For anyone who has experienced hair loss, be it thinning or actual balding, it can be a horribly stressful situation. The emotional connection that women have between their hair and how they feel in general is a powerful one. When your hair is a mess and being unruly, your entire day can feel as chaotic and out of control as your looks. The same is true when your hair is having a Hollywood perfect day, which can make you feel like the queen of the world. This intense connection between how hair can impact a woman’s life through its role in self image and esteem can be catastrophic when there is thinning or baldness. Of all the reported cases alone, women account for 40% of them, and many go unreported to medical professionals due to embarrassment regarding the condition.
So what causes it and is there a cure for hair loss?
In most cases, hair loss is a matter of hormones. In genetically influenced cases, a chemical called DHT, which is a product of testosterone being broken down, is regarded as a toxin and has severe impact on hair growth. Normally, hair follicles have no problem with DHT, it is just a peculiar genetic marker that can make some of all the hair follicles on the scalp, or in some cases the body, be unable to tolerate its presence. The majority of hair loss caused by genetics is seen in men because of their naturally higher levels of testosterone. Women naturally produce smaller amounts of it, which means there are also more potential causes for thinning or lost hair.
Hormone related hair loss and treatments.
Hormonal imbalance can be a factor that aggravates the causes hair loss in women. The only thing that women with an imbalance can do as a cure for hair loss is to get their hormones back under control. In particular, a syndrome called PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, can often result in hair thinning and loss for women. Replacement therapy and other forms of medication to control the excess of certain hormones can take months or years to work, but can reverse the thinning and balding caused by an excess of testosterone.
The most common combination of therapy for women that doctors prescribe is a medication called Finasteride, which is the only FDA approved treatment for hair loss, and over the counter minoxidil, better known as Rogaine. These two medications, for both men and women, have shown to reverse hair loss and prevent it from recurring with continued combined treatment, which is the closest thing to a hair loss cure as you can get with medication.
Lifestyle related reasons behind hair loss in women.
Outside of genetic preconditioning and hormone imbalance, there are certain lifestyle choices that can affect hair growth and health. Simply letting your hair down more often and avoiding tightly binding styles can be a hair loss cure for women that takes no effort. Other easy things that take little modification to habit are things like stopping smoking and eating a proper diet. Fad dieting that has your cutting vital sources of nutrients and engorging on somewhat health but still not nutritionally complete foods can contribute to hair loss from vitamin deficiencies or excesses. Too much vitamin A, for example, can cause thinning hair. While too little protein or vitamin D can also cause thinning or lost hair.
The only type of hair loss cure is potential surgery.
As it stands, any pill or topical solution taken for certain types of baldness, in particular when it’s caused by genetic factors, only treat the condition. It is impossible at this time to change the genetics of the cells inside the follicles which are sensitive to DHT. However, when there is enough unaffected follicles present, hair transplant surgery is a viable option to help correct the effects of faulty follicles. It can give permanent results without requiring continued use or repeated procedures. As an option, surgery can be the only form of male, or female, hair loss cure.
An important fact about treatments for hair loss.
When there is a thriving and long standing medical condition that has a large demand for a treatment or cure, there will always be a market that offers many different remedies. However, it should be made well known that most products claiming to cure or reverse hair loss, no matter the hype, are often not reliable. You cannot change your genetics with a pill or cream, and unless you know for certain that your hair loss problem is caused by something external, many hair loss remedies on the market today are the not what they are made up to be. Hair loss has been an issue since the time of the Vikings and likely before. In those far gone days, some healers touted slathering on mixtures, usually containing dung and urine from different sources, as the cure for hair loss.
True alternative treatments that can lead to a cured state.
There are treatments and herbal remedies that can help increase blood flow to the hair follicles, and this in turn can encourage new growth. In fact, massage is one alternative medicine method for treating baldness. Though often not done alone, it is used in combination with various oils or solutions that either deliver FDA approved medications or medicinal oils that have been shown in preliminary studies to potentially help improve follicle health. For people who are suffering from stress induced hair loss, massage and relaxation therapy can be quite beneficial in curing the root causes behind the hair loss.
One new hair loss cure is a regimen that involves using a type of laser to stimulate the scalp. It is relatively new and remains a point of controversy in different circles. Some claim there are more studies that have been completed in the last few years that show using low level laser therapy, or LLLT for short, is effective in treating hair loss. It is not a cure for those with certain types of baldness, but it is showing a lot of promising results for cases in which hair is being regrown.
For patients who have undergone cancer treatment and lost their hair, or who lost hair due to severe reactions to medication, being able to regrow hair more quickly is a promising idea. It is one treatment that is becoming available for both at home and in office administration. While it has been shown to increase growth, it will not cause it to regrow overnight. Like many other treatments, it can only help encourage new growth, which is where a lot of debate is held over it, as a treatment option.
The bottom line when it comes to finding a hair loss cure.
There is no truly simple or easy way to undo baldness. If preventive measures were not taken when hair loss first began, or if it occurred suddenly, then the road to recovering from it can be long. Typically it takes months or even a few years for many treatments to reach their full potential. In the case of the most common cause, genetics, there is no cure, only sustained treatments. Nothing shy of surgery to replace the improperly programmed follicles can help when it comes to being in your genes.
For people who are suffering hair loss in part to genetics and hormone imbalance, or just hormone imbalance, correcting the hormone levels can prove to be sufficient to stop, or even reverse the hair loss. For women in particular, hormone replacement therapy may be a lifelong treatment depending on the cause of the imbalance. Using medications such as Finasteride and minoxidil are the most effectively and recognized treatments available for most people. Though, they are again, something that must be continued in most cases to continue to have results.
Till date, there is no pill, cream, or shot that can permanently cure hair loss. The many factors such as genetics, hormones, and various lifestyle and even environmental causes for hair loss are too great for one potential source to treat. Shy of actual surgery, there is no real one size fits all cure. Though, that does not mean the prognosis for having hair loss is grim. Treatments available from doctors and over the counter that have been approved by the FDA have been proven to help reverse the effects of many temporary hair loss causes. Simple blood work done in a routine visit can also draw a base line of factors about your general state of health, which will also pinpoint potential causes for hair loss. The most important step though, in finding a treatment that may lead to a cure for hair loss is talking to a doctor. The widespread occurrence of hair loss in both men and women has made it an issue that most doctors can help address. If your regular doctor cannot help you themselves, then they will know someone who can. Just remember to follow medically sound advice when selecting a treatment.