People grow hair over quite large areas of their body. The most obvious point is the head, but with varying degrees of thickness, it can pop out almost everywhere. Cultures vary as to hair on the head. Some find facial hair attractive and people make a feature of it. In men, conventions vary as to beards and moustaches. Some shave with enthusiasm, others have spectacular beards. On the scalp in both sexes, everything is possible from complete shaving to shoulder length (and beyond). Others cover up hair with turbans and hijabs. Religion and different standards of modesty prevail. Wherever people live, hair is an integral part of their identity and deeply woven into their local cultures. But all this is under control. The real question is the biology. What makes hair grow and why does it stop?
Let us start with a simple statement. Each hair grows out of a follicle and, on the average human head, there are 100,000 follicles. That is a lot of roots and helps to give you a measure of seriousness when you hear that between 50 and 100 hairs randomly fall out every day. When everything is working well, once a hair drops, a new one begins to grow in its place. Thus, there is a continuous cycle of growth, rest and then drop. This takes between two and three years per hair so, at any one time, about 10% of the scalp is at rest and the rest is growing. Why have hair at all? It is mainly protective, shielding the skin from the sun and offering some cushioning against blows and cuts. It also helps us to feel our surroundings. Inside the follicle, the cells regenerate to maintain growth. If anything interferes with this regeneration and the hair loss increases to 150 or more hairs per day, the results will slowly appear. In women, the loss continues to be random, resulting in a general thinning of the hair. In men, a characteristic pattern of baldness tends to emerge.
Each follicle is fed by a system of capillaries that supplies nutrients including amino acids, minerals and vitamins. If the arteries in the neck and through the head are in good shape, the blood will bring the right mix to sustain growth. The key to growth are the androgens, hormones that prompt sexual development. Testosterone is the dominant hormone in in men. In some, there is an inherited trait to converted testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes hair loss. In women, dehydro-epiandrosterone (DHEA) and the smaller quantities of testosterone can be converted into DHT. Propecia prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT and so allows each follicle to continue growing normally. So long as people begin the treatment early enough, further hair loss will be prevented and some follicles will begin growing again. However, conventional wisdom says that propecia is for men only. Women, it seems, must find other remedies.
The most common reason in men is androgenic alopecia, sometimes called male pattern baldness because of the characteristic shape of the hair line. But loss also occurs in both sexes because of drug interactions, through physical or emotional trauma, poor nutrition, and other less common reasons. At this point, it is necessary to step outside the bounds of political correctness. In many contexts, it is considered inappropriate or, even, offensive to make distinctions based on race. The general rule is to assume that everyone is equal. However, in this case, there are significant differences between the races. Japanese men have less loss than caucasian men. Black men are four times more likely than their caucasian counterparts to suffer hair loss. Women of all races also suffer loss in the same proportions but, because of the difference in hormones, it is loss in the volume of hair rather than its physical distribution or patterning. This makes women’s hair more difficult to plat or braid, ponytails hang more limply, and so on. These differences are noted by those who market hair loss products and changes how different brands are sold into their target markets.
What should everyone see when they look in the mirror — apart from someone “good looking”, of course? Whether consciously or not, people monitor their appearance. It results from the way parents bring up their children and how children relate to each other. Parents impose their choice of clothes on their children, directing the choice of hairstyle, dictating the “look”. The children compete with each other to break the parental mold, to impose their own choices and assert their individuality. The majority retain this interest in their appearance as they advance into adulthood. Those who are most into style and fashion are the most vulnerable to unexpected changes.
Most people will notice any change in their hair when they look in the mirror. They may also start finding more hairs caught up in a comb or brush. When hairs turn up on the pillow overnight or on the favorite chair, the list of symptoms is complete. There is a problem. For women, the first question is whether this is no more than damage caused by the excessive use of heat through curling tongs or the drier. Perhaps there have been too many applications of chemicals to dye or straighten hair. The style may also be slowly pulling the hair out by the roots so allowing the hair to be free rather than under traction may be the answer. For men who do nothing more than run a comb through their hair once every morning, the cause is most likely androgenic alopecia and the remedy is propecia. This applies regardless of race. The earlier men start taking this drug the better. It slowly restores the balance of hormones and prevents further loss. Over time, some hair will regrow. Propecia helps to maintain the same look over the years until age makes loss unavoidable.
