In today’s post, we will discuss on receding hair line in men, what causes this and the best treatments to treat receding hairline.
Receding Hairline in men can start any time after puberty. It is one of the first signs of male pattern baldness and can be caused by a variety of factors like:
Age: Most men in their 30’s have a receding hairline. But for some men, it can start very early and can be the first sign of male pattern baldness.
Family History: The Genes play the most important role in male pattern baldness and receding hairline.
Hormones: Dihyrotestosterone, in short DHT is the main hormone responsible for causing the follicles to shrink or miniaturise them initially and then it completely kills the follicles and no hair can grow in them anymore. More than DHT hormone, the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT is the major concern which is again genetically determined.
Let’s discuss the treatment options for a receding hairline. There is no instant cure for receding hairline and baldness. The medical treatment aims at reviving the shrunken hair follicles back to normal, but cannot revive the hair follicles that are already dead!
On #1: Changing Hair Styles or growing longer hair in the frontal region can be a temporary solution to make your feel confident and positive!
On #2: Minoxidil: This is an over-the-counter scalp solution to help slow the rate of hair loss. The effects typically last as long as a person uses the treatment, but baldness will return once a person stops using it. You can start with 2% or 5% minoxidil solution once daily or twice daily depending on the severity of hair loss.
On #3: Finasteride, 1 milligram daily is the best medical remedy to block DHT and hence can bring back a shrunken hair follicle back to life. But remember, It may not work if the hair loss is more than an year old, because the follicles in the bald patch have no life.
On #4: Laser therapy using a red light or laser at a wavelength of 660 nanometers may also increase hair growth in some people.
On #5: Hair Transplantation: This is a permanent solution to solve the problem of receding hairline. Before you undergo this procedure, you have to opt for either FUE or FUT method and also choose the best possible clinic with sophisticated robotic surgical device like the ARTAS system for best results. We have discussed Hair Transplantation in detail in another post.
In today’s post we will answer two frequently asked questions on hair loss in men – Does body building cause hair loss and do creatine supplements for body building lead to baldness.
Having done so many episodes on DHT and hair loss, most of you may develop misconceptions that DHT – Dihydrotestosterone is some evil androgen hormone that serves no purpose in the body but to make our prostates bigger and cause baldness. But infact the actual situation is much more complex. For some people, reducing or eliminating DHT may be the only concern but for some other people keeping DHT levels under control may be the best option.
To understand whether body building causes premature baldness, You need to know the differences in the functions of DHT – dihydrotestosterone and its precursor Testosterone.
To quickly sum up DHT is biologically important for:
Sexual differentiation into a male foetus during embryogenesis,
Maturation of the penis and scrotum at puberty,
Growth of facial and body hair after puberty.
Development and maintenance of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles.
Lastly the negative one: That’s Receding Hairline and Male Pattern Baldness by gradually miniaturizing the hair follicles.
DHT – Dihydrotestosterone is produced from the prohormone testosterone by the action of enzyme 5α-reductase in selected tissues, like in the genitals, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, skin, and hair follicles.
Now, Let’s quickly sum up the Functions of the hormone Testosterone. It’s important for:
Sperm production and Male Fertility
Muscle and Bone development – Remember this.
Voice Deepening from puberty onwards
Acne and sebum production
Libido and Erections.
You can clearly see Testosterone is important for Muscle and bone development function. It is also important to understand that even though testosterone is the active androgen in muscle, and DHT exhibits relatively little direct anabolic effects on muscle in men, DHT is still very important for the full performance enhancement effects from testosterone. What I specifically mean here are the effects of DHT on the central nervous system that lead to increased neurological efficiency (strength or power of muscles), and it’s also important for increased resistance to psychological and physical stress and finally for optimal sexual function and libido. Hence you notice adverse effects of DHT blockers like finasteride on long term use in a small percentage of hairloss patients.
Now let’s Answer the question – Why do most body builders get bald early?
There are bodybuilders who do not use steroids or exogenous testosterone and build muscle naturally, And then there are professional bodybuilders who use a muscle building drugs that are high in testosterone.
