Heredity, hormones, stress, diet, illness, poor hair care – all are factors in hair loss.
Stress, diet and illness are more temporary conditions and usually the hair loss is reversed when the anxiety-producing conditions dissipate, when the diet is improved, when hair care improves and when an illness is cured or gotten under control.
Heredity and hormones are different matters, however. Heredity is an irreversible condition. You are a product of your parents, and hair loss is often inherited. Hormones are tricky, hidden things, however, and they have different effects on an individual basis.
In a male, testosterone abides abundantly. There are also enzymes working on testosterone which product a substance called DHT. DHT is now known to circulate in the blood and cause other conditions, one of which is the shrinking of hair follicles. When hair follicles shrink enough, they are unable to produce and push a new hair through. As old hair dies, it is then not replaced.
In women, hormonal imbalances can also cause hair loss. Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause all cause significant hormonal change and imbalances with both physical and mental effects. These changes can also cause hair loss, both temporary and permanent.
Hair loss and re-growth products have been around for centuries. In ancient times, a variety of herbal and oil-based remedies were concocted and used by Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, and American Indians, all with some degree of effectiveness for some people. Modern medical research has focused on ways to re-open and stimulate “dead” hair follicles, so that hair growth can re-occur naturally, as well as keep the healthy follicles healthy. Thus, a number of products have become available, both by prescription and over-the-counter. They are advertised on radio and television and all over the Internet. One need only do a “google” search on hair loss, and there are literally thousands of sites and products for investigation.
One ingredient in many hair loss products is minoxidil. Research studies have shown that in about 80% of the participants, products containing this ingredient are effective in slowing hair loss and, in some, causing re-growth to occur.
Probably the most well known is Rogaine, available at any drug store, in varieties for both men and women. Most scientifically-produced products do have separate products for males and females, because, of course, hormones in each are different and of different levels.
An additional product containing minoxidil is Provillus, and, again, studies have shown it to be effective. The difference between Provillus and other similar products is that the makes have added Azelaic Acid, an additional ingredient which appears to enhance the follicle repair in both men and women. Provillus has been the subject of many studies, just as the other products, and level of effectiveness may be higher.
Provillus is available for both men and women, and the treatment is a combination of a topical liquid applied to the balding areas, as well as a pill or capsule to be taken in conjunction with the liquid. The critical key to effectiveness, according to its makers, is the addition of the azelaic acid, however, the correct amount of this acid is most important piece of this treatment.
As with most hair loss products, the makers recommend patience. It may take from 3-6 months for improvement to occur, however, there is a money-back guarantee up to 180 days if one is not satisfied that it is working for him/her.
Medical research is far from finished in its exploration of products which will stop hair loss and promote re-growth of “permanent” loss. As this research continues, existing producers will undoubtedly alter their products accordingly.
Fortunately, a lot of money is being poured into the research, so hair loss sufferers, take heart!