In the section HAIR FOOD AND NATURAL AGENTS  we discussed the role of vitamins, minerals and other natural substances in feeding your hair. Apart from food taken orally, a number of other topical solutions to rub into the hair to stimulate the follicles were also discussed.

In this section we are looking at topical solutions and/or drugs that offer the best chances of regrowing your hair and fighting hair loss; in other words, maintain the hair you have. We are talking about the topical solutions tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. But keep in mind that the FDA only ascertains that food and drugs are safe to be sold by thoroughly testing them for a lengthy period of time.  There is no guarantee that these products will necessarily work for you. Being safe does not mean that they are effective. The FDA’s British counterpart, the Medicines and Health Care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) basically has the same objective to safeguard public health, to ensure that products meet required standards, that they are safe  and that they “work” (which does not mean that they will be successful). Another body that tests and evaluates hair restorer products is the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA). Although the AHLA is authoritative and uses scientific to evaluate hair regrowth agents, it is not prepared to recommend a product if it has not passed the FDA test. Thus, a newly developed product that shows promising results when used by a sizeable number of people with hair loss, will not be recommended by the AHLA if the FDA has not declared it safe – a process which may take some time.

Let us have a look at the two products that have the FDA’s and/or MHRA’s approval.

1. Minoxidil (marketed originally as Rogaine, but a few other products also contain Minoxidil).

Minoxidil was the first product that was declared safe and effective in treating hair loss in men and  women. It was accidentally discovered when researchers were testing substances for the treatment of high blood pressure. Rogaine (Minoxidil) is readily available over the counter and online, and no prescription is necessary.  Minoxidil facilitates the flow of blood to those parts where it has been applied. The result is that the hair follicles obtain sufficient nutrients, preventing them from shrinking which in turn results in hair loss.  Tests over a fairly long period of time have shown that Minoxidil (Rogaine) works in some cases, but is not in others. In order for minoxidil to keep working, you have to keep using it! When discontinued, hair loss will start again. Why? Because while it stimulates new hair growth, it does NOT stop the cause of hair loss, namely the hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Rogaine does not block DHT. Also, users under forty and/or those whose hair loss started less than five years ago have a better chance of obtaining a good result.  It will take four to six months to determine whether there is an improvement.  Rogaine has to be applied twice daily for 3 to 4 months to get any positive results.

2. Finasteride (marketed as Propecia). Finasteride works in a completely different way than Minoxidil. It addresses the hereditary cause of hair loss by blocking the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Whereas Minoxidil acts as a growth stimulant, Finasteride does not. Finasteride enables hair follicles that can still grow hair, to grow that hair. Because Minoxidil cannot affect the formation of DHT, and therefore not treat hereditary hair loss, the general opinion of hair loss experts is that Finasteride (sold as Propecia) is superior to Minoxidil. Others believe the two substances should be used together to optimize results. Women should not use Propecia and you need a doctor’s prescription for obtaining the product. Although studies have indicated that Finasteride has diminished DHT levels with as much as 60 per cent, and stopped the progression of hair loss in 86 per cent of men, studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health have cast a shadow over the success of Propecia by showing an increasing risk of prostate cancer in people who took 5 milligrams daily of finasteride. Manufacturers are recently looking for alternatives for Propecia as a DHT blocker. Azelaic acid and caffeine are among potential replacements. DualGen-15 is one of the products that combines minoxidil with one substantial DHT blocker (azelaic acid) and another that is still in an experimental phase (caffeine).


1. Lipogaine for men:

Lipogaine for men is an intensive and complete solution for hair loss/thinning. Its superior effectiveness lies in the unique combination of hair growth stimulants, DHT blockers, and hair essential nutrients. It meets the needs from many users who prefer not to use finasteride (Propecia) and seek for a product that has stronger DHT blocking ability than azelaic acid alone. Lipogaine contains the most potent DHT blocking ability of all products on the market.  To realize increased DHT blocking capability, saw palmetto extract, beta-sitosterol, gamma linolenic acid, alpha linolenic acids, oleic acidare added to this product in addition to 5% azelaic acid that is used in DualGen-15. Each of these components was proven to be an effective DHT blocker.  The combined DHT blocking effectiveness offered by this group of ingredients was proven to be more effective than finasteride.

As growth stimulant Lipogaine contains minoxidil (Rogaine), which is approved by the FDA and the number one hair growth product in the United States. Comprehensive and essential nutrients biotin, niacin, retinol, vitamin B6 and B12 form an essential segment of Lipogaine. And peered reviewed articles in scientific journals, conclude that retinol improves the efficacy of Minoxidil.