Natural ways of body building like lifting heavy weights and weight training programs increase the circulating testosterone levels and help in muscle development. But anything in excess is converted to DHT and may cause some hair loss. But according to studies High levels of testosterone specially the exogenous formulations or steriods can cause increase in levels of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which can induce premature male pattern baldness in body builders. But remember, baldness is multifactorial, the most important factor being your genes. Remember those with DHT sensitive hair follicles and not everyone will go bald and this is genetically programmed.
Now, the next question: Do Creatine supplements for muscle building cause hair loss?
Creatine is one of the most widely used bodybuilding supplements. It’s naturally found in animal products like red meat, but can be easily purchased as a supplement from any drug store. Many studies have shown creatine to increase muscle strength and athletic performance.
A 2009 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine says that creatine may increase the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and may accelerate male pattern baldness in genetically predisposed individuals. Remember, Creatine in addition to hair loss can cause kidney failure in many body builders.
In today’s post we will look into the positive and negative effects or functions of DHT – Dihydrotestosterone in our body.
We have done so many posts and videos on DHT and hair loss and most of you may develop misconceptions that DHT is some evil androgen hormone that serves no purpose in the body but to make our prostates bigger and cause male pattern baldness
Let’s First look into the 10 Positive effects of DHT and lastly the Negative effects. All research article links related to this topic are provided in the description link below.
During Embryogenesis or Foetus development, DHT is needed for sexual differentiation into a male foetus.
During Puberty, DHT is critical to the development of the penis and prostate in men.
After Puberty, DHT is essential for development of male features like body hair,facial hair, pubic hair, muscle growth, and a deep voice.
In Adults, DHT is essential for the development and maintenance of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles and contributes to the volume of semen.
Libido and Erections: Here there are lot of controversies that the primary hormone needed for the drive and erections is testosterone and not DHT. But the fact of the matter is DHT is also important due to its effects on the central nervous system that provides increased neurological efficiency (strength), and increased resistance to psychological and physical stress. Hence we notice depression and loss of libido in a small percentage of patients treated with DHT blockers like finasteride for hair loss.
Blood Sugar Control and Obesity: According to a study, it may lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes in males with improved insulin-sensitivity and reduces the body fat and controls obesity.
Improves Memory: A study showed Men between the ages of 34 and 70 showed improvements in memory when treated with DHT skin patches.
Muscles and Bones: Studies have shown that DHT levels correlate with the Muscle Power as well as muscle mass, though the main hormone responsible for muscle and bone development is testosterone. And increased DHT levels are associated with higher bone density in men.
Heart and DHT: Increased levels of DHT were associated with lower amounts of fat deposits in the hearts and coronary arteries of men and hence lesser chance of a coronary artery disease.
Depression and Anxiety: The anti-anxiety effect of DHT and testosterone are due to the actions of DHT on the central nervous system. This is the reason why DHT blockers like finasteride may induce depression in as small percentage of hair loss patients on long term use.
Now let’s List out the Negative or Harmful effects of DHT on our body.
Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia. Yes as discussed in our previous episodes, its proven that Higher levels of DHT act on the DHT receptors located on hair follicles in scalp and cause miniaturization of the hair follicles and ultimately kills the hair follicle. Of course this depends on the sensitivity of hair follicles on DHT and your genes.
Acne and excessive sebum production is due to increased levels of DHT.
Prostate Enlargement and Cancer: Many studies have proven this. Though DHT is required for the normal development and maintenance of the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles, it’s also responsible for benign enlargement of prostate (BPH) and also prostate cancer.
There are tons of misconceptions in the world of hair care! Every guy is at risk of losing his hair, some more quickly than others. In Today’s episode we will reveal the true facts and answer the most frequently asked question: Is it Possible to regrow Lost Hair?
Well, To understand the situation, you need to know some basics like How your hair grows from your hair follicle or hair root and also Temporary hair loss and permanent hair loss.
So, let’s quickly understand the structure of hair follicle or hair root in most simplified way. You can imagine the hair follicle as a vase and the hair as the stem of a flower. As you can see in this illustration, the hair follicle is underneath the skin and has its own blood supply which supplies nutrients and minerals for hair growth. The hair that grows above the skin surface is a dead structure made of a collagen tissue called keratin.
