Hair Growth Products

If you're a man like me, approaching middle age (well, already there) then you've probably been looking around for ways to hair regrowth products. So far I've been pretty lucky with my hair, it's getting a little grey, and it's not as thick as it was in high school, but I've still got most of it. I know that it could be a problem in the future though. Maybe for you the future is now. There are a lot of hair loss treatments out there using various surgical methods or creams, pills and other medicine. I kind of see them as belonging to three camps: those that stop your hair loss, those that regrow hair, and those that give you new hair. Some of the hair replacement systems out there are downright wacky, some seem legitimate, some are on the line. To be honest, I haven't tried any of these things, but I've been looking to see what the options are.

Hair Loss Products

by Steven Poff via Flickr
by Steven Poff via Flickr

Hair Replacemet Systems

Hair replacement systems are like a toupee that is blended into your real hair, not a rug that just sits on top. It's more like hair extensions than anything else. If you've seen bald actors in the movies with hair (Sean Connery anyone...) that looks really good, it's basically the same system. There are some that can be actually "woven" into your head, your hair is pulled through a mesh base and blends with the hair system hair. Some just sit on top and are blended into your particular bald spot. The benefit is that it doesn't cover your whole head, just the part you need so your real hair can be blended into the hair replacement system.  

Laser Comb

Yeah, there is such a thing, although it sounds like something George Jetson would use. Turns out there is some truth as to the thing working. The FDA has cleared the laser comb to be marketed as a hair growth system for men only. Apparently the company was marketing it to women but got a warning letter from the FDA because it had only been cleared for men. They also warned them about applying the "cleared" status to other models of lasercombs that hadn't been tested. Now, from reading the FDA site (and what an exciting site it is...) they didn't say that the thing worked. They just said that it was ok to market it as a fast hair growth product because it was substantially equivalent to other devices on the market. That means it could be just as worthless as they are.

Revivogen

Revivogen is one of those "stop losing what you have" natural hair growth products. Male pattern baldness is caused by a hormone (testosterone) byproduct called DHT. It's naturally occurring so don't worry. The problem is that some men are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, and DHT is the like the key that switches the hair loss on as you get older. As your hair goes through growth cycles the hair follicle produces a thinner and thinner hair until it stops producing hair altoghether. Revivogen is a DHT inhibitor so it stops the hair follicles from turning off. It's derived from an "all natural" ingredient and it's topical which means you put it on the area, not swallow a pill. I don't really get excited when I see all natural hair loss products, because just because something is all natural doesn't mean it's safe. All mushrooms are all natural, but some are safe to eat, some will kill you.

Propecia

One of the top hair growth products Propecia is a drug called finasteride that was origanally used to treat prostate disorders and in higher doses prostate cancer. It inhibits DHT and is taken in pill form. In a five year study Propecia has show regrowth of hair in 48% of the participants, and no further hair loss in 42% of the participents. So at the very least you won't lose any more hair. It's got some scary side effects though, loss of sexual function and enlarged breasts, which makes sense because it affects testosterone. It also should not be used around pregnant women because it has been show to affect the developing fetus. Hair loss isn't great but I don't know if growing hair is worth all that. Hair grown and side effects are supposed to disappear after you stop taking it.

Rogaine

Rogaine is the drug Minoxidil. Basically it dialates blood vessels. It was used with people who had heart problems, it was used to treat high blood pressure. Some patients started noticing hair growth as a side effect. It's not really understood how it can prevent hair loss. There are lots of gereric versions of Rogaine because the patent for Minoxidil ran out in 1996. It doesn't work in large areas of hair loss, and works better in younger men. It apparently does work for a lot of people though, it's supposed to be one of the best products for hair growth.

Vitamins for Hair Loss

Can taking vitamins restore hair? Well, vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss so taking vitamins in that case should restore the hair. I haven't done any clinical studies on vitamin taking so I can't speak to whether most people in developing countries are getting enough vitamins, but I'd suspect they are as evidenced by the lack of Rickets, Scurvy, Beriberi. So maybe it helps your average person, maybe not, but it's certainly cheap to try if you're looking for organic hair growth products.

Hair Implant Procedures

This is basically taking your own hair from where it does grow and surgically implanting it where it doesn't grow. It doesn't work for everybody because some hair follicles are programmed to shut off because of DHT. They'll shut off where ever they are. Usually hair is taken from the sides and back of the head and put on the top of the head. So if you don't have enough hair to go around, you're out of luck. And it's expensive. Still, it's your own hair, and it's real, plus they can make it look pretty natural. I don't know if I'd want to risk surgery because of vanity. Maybe you do though.

Products That Help Hair Growth

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