2. Lipogaine for women:

Like Lipogaine for men, this women’s version also has a hair growth stimulant (minoxidil), DHT blockers, and hair essential minerals. The main difference between the two versions is that the men’s substance contains a stronger concentrate of the major ingredients. For example, the men’s version contains 5 per cent minoxidil per bottle, the women’s 2 per cent; the men’s version has 5 per cent azelaic acid (a powerful DHT blocker) and the women’s 1.5%.


There are a number of factors regarding the ingredients of Lipogaine that immediately catch the eye:

  • Research studies suggest azelaic acid, saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, fatty acids are powerful DHT blockers
  • Hair care experts everywhere in the world regard Biotin as the most important vitamin for healthier and stronger hair
  • No smell, dry fast, clean


So what you have here is a product that

  • Has had outstanding success in curing hair loss, containing a substance approved by the FDA and MHRA
  • Contains natural products and can be bought without a doctor’s prescription
  • Is completely safe, whereas Propecia (finasteride)  is currently under scrutiny for a possible connection to prostate cancer
  • Is much cheaper than Rogaine and Propecia and DualGen-15
  • Is sold with a 30 days money back guarantee, which Rogaine and Propecia don’t offer.
  • Is easy to use and very economical


Apart from Propecia (finasteride), Rogaine (minoxidil) and Lipogaine,  DualGen-15 has been touched upon in our discussion of hair loss products. This substance contains some of the basic contents that are to be found in Lipogaine. although Lipogaine is a more comprehensive treatment than DualGen-15. DualGen also comes in different forms of concentration of the ingredients.  

A number of other treatments also performs the basic functions that the above-mentioned products – a remedy containing  minoxidil and/or DHT blockers  – but with less evidence of success. They include Spectral, Provillus and Dutasteride. In fact there are a plethora of hair grow remedies, all claiming success with regrowing hair on bald or semi-bald heads, but with no proven record.


This institution in London specializes in hairloss problems and have a variety of products available for self-treatment. These include DHT blockers such as Propecia and some other products that are combined with minoxidil, as well as Hair Vitalics, a general tonic for hair care. For more information, consult its website:


Drugstore and supermarkets are packed with hair care products. Despite the claims by manufacturers about the nutritional ingredients for your hair, some of the products could actually do more harm than good. Unlike the small number of hair grow remedies that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this body hardly acts to determine what kinds of chemicals are going into the beauty industry’s massively advertised hair products. Some of them can actually strip away the hair’s natural moisture balance and damage hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Almost every shampoo on the market has a conditioner as well, merely to perpetuate the damage done by the shampoo.

A company, Blinc Inc., investigates some of the misleading claims by manufacturers concerning their products. Their findings are published on their websight to educate the public. Some articles on hairloss advise people to  change their shampoo periodically, without providing the reason why.  According to Blinc, this is because most shampoos are made with harsh chemicals like sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and ammonium lauryl/laureth sulfate, which can weaken hair to environmental pollution and dry it out over time. Therefore, you are asked to change your brand or use conditioners loaded with more questionable ingredients that can prevent your hair and scalp from breathing.  Similarly styling waxes or silicone-based glossing serums may add a temporary sheen to lackluster hair, but soon begin to build up on your strands, causing them to lose their volume and bounce. Hair care products should lather and cleanse effectively without creating buildup or causing harm to the skin, eyes or hair. Blinc maintains that very few shampoos are all-natural, and the ones that truly are, have very little shelf life and produce poor cleansing results.

There are so many good shampoos for treating hair loss, that only a few can be discussed on this site. Those shampoos on the market that are manufactured as supplement to the hair regrowth product contain the same ingredients although not necessarily in the same proportions. Lipogaine has a shampoo available that contains ketoconazole, biotin and saw palmetto ($19.95), Perfect Hair offers a solution containing a DHT inhibitor and exfoliators designed to facilitate the absorption of topical minoxidil products ($19.95). Another good product is Hair Genesis Revitalizing Shampoo which contains DHT blockers and sold at $29.70. A few other shampoos that are rated highly include Revivogen Bio Cleansing Shampoo ($24.00), Nizoral Shampoo ($9.50), Alpecin Shampoo, which contains caffeine as a DHT blocker ($14.54) Viviscal Shampoo ($9.99). Nioxin Cleansing Shampoo does not contain minoxidil or finasteride, but cleanses the scalp to remove excessive sebum clogging DHT. Besides, it has been a quality product since the late 1980s. These are shampoos that are mostly directed to halting hair loss. Most of them also have conditioners as part of the product package. You should make sure that you use conditioners correctly, especially avoiding the forming of a sediment on your scalp.