Hair loss happens naturally to everyone. On average, the ordinary, healthy person loses between 50 and 100 hairs every day. This is the way the head is designed to work. Hairs grow, they rest, they drop out and new hair grows from the roots. In animals, hair loss is seasonal with hair getting thicker when winter comes, followed by shedding in spring. Humans lose and replace hair continuously. As people age, the hair grows thinner each time it regrows and the root system slowly dies back. By the age of fifty, more than half the world’s population has lost the thickness and shine in the hair they had when young. From fifty onwards, the hair will slowly recede. In men, this happens more than in women. Its progress is as unstoppable as the passing of the years. Whether older people find this bearable depends on their attitude to ageing. For those who see every wrinkle as something to be fought, hair loss is a further symptom that has to be hidden. Women wear wigs or hair pieces to hide the loss. Men are forced to more drastic measures such as surgery.
For younger people, hair loss comes as a natural disaster like an earthquake, shaking their self-confidence and making them look different and, possibly, older. This hair loss would be easier to bear if it was the result of a disease. Everyone knows that cancer patients who go through chemo- or radiotherapy lose all their hair. But the usual explanation is genetic. Instead of a heroic struggle against a killer disease, people lose their hair because they inherited the trait. Cruel people, intent on causing pain, suggest that balding people have genetic defects affecting them in other ways and so morale is worn down.
So what can younger people do when they notice hair loss? Well, the first and most obvious question to ask, “Is this normal loss?” When you stand in the shower and see hair building up in the drain, this is not a cause for panic. People lose their hair naturally every day. Only when the volume of loss increases and a change in physical appearance begins to show itself is there a need for action. Try a simple test. Have someone take a photograph of your head every week from the same angle. This makes it easier to identify real problems. Once a definite trend is established, it is off to see the doctor. There may be a simple explanation and a quick and easy remedy.
For example, it may be the side-effect of a drug. Changing to a different drug may reverse the hair loss. In the cases where the reason is andogenic alopecia, the so-called male pattern baldness, the answer is propecia.
This is a drug designed to correct the hormonal imbalance that causes hair loss. Taken once-daily over significant periods of time, it can prevent further loss and, in some cases, promote regrowth. The earlier in the cycle men begin using propecia, the better the results.
Clinical tests show it is less effective when the hairline has significantly receded.
The most common cause of hair loss is age. Whatever you do, whatever drugs or other treatment you may try, your hair will thin and slowly drop out. Using some drugs will slow this process but, sooner or later, age will win. That said, the most usual causes for loss not accompanied by any other medical symptoms are poor nutrition, stress, and some hair styles and treatments. If you are taking medication for some other condition, hair loss can be a side-effect. For these, you simply need to apply common sense, be patient and the problem will be resolved. Where drug interactions may be the problem, you need to take the advice of your doctor on whether to change the dosage or try different drugs.
However, because all the required chemical reactions to stimulate growth are dependent on the free flow of blood to the capillaries supplying each follicle, anything that interferes with the flow or changes the composition of the blood can cause hair loss. Taking physical interference first, arteriosclerosis is the slow loss of volume through the blood vessels. One of the more common causes is high levels of cholesterol in a poor diet as excess platelets build up as deposits on vessel walls. Heavy smoking has the same effect. This will be accompanied by high blood pressure and possible symptoms suggesting heart problems such as angina. As to the chemical composition of the blood, many conditions can affect the hormone balance. An overactive or underactive thyroid gland may cause hair to fall out. The standard treatments for thyroid disease usually restore hair growth. In women, excess levels estrogens may need to be corrected to stop the hair loss. If oral contraceptives are being used, different dosages or a different method of birth control will often restore growth.