Having said that, now let’s classify hair loss. Hair loss can be either Temporary or Permanent. Temporary hair loss can be due to many factors like Stress, Nutritional deficiencies, certain medications like the anti-cancer drugs and stuff like that! Whereas, the Permanent hair loss is the Male Pattern Baldness or Andro-genetic Alopecia.
Now, Let’s answer the question: Is it possible to regrow lost hair?
Well, in the first scenario, that’s Temporary baldness due to stress and nutritional factors, the Answer is a Big YES! Once the cause of hair loss is withdrawn or rectified, your hair grows back to normal most of the times!
Whereas, in the second scenario, that’s Permanent Baldness or Male pattern hair loss, the Answer is YES as well as a NO! Let me explain this further.
You must know the process of Miniaturization of Hair follicle. Miniaturization simply means shrinking of the hair follicle. This is due the action of a male hormone called DHT – Dihydrotestosterone which is formed from Testosterone by the enzyme 5-Alpha Reductase. This DHT hormone acts on the hair follicles and persistent action of this DHT on hair follicles causes a gradual shrinking or weakening of the hair follicle. Remember! It’s a gradual process which ultimately kills the hair follicle which no longer produces any hair.
Now Let’s again go back to our Question in this scenario of permanent hair loss.
Is it possible to regrow lost hair?
Well, If your hair loss is recent with a family history of baldness, then probably your hair follicle is still in miniaturized state and not completely dead. The sooner you start the treatment, chances are more likely that you can convert the miniaturized follicle back to a healthy follicle and again remember it’s a gradual process. You need to have full patience with regular treatment. We will discuss the treatment part in the end.
Now, what if you have this bald patch or frontal hair line recession which is more than a year old? Well, in this case, it’s unlikely to grow back your lost hair. The only solution or treatment for this is Hair Transplantation. We have discussed in detail about hair transplantation.
Well, Now the treatment part for recent onset male pattern baldness. The only way to treat this baldness is to block or reduce the DHT levels in blood and increase blood circulation for proper nutrient supply to bring back the miniaturized or shrunken hair follicles back to normal.
In Today’s post, we will help you locate your stage of baldness on the international Norwood’s scale and suggest medical hair loss treatments for every stage for reversing baldness stage-wise backwards!
Will will not go into the science and mechanism of male pattern baldness in this video. We have discussed all these in our previous episodes.
Let’s get started!
Baldness is staged commonly using the International Norwood’s scale, the hair loss stages are described with a number ranging from 1 to 7 depending on the severity of hair loss.
Let’s start with:
Norwood Stage 1: This type describes the least amount of hair loss with an adolescent type of hair line. You can consider this normal unless you have a family history of male pattern baldness. If you have a family history closely monitor your hairline to determine if your hair loss develops into stage 2. And No Treatment is necessary at for stage 1.
Norwood Stage 2: This stage means a small amount of hair loss with progression to the adult type of hair line. Here there is slight recession of hair line around the sides or temples.
Regarding Treatment for this stage. If you have family history, first consult a doctor to verify that your hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness. There is a good chance that, with treatment, you can regain most of your lost hair and prevent progression into stage 3. You can start with simple treatment like 2 percent topical minoxidil application at this stage or start rolling a 0.5mm derma roller once a week with or without minoxidil solution. You can check out my detailed post on derma roller for hair loss.
Norwood Stage 3: This stage describes a mild to moderate amount of hair loss. This is the earliest stage of hair loss considered cosmetically significant enough to be called “baldness” according to Norwood scale. At this stage, most men show a deep bilaterally symmetrical recession of hairline at the temples that is sides, which are either completely void of hair or only sparsely covered with hair. This resembles letter M, U, or V shape. The vertex figure here shows the additional thinning of the hair at the crown of the head.
This is the most important stage of norwood, because you must start treatment as early as possible to prevent progression into stage 3. Remember, The higher the stage, the more difficult the treatment is.
Well, the treatment options at this stage, you may require a combination therapy like minoxidil 5 percent twice daily plus finasteride 1 mg tablet. This stage is stubborn for most people. If you are able to control or grow back hair at this stage, the baldness progression is generally slowed down in later part of your life.
