Do you find yourself checking in the mirror for those tell-tale signs of thinning or receding hair? If so, you might be wondering if there are any ways to ensure you don’t shed your locks. Here, we take a look at whether hair loss can be prevented.
It’s In Your Genes
There are lots of theories concerning how to stop hair falling out. From washing it in cold water, to standing on your head, to avoiding hats, you might have heard a whole host of supposedly helpful suggestions. In reality, the vast majority of cases of hair loss are genetic, meaning it doesn’t matter how you wash your locks or which accessories you wear on your head. Although in rare cases it can be triggered by illness or extreme stress, by far the most common form of hair loss is male pattern baldness, which is passed down in families. This condition causes the hormone testosterone to be converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which has a damaging effect on hair follicles., causing them to weaken, shrink and eventually die.
Unfortunately, whether or not you have the gene for male pattern baldness is out of your control. However, there are now a range of treatment options on offer. One of the most effective and best known of these is Propecia. This prescription-only medicine contains the active ingredient finasteride and it is taken in tablet form. It works by limiting the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Studies have shown that the medicine can slow down or even reverse the process of hair loss and, according to healthcare specialists Online Doctor Lloyds Pharmacy, nine in 10 men who take the treatment notice an improvement.
The Sooner, The Better
Bear in mind that for the best results, it’s important to start taking this hair loss treatment for men sooner rather than later. This is because it is easier to stop hair from being lost than it is to regrow it once it has fallen out. Also, it’s important to note that finasteride is especially effective among men with mild to moderate hair loss.
Also, you shouldn’t expect to see results immediately. It can take three months or more to slow hair loss down and it may be six months before any new growth can be seen. Also, hair loss will usually resume once the treatment is stopped.
There are other treatment options available too. For example, the lotion minoxidil, which is applied directly to the scalp, has been shown to slow the hair loss process in around half of those who use it, while 15 per cent of men experience some regrowth. In addition, some people use alternative therapies, like acupuncture and homeopathy. There’s very limited evidence to suggest these treatments have any positive effects, but some people claim to experience benefits.
So, while you may be at the mercy of your genes when it comes to male pattern baldness, there are treatments on offer that can help you limit the effects.