In more serious cases, people may be looking at hair loss as a first symptom of cancer. This may be a malignant tumour or cancer of the blood including lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. Ironically, the treatments using chemo- and radiotherapy remove the rest of the body hair. In slightly less serious cases, the problems may be liver or kidney disease, skin diseases such as lupus and major infections like syphilis. In all these cases, you must either bear with the hair loss or, in combination with any other medication prescribed by your doctor, take propecia. This will help to maintain the status quo except for the more radical treatments which cause stress and hair loss. Whether you do decide to take this drug depends on how important your physical appearance is while you are sick. In many cases, you may be too sick to care. However, there may be situations in which you feel the need to keep up appearances. In those cases, propecia is for you. It is quite slow acting but its effects are reasonably reliable.
If you are suffering from male pattern baldness, it can be downright embarrassing. But believe it or not, baldness is a scientific problem just like any other problem with your body, and this means you can handle a scientific problem like baldness with science itself. Like many other conditions in the human body, knowing what causes the problem will take you a long way towards treating it. Though some forms of baldness are irreversible, this does not mean you have to sit back and let nature take its course. Read here to find out what the causes of baldness are, and what you can start to do about it now to feel like you are more in control. Yes this is one more case where knowledge is power, here you will find the main cause of baldness, and how to deal with it effectively. Believe it or not, the primary cause of hair loss in men, resulting in male pattern baldness is hormonal. The hormone DHT, Dihydrotestosterone, is a primary factor in this condition. When too much DHT is produced, the natural re-growth cycle of your hair is adversely affected. As the hair follicles are replenished, the amount of hair that grows is now shorter and thinner. This condition is known as Androgenetic Alopecia which is the medical term for male pattern baldness, and is the cause of 95% of the condition.
Though this may sound like a little more science than you bargained for, the fact is this makes hair loss easy to work with. Whether you are just starting to notice some thinning, or consider yourself bald, the rates for hair loss will differ. And with hair loss, the sooner you notice changes and the sooner you seek treatment, the more effective your chosen treatment method will be.
Rates of hair loss vary from one man to another, and this is why you may even see very young men that are going bald. In these cases the rate of hormone production is higher than in other males and their hair loss is occurring more rapidly. This Androgenetic Alopecia is also why a high percentage of men cannot avoid baldness without seeking treatment. Male pattern baldness is simply a result of excessive hormones, and in many cases, cannot be avoided.
This kind of hair loss is classed as natural hair loss and in most cases will be permanent without the correct treatment. Some cases of hair loss are temporary, and those temporary cases of hair loss are not caused by hormonal fluctuations with DHT. In the case of temporary hair loss, hair loss or baldness can be halted or reversed providing the underlying condition causing the hair loss is remedied. Examples of temporary hair loss include medically induced hair loss (such as chemotherapy), malnutrition, scalp infection, unhealthy hair treatment (perms and dyes), stress, or underlying disease.
Whether you are dealing with temporary hair loss, or are suffering from male pattern baldness, hope is not lost. Though some forms of baldness are permanent, the sooner you seek treatment for hair loss the sooner you can reverse the effects. Many people today are finding that standard prescriptions like Propecia are enough to make a difference in hair growth and work to reverse the signs of baldness or hair loss. Whether you choose a treatment like Propecia or generic propecia, you will find the ingredients work just the same and will get your confidence back in no time. You don’t have to be embarrassed about male pattern baldness, the sooner you start treatment, the more confident you will be. And who doesn’t want that?