Also the other treatment options you can consider at this stage are PRP and mesotherapy along with minoxidil. You can watch my detailed post on this PRP mesotherapy.
You can also consider Hair transplantation treatment at any stage from stage 3 onwards.
Norwood Stage 4: This stage describes a moderate amount of hair loss. At this stage there is further deepening and recession at the front of the head as well as the temple areas. Hair loss at the crown is also prominent now and a thick bridge of hair will separate hair loss at the front of the scalp from that at the vertex or the crown of the head. To differentiate this from stage 3, you can draw an imaginary vertical line tangential to the front margin of the ear. If hair loss crosses behind this line, then is stage 4.
Regarding the treatment options at this stage, there is no guarantee that using all the treatments including finasteride, minoxidil or a combination therapy will bring back all your lost hair. But the good news is if you start early treatment, the miniaturized hair will come back to normal and you can switch back to stage 3. You might have to use minoxidil in a higher concentration like 10 percent plus finasteride 1mg daily indefinitely. Please check my article on DHT to understand this miniaturization and the mechanism of hair loss.
You can also treat this stage with PRP and mesotherapy plus Stem cell therapy and consider hair transplant option at this stage too.
Norwood Stage 5: this stage marks the beginning of severe degree hair loss. In this stage, there remains only a thin separation between the loss of hair at the hairline and the loss of hair at the crown, the band of hair between the two is much thinner and narrower. Hair loss at both the crown and the temporal regions are larger and more distinct. The treatment options at this stage are same as that in stage 4.
Norwood Stage 6: In this stage there is a large amount of hair loss. The bridge of hair that once separated the front of the head from the crown is now almost fully lost, only a few sparse strands may remain. The remaining hair now forms a horseshoe shape around the baldness concentrated in the center of the scalp. Hair loss on the sides of the head will also extend further at this stage.
At this level, a hair transplant may be the only option.
Norwood Stage 7: The most advanced stage of hair loss, Here, only a wreath of thin hair remains on the sides and back of the scalp. This stage has the least chance of regaining your hair with any treatment.
Androgenetic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness is the commonest cause of Hair loss and balding in both men and women. The hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) produced in the body is responsible for this type of hair fall and ultimately leads to baldness.
DHT accumulates in the scalp and miniaturises hair follicles and ultimately kills the hair follicles which are sensitive to it. Lucky people are those who do not have DHT sensitive hair follicles. This sensitivity depends on hereditary or genetic factors.
Now, we will discuss on the natural remedies for hair loss that reduce the DHT levels in the scalp or prevents its accumulation and damage by splitting the topic into three methods:
Increase blood circulation to prevent accumulation in the scalp.
Provide essential nutrients to damaged hair follicles.
Reduce DHT levels in the scalp.
Good blood circulation is very important to carry the nutrients to hair follicles and it also prevents DHT accumulation in the scalp. To increase blood circulation at the scalp, you can perform the following tasks:
Head Massage: Gently massaging your scalp in circular motion and pressures, can improve the blood flow to the scalp hair follicles. Perform head massage at least twice daily.
Yoga specially the Head down position called “SheershaSan” is very beneficial to increase blood flow suddenly to scalp and wash out any accumulated DHT and prevent damage to hair follicles. Be in this position for atleast one minute and perform 3 sets of this yoga once daily.
Regular Exercise of atleast 30 minutes daily like jogging, treadmill, pushups or any kind of activity is proven to be beneficial to improve blood circulation.
Then the next step is to provide some essential nutrients to rejuvenate the damaged and weak hair follicles. Nutrients are carried to hair follicles through the blood stream and hence apart from eating a well balanced diet, you need to include few foods in your diet rich in protein, minerals and anti-oxidants like Eggs, nuts, green vegetables, whole grains, lentils, etc. We will list out the top 10 foods that can lower DHT levels and fight hair loss in a shortwhile from now.
Then, Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking. And, If you are dieting in order to lose weight then do not overdo it as it can cause hair thinning due to nutritional deficiencies.
Lastly, we will discuss on some natural ways to reduce DHT levels in the blood.