Laser Comb Technology

Laser treatment for hair loss has been used for quite a long time, but until recent years people had to visit hair clinics for treatment. The low intensity laser beams were applied to the hair and scalp by an apparatus similar to a hair dryer in hair salons. Then Lexington International designed and patented the HairMax Laser Comb in the form of a comb with teeth set wide apart through which the laser beams are emited.  In this way laser hair care technology was made available to people in the comfort and privacy of their home and at affordable prices.

As explained in other sections of this site, you don’t go bald or get thinning hair because your hair falls out. You go bald or thin out if the lost hair doesn’t grow back! This is where laser laser can help if used regularly. The manufacturer claims that laser beams can strengthen and regenerate the hair roots. Microscopic studies have shown laser increases circulation and oxygenation of the blood to the scalp and hair bulb. Blood supply to the hair bulb and scalp is stimulated, increasing the number of red blood cells that deliver vital oxygen and nutrients. The result is a restorative and reparative chain reaction that clears debris from the hair shafts, swells the cortex and closes the cuticle leading to a healthier scalp and hair that looks and feels softer, thicker and shinier, and is more easily managed.

According to Lexington laser light uses the scientific principle of photobiotherapy. This process occurs when cells absorb light and repair themselves. In  the case of scalp and hair, laser light penetrates the tissues of the scalp, stimulating micro-circulation of blood supply, cell metabolism and protein synthesizes. Clinical studies suggest that this cellular and sub-cellular activity breaks down the collection of DHT helping to stop hair loss. Laser also prevents calcium formation and blockages around the hair bulb. It also increases cell replacement or regenerative activity.

The HairMax Laser Comb adheres to international standards of safety. The manufacturing company undergoes regular audits to maintain certification and commitment to quality. It is the only apparatus in this category of hair loss treatment that is approved by the FDA. There are five models available and prices (by 2013) vary from $229.00 to $399.00.







Thus far we have discussed various remedies and massaging gear that might assist you in ending your hair loss. In this section we briefly deal with some of the options available to people when hair loss treatment has not been effective. There are numerous methods and products on the market; so we shall focus only on some of the most successful and generally-used ways of covering the entire scalp or affected areas.

Hair Transplantation

Hair replacement surgery, as a method of ending your hair loss, can enhance your appearance and can help you to regain your self-confidence. However, the results won’t necessarily be satisfactory. Before going for hair replacement surgery, think carefully about what you want, what your expectations are and consult a specialist in the field of transplant surgery. Hair replacement is expensive and you should make sure that you can live with the result.

The techniques of hair transplantation have signicantly improved since the late 1970s. Initially grafts of skin with hair were transplanted from the donor area to the bald patches.The results looked somewhat artificial, almost like the synthetic hair on the head of a doll – symmetric rows of plugs all over the scalp. But the methods have gradually become more advanced, so that follicle units could be transferred to the targeted area. Further developments have resulted in transplanting individual follicles through a micro-graft process. Patients are administered local anesthesia or in some cases are mildly sedated for this procedure. Generally the results are good and the transplantations virtually undetectable.

Unfortunately hair transplantation is not suitable for everybody, which may hamper your efforts to end your  hair loss. People with sparse hair in the donor area (at the back and on the sides) usually have a much smaller chance of success. Also, an individual with very little hair in general might be adviced not to undergo hair replacement surgery. The surgeon should make the decision in such cases.

In some instances doctors can successfully use donor hair from other parts of the body. For example, if a man has a particularly hairy chest, some hair can be used from that area as donor hair for the head. This hair transplant procedure requires a surgeon skilled in the latest techniques in order to keep scarring to a minimum.

The cost of a hair transplant will differ from person to person. A full transplant can cost up to $9 000.

In the United States the Aderans Research Institute (ARI) is working on a project which is known as cellular regeneration. The basic focus is on replacing hair to the bald areas through stem cell treatment. Hair from the client’s donor area are multiplied in a laboratory and implanted into the scalp.The massive number of hair follicles should ensure a substantial growth of new, strong hair. At this stage the ARI’s results are being tested and verified. The general opinion among dermatologists and other specialist researchers is that although promising tentative results have been produced, a final research product is not on the horizon yet.

Implant of Biofibre

Another hair replacement method to end your hair loss is the so-called Biofibre Hair Implant System. Clinics all over the world offer this service.