You are reading this online. You therefore know there are many sites allowing you to buy medication without the need to get a prescription from your doctor. All you need do is answer a medical questionnaire designed to check you can take this drug without serious risk. As an aside, you should always answer the questionnaire honestly. The questions are there for your own protection. That said, doctors are not completely redundant. Let us be clear. The process for self-diagnosis of hair loss is routine. You look in the mirror and see fallen hairs around the house. You want to prevent baldness and the drug used to prevent it is well known. Ordering online is reasonably safe. But there may be reasons to go see your doctor if there are other symptoms. Let us assume you are losing clumps of hair and also not feeling well.
There may be a serious underlying disease or disorder if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- moderate to severe pain;
- loss of concentration, confusion or other signs of mental disorder;
- difficulty in breathing;
- loss of appetite and weight loss;
- increase of appetite and weight loss (which may be more particularly associated with an overactive thyroid);
- either extreme of constipation or diarrhea;
- vomiting; or
- obvious blemishes, bruising or marks on the skin.
Depending on the extent of the fever and degree of pain, it may be appropriate to treat any combination of these symptoms as justifying emergency treatment.
This set of circumstances has moved you outside the conventional hair loss situation. The issue now is to diagnose the disease or disorder so you will be pitched into the usual round of lab work, x-rays, scans, etc. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the doctors will be able to advise you on whether treatment of that disease or disorder will restore hair growth on its own. For example, if the diagnosis is thyroid disease, the standard drug therapies restore hair growth without the need for any additional specific treatment. But if the diagnosis is a cardiovascular problem, hair loss is a standard side-effect to the use of blood thinners. In other words, the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.
In many cases, the only remedy will be concealment. If you cannot face the world without hair, you will be looking at the use of a wig or hairpiece. If you make a good physical recovery from the disease or disorder, but hair is slow to begin growing again, you can ask your doctor about propecia which limits the production of hormones preventing hair growth. In some cases, propecia will be useful. However, you may have to consider surgery if drugs have proved ineffective. Transplanting plugs of hair or individual follicles from one part of your scalp to another can produce some evening of effect between areas of thick growth and bald areas. Slightly more extreme is scalp rotation which works well for younger but not older patients.
Wherever you look on the internet, whether it’s on dedicated sites, blogs or the social sites like Facebook, you are likely to run into so-called AstroTurf marketing. It’s a simple enough idea. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers seed the internet with glowing grassroots testimonials, endorsements, reviews and comments. It’s amazing to read the claims of the magical powers of some herbal remedies. It seems conventional medicine has lost its way and now the fringe scientists have found the cures for every conceivable modern ailment (and then some you might not have thought of). In one sense, this is history repeating itself. Back in Victorian times when newspapers and magazines were growing into mass market circulations, they carried similar adverts promoting the idea that electricity or magnetism could be harnessed to treat every disease from the common cold to cancer. There were pills for everything and lotions to rub on to all the affected areas. This was the time when the shills were in high demand and grew rich on their sales puffs.
But now, you say, people are more wise. They know when claims are not real. They are never deceived. As if. The Federal Trade Commission is just changing its rules to require everyone who writes on the internet to declare their interests if paid to write advertising copy for another. No more fake endorsements. So, if this was a blog, the writer would have to say whether he or she was an employee of Merck, the company that manufacturers and promotes propecia. For the record, the writer is not employed or paid by Merck. He sits in front of his PC, admiring the reflection of his hairline preserved by a remarkable drug, and writes the truth about that prescription drug. He has science on his side. There are clinical trials submitted to the FDA to get approval for the drug to be sold. It’s all true. But go to the majority of other sites and you are likely to find fiction. Sadly, almost every recent survey of consumer behavior finds people are manipulated by these sites and postings. Some 84% of consumers recently said that reading testimonials influenced their buying behavior. In fact, it’s probably the other way round, i.e. about 84% of online recommendations are fake. Most of the book and product reviews on sites like Amazon are planted. Similarly, the recommendations and reviews on hotel and leisure sites like TripAdvisor are unreal.
Get wise, people. The internet is unregulated and, although the FTC and individuals like New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo actively try to police marketing content, it’s out of control. You should read almost all internet copy as being fundamentally deceptive.
