As if to prove the point that myths about hair loss cures can come from literally anywhere, reality TV stars Stavros Flatley recently lent their weight to the idea that getting cows to lick a bald head will make hair grow back.
The dancing Greek duo, who first appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, were taking part in ITV’s weight-loss show Sugar Free Farm when the younger member of the team – son Lagi, now age 20 – was in a cow-shed with his father, Demi, 49.
With tongue firmly in cheek, Lagi told his dad that his hair would grow back if he let the cows have a good lick. “Really?” asked dad, before walking over to the cows and offering up his bald head.
Unsurprisingly, this bovine encounter had no immediate effect. Nor is there any evidence that he can expect his hair to return any time soon.
Genetic hair loss
Demi’s baldness is almost certainly a result of the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness, something that will affect around half of all men by the time they are 50. He doesn’t appear to be completely bald; rather it would seem that he shaves his head to keep it looking smooth. If he were to let it grow, it seems likely that he would have a significant bald patch at his crown and a receding hairline.
Pharmaceutical Male Pattern Baldness treatment is very popular among men who want to keep their locks; clinically-proven products are able to deter the production of the testosterone by-product that causes hair to thin out in men with a genetically-predisposed sensitivity to it, and also also encourage the growth of new hair.
Whether or not such products would have much effect on Demi are doubtful, as it looks as if his hair loss is perhaps too pronounced. It is in less severe cases of MPB, before true baldness has set in, that treatment from a specialist clinic is usually more effective. This is because once the head has taken on a shiny, smooth appearance it is a sign that the hair follicles are no longer able to function or open to stimulation.
If Demi is a true fan of the “I’ll give anything a go” route, however, then nature has more in store. And cows feature heavily. In parts of India, cow urine is said to restore lost hair. Unfortunately, you have to drink it – and it also needs to be a very specific cow, namely a virgin cow from a sacred cow owner named DD Sinhgal. Unsurprisingly, there is no clinical evidence to suggest this really works.
Likewise, rubbing cow dung into a bald scalp – as suggested in various Native American remedies – is not likely to see shiny scalps turn into hairy ones.
Serious message about diabetes
What is worth bearing in mind, perhaps, is that the Sugar Free Farm did have a serious message, in that it extolled the virtues of a healthy, sugar-free diet. A massive hike in global sugar intake has partly been blamed for the world’s current obesity epidemic and even to thinning hair. Conversely sugar-free products which contain chemical sugar substitutes have also been linked to hairloss.
One result of the world’s fast-growing appetite for refined sugar is an increase in the number of type-2 diabetes cases. Diabetes can lead to hair loss – usually temporary – as the body gets used to the hormonal imbalance that can be caused by diabetes treatment. This was one of the health conditions Demi was warned he was putting himself at risk of before losing three stone on the reality TV show, due to his excess belly fat.
If you’re worried about hair thinning, it’s usually a good idea to visit a specialist hair loss clinic for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.
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.