The implants can be done at once to produce a full head of hair and a natural hairline immediately, or it can be done gradually. It can be combined with natural hair or transplants.

The procedure involves the implant of  artificial hair into the scalp as a replacement for natural hair. The fibre is implanted into the scalp with a special instrument.  The treatment is painless and no surgical procedure is involved.  Treatment  to cover the whole head with fibre may take 6 000 – 8 000 implants. Recovery of the skin after implants usually takes only two to three days. Although the hair is artificial substance, it looks like natural hair. It can be washed and dried like normal air, but must be washed according to specific instructions. Of course the implants do not grow.

Biofibre has a strict maintenance program that includes regular cleansing and regular check-ups at the clinics.  Implants will be matched to existing hair. The hair is soft, flexible and fine. It comes  in 13 standard colours. Clinical trials have shown only 1% of  patients to be sensitive to the fibre and therefore not suitable for the  implants.

The cost of the biofibre process also varies and will be determined by an examination of the client’s individual situation. One of the international clinics charges approximately $900 (clinic fees excluded) for implantations on a large scalp area. It would be wise to obtain a quotation of the fees before making a decision.

Hair pieces and wigs

Hair pieces or wigs of a high quality can also be part of your efforts to end your hair loss. Women as well as men can wear hair pieces or wigs that are tailor-made for them. Colour and style are delivered according to the taste of the client. Like the care prescribed for biofibre implants, hair pieces and wigs also require regular maintenance. Wigs are fitted on to a person’s head so that the (usually) synthetic hair covers the entire scalp. Hair pieces are usually attached to the scalp to cover bald patches. In both cases the strands of artificial hair are combed through the natural hair at the back and at the sides of the head to integrate with it. Prices differ widely, and clients should ask for individual quotations. In recent pages wigs have been advertised for $51 to $69.







What can good food, supplementaries and home treatment do for your hair?

The answer to this question is not as simple as one might have thought. In almost every encyclopedia, book or article the importance of proper nutrition for healthy hair is emphasized. In fact, all the other requirements for good health in general are also made applicable to the maintenance of strong and healthy hair. In effect this may create the impression that few people will suffer from hair loss if only a balanced diet (or dietary supplements) plus a healthy life style (sufficient sleep, regular excercise, no smoking etc.) was followed.

Unfortunately the reality is not as simple as that. We all know about people enjoying excellent health, but facing the world with bald heads (particularly men). And the other way round, there are terminally ill people with a shock of hair (if they are not receiving chemotherapy).  Probably the most famous argument raised by those who completely reject the power of nutrition view, is that people loose hair on top and not at the sides or the back of their heads no matter whether they eat healthy food or not. In addition, how can one explain why people who are deprived of healthy and fresh food on a regular basis, such as tramps and beggars, are often the proud owners of thick, strong hair.

This proves at least one point: that the hormonal factor, in which the destructive role of DHT is emphatic, is the major culprit in causing permanent hair loss.

However, that does not mean that the pursuit of healthy food, supplements and a healthy lifestyle will be useless in combating hair loss. Far from that.  The inadequate intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutritious substances may not be the primary cause of hair loss, but can definitely contribute to hair loss and may also aggravate the situation. Apart from nutrients, people all over the world claim that other topical home products have done wonders for their hair. Messaging the scalp, brushing the hair and other techniques usually accompany the use of home remedies.

The discussion that follows provides an overview of some of the most-used food supplementaries and natural products used by many people. Keep in mind, however, that the degree of success in making hair regrow of each of these products has not been established by scientific, independent studies.


Since your food plays a vital role in making up your body and performing different bodily tasks, it would be wise to  analyze your food for its protein and vitamin contents. And because your hair is part of your body, you will include it in the process. The following food substances may have an influence when addressing hair problems.

Vitamin A: This vitamin works with silica and zinc to avert clogging and drying of the sebaceous gland. Sebaceous gland produces a fluid named sebum which is very important in producing lubricants for the hair follicles. Due to deficiency of Vitamin A your scalp can become thick and dry which causes dandruff-filled hair and ultimately hair loss. Good sources of  Vitamin A include fortified milk, liver, red or yellow spinach, carrots and other dark green and red vegetables.

Vitamin B6, B12, Folic Acid: All of these three vitamins are very important in maintaining the levels of hemoglobin in blood. Hemoglobin ensures the supply of  oxygen from lungs to tissues in the body. So, if your body is deficient in these three vitamins,  your hair and skin may suffer as a result. Foods like liver, fish, chicken, pork, soybeans and kidney are good sources of Vitamin B.

