Why it’s important to start hair loss treatment early

Hair loss, also referred to as baldness or alopecia, refers to the loss of hair from parts of the head or body. For some people, this condition causes psychological distress and lack of confidence.

However, with the incredible medical advances over the past few decades, losing hair does not mean that you will end up bald. Starting treatment as early as possible is hugely beneficial for reducing and even reversing hair loss. There are many affordable remedies available on the market to treat the condition. Studies have shown that the cause of baldness is purely an act of nature and not nurture. For instance, identical twins start going bald at the same pattern, time and rate, irrespective of their different eating habits, stress levels, or lifestyles.

Baldness has been found to be an intricate polygenic trait involving up to five genes, and it is the interaction among these genes that controls the particulars of the pattern of thinning hair.

Treatment options

Thinning hair and baldness can happen to anyone at any time, even those who are still in their early twenties, a condition that can reduce confidence in many people. However, there are many treatments for hair loss available, including:

Finasteride – this is an approved drug that has been prescribed by general practitioners and dermatologists for about 15 years. Finasteride works by blocking an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase, thereby stopping the transformation of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the prostate. Studies have found that dihydrotestosterone plays an important role in the most common form of hair loss.

Minoxidil – this drug was first developed during the 1950s as a treatment for high blood pressure, but failed hopelessly because it caused unwanted hair growth. It was later re-developed for treating baldness, as a lotion to be applied straight onto the scalp. First launched in 1988 in the USA, Minoxidil increased in popularity in leaps and bounds. Just one-fortieth of a Minoxidil tablet can stop thinning hair from leading to baldness, without having to use anything else on your hair.

Finasteride works well at curbing the progression of thinning hair and, according to this study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Minoxidil is effective at promoting new hair growth. When combining the use of both treatments, thinning hair is stopped, and the growth of new hair increased.

Hair transplant – when thinning hair is too far advanced for tablets and lotions to be useful, hair transplant surgery is another option. This is a cosmetic procedure that has improved amazingly in the past few years. Although there are various techniques available, they all involve hair-bearing skin being taken from one area of the scalp and grafted onto areas that are thinning or bald.

Hair regrowth therapy – this is yet another treatment option for thinning hair. Laser treatment therapy exposes the hair to low levels of laser light to increase the levels of adenosine triphosphate or ATP in the hair follicles and promote hair growth. Adenosine triphosphate sends energy to the cells in the hair follicles, so the more ATP around, the more energy being sent to the hair follicles to regrow thinning hair. Weekly sessions of laser therapy over a period of three months are best when starting treatment for hair loss.

Rosemary essential oil – an alternative type of therapy, Rosemary essential oil can still make a difference. According to dermatologists, massaging a few drops of this essential oil into your scalp, before washing your hair with your regular shampoo, can stop thinning hair and promote hair growth.

Vitamin D – according to some dermatologists, hair thinning is increased if you lack vitamin D, so add it to your shopping list as soon as possible. Vitamin D deficiency can make it just about impossible for over-the-counter products for thinning hair to work correctly.

Image credit: Hair loss treatment via Africa Studio/Shutterstock

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