Stress and Sleep deprivation can accelerate hair loss. So keep your stress levels low and have a sound sleep of atleast 8 hours daily.
Regular Exercise has been shown to lower DHT levels. Perform any form of exercise for atleast 30 minutes daily.
SAW PALMETTO: Studies have shown that this naturally occurring substance blocks the enzyme 5-Alpha Reductase and hence reduces DHT. Sawplametto is approved in many countries and you get capsules of this substance along with multi vitamin and zinc magnesium supplements.
FOODS THAT LOWER DHT LEVELS:
10: Beans and Soybeans: beans are a excellent and an inexpensive source of zinc, which helps in hair growth and hair repair. Studies have shown that compounds in soybeans may promote hair growth. One of these compounds is spermidine, which is abundantly found in soybeans.
9: Meat: Specially Red meat is rich in iron and this increases your red blood cell count, which in turn helps the red blood cells deliver oxygen to all cells in the body, including hair follicles.
8: Oysters: Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc in the diet. Zinc helps in hair growth and repair.
7: Seeds: Specially flaxseeds and chia seeds in addition to vitamin E, zinc and selenium, also provide omega-3 fatty acids and all of these promote hair growth.
6: Nuts: specially almonds and walnuts provide vitamin E, B complex vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids, all of which promote hair growth and they are also proven to protect your heart.
5: Avocados: They are not only super delicious but also an excellent source of vitamin E and also rich in Vitamin C, K and Omega-3 fatty acids.
4: Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved hair growth and even density.
3: Spinach: Spinach is loaded with folates, iron, and vitamins A and C, which may promote hair growth. A deficiency in these nutrients may result in hair loss. Spinach is a best plant-based source of iron, specially great for vegetarians.
2: Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, which are so important for healthy hair and hair growth. Eggs are also a great source of zinc, selenium and other nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods for optimal hair health.
Another Important Nutrient in Egg – Biotin is essential for the production of a hair protein called keratin. Research has shown that consuming more biotin can help improve hair growth in people with biotin deficiency.
1: Berries: berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that promote hair growth. This includes vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties.
For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which help in collagen production and iron absorption which are two factors that can promote hair growth.
Today we will discuss on the 5 miraculous, scientifically proven benefits of using apple cider vinegar for your hair and skin. We will also learn how to use this properly to improve your hair and also some precautions to take while using apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a very popular, 100 percent natural health food made from apples using a fermentation process enriching it with live cultures, minerals, and acids.
Without any further ado, We will now list out the 5 scientifically proven benefits of apple cider vinegar for skin and hair.
1: PH balance of Your skin and scalp:
Vinegar is chemically acetic acid – that’s an acid with a PH value of around 3. Dull skin and brittle hair has an alkaline PH. The concept of using an acidic substance, like Apple Cider Vinegar is to help lower this pH and bring back skin and hair health back into balance!
2: Anti-microbial Properties:
Apple Cider Vinegar is also a home disinfectant due to its anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. It may help control the bacteria or fungi that can lead to scalp and hair problems, such as minor scalp infections, dryness, itchiness and dandruff..
3: As Facial Skin Toner and After Shave Lotion: It balances the pH level of your skin and makes it healthy. Hence it is a good idea to replace your skin toner with Apple cider vinegar. It can be used as an excellent alternative to a regular after shave lotion. It is also used in the treatment of Acne and to get rid of warts. We will tell you how much and how to use this, in a while!. Please watch this video till the end.
4: Oral Consumption of Apple Cider Vinegar:
When taken orally it can boost your immune system, help fight against intestinal infections, constipation, aid in proper digestion and helps detoxifying the body.
5: For Healthy Hair:
An after shampoo apple cider vinegar rinse is proven to do wonders to your hair by balancing the alkaline PH of you scalp. It also tames rough hair cuticles and fights split ends. This PH balancing and application of Apple Cider Vinegar keeps hair healthy and prevents hair loss. Regular application of this can not only treat hair loss in many patients but it’s also used for prevention of hair fall and hair thinning.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair rinse?
Step 1: Prepare the Solution by mixing a quarter cup of vinegar to half a cup of water.
Step 2: Apply this solution gently on your scalp after performing your regular shampoo hair wash.