Biotin: Biotin  is one of the vitamins that has been clinically proven as beneficial to the hair. It is a member of Vitamin B complex family also sometime known as Vitamin H or Vitamin B7. Biotin not only strenghthen you hair; it is also a source of health for your whole body, for example to regulate your blood sugar through the processing of glucose. Growth and replication of cells depends on Biotin. Biotin also helps in making of DNA, RNA and the production of fatty acids. Thus on one hand Biotin helps in maintaining good hair health and on the other hand it is important for several bodily functions.  Quite a number of foods contain Biotin, such as  egg yolk,  liver, brewer’s yeast, green peas, oats, soyabeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, green peas, bulgur, kidneys, milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products,  oysters, lobsters, poultry, cauliflower, avocados, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, grapefruits, raisins, mushrooms, green peas, blackcurrants, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, nuts, beans, lentils, oats bran, whole grains,  peanut butter, molasses, and foods like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herrings (foods rich in Omega – 3 fatty acids).  A healthy person and pregnant woman must take 300 grams of Biotin in daily dietand brown rice are rich in Biotin. Using a Biotin enriched shampoo may also help in improving your hair health.

Vitamin C: This vitamin acts as an anti-oxygen. The deficiency of vitamin C in your body can cause split ends and hair breakages. To ensure the enough supply of vitamin C in your body, consume foods, like fresh peppers, citrus fruits, melons berries, potatoes, tomatoes and leafy green vegetables and citrus fruit. As a food supplement the dose per day is 500-1000 mg.

Vitamin E: This one is responsible for healthy blood circulation and supply of oxygen to the scalp. The increased circulation improves the  body’s ability to produce new hair. The recommended daily dose of vitamin E is 400  IU. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, grains, vegetable oils, and ready to eat cereals, etc. are good Vitamin E sources. Topical application may stimulate the capillaries on the scalp and may help preventing hair loss.

Inositol: This vitamin is also important for hair growth. It also has many other benefits, such as lowering cholesterol levels, preventing hardening of the arteries, facilitating the formation of lecithin and removing fats from the liver.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: This is an extremely healthy form of oil found in fish, particularly salmon and sardines. Recommended daily dose: one tablespoon of fish oil a day to prevent hair loss.

Lysine: As an amino acid Lysine is a building block of protein. Because hair is made of protein, adding lysine to the diet  helps prevent hair loss. The suggested dosage is 500 to 1000 mg daily. Lysine is  found in meat and eggs.

Zinc:  It produces cells and imparts to tissue growth and repair. Zinc also provides natural oil to the scalp and hair follicles. To ensure sufficient supply of zinc in your body, you have to consume sea foods like oysters, etc.

Iodine: Iodine is very vital to your body health as well as hair health. To maintain enough of iodine level in your body, you have to consume foods like seaweed, salmon, seafood, lima beans, molasses, eggs and potatoes (skinless), watercress and garlic.

Proteins: Proteins are very important for  body and hair health. Meats, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt should maintain sufficient supplies of proteins to the body.

Silica: Silica is known as a trace mineral. Some rich food sources of silica are rice, oats, lettuce, parsnips, asparagus, onion, strawberry, cabbage, cucumber, leek, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb, cauliflower and Swiss chard.

Hair analysts also mention some other practices and habits that are associated with hair loss resulting from deficient diets. These are:

1. The refining of whole grains that reduces the B vitamin content.

2. Over cooking of vegetables that destroys B vitamins.

3. Raw leafy greens that are absent in most diets.

4. The absorbtion of nutritionally inferior carbohydrates like sugar and white flour.

5. The over-use of stimulants like caffeine, nicotene and alcohol that rob the body of vital nutrients.

6. Excessive salt intake can induce hair loss because of its tendency to accumulate in tissue.

7. Low fiber intake inhibits digestion thus reducing the body’s ability to deliver nutrients to the blood stream.

As mentioned earlier: it is unlikely that improved nutrition alone will result in new hair growth. However, it makes perfect sense to accept that good food will minimize shedding of hair and support other treatments that encourage regrowth.

Home treatment

The success of this kind of treatment depends on various circumstances. Its best chance of success will probably  be to apply it in conjunction with a nutritional program, especially where it is aimed at curbing the activities of DHT. Also, people who are experiencing temporary hair loss may benefit best from this kind of treatment.

