Hair loss: Dr Ranj discusses causes of male pattern baldness
Researching the causes of hair loss can be disheartening – one soon discovers an array of lifestyle and genetic factors, all of which often conspire to cause hair loss. It is easy to become overwhelmed and view any attempts to treat hair loss as ill-fated. However, for all its complexity, the processes involved in hair loss can be stopped.
There have been a number of encouraging studies that show hair loss can be stopped and even reversed by natural supplementation.
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology supports the use of omega-3 to reverse pattern baldness.
Pattern baldness is a permanent type of hair loss that usually runs in the family.
The study evaluated the effects on hair loss of a six‐month supplementation with omega-3 and omega-6 supplements.
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Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are all important dietary fats that provide a host of health benefits.
One hundred and twenty healthy female subjects participated in a six-month, randomised, comparative study.
Overall changes in hair density and diameter were also measured by trichometer and by subjects’ self-assessment.
A trichometer is a scientific instrument designed to precisely and accurately measure hair loss, growth, and breakage on any area of the scalp.
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After six months of treatment, photograph assessment demonstrated a “superior” improvement in the supplemented group.
The telogen hair percentage was significantly reduced in the supplemented group.
Telogen is a form of hair loss characterised by hair thinning or an increase in hair shedding.
A large majority of supplemented subjects reported a reduction in hair loss, as well as an improvement in hair diameter and hair density.
In their concluding remarks, the researchers said: “A six-month supplementation with omega 3&6 and antioxidants acts efficiently against hair loss.”
There are other things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments aren’t available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
According to the NHS, finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.
“Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women shouldn’t use finasteride,” says the NHS.
Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
You could also try the following:
- Steroid injection – injections given into bald patches
- Steroid creams – cream applied to bald patches
- Immunotherapy – chemical applied to bald patches
- Light treatment – shining ultraviolet light on bald patches
- Tattooing – tattoo used to look like short hair and eyebrows
- Hair transplant – hair cells are moved to thinning patches
- Scalp reduction surgery – sections of scalp with hair are stretched and stitched together
- Artificial hair transplant – surgery to implant artificial hairs.
Some of the above treatments may not be available on the NHS.
“If your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling,” adds the NHS.
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