Hair growth is an important subject for both men and women everywhere, and there are many ways to achieve this goal.
Treatments for Fighting Hair Loss
Hair loss can make you feel uncomfortable, but the good news is that with modern medicine, there are plenty of ways to limit hair loss, regrow hair and promote new growth. Today's advances mean everyone can have access to a more luscious and vibrant head of hair.
How Does Hair Grow?
To understand the phenomenon of hair loss and begin to tackle it, it’s important to take a quick look at the process by which hair actually grows in the first place. It’s fairly simple, and while more complex explanations can certainly be found, it can be explained in three basic steps.
This is the initial growth stage of the hair. Signals are sent to the hair follicles (the roots of the hair), prompting the hair cells to begin growing. Once a new hair is formed, it starts to push its way out through the skin. The period during which this new hair is growing is called the active stage of growth, and can last anywhere from two to six years. As it grows, the new hair has to replace the old one, which is occupying the follicle. This is done through a process called exogen, during which the old hair is pushed out of the follicle by the new one, which then goes on to emerge into the world and embark on its life as a hair.
When the first stage of growth is finished, it’s time for the catagen stage. This is where a large part of the follicle shrivels and dies, and the hair prepares for the final part of its "life."
This is the final stage in the life cycle of a hair. There is no more growth, and the follicle is no longer active at this point. Hairs normally stay in this stage for 100 days or so, and it ends when a new hair pushes through to replace it, beginning the process all over again. Hair loss happens naturally with age, as follicles become smaller. The anagen stage becomes shorter and the telogen stage becomes longer, and hair begins to thin and recede. This is caused by hormonal shifts; in men a hormone called DHT is responsible for most cases of baldness.
Laser Hair Growth Treatment
Laser technology is becoming more popular as a way to treat hair loss and even regrow hair, aimed at people with thinning hair or sufferers of alopecia. It’s popular because there are almost no negative side effects, it’s quick and simple, and doesn’t break the bank. It can even be done from the comfort of your own home. But how exactly does it work? Put simply, the laser increases blood flow in the scalp, which stimulates the follicles into producing hair. The build-up of DHT (that pesky hormone that causes male pattern baldness) is also prevented, slowing the process of hair loss. Laser hair growth treatment doesn’t work in every case, and is unlikely to do anything for follicles that are already dead, but it could rejuvenate those follicles that are in decline, preserving the thickness of your hair for longer.
Biotin Hair Growth Treatment
Hair is made from keratin, a substance which is also present in toe and finger nails. It’s a protein, and as such is formed from a chain of amino acids. Biotin is a chemical which reacts with cell enzymes to form proteins, strengthening hair and contributing to better growth. Despite some negative press, most official biotin products are perfectly safe, and use a correct dose of the substance. There’s very little risk, therefore, in using biotin hair growth treatment to treat hair loss. Biotin is also present in many foodstuffs such as eggs, avocados, and fish, albeit at levels which are probably too small to produce any noticeable effect on your hair.
One final option is that of surgery. There are a number of options available to treat hair growth under the knife, including follicle transplants and scalp reduction (pinching the scalp together to eliminate bald areas). These are obviously a little more extreme than the options above, and carry risks such as scarring. They’re also not guaranteed to work, and may require further operations to maintain the results. With surgery, it's important to explore all your options, the risks and side effects of each procedure and other concerns. Having the right surgeon is also key to a successful experience, so be sure to look into the different practices in your area to find the right fit.