Biotin And Low Level Laser Therapy
Biotin is a B vitamin that is essential for your health. You most likely get plenty of it in your diet in egg yolks, yeast, liver, and other foods. Thats good news because too little biotin can cause hair loss. Does that mean that taking mega-doses of it will give you more hair? Probably not. No scientific studies have shown biotin to prevent or treat hair loss. Learn more about biotin and hair loss.
You may have heard that laser combs, brushes, hoods, and caps can help halt hair loss. The theory is that when hair follicles absorb laser light at a certain level, it stimulates hair to grow. But theres not enough evidence that any of these devices restore hair or prevent balding.
The History Of Minoxidil
In its early days, before a topical form was developed and became a mainstream hair loss treatment, minoxidil was developed as a treatment for hypertension.
Noticing that oral minoxidil produced hair growth as a noticeable side effect, researchers at Upjohn created a topical form to repurpose as a topical hair loss treatment for men suffering from androgenic alopecia.
For new medications to go onto the market, they need to pass through a rigorous trial and testing process to show that theyre not only safe but also effective.
Upjohn launched large-scale clinical tests of minoxidil throughout the US in the late 1970s, with testing continuing throughout the 80s and 90s. The efficacy side of this testing mostly focused on minoxidils effects on hair growth around the scalp and crown.
For example, one study from 1986 focused on the effects of minoxidil on the balding crown. In the study, 53 percent of participants experienced significant hair growth.
In short, Upjohn realized that minoxidil worked very effectively, but focused most of its testing on the crown and frontal scalp.
Most other studies of minoxidil have assessed hair growth on the scalp. For example, another study from 2002 tested five percent minoxidil against two percent minoxidil, again by assessing change in hair coverage around the scalp.
For the most part, the claim that minoxidil only works on the scalp and crown of the head comes from this research.
Minoxidil For Hair: Benefits And How To Use It
Call it pre-wedding beauty jitters, simply getting older, or having a father who went bald in his twenties , but these days Ive been worrying about hair thinning and hair loss a lot more than I care to admit. And before you ask, yesmy haircare routine is up to par. Am I taking care of my scalp? Check. Supplements? Check. Hair still thinning? Check.
All of this got me wondering about Rogaineor more specifically, minoxidil, its active ingredient. Then, seeing some millennial-targeted ads for newer versions of the original formula prompted me to investigate. Because before I start using a new product, especially one with such a potent active ingredient, I like to get all the facts. For starters: how does minoxidil work? Do you have to be balding to benefit from it? And are there any negative side effects? I spoke to a slew of experts to find out. Heres what they had to say.
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Rogaine Studies And Research
Show me that data. The most important thing when studying any hair loss treatment is looking at the verified results. The great thing about minoxidil is that there has been a ton of research done on its effectiveness. Its been around for over 20 years so theres been time for evidence to pile up. Rogaine is one of the few FDA-approved products to help regrow hair. In clinical testing, Rogaine regrew hair in about 9 out of 10 men after 4 months when used twice daily.
Here is a list of some of the most prominent studies and research:
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Besides medications, the treatment for hair loss can also include a hair transplant. In this procedure, small pieces of the scalp containing hair follicles are transferred to the bald areas. The surgery can be risky because it involves the usual risks of surgery, including shock and pain. Furthermore, it is expensive and is often not covered by insurance. But if you dont want to live with a bald area thats affecting your confidence and your appearance, hair transplant surgery may be the right option.
If the baldness is caused by a fungal infection, you can consider undergoing a hair transplant. In this procedure, tiny pieces of scalp are removed and moved to the bald spots. Despite the risks, this procedure is highly effective and is often covered by health insurance plans. A hair transplant can cost thousands of dollars, and you will most likely need to pay a large part of it out of pocket. The only downside to hair transplant surgery is the high cost.
Although alopecia is an embarrassing problem for many people, it can also be caused by trauma. People who undergo painful procedures on their hair may be at risk for traumatizing alopecia. This condition often results in thinning or falling hair. In some cases, the scalp becomes red and the scalp can even become inflamed. Antibiotics and antimalarial drugs may also be prescribed to help treat this disorder.
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How Long Should You Use Minoxidil
Hair regrowth is a slow process and patience is necessary to see results.
You should apply minoxidil for 4 months up to a year to see if it works for you. One downside is that in order to maintain results, you will need to keep applying it. Once you stop using it, new hair will be shed within 2-4 months.
If you notice hair developing on your cheek and forehead:
- Try to apply minoxidil only to your scalp, avoiding other areas.
- Wash your face afterwards
Stop applying minoxidil if you develop scalp irritation.
How To Protect Manage And Treat Thinning Hair:
You likely dont need to wash your hair every day. In fact, Samantha DelaFuente, a stylist at Marie Robinson Salons in New York and Miami, tells SELF that she recommends washing only two or three times a week. Dont be afraid of dirty hair, she says.
