genetic hair loss treatment.
Herbal hair loss solution used with minoxidil
According to published trial registration
information, 40 men will take part in a double-blind, randomised trial whereby the results of a novel herbal solution will be compared to those gained from using 5% strength minoxidil. Participants will be aged between 18 and 50 years old, with Male Pattern Hair Loss with a classification of II to V on the Norwood-Hamilton scale
The extensive exclusion criteria ranges from having used hair loss treatment within the past three months, having had a hair transplant or presenting with any additional hair loss condition
. Hormonal diseases, smokers
, men with 'uncontrolled hypertension', liver and kidney disease, skin disorders affecting the scalp, and those with dyed, bleached or permed hair are also ruled out from taking part.
The final approved volunteers will be split at random into two separate groups, with a different treatment arm allocated to each. The experimental group will use an unnamed topical herbal solution every day, applying it to their scalp where there is hair loss, for 3 to 6 months. They will follow this with a daily application of 5% minoxidil liquid, also applied to the affected areas of the scalp, for 3 to 6 months. A control group will use daily applications of 5% minoxidil only over the same period.
The study aims to establish the safety and efficacy of the herbal solution when used in tandem with high strength minoxidil. Results will be assessed at baseline, Month 2 and either Month 4 or Month 6, for changes in total hair density and the hair diameter. Individual assessors will also give their feedback on hair growth over the period in question, and will report any adverse reactions volunteers may experience during the trial.
In addition, participants from both groups will be asked to complete a satisfaction questionnaire regarding how well they think the treatment is working and how happy they are with their appearance, at baseline, Month 2 and, again, Month 4 or Month 6.
Whilst little is known about the topical herbal solution, details submitted to the clinicaltrial.gov database state that it "covers all three major causes of androgenetic alopecia
, namely the 5α-reductase enzyme, androgen receptors, and paracrine agents that affecting dermal papilla."
Dealing with Male Pattern Baldness
Male Pattern Baldness is an hereditary condition which can affect those with the relevant genetic predisposition any time after puberty, and becomes increasingly more likely
the older a man gets. A biological sensitivity to the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
, which is formed by 5 alpha-reductase and testosterone, ensues.
The DHT latches on to hair follicles located along the top of the scalp, from crown to hairline, in men with androgenetic alopecia. This causes gradual weakening of the affected follicles, causing them to produce increasingly thinner hair over time, until they eventually perish, often leading to baldness. The hair at the back and sides of the head remains unaffected.
There are two established, clinically-proven male hair loss treatments
available which are both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for regrowing hair and stabilising hair fall. One is the aforementioned minoxidil, whilst the other is a DHT-blocking one-a-day tablet: finasteride 1mg
. These can be used separately or together as part of a comprehensive approach to deterring hair loss and encouraging hair growth, and additional supplementary supporting products
can be employed for those wanting a fully-rounded approach.
Anyone concerned they are developing signs of Male Pattern Baldness, such as a receding hairline
or thinning hair, should consult a specialist. They can then diagnose their condition, level and pattern of shedding and recommend appropriate treatments based upon their findings as well as the individual's medical profile.