Merck Pharmaceuticals sought to find the smallest effective quantity of finasteride and to test its long-term effects on men aged between 18 and 41 with mild-to-moderate thinning hair.
Based on their research, 1mg daily was selected and, after 2 years of daily treatment, some of the male patients have regrown parts of their hair.
Minoxidil was first used in tablet form as a medicine to treat high blood pressure, but it was noticed that some patients being treated with Minoxidil experienced excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis) as a side effect.
Further research showed that by applying Minoxidil in solution form directly to the scalp, it could prove to be beneficial to those experiencing topical hair loss.
In controlled clinical studies of women aged 18-45, some women with moderate degrees of hereditary hair loss reported re-growth after using 2% minoxidil. Initial results occur at 4 months with maximum results occurring at 8 months.
A low level laser is shone directly on the scalp to stimulate hair growth through “Photo-Biostimulation” of the hair follicles. One product of these low-level laser therapies is the “Hairmax Lasercomb”.
There is no peer-reviewed evidence to support this claim. The Lasercomb is FDA approved only with regard to safety.
The Leimo laser was recently approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) of Australia as a Class IIa Medical Device that regrows hair. Its ARTG number is 139 456.
Surgery is another method of reversing hair loss and baldness, although it may be considered somewhat extreme.
The surgical methods used include hair transplantation, whereby hair-producing follicles are taken from the back and sides of the head and injected into bald or thinning areas.
Looking forward: one prospective treatment currently in development is that of hair multiplication/hair cloning. And it has been shown to work on mice!
It involves extracting self-replenishing follicle stem cells, multiplying them many times over in the lab, and microinjecting them into the scalp. It is expected by some scientists to be available to the public in 2009–2015. Subsequent versions of the treatment are expected by some scientists to be able to cause these follicle stem cells to simply signal the surrounding hair follicles to rejuvenate.
In October 2006, UK biotechnology firm, Intercytex, announced they had successfully tested a method of removing hair follicles from the back of the neck, multiplying them and then reimplanting the cells into the scalp (Hair multiplication). The initial testing resulted in 70% of male patients regrowing hair. This treatment method is expected to be available to the public by 2009.
In January 2007, Italian stem-cell researchers announced that tghey had developed a new technique for curing baldness. Pierluigi Santi of a Genoa clinic said stem cells could be used to “multiply” hair roots. He said the clinic would be ready to perform its first hair transplants on priority patients – those who have lost their hair in fires or other accidents – within a few months. “After that” he said “we’ll open our doors to paying customers”. Santi’s approach works by splitting roots and growing new follicles.
Topical application of ketoconazole, which is both an anti-fungal and a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, is often used as a supplement to other approaches.
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Particular unsaturated fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid are 5 alpha reductase inhibitors if taken internally.
Interestingly, placebo treatments in studies often have reasonable success rates, though not as high as the products being tested, and even similar side-effects as the products. For example, in Finasteride (Propecia) studies, the percent of patients with any drug-related sexual adverse experience was 3.8% compared with 2.0% in the placebo group.
Regular aerobic exercise can help keep androgen levels (particularly free testosterone levels) naturally lower while maintaining overall health, lowering stress and increasing SHBG.
Weight training without aerobic exercise may increase testosterone. One study suggests that both heavy exercise and increased fat intake, in combination, are required for increased free testosterone in strength trainers. Increased total or free testosterone would help them build and repair muscle, but may cause susceptible individuals to lose hair.
However, there is at least one study that indicates a decline in free testosterone combined with an increase in strength due to an (unspecified) strength training regime.
Stress reduction can be helpful in slowing hair loss (I would strongly suggest incorporating this in the exercise section as, on its own, it will mean 10 words on a page – this would be looked at unfavorably in the search engines.
Immunosuppressants applied to the scalp have been shown to temporarily reverse alopecia areata, though the side effects of some of these drugs make such therapy questionable.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a herbal DHT inhibitor often claimed to be cheaper and to have fewer side effects than finasteride and dutasteride.
Unlike other 5alpha-reductase inhibitors, Serenoa Repens induces its effects without interfering with the cellular capacity to secrete PSA.
Saw Palmetto extract has been demonstrated to inhibit both isoforms of 5-alpha-reductase unlike finasteride which only inhibits the (predominant) type 2 isoenzyme of 5-alpha-reductase.
Polygonum Multiflorum is a traditional Chinese cure for hair loss. P. multiflorum contains stilbene glycosides similar to resveratrol.
Beta Sitosterol, which is a constituent of many seed oils, can help to treat BHP by lowering cholesterol. If used for this purpose, an extract is best. However, consuming large amounts of oil to get at small quantities of Beta Sitosterol is likely to exacerbate male pattern baldness.
While drastic, broad spectrum anti-androgens such as flutamide are sometimes used topically. Flutamide is potent enough to have a feminizing effect in men, including growth of the breasts.
In March 2006, Curis announced that it had received the first preclinical milestone, a $1,000,000 cash payment, in its hair growth program with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, a division of The Procter & Gamble Company.
The programme is focused on the potential development of a topical Hedgehog Agonist for hair growth disorders, such as male pattern baldness and female hair loss. The Curis hair loss research program was shut down in May 2007 because the process did not meet the proper safety standards.
WNT Gene Related
In May 2007, US company Follica Inc, announced they have licensed technology from the University of Pennsylvania which can regenerate hair follicles by reawakening genes which were once active only in the embryo stage of human development.
Concealing Hair Loss
One method of hiding hair loss is the “comb over”, which involves restyling the remaining hair to cover the balding area. It’s usually only a temporary solution, useful only while the area of hair loss is small. As the hair loss increases, a comb over becomes less effective. When this reaches a stage of extreme effort with little effect — it can make the person the object of teasing or scorn.
Another method is to wear a hat or a hairpiece — a wig or toupee. The wig is a layer of artificial or natural hair made to resemble a typical hairstyle. In most cases the hair is artificial. Wigs vary widely in quality and cost. They’re often uncomfortable, don’t fit well, wearers perspire in them, and most of all – they must be taken off before going to bed, swimming, exercising etc. And they always look like a wig!.
That’s why the best and most efficient way to conceal hair loss is a hair integration or hair volumising system. These are custom-made pieces designed to fit the shape of your head – perfectly!
Hair systems surround just the areas affected by hair loss so, if you have just a few bald patches, you don’t need to wear a heavy wig and stick your remaining natural hair under it. Systems incorporate your hair by threading it through holes in a light, non-allergic mesh material onto which natural hair components are then applied.
There are various systems available, however we believe that HAIR SOLVED Enhancer system is the ultimate.
So, please take time to read about the Enhancer system here and, if you’re familiar with hair replacement systems in general, or, if you’ve had a consultation with another company, please open our Enhancer page on this website, and read the section How we compare.