The age old saga of the vanishing hair line. Management and treatment options.
By Nur Choudhury MPharm (Ind. Prescriber)
Getting bombarded with messages of hair loss treatment offers and expensive hair replacement procedures may seem like an exquisite Western trend, but a look into the history books shows us that this is in fact an age old cultural taboo and not just a modern day concern – The Old Testament makes multiple references to a balding head, be it Maccabees or Samson and Delilah, where male hair growth symbolises strength and masculinity. (No doubt had there been modern technology, Samson may have seriously considered Buying Finasteride instantly online).
The search for an effective treatment has been going on passionately for as long as there has been baldness. History is full of absurd recipes, including Hippo fat extract, urine from certain animals, and numerous herbal concoctions, unsurprisingly most have proven somewhat ineffective, much similar to some modern day contemporary options surfing the Internet may bring up.
So considering you may be one of the 66% of men who experience hair loss by the age of 35, what could you possibly do to stop it happening?
Hair loss medication
The regimen for Finasteride, sold by the brand-name Propecia, is a 1 mg dose taken once every day. By reducing the body’s dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, it has proven to decrease the rate of hair loss or even help hair regrow on a baldhead, as shown by studies suggesting improvement in 85% of the users over 5 years.
Finasteride may decrease libido (sexual appetite) or cause other sexual inconveniences for some users, a side effect that’s uncommon and usually short-lived.
Approved treatments other than Finasteride include Minoxidil (sold as Regaine), which is available in liquid solution form, and applied topically to the affected area. However, one disadvantage being that it needs to be applied regularly, and discontinuation of the product might cause loss of all the improvements made until then.
Hair-growth solutions: a potential solution?
After being abandoned for treatment of high blood pressure, Minoxidil was among the first FDA-approved male pattern baldness treatments; it could reverse mild hair loss by application in the scalp twice a day. Although The American Hair Loss Association considers the efficacy of Minoxidil low, its usage in combination with other treatments is still recommended in case Finasteride does not prove to be beneficial.
Pros of transplanted hair: Can look more convincing and real.
The cons: The treatment is usually very expensive for an average person, who might have to pay several thousands of pounds for getting hair follicles grafted from the dense areas on head to the lighter ones. For adding more grafts over the years, this can become much more costly.
Hair transplants, although inconveniently expensive, are usually unable to leave a lasting effect on the hair volume. In any case, the procedure has been refined greatly over time, with many dense-haired celebrities speculated to have undergone the procedure.
Toupee: still fashionable?
Today, toupees are not a particularly sought-for treatment. Although “hair replacement systems” have replaced the vintage wigs used few decades ago, but there isn’t much innovation in sticking an inanimate object on the head. The effectiveness is hard to determine; hair wigs can look awful only if spotted, but could anybody notice the good ones that go undetected?
In any case, toupees aren’t that convenient; nor is it much admired. In addition, 70% of the users willing to try a toupee are ultimately not satisfied with it, suggests the American Hair Loss Association.
Laser combs: the balding treatment from the future
With a pinch of a futuristic vibe, the Laser Comb looks something out of a sci-fi film. It was recently accepted and approved by FDA, making it the third treatment method so far to gain such status. It is particularly important because it doesn’t involve taking a pill or cutting the skin. It was shown in a trial that the device improved the hair volume in a large number of people by stimulating follicles in the scalp with a mild low-level laser.
With a price tag of over £500, the treatment has been getting mixed responses from the public. Some showing excitement for a new product on the market, while others seemingly sceptical of an expensive “gimmick” without a real proven success rate as of yet.
The Great Expectations of the future
If you considered the Laser Comb to be a leap into the future, you would surely be surprised by the attempts at exploring Hair Cloning. If successful, scientists might be able to artificially grow and implant hair follicles in locations lacking them previously. Perhaps we should not be getting carried away as yet. After all, successful hair growth on “Dolly the sheep” isn’t quite the same as successful hair growth on a bald, middle aged man.
In any case, the method still has a long way to traverse, from experimental trials to final approval for public use.
So for now, it seems your best chance at managing that disappearing hair-line, is to go with Finasteride and Minoxidil, both relatively inexpensive with a proven success rate.
Both products are available from an online pharmacy such as www.Accessdoctor.co.uk where you will get professional advice, support and treatments that are proven to help.
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