- Men's Health & Wellness
Hair Loss Product Review - Treatments That Work
Understanding the cause of male hair loss.
Androgenic Alopecia (male pattern baldness) is a direct result of a man's genetic predisposition for his hair follicles to become sensitive to hormonal changes in the scalp; over time ones body begins to reject its own hair because of genetic programming within the hair follicle.
The hormone in question is dihydrotestosterone or DHT. The sensitivity in the scalp to DHT can manifest itself with tingling, itching, inflammation or scalp pain. Controlling these scalp conditions and that of DHT sensitivity are critical to the successful treatment of hair loss.
Now that the cause of hair loss is understood, the choice of effective treatments are more easily determined. excluding surgery, if the treatment does not address hormonal sensitivity, or stimulate hair growth despite it, then its fair to conclude that success is unlikely.
Assessing the type of hair loss
The pattern of hair loss differs from one man to the next. The most common patterns of loss include receding at the temple, diffuse thinning on the top of the head or loss of hair at the vertex (the back of the head). The Norwood scale is a method used to identify an individuals class of hair loss, and to what extent the condition may have developed. One may use the scale to determine the potential outcome should the hair remain untreated.
When to start the treatment
A common rule dictates that 'where there is hair - you can thicken it'. To that end it is commonly accepted that the best time to start hair loss treatment is yesterday. Male pattern baldness occurs over many years, however the longer you wait to prevent it, the harder it becomes to reverse it - hair loss is therefore as much about prevention as it is about reversal.
That is not to say that hair loss reversal is not possible, quite the opposite in fact. Men who have been losing their hair for many years have seen great results from using a variety of different treatments. Often when the balding is extreme, a multifaceted approach where by several products are used concurrently tends to yield the most success .
The four categories of product
DHT Inhibitors - inhibitors are used to reduce the levels of DHT in the scalp by inhibiting its creation. They are considered to be the principle product for 'stopping the cause of hair loss', and as such are extremely important. DHT inhibitors are found in a large number of hair loss products such as Revivogen and Propecia.
Hormone sensitivity and inflammation control - Nizoral shampoo should form the backbone of your treatment regime as no subsequent product treatments will work effectively without it. This is because no other product can control the hormonal and inflammation related causes of hair loss as effectively. Nizoral is marketed as an anti-dandruff shampoo but don't let that mislead you, this product is a must if your serious about halting or reversing genetic hair loss.
Growth Stimulants - Products such as Tricomin and Rogain are fantastically effective, however they harbor a distinct downside; while the products simulate the growth of new hair, they do nothing to address the cause of hair loss. Therefore it is worthwhile combining growth stimulant products with DHT inhibitors.
Antiandrogens - androgens are the group of hormones responsible for male sex characteristics, and the catalyst behind hair growth. Androgens at different levels therefore decide the rate of hair growth as men reach sexual maturity.
Through clinical study, links have been established between androgens and weakened hair follicles. Males with a genetic 5 Alpha-Reductase deficiency breakdown less testosterone into DHT than those without it, and are therefore less likely to succumb to male pattern baldness. Due largely to this discovery, pharmaceutical companies have developed a group of drugs known as antiandrogens which are used to stop DHT from forming.
This article provides a brief summary of the numerous treatments on the market (however only clinically proven products have been included). The type of treatment used will vary from one individual to the next and is largely dependent on lifestyle. It is important to remember that no treatment will cure baldness, just serve to counteract it, so it is imperative that once treatment has started, that it should continue to prevent losing any gains.