1. The advantages of massaging your scalp.

In order to strenghthen the hair follicles and improve blood circulation, massage has been used for ages.  Care should be taken not to break hair, especially when it is wet. Brushing is also beneficial, especial if you use a brush made from natural hair (e.g. pig hair).

2. Hot oil treatments.

The oil softens the hair follicles, helping to avoid  breakage of new hair. To get effective results, at least three treatments weekly are advised. You can do this at home with the use of a shower cap.  You can buy ready-to-use hot oil treatments that contain oils of several herbs such as sesame, olive, and coconut. For more relaxing hot oil treatment at home, opt for those that contain essential oils such as thyme, lavender, and others.

3. Aloe vera extracts.

Considered as a “wonder plant” aloe vera is popular to many people – especially those living in tropical countries -as a remedy for hair loss. Depending on the degree, aloe vera can be used as a shampoo by using fresh pulp that is directly applied on the hair and scalp, as a hair tonic along with other herbs, and a drink or oral aloe juice for the body to absorb its ingredients faster.

4. Mixture of cinnamon and honey.

Many people say that one of the effective home remedies for hair loss is the combination of cinnamon powder and honey with olive oil because these contain properties that make the scalp as well as the hair stronger. By coming up with a paste that can be applied directly to the hair’s roots down to the scalp, it can be used before shampooing.

5. Extracts of ginger.

A piece of ginger, once chopped and directly applied to the area of the head that has bald spots, can be an effective hair remedy for hair loss, because it promotes  the healthy growth of hair follicles.

6. Cayenne pepper and vodka.

Massaging this mixture into the scalp, will add to the stimulation of hair growth.

7. Peptan

A new discovery has been made in finding out what actually causes hair loss, namely: the hardening of collagen. Collagen is a connective tissue that represents almost one-third of animal protein. Collagen provides the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin, cartilage and bone. There are different types of Collagen, depending on the tissues from which it is derived. People who do not suffer from hair loss have supple collagen and persons who begin showing signs of hair loss have hardened collagen. Collagen hardening interferes with the healthy functioning of the hair roots. The vital exchange process of the hair follicle cycle is disrupted and the hair becomes suffocated.

A substance called Peptan has been used with success for hardened Collagens. Peptan is a natural bioactive product containing more than 97 % protein (on a dry weight basis), supplied in a form that can be easily used and digested by the human body. Peptan contains 20 amino-acids. Glycine and proline concentration is 10 to 20 times higher than in other proteins. This very specific composition of amino acids provides Peptan with nutri-functional properties.


Hair loss and pregnancy

Women suffering from hair loss are understandably distressed. After all, their crowning glory is at stake. This section offers some insights into the problem and perspectives on how to treat hair loss in women.

In many cases, however, female hair loss is just a temporary occurance in which hormones play a major part. An example is the case of pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, a large amount of oestrogen is produced causing the hair follicles to go into their growth phase. But once the baby is born, the extra hair is gradually released, and the reverse now happens:  the hair follicles go into a hair loss phase. Thus hair loss after pregnancy is much more pronounced than it was before or during pregnancy. This state of hair loss usually takes about six months to pass, but in some cases it may take up to 12 months for hairfall to return to its normal rate.

Hair loss due to illness

Any type of extended illness or surgery can result in hair loss. Medications taken to combat certain types of illnesses can also cause your hair to become brittle and break or fall out altogether. The most identifiable type of hair loss is the loss associated with chemotherapy treatments. In most cases, this hair loss is complete and affects all areas of the body.

While there is little that can be done to prevent this type of hair loss or promote growth during illness, surgery or chemotherapy treatments, this type of female hair loss is also temporary. In most cases, full recovery of hair is made after the illness is over. You can gradually end your hair loss and promote hair growth after the illness by getting regular trims and using growth enhancing shampoos and conditioners. Vitamin supplements may also be beneficial.

Causes of hair loss: hormones

Androgenetic alopecia, the more tenacious culprit, is the hereditary form of baldness that affects 50 percent of men, and some women after 40. Female hair loss usually starts after menopause although it can begin earlier. Women, just like men, inherit the gene for thinning hair from either parent. In women, testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and the ovaries. Although testosterone gets converted to its destructive by-product, Dihydratestosterone (DHT), it normally cannot cause female hair loss due to the protective effects of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones reduce DHT production and block its attachment to the hair follicle as long as they are present in adequate amounts. However, any condition that can cause a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone or overproduction of DHT can cause thinning hair in women.  DHT causes the hair follicle to shed the normal hair and produce thinner, shorter, colorless hair. This peach-fuzz hair makes the scalp look thinner, and over time the miniaturized hair follicles die, causing permanent hair loss known as balding. There is no peach-fuzz hair in balding areas, and the scalp appears tight and shiny.

