Hair Loss Treatments Are They All They Are Cracked Up To Be?
I am a naturopathic physician with nearly 20 years of experience developing breakthrough nutritional products.I also have extensive television and radio experience and have lectured widely to health professionals, the military and the public on all aspects of natural health.
Dr Myers, an expert who holds a doctorate in naturopathic medicine
Stephen Fry in my surgery during the making of the BBC TV program
Me with Lord Bragg, accepting my "Champion of the Year" award
After graduating, I was recognised as being the 'best young neurosurgeon in Britain'
Hair loss treatments are everywhere. Just type in a search for hair loss treatments and you will see just how many there are on the market. The reason there are so many is quite simple. Hair loss is common and treatments are therefore in high demand.
You will find all sorts of fantastic claims made about this or that hair loss treatment and how it will restore your hair quickly and effortlessly. The problem is, how do you know if they actually work and are all they are cracked up to be? Before we can answer this properly, we will need to take a look at why some people experience hair loss in the first place.
Why hair loss occurs
There are several different factors involved in hair loss and obviously before you go looking for a hair loss treatment that will work for you, you first need to identify why you are losing your hair in the first place.
Here are just some of the factors that can be involved in hair loss:
• Allergic reactions
• Illness and infection, poor nutrition
• Auto-immune system
The medical term for hair loss is Alopecia regardless of the type of hair loss and whether it is permanent or temporary. The most common form of Alopecia is male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss has a genetic element to it as it can be passed down through the genes.
Hair loss can also occur as a result of the male hormone DHT or Dihydro Testosterone. What happens here is that overproduction of DHT causes the hair follicle to shrink and the hair to fall out. Similarly hormonal changes after pregnancy and during the pre menopause can cause hair loss.
An allergic reaction to a substance can cause temporary loss of hair and when someone is undergoing chemotherapy treatment they may also suffer temporary loss of hair. Also, sometimes when suffering from an illness or infection, hair loss can occur.
Poor nutrition either due to a bad diet or because of illness can lead to a lack of nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth resulting in hair loss.
Wearing the hair tied back in tight pony tails or excessive tugging and pulling at the hair can cause hair loss over time due to friction.
There are also cases where something goes wrong with the auto immune system and it starts attacking healthy parts of the body such as the hair follicles and this can cause the hair to fall out.
Finally stress or shock can interrupt the natural growth cycle of the hair and cause hair that is normally in the growing stage to suddenly fall out. At any one time around 90 percent of the hair on the head is in the growing stage so the result can be dramatic.
Do hair loss treatments work?
The simple answer to this is that if you are addressing the reason you are losing your hair then the chances are that an appropriate hair loss treatment will work but if you are just applying any hair loss treatment in the hope that it will restore your locks to their former glory without knowing why you are losing your hair then no, this is not likely to work.
For example, if you are losing your hair because of some kind of hormonal influence on the inside, then applying hair growth stimulators to the scalp will not do anything to prevent the hair from falling out. Similarly if you are start taking hair loss pills to inhibit production of DHT and your hair loss is a result of a topical problem on the outside then this isn’t going to work either.
As you can see, the key to finding the right hair loss treatment for you very much depends on identifying the root cause of the hair loss in the first place. Sometimes this is obvious, for example in the case of typical male pattern baldness or during chemotherapy treatment, but sometimes the cause is not so obvious and a deeper investigation is required.
What it means is that if you are looking for a hair loss treatment then you need to have an idea about what is causing your hair loss and you need to know how a particular hair loss treatment works. Basically the different types of treatment for hair loss include hair growth stimulators, DHT inhibitors or anti-androgen pills, anti inflammatory treatments to reduce inflammation in the scalp and of course hair transplants and wigs.
If you are suffering from hair loss and aren’t sure what the cause is or what options would be suitable for you then contact a professional for advice
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