And dermatologists agree: Washing too often strips your hair of necessary oils, and washing infrequently can leave hair dull and limp, especially if you overuse dry shampoo, Dr. Bridges says. If you have natural hair, which tends to be drier and more prone to breakage, clean it even less frequently, Dr. Khetarpal says.
Moisturizing shampoos formulated without sulfateschemicals in shampoos that help clean but can also be drying on sensitive or dry scalpsare a safe bet for everyone. In particular, celebrity stylist Tym Wallace tells SELF he recommends Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo .
Conditioner gives your hair shine and reduces static electricity, the AAD explains, which is why it improves the look and feel of dull or damaged hair. Apply to the ends of the hair and work your way up, DelaFuente says. A little goes a long way the more conditioner you use, the flatter your hair will be.
Remove tangles with a wide-tooth comb and rinse with cool water, which closes the cuticle and makes the hair shiny, Dr. Bridges explains.
After shampooing and conditioning, try using a leave-in product, like a conditioner or detangler, which will boost moisture and provide heat protection before styling.
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How Does Rogaine Work How Long Does It Take To Work
Minoxidil, the primary active ingredient in Rogaine, is an anti-hypertensive vasodilator medication. Quite a mouthful really. This is just a fancy way to say it widens the blood vessels and increases blood flow. You may have heard that minoxidil first came about in the 1950s. It was created by the Upjohn Company and was initially thought to be a cure for ulcers. It was not successful, but was found to be a potent vasodilator.
This eventually led to FDA approval of minoxidil in the form of oral tablets for high blood pressure. It was given the name Loniten. During this road, scientists found that minoxidil had an unusual side effect: unexpected hair growth. This ultimately culminated in FDA approval for hair loss prevention in 1988 under the name Rogaine.
Rogaine works by massaging the medication solution into the scalp, usually twice daily. You want to get about 1ml worth per treatment. That is the equivalent to about half the hollow cap that pops off the top. Rogaine says users should expect to see results in about 4 to 6 months.
Rogaine acts to promote hair growth by causing hyperpolarization of cell membranes. This means it expands blood vessels and potassium channels. The result? Hair follicles are infused with a greater amount of nutrients, oxygen, and blood. This is thought to revive old dormant hair follicles, and keep existing ones healthier by stimulating follicles into an anagen phase. Hairs in the anagen phase are thicker and more robust.
Is It True That Receding Temples Indicate Baldness
A receding hairline is a sign of male pattern baldness, and it can sometimes lead to a widows peak. A widows peak, on the other hand, isnt always a sign that youre going bald even children can get them. Its probably not an indication of thinning hair if youve had one for as long as you can remember.
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What Can Help To Promote Hair Growth
Lets take a look at some things you can do to help your hair grow faster and stronger.
Whats Actually Causing Your Thinning Hair
The first thing to know about hair loss is that its actually a bit complex. Your hair grows in three stages, SELF explained previously. These include a growth phase from a root in the hair follicle, a transitional phase when the growing stops, and a resting phase, after which the hair falls out and the follicle takes a break before growing another hair.
Its totally normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology , which you might notice on your pillow in the morning, on your hairbrush, or in the shower. If you go a few days without showering, you might notice more than a single days worth of hair in the shower, which may be a little disconcerting, but is still totally normal.
Youre born with about 100,000 follicles on your scalp, and youll never gain or lose any, the AAD says. However, as you age, some follicles may stop growing hair and you may experience hair loss . When and how this happens is influenced by a bunch of factors, including our genetics and the natural hormonal changes we experience as we age, Shilpi Khetarpal, M.D., dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF.
Once you know what youre up against, there are some easy ways to help manage thinning hair at home or with the help of an expert. Here are the top tips we learned from dermatologists and hair stylists on how to protect your hair and restore some of its fullness and shine.
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Benefits And Effectiveness Of Minoxidil
Minoxidil is effective at slowing hair loss and encouraging new and thicker hair growth. Studies show that 5% minoxidil seems to work better than the 2% formulation for treating hair loss .
Rogaine tends to be more effective in younger men who have been balding for less than five years. Minoxidil is less likely to produce benefits once hair loss spreads over a large area and has persisted for a long time. Basically, the younger you are, and the sooner you start minoxidil, the better the results tend to be .
Studies show that using minoxidil and finasteride together are more effective than using either one alone. However, women cannot use finasteride, and pregnant women should not even touch finasteride tablets .
A small clinical trial found that men who used 5% minoxidil in combination with low-level laser therapy were more satisfied with their results than men who used minoxidil by itself .
Can Rogaine Be Used By Women
When Rogaine was initially approved by the FDA, the product was only approved for men. Eventually, Rogaine became available to women in the 2 percent concentration .
When Rogaine foam first came on the market, the same applied. It was initially approved for men at both 2 percent and 5 percent, but developers soon rolled out a Womens Rogaine foam formulation.
The Womens