Forget the Potions and Lotions – This Stuff Works
Some people experiencing hair loss want to be able to wave a magic wand turn the situation around. They are unhappy with their looks — unhappy with appearing older than they really are and feeling less confident — so they try unproven but heavily marketed lotions and potions. What they inevitably find out is that there is no such thing as a cure for baldness or hair loss, no matter how many advertisements and spam e-mails claim there is.
Nontheless, for the benefit of giving the hair loss community the facts, let’s take a closer look at some of the more widely distributed topical, non-prescription medical remedies available. These products can typically be found in drugstores, coming in foams, creams and shampoos. While some people experience success utilizing these products, 40 percent of people do not. Below are a few hair loss “solutions” that are popular on the Internet, even though they have not been scientifically proven:
Avacor – Topical solution and detoxifying shampoo
Hair growth stimulator based on 2, 4-di-amino-6d piperidinopyrimidine3 oxide or 2 percent Minoxidil + sabal serulate (saw palmetto)
Company cites clinical data to support claims but non-peer reviewed, non- double blind
Cost is $220/3 mo.
Emu oil – Claims 80 percent hair follicles began to grow hair in nonclinical studies
Cost is $9.50/ oz
Folliguard – Similar to Avacor containing minoxidil and saw palmetto
Cost is $200/3 mo.
Hair Advantage – Loniten (minoxidil) and saw palmetto + herbals
Cost is $180/3 mo.
Nioxin – Scalp cleanser, therapy and serum
Niocidin inhibits demodex produced lipase
Never been a study that implicates Demodex lipase in hair loss
Scalpmed – Minoxidil + saw palmetto
Cost is $300/3 mo.
Thymuskin – Extract of calf thymus
Claims to boost immune function, admits not effective for AGA
Cost is $210/3 mo.
It is worth noting that if an individual is among the population who experience success with these products, continued use typically is required for the benefit to continue. The success of these items are discovered through trial and error, which will determine if they are the best hair loss products for a given individual.
At Arocha Hair Restoration we gravitate toward proven methods rather than relying on magic wands. First, we recognize that everyone’s specific situation is different. For instance, in cases in which hair loss is a result of medical issues, a consultation with a doctor is a must. Alopecia Areata, a disease that results in thinning hair, may be the result of an underlying autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack and destroy hair follicles. Diagnosing and treating the autoimmune disease may also resolve the hair-loss issue. Medications doctors may prescribe to treat condition-related balding include gels, creams or shots of steroids.
Likewise, for some people, reversing the hair loss many not require medications at all. A simple change in diet may be the best choice of treatment, as various nutritional shortcomings in a person’s diet may contribute to hair loss. Vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, and E are some of the best vitamins for hair loss prevention. Also, omega 3 fatty acids in the diet have been shown to contribute to healthy hair. Likewise, a shortage of iron may result in a lower red blood cell count, which is a known cause of thinning hair in women. Vitamin B12 is also important for robust hair growth. Vitamin supplements containing these ingredients may be the best hair loss products for people with dietary issues.
Once we have had an opportunity to consult with the patient and carefully examine the scalp, we can determine the best course of action. Over the years treating thousands of patients, we have had great success using one or a combination of multiple scientifically proven hair loss solutions. Here are the three proven hair loss remedies:
• Propecia (finasteride); and
• Rogaine (minoxidil).
Arocha Hair Restoration Photo – Dallas patient whose are your scientifically proven options. Sure, there plenty of other things that are being developed and tested. We often write about the various research efforts that are underway. But when it comes to proven approaches to hair restoration, transplant, Propecia and Rogaine make up the toolkit.
The effectiveness of hair loss products can vary from individual to individual. Determining the cause of an individual’s hair loss can help to evaluate the best hair loss products to try. We have had quite a bit of success with combination therapy, especially performing a hair transplant followed by Rogaine and/or Propecia. A good example of this is a female patient we worked with who was experiencing female pattern hair loss characterized by diffuse thinning over the frontal and mid-scalp areas. She was a Ludwig II in the pre-surgery photos.
We performed a 2,515 follicular unit hair transplant (FUT). Since her hair was very fine because of the overall miniaturization process, we recommended that she start treatment with Rogaine 5% bid. The after surgery photos were taken at nine months post-transplant. Her results confirm what we preach that the most efficacious treatment of male and female pattern hair loss is through combination therapy.
Let’s take a closer look at the two prescription drugs for hair loss approved by the FDA: minoxidil and finasteride. These prescription drugs have been effective in preventing baldness and even growing new hair.
The brand name for minoxidil, Rogaine is sold over the counter.
It has been scientifically proven to be effective at reducing hair loss and can even stimulate hair growth for some users. However, any new hair that grows could fall back out if Rogaine use is stopped. Hair care products with a higher dosage of minoxidil are more effective than those with lower dosages, so make sure you check the ingredients label for the dosage.
Loniten is another brand name for minoxidil, but the difference is that this is a prescription medication.
Initially formulated to treat high blood pressure, doctors discovered that hair growth is one of its side effects, leading to its prescription as a hair loss drug.
The brand name for finasteride, Propecia, this oral medication was originally developed to treat enlarged prostate in men.
Many men who have taken the drug for that reason noticed it diminished hair thinning. This drug has been approved by the FDA to reduce male pattern baldness in men. However, it should not be taken by women, as mere exposure to the drug can cause serious complications and birth defects.
Many of us in the hair restoration community have been debating the use of Retin-A to aid hair growth and offset hair loss.
It was originally formulated to treat skin conditions, and is a combination of minoxidil-based shampoos and treatments, as well as a Rogaine solution that helps hair follicles absorb the minoxidil. Retin-A also has ingredients that prevent sebum block, which is theorized as one of the causes of baldness. Studies have indicated Retin-A could slightly improve the performance of minoxidil in aiding hair growth in people with male pattern baldness.
Of the 80 million U.S. men and women affected by hair loss, only about three percent (approximately 2.5 million people) seek one of these proven hair loss solutions. It is unfortunate that people seek shortcuts and get frustrated by the over-inflated promises of the lotions and potions. If they would just stick with what we know can work, they would be much better off.