Step 3: Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly with water.
Use this weekly twice for best results. If scalp irritation start, you can reduce the dose, otherwise you can slowly increase the dose to half a cup of vinegar to half a cup of water depending on your previous results.
Also other precautions to take care of: Avoid contact with eyes. If contact happens, quickly rinse your eyes with water. Scalp irritation if occurs should generally subside within a couple of days. If it doesn’t subside, please consult a doctor.
In today’s post we will discuss on the effects of tobacco smoking on skin and hair. Not only scalp hair but also beard growth is affected! We will also look into the best suggestions and remedies for smokers to prevent hair loss.
Smoking, besides being the single most preventable cause and risk factor for major lung diseases like Obstructive airway disease, Lung cancer and heart diseases, tobacco smoking has been associated with adverse effects on skin and hair!. Many recent research studies have indicated a significant relationship between smoking and baldness.
You know, All of us are well aware of how harmful the chemicals in cigarette smoke are to your body, but did you know they may also contribute not only to hair loss but also to premature greying of hair?
According to a number of scientific studies, there are many surprising mechanisms by which cigarette smoke can trigger hair loss. Please watch this till the end!
#1: Reduced Skin Circulation:
Hair follicles need oxygen, nutrients and minerals to produce healthy hair. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can shrink your micro blood vessels in skin and reduces blood flow to the hair follicles. This affects the hair growth cycle and leads to noticeable hair loss and hair thinning. Being a smoker and eating a well balanced and nutritious food will not benefit, unless you quit smoking.
#2: Effect on Immune System:
Cigarette smoking can damage your immune system, which can lead to diseases or illnesses that cause hair loss. A poor immune system may also increase your chances of a bacterial or fungal infections on the scalp, which can prevent your follicles from producing healthy hair.
#3: DNA damage and Micro inflammation of the hair follicle are also believed to damage your hair due to the toxins present in cigarette smoke.
#4: Environmental Pollution:
It’s not just inhaling cigarette smoke that can harm your hair follicles. If you regularly smoke at home or in a car with the windows rolled up, you are at increased risk. While most hair loss is genetic that is female or male pattern baldness, research studies have linked thinning hair to environmental factors. Polluted air can exacerbate genetic hair loss and the carcinogens in smoke-filled air can obstruct the mechanisms that produce the hair protein – keratin.
#5: Smoking and Premature Hair Greying and Premature Aging:
Many studies suggests that there is a significant relationship between onset of gray hair before the age of 30 and cigarette smoking. Links to all studies are provided in description below for your reference.
#6: Smoking and Beard Growth:
Yes! There is a strong association between smoking and slow or hampered facial hair growth. The mechanisms involved are the same as discussed earlier. One more point to note is: Even Passive smoking or smoke-to-skin contact can also affect facial and scalp hair!
So, What’s the Remedy ?
The only way out is STOP! SMOKING!
Finding a Reason to quit smoking is the best strategy to come out of the habit! The fear of going bald and the fear of premature skin aging should be the most powerful reasons to quit smoking. This even lowers your chance of getting lung cancer, heart disease, or other conditions.
In Today’s article, we will discuss on the best combination treatments for hair loss in both men and women. We will also list out the 5 best topical minoxidil formulations with no side effects. We will also discuss on how to use and which formulation to use depending on your stage of baldness and also briefly discuss on how these medications work to promote hair growth.
Topical Minoxidil solution is the only non-prescription, over-the-counter hair loss treatment, clinically proven and FDA approved medication for female and male pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil belongs to a class of medications known as VASODILATORS, that means those medications dilate the blood vessels.
Minoxidil was actually discovered in the clinical trials for high blood pressure treatment. During the trials, oral use of minoxidil showed unexpected increase in scalp and body hair. These incidental findings led to the development of topical minoxidil for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.
Now lets quickly discuss on the Mechanism of action by which minoxidil works:
Minoxidil is a potassium channel opener which dilates the blood vessels of the skin around the hair follicles and this allows more entry of oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the hair follicles. This increases follicular size and hair shaft diameter and prolongs hair growth and keeps hair in anagen phase for a longer time. This brings back miniaturized hair follicles back to normal. Miniaturized follicles are those that are weakened by the action of DHT – dihydroxytestosterone.