Except, of course, sites like this. Here you read about propecia which is the product of modern science and not the pipe dreams of someone mixing a few ingredients together and pressing out pills in a backroom. There were full clinical trials to prove its safety and effectiveness. Its use is continuously monitored in the marketplace and there’s a wealth of real information to prove that it works. This site is open and honest. Do not be taken in by all the other sites promoting pills, lotions and electrical current as cures for male pattern baldness. They are all fakes.
There’s something genuinely cruel about age. No matter how beautiful some people are in their prime, they all too soon start to sag and bend under the weight of the years. No matter how hard the media and magazines may try to hide the truth with Photoshop, wrinkles are creeping up on these stars (sometimes in unexpected places that only the paparazzi with long lenses can show us). Alongside this voyeurism comes the hunger to find fault, to show these young gods will eventually prove as mortal as the rest of us. That means the gossip mongers get to gloat when they detect the first sign of hair loss. Take the Brits and their obsession with royalty. There’s this increasingly middle-aged guy who’s somewhere in line to succeed to the throne when everyone else in the family has passed on. This is Prince William and, when he recently visited Australia, the talk was not that, one day, this guy might become their King. Nope. They were into jokes about his new bald patch. He was the heir apparent with hair unapparent. He was hair today and gone tomorrow. That’s the Australians for you. Respectful to a fault.
After all, Australians have had time to get all their jokes ready as one of their own stars, a cricketer named Shane Warne, has been fronting an ad campaign for Advanced Laser Therapy for a full head of hair. For those of you not into cricket, Warne is like the pitcher in baseball. He throws the ball in the direction of the guy with the big stick and, amazingly, the guys with the big stick fail to hit the ball. With this as his claim to fame, you can understand why he would be the face to launch a thousand hair regrowth therapies. It’s like this ad is the ball and all the guys with the hair loss will not be able to lay a big stick on it.
So back to the idea of cruelty. The truth about life is not complicated. Men lose their hair as they grow older. There are products you can use that will slow this down but, other than Photoshop, there’s no guaranteed cure for ageing. Sadly, most of the hair-loss products and services are a scam. It’s a cruel trick to play on someone who is feeling insecure as his hair thins. Just pay hundreds of dollars for this magic and you can have a full head of hair everyone will think is natural. That’s what makes propecia so great. If the diagnosis of male pattern baldness is confirmed then, no matter who you are, these pills will stop the hair loss and, in some cases, encourage some regrowth. There’s no need to make spectacular claims. The clinical trials satisfied the FDA that propecia is both effective and safe to use. The scientific evidence so obviously lacking in almost all the other products and services is accepted by the FDA. So never be taken in by marketing featuring celebrities. No matter whether you buy the branded propecia or the generic equivalent (at significantly lower prices), you are getting a proven treatment at rock bottom prices – at prices that do not exploit you. Maintain your self-confidence with a product that will keep your hair without breaking the bank.
There’s one undeniable fact about the human head – it sticks out of the top of your body and represents the first thing other people see when you come into view. In some cultures, it’s acceptable for the head to be completely covered. So, if you go to a strict moslem country, women will only appear in public wearing a hijab (a headscarf) or a burqa which covers the head and upper body. In other cultures, men must cover their heads, e.g. in Sikhism, men are required to wear a turban to cover their uncut hair. Such religious observances and cultural practices are useful if people’s hair begins to thin or fall out. The loss remains hidden. In Western cultures, the majority of people are not obliged to cover their heads. Hence, the decision to do so is often taken as a sign they are beginning to lose their hair and want to hide the fact.