Hair loss can start at any age after puberty, but in most cases it occurs with menopause. During menopause female hormones are depleted, lowering a woman’s natural defense against thinning hair. Excessive hair loss in pre-menopausal women indicates an abnormal hormonal imbalance that requires medical investigation and appropriate treatment.

Unlike men, women rarely become totally bald. Genetic baldness in men is usually characterised by a balding spot at the back or a receding hair line. In women this is usually different. Women normally do not lose their hair in spots only; theirs will thin out evenly throughout the head.

Hair loss due to stress

Physical and emotional stress can cause hair loss, but this usually only occurs after a prolonged period of time and in extreme cases. Women experiencing stressful conditions may experience hair loss represented by thinning all over the head or in spots called alopecia areata. While this type of hair loss is alarming, it is not permanent. After the stress is removed, most sufferers of this type of hair loss regrow all of the hair that they had lost. Once stress levels are restored to normal levels, hair loss should stop.

Drugs and chemical applications

Certain drugs can also cause hair loss. The most common medical treatment that causes hair loss is chemotherapy. The drug medication attacks the hair cells, causing hair loss from the scalp. Certain prescription drugs (for instance for thyroid hormone deficiency, diabetes and lupus) and dieting supplements are also causes of hair loss. Once these drug medications are stopped, the hair loss problem should disappear.

Other stresses to the hair may include frequent dyeing and chemicals such as perming solutions applied to the hair. Generally, healthy hair can undergo these treatments without showing signs of stress if they are not done too often. But if hair is not allowed a chance to recover from the constant application of hair chemicals, then it becomes brittle and starts to break off. No matter how healthy and strong your hair is today, you could experience severe hair loss after undergoing a harsh chemical process such as a perm or color. The hair salon certainly contributes largely to the application of chemical substances, but some women often play their part at home to ruin their hair. There are cases where women confessed that they bleach their hair at home, color it over and then go to  the salon for yet another bleaching.  The stylist, not informed about the “home treatment”, completes the harmful procedure using another strong  chemical.

These women usually pay the price for such fallacy, but fortunately most of these cases do not result in complete hair loss and the damage  can usually be repaired. The hair loss repair programme includes protein treatments and other conditioning methods to strengthen the remaining hair; also a good hair cut that will remove most of the damage; and a gentle hair-care routine that will minimize further hair loss due to breakage. You should also refrain from using thermal styling tools and undergoing any further chemical procedures until the hair is completely grown out.

For  more serious cases, do seek the professional help of a licensed dermatologist for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. This important action may be the first step in ending your hair loss. There are also a few other hair loss treatment options that can be explored. They include shampoos, conditioners and topical treatments that stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss; vitamin supplements; and stimulatory treatments such as massage, infra-red and laser therapy. The most successful of these hair loss treatments are the topical treatments. While they are quite expensive, they produce the best results. Among them are Rogaine for women and a much more affordable yet very successful product, Lipogaine.  Although Rogaine activates the follicle’s growth phase, it has no effect on the DHT production that eventually leads to hair-follicle atrophy.  See the discussion of the methods and products available to counteract hair loss in the next section.


In the section HAIR LOSS: RESTORE AND KEEP YOUR HAIR the various ways to end hair loss  in men and women will be discussed.










To end your hair loss, reading about the origins of the problem is imperative. It will help you to assess your own situation, identify the reasons why you in particular suffer from a specific type of hair loss, and what you can do to address the problem. Besides, you will acquaint yourself with the many half-truths and myths about hair loss. That in itself may save you a lot of money avoiding expensive “hair growers” that do not work at all. This discussion comprises two important components of the problem: first, trustworthy, factual reading material on hair loss and secondly, the half-baked explanations about hair loss, and the myths that have developed over time. In a following section modern methods to treat the problem will be analysed.

Let us first make one point clear. To lose hair is not abnormal. This is part of the growth cycle of hair in every person. In fact, hair experts say that up to 100 hairs per day can be lost without worrying about the matter. It is when there is no replacement of fallen hair and thinning areas begin to show, that the warning lights come on. Then it is time for you to act.

