Hair Loss Facts, Fiction and Tips

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Hair loss is something most men secretly ‘fear’ but hope it may never actually occur. After all, thinning hair and baldness is something that kids use to identify the elderly, despite the fact that the process can begin before 20 years of age! A good head of hair is associated with youth, virility and attractiveness, so when hair loss occurs it can come as something of a shock.

Since records began, men have documented their attempts to reverse the process of hair loss and cure baldness. The bible tells the story of how when Samson’s hair was cut he lost his strength and power. The unspoken agenda for men is that to be hairless, or for the hair to be depleted, equates with a loss of power and virility, something that is clearly not the case.

Some creative but ultimately fruitless concoctions have been devised in an attempt to get the thatch back.

Cleopatra used a mixture of horse teeth, bear grease, burnt mice and deer marrow in her attempt to cure Julius Caesar’s baldness (it didn’t work). Hedgehog urine was also thought to be beneficial. The smell in the heat of the Egyptian sun must have been something very special!

Fact: there is currently no cure for baldness. There are, however, a number of things that you might consider:

Hair Loss Prevention

Life Coach Suggestions:

  • Emphasize your other facial features. Lots of men are using products to improve their looks. There are many products in the department and drug stores that improve your skin. If you have great eyes think about getting your eyelashes dyed. Seek advice from a beautician, health expert or friend.
  • Update your clothes style. Good clothes and attention to your appearance can make you look much younger and more attractive.  Make the most of what hair you do have. One of the most effective is to get a good hair cut. Short, cropped and styled. Consider having a light perm, it can add volume. Shaving it off completely looks great.
  • Get a hair piece. Covering up a bald area can be the answer. Hair pieces now look very realistic. Good ones can be very expensive but last a long time when cared for properly.
  • Wear a hat. There are great hats around – from cool to just plain stylish.

Drug Therapy 

There are two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are shown to have a positive effect on balding, Finasteride and Minoxidil. 

Finasteride is a 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor, that is, it works by blocking 5-Alpha reductase and so prevents the enzyme from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is DHT that causes male pattern baldness. There are two drugs that contain Finasteride, Propecia and Proscar. Originally prescribed by doctors for benign prostate hyperplasia (prostate problems), the drug has been shown to stop hair loss and in some cases reverse the balding process. Finasteride takes about three months to show results and hair loss occurs a year after the drug is stopped. Side effects are unusual but can include impotence, reduced libido, ejaculation disorders, breast tenderness and enlargement, hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes and lip swelling. Women of child bearing potential should not touch the drug and condoms should be used as the drug is excreted in semen as there is a risk of birth defects.

hair loss

Minoxidil (Regaine) is found to be effective in about 25% of men with baldness on the crown. Applied twice a day in a cream the hair growth only occurs as long as it is used. Minoxidil was originally approved to treat high blood pressure. Side effects are unusual but Regaine should not be used by people with a history of heart problems, sudden weight gain, chest pains, fainting, or rapid heartbeat.

Hair Loss Treatment

Surgical Intervention

In the case of hair transplants very small plugs of hair are taken from the side or back of the scalp and transplanted onto the bald patches. The procedure has improved over the years but it still takes a number of months to give a good effect. 

With tissue expansion, tiny balloons are inserted under the scalp between the areas of dense hair and gradually inflated over a number of months. This makes the area up to one third larger and it is this area that is surgically removed and the sides are pulled up to the top of the head.

Scalp reduction: Loose skin on the scalp is surgically removed pulling the hair on the sides of the head up. As the skin on the forehead is also sometimes slightly lifted it lessens wrinkles.

There are plenty of sharks around just waiting to get their hands on your money by offering false hope of a cure for baldness. Some may even guarantee success for their pills, potions, scalp cleansers and stimulators or diets. These companies or so called tricologists rely on their ability to change company address or names at the drop of a hat. They also rely on people being too embarrassed to follow up complaints through legal channels. The words they use to describe their products often incorporate ambiguous phrases that basically say, if it does not work, you will be one of the unfortunate few. The words barge-pole and steer-clear come to mind.

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