There’s been considered coverage in the press recently about Andre Agassi. He was one of the best tennis players of his generation and remains a celebrity of sufficient star power that he’s publishing a tell-all autobiography. As part of the prepublication marketing campaign, he’s been making one or two startling admissions. No doubt this will do wonders for the book sales figures. The most exciting is the story of his drug abuse. What? Andre Agassi a drug cheat? Well, the story goes that, as his hair started to drop out, Andre got depressed. Just think. Here’s this cool, long-haired athlete with women throwing themselves at his feet and then all his hair starts to drop out. At a stroke, his sex appeal is gone. So he did a little crystal meth, as you do when you get depressed, and then lied about it when the tennis authorities started talking about banning him. Then he cleaned up his act, shaved his head and wore his baldness with pride, marrying one of the sexiest women tennis players on the planet to prove his full recovery.
So what were his choices way back in time. There’s no way he could have worn a wig. Just imagine he’s serving for the title in a Grand Slam Tournament and his hair unexpectedly drops off. People are also going to notice if he starts having transplants. So he did the only thing possible to maintain his charisma. He shaved his head. Today, there’s a new option. Taken early enough in the hair loss cycle, propecia stops hair loss, may prompt some regrowth and maintains a “head of hair” for as long as you keep taking the drug. The World Anti-Doping Agency has not placed propecia on the list of banned substances so modern athletes can preserve their spectacular plumage with chemical support. This just leaves one question. Is Agassi now going to be prosecuted as a result of baring his soul. The answer is a little complicated. The statute of limitations has expired on the drug use so he’s safe there. But there could be possible consequences for lying to the tennis authorities. No doubt he had good legal advice before admitting this and so can laugh all the way to the bank as people buy his autobiography.
One of the most commonly suggested causes of hair loss in both men and women is a genetic defect. The fact it may be inherited means it is not your fault when your hair thins and falls out and, perhaps more importantly, the condition is not necessarily something that can be cured. Of course, there is some evidence that hair loss does run in families, but there is more evidence that our lifestyles and medical decisions can be even more important factors in deciding who loses hair and how quickly. We will ignore the cultural effect of changing hairstyles where too much traction in pulling the hair back into a ponytail or comparable style may accelerate hair loss, the effect of a general anesthetic for surgery (curiously, many who undergo gastric bypass surgery often lose the most hair), increased levels of anxiety and stress, and both chemo- and radiotherapy for cancer. The most consistent cause surrounds the level of different hormones in the body.
In women, for example, the level of estrogen drops during and after pregnancy, and during the menopause. This has been directly linked to both the thinning of hair and its loss from the scalp. Some women also lose hair as a reaction to particular oral contraceptives. For obvious reasons, the level of hormones naturally occurring in the male body tends to be more stable. But, in both genders, thyroid problems can affect the production of hormones and produce early baldness in men. Similarly, for a number of reasons, the levels of the hormones may be affected artificially. The most consistent causes stem from the use of steroids which are commonly used for a variety of strictly medical, e.g. to control asthma, and other purposes, e.g. as supplements to promote growth and for strength while weight training. As an adverse side effect, many weight loss products affect the thyroid and hair suffers. Finally, it is not just athletes who discover some diet and other supplements affect the level of testosterone in their bodies. Many who take “natural” dietary and nutritional supplements find out the hard way that some “natural” chemicals affect hair growth and retention.
This should give you pause for thought. Because there are many possible causes of hair loss, you should not guess what is affecting you and self-medicate. The research evidence shows the majority of people are completely unaware that their own lifestyles or the drugs prescribed to them by physicians may be responsible. Always get a formal diagnosis from your regular healthcare professional. If he or she confirms your hair loss is an adverse side effect of drugs or supplements you are using, the remedies will be clear. But, if male pattern baldness is confirmed, propecia is the tried and tested response (albeit not for Olympic athletes like Zach Lund who were banned from competition if they took this drug). Because this drug was developed some time ago, you will now find both the branded and generic propecia (also called finasteride) freely available from most of the online pharmacies. This will save you some serious money while enabling you to both slow hair loss and often encourage some regrowth. However, two small facts should be borne in mind. Propecia works best when it is taken early in the cycle of hair loss. Secondly, hair loss restarts once you stop taking the drug.