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Balding, thinning hair - Part 2

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Last months column introduced the common problem of hair loss. This month I’ll go into more details about your options. Treating hair loss involves three things:

1. Stop doing all the things that are causing hair loss, i.e.:

  • Don’t smokeor stop if you do. It’s all bad!-Bad for your hair, health, skin etc., etc.
  • Eat to save your hair (and maybe your life). Bad diets cause high insulin (hormone) levels. Insulin causes a surge in the hormone called testosterone in the blood (even in women). Excess testosterone is rapidly converted to another hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes hair loss, acne and the growth of excess facial and body hair (in men and women).
  • Your belly accelerates hair loss. Too much insulin (from bad diets) also forces belly fat to suck in nutrients and expand. As they get bigger they cause insulin resistance. You then need to release more insulin in order to control your sugar levels. More insulin equals more DHT and less hair.
  • Minimise stress and think positively. Stress aggravates hair loss mainly by increasing cortisol (a stress hormone).

2. Take specific treatment directed to the cause or causes of your hair loss.

  • Oral Finasteride inhibits DHT (the hormone that causes hair loss).
  • Topical MINOXIDIL wakes up dormant (sleeping) hair follicles and thickens and darkens fine pale hairs.
  • Ketoconazole shampoo as it blocks the effect of DHT on the hair follicle.
  • Take supplements to support hair growth. Osmosis Harmonised water, Saw palmetto, Beta sitosterol, Pygeum africanum , Zinc, Silica, Manganese, Iodine, B6, Biotin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, B12, Folate or folinic acid, PABA Vitamin (Tocotrienols), Cysteine, Taurine, Fish protein and carbohydrate extract.

3. Use other measures known to improve your hair.

  • Avoid supplements that harm hair health, e.g. whey protein.
  • Red light therapy.
  • Skin Needling. This treatment releases growth factors that wake up dormant hairs and making hair thicker and darker.
  • Cosmetic options include: applying keratin fibres, scalp painting products, thickening conditioners, hairsprays and other products, hair extensions, hairpieces, wigs.
  • Botox and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). PRP produce high levels of growth factors, the little messengers that tell the healing cells to do their thing.

Combination treatments are always more effective than the same treatments used alone.

  • Give treatments long enough before you decide whether they work or not. Hair grows about 1cm a month. It can take 6-12 months to be sure you are responding.
  • Remember it can be hard to tell if there is any improvement as our memories are not 100%. Make sure you take good photos.
  • Start now. Combination treatment is excellent at preserving hair and slow and weak at re-growing it–so don’t leave it too long.

The above treatments are the most effective, proven treatments. Other treatments fall into two categories, less effective and no effect at all. The treatments that do nothing at all are too numerous to list here so be careful what you buy/commit to. A consultation by a reputable doctor trained in diagnosing different types of hair loss and prescribing treatments for your particular type of hair loss is essential to ensure your best chance of success. See The Chandler Clinic team now.

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