Researchers have found that normally three factors are involved in hair loss. They are: excessive dihydrotestosterone (DHT) where male baldness is concerned; Pseudo-oestrogen chemicals; and lack of vital nutrients.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Understanding why you become bald is the key to ending your hair loss. It is all about the actions and interactions of hormones in your body. Free testosterone ( a male hormone) is broken down by an enzyme, called 5-alpha reductase, into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent form of testosterone. This enzyme is produced only in specific tissues of males. The “radical”  chemical DHT binds to the hair follicle receptors, blocking essential nutrients from accessing the hair. The hair gradually becomes thinner and eventually dies. It is what’s called the “peach fuzz” look on young men with hair loss.

This is  why only men get male pattern baldness and women don’t. Hair loss in women is more evenly distributed with a thinning over the whole scalp. Also, effective DHT inhibiting treatment was only effective on younger men with hair loss and not older men or women. Excessive DHT is therefore not the only reason for losing your hair.

Pseudo-Oestrogen chemicals

This condition mostly affects women and has also to do with the binding of chemicals to hair follicle receptors. The confirmation of a theory was to be found in Chinese women.  For centuries it was unheard of for women in China to experience hair loss at any age. Over the last 20 years increasing number of Chinese women in the industrialized areas of China are experiencing hair loss. This has been put down to chemicals from the industrial process that mimic the chemical effects of oestrogen. These pseudo-oestrogen chemicals bind tighter to the hair follicle receptors than normal oestrogen does, starving the hair follicle of vital nutrients – similar to the way DHT does.

This also seems to be the reason for hair loss in obese men. Fat cells in obese and balding men contain more of the enzyme aromatase (responsible for converting testosterone into oestrogen). Also bacteria in fat cells produce oestrogen-like chemicals.

Lack of vital nutrients

When considering ways to end your hair loss, you should take into account that the hair needs a variety of nutrients to sustain itself.

Experiments on mice have shown the effect of a deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals. Scientists removed the genes in mice responsible for the regulation of the hair and scalp. These genes are in turn normally regulated by vitamin D. The result was rickets and hair loss with dermal cysts appearing quite early on. When scientists injected naturally “nude” mice with vitamin D, they started sprouting hair at an alarming rate.

In the case of women hair loss, shortage of iron and the essential amino acid L-lysine has been associated with losing one’s hair. Supplementing their diets with this has proven to be very beneficial for women who are losing their hair.



Through the ages millions of people (mostly men) have gone to their graves completely bald or with thinning hair. While medical science has achieved miracles in replacing or transplanting organs, it has made no definite breakthrough with hair restoration. And although some authoritative findings have been made about the reasons for baldness, hair loss myths are more well-known than hair loss facts. Since hair loss is such a common and unwelcome condition, the public has been bombarded with hair loss myths to promote sales of hair loss prevention products. Many companies have jumped on the hair loss bandwagon because of our own enormous desires to eliminate hair loss from our lives, not to mention the unlimited amount of money that we (the public) are willing to spend on this quest. This makes the hair loss market ripe for perpetuating myths that will increase sales. But, for the most part, they are just that: myths.

Some of the more common hair loss myths are as follows:

Hair loss myth number oneMale Pattern Baldness (MPB) comes from the mother’s side of the family and skips a generation. Not true. There is no one single gene that causes baldness. Most researches believe that MPB is a result of several different genes, inherited from both parents, interacting with each other to cause hair loss.

Hair loss myth number two: Pattern baldness affects only men. Also wrong. Just ask any woman suffering from pattern baldness. In fact, hair loss is just as common in women as it is in men. The only real difference is that it usually occurs in a less virulent form and is easier to hide. Also, women’s hair tends to thin out over the entire scalp area, whereas men’s hair thins in patches and primarily at the forehead.

Hair loss myth number three: Poor blood flow to the scalp area causes hair loss. This is a misconception that has been perpetuated by companies selling hair loss products for years. Dermatologists will tell you that bald scalps have just as much blood flow as scalps full of hair. It is because of this blood flow to the bald scalp that hair transplants work so well.

Hair loss myth number four: If you haven’t lost your hair by 40, you aren’t going to. Again, not true. Age has nothing to do with it. If you are genetically predisposed to lose your hair, you are going to. Just be grateful you made it to 40 with your hair still intact.

Hair loss myth number 5: Stress makes your hair fall out. Although this statement is partly true, it really takes a very traumatic event to cause so much stress that your hair will fall out as a result. The daily stress that  we experience is unlikely to cause your falling out on a large scale.

And so we can go on and add new urban legends. But the point is: most of the facts we think we know about hair loss are actually hair loss myths. If you are suffering from hair loss, consult your doctor. He (or she) should be able to give you a factual reason for your hair loss and advise you as to what types of treatments may would work in your specific case.