Minoxidil may cause follicles in the telogen phase to shed – that is why you experience hair loss for intial few days after minoxidil application! These hair are then replaced by thicker hair in a new anagen phase. You can check out a detailed animated explanation on hair growth cycle to understand the how hair grows from HERE.
For what Type and Stage of Baldness is minoxidil effective?
Minoxidil is more effective in younger people who have experienced hair loss for less than 5 years. Minoxidil is less effective when the area of hair loss is large.
Minoxidil use is more effective for central or vertex hair loss and may not be effective to treat receding hairline.
You can start minoxidil from early stages of baldness like Stage 1 and 2 to prevent progression of baldness. You can watch a detailed video on the stage-wise treatment of male and female pattern baldness from links at the end screen of this video.
It is proven that about 40% of men experience hair regrowth after 3–6 months of minoxidil treatment. Minoxidil must be used indefinitely for continued support of existing hair follicles and the maintenance of any experienced hair regrowth.
Before we move on to the Different formulations and combinations of Minoxidil, we will quickly list out some rare side effects of minoxidil.
Burning sensation or redness at the application site may occur. If these persist or worsen, contact your doctor or try a different formulation like minoxidil foam.
Rarely, this medication can be absorbed through the skin and cause systemic side effects including: unwanted facial/body hair, dizziness, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, chest pain, swelling of hands/feet, unusual weight gain, tiredness, difficulty breathing especially when lying down.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is very rare.
And lastly, Alcohol and propylene glycol present in some topical preparations may dry the scalp, resulting in dandruff and contact dermatitis.
Now let’s discuss on the different Formulations and Combinations of Minoxidil for Hair loss Treatment:
Minoxidil 2%, 5% and 10% solution or foam. 2% is recommended twice daily for stage 1 and 2, 5% for stage 2 onwards twice daily and 10% stage 3 onwards once daily. Minoxidil foam is recommended for those who have scalp irritation on using regular minoxidil solution.
Minoxidil 5 and 10% + Finasteride 0.1% – This is really effective hair loss treatment for stage 3, 4 and 5 and can revert your stage to previous level within 6 months to 1 year. 5% solution should be used twice daily and 10% once daily one or two hours before bed and hair can be washed with a mild shampoo the next day morning. This is also recommended for those who cannot tolerate oral finasteride of 1 mg daily and report adverse effects like erectile dysfunction and loss of libido.
Minoxidil + Diaminopyridine – This is another effective combination. Here Diaminopyridine prolongs life cycle of a follicle by stimulating the anagen phase.
Minoxidil + Aminexil – Here aminexil increases the circulation of blood to hair follicles which triggers an increase in hair growth and also prevents the hardening of hair shaft and the build-up of collagen around it. It can be used by both men and women dealing with hereditary hair loss or androgenic alopecia. Aminexil has no reported side effects.
5% minoxidil and 0.01% tretinoin is another proven topical combination where tretinoin increases the percutaneous absorption of minoxidil and hence the efficacy and safety of combined 5% minoxidil and 0.01% tretinoin once-daily therapy appear to be equivalent to those of conventional 5% minoxidil twice-daily therapy for the treatment of Andro-genetic Alopecia.
In Today’s article we will discuss on the 10 Genuine Home remedies for hair loss and hair thinning for both men and women. Some of these are proven to work and have a scientific basis while other natural remedies have no scientific background and either do not work, or act through a placebo effect.
There are many Hair loss solutions and treatments like hair fall shampoos, lotions and pills! There are 100s of products that claim to cure hair loss. Which one can you trust?
Now, Lets list out the 10 natural remedies for hair loss treatment based on research studies conducted in various years. Some of these might be very helpful, whether you’re trying to regrow hair that you’ve lost or simply like to improve your existing hair or to treat hair thinning. And all Links & references to these research studies on hair loss remedies are provided in description below this video.
10. Head Massage: Gently massaging your scalp in circular motion and pressures, can improve the blood flow to the scalp hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. Doing this at least twice daily is found to be helpful. This can not only strengthen your existing hair, but it also proven to treat hair thinning, specially if its due to nutritional deficiencies. Supplements like biotin, collagen, vitamin C, zinc and others, along with scalp massage will revert your hair back to normal within 3 to 6 months if the cause is due to nutritional factors. In addition, head massage also relieves stress and anxiety!
Before I list out the other remedies for hair loss, you should know that hair growth is primarily determined by genetics and on an individual’s overall health. But the good news is! These are natural remedies and have no side effects! So, why not try these! Whether singly or in combination, these can have an impact on your hair! And also remember ! any treatment must be followed for atleast 6 months to see any kind of result.
9. Aloe Vera: Fresh aloe vera gel extract from a leaf has great anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces scalp inflammation specially in seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff and reduces itchiness and scaling to a considerable extent. Studies also say, it stimulates blood circulation and improve delivery of oxygen and nutrition to hair follicles.
So, Now! How to use Aloe vera gel?
– Cut a healthy leaf from aloe vera plant.
– Peel one side of this and Scrape out the gel using a spoon.
– Apply this gel directly to your scalp and massage in circular motions.
– Leave it on for an hour or two and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
– Use this two or three times in a week for atleast 6 months consistently to see any results.
8. Ginseng: Taking ginseng supplements can promote hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and blocking the hormone DHT – DiHydroxyTestosterone. The active ingredients in ginseng are called Ginsenosides. Ginseng is a special short plant with fleshy roots and the Asian variety is considered the best because it contains these active ingredients for hair stimulation. There are many supplements with ginseng available to purchase online. The link to this research study is provided in description below. And one more point to note: Ginger and Ginseng are not the same!
7. Coconut Oil: Though Coconut oil contains seven different types of fatty acids like the caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric acid, etc, there is no study to prove that coconut oil promotes hair growth. It is only a good conditioner and improves the luster of your hair, especially if you have dry hair. It also protects your hair by coating it and prevents damage to your hair shaft. Some recommend mixing lemon into coconut oil and apply on hair. This is not proven to promote hair regrowth.
6. Onion Juice: Onion juice has been shown to successfully treat patchy hair loss also known as alopecia areata by promoting hair growth in bald areas or patches. But only one such study is conducted in the year 2002 and with a small number of only about 38 patients. Also, it is not proven to grow hair in male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. I have discussed about onion juice and hair growth in a detailed episode. You can find that link in the video description below.
5. Garlic: Similar to onion juice, a 2007 research study found that applying garlic paste along with betamethasone valerate cream on bald areas produced more hair regrowth than using a placebo treatment with the steroid cream betamethasone. Again, this study was conducted only in 40 patients with alopecia areata and not androgenetic alopecia. Much like onion, garlic is also full of minerals and vitamins that might help, but no proper scientific evidence found. Applying a paste of blended garlic cloves can be tried as a home remedy for hair loss without any adverse effects. Do let me know the results if you have tried by commenting below!
4. Viviscal: Viviscal is an oral hair growth supplement containing a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids said to combat hair thinning. The key ingredient in Viviscal is the AminoMar Marine Complex, which contains shark cartilage and oyster extract powder. Studies have been conducted on this many times and all studies have shown its efficacy in hair thinning patients in both male pattern baldness and female alopecia. I recommend using this for stage 2 and 3 and to treat hair thinning in combination with minoxidil.
3. Biotin: Biotin, zinc, copper and collagen supplements or from foods rich in these sources are also very useful for hair regrowth if used in conjunction with other treatments like minoxidil.
2. Jojoba Oil and Rosemary Oil or any other Oil: These have no effect on hair growth and hair regrowth and these work similar to coconut oil as already discussed!
1. Licorice roots: Licorice is thought to opens skin pores and strengthens weakened hair follicles by its antiandrogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, angiogenic, and hair-stimulating features. It is also found to be helpful in hair loss due to telogen effluvium.
One last and very important natural DHT blocker to mention is Saw Palmetto. This is a proven remedy for androgenetic alopecia. This is also used for the treatment of prostate enlargement. There are many supplements available which contain this substance.
Links to all these research studies are provided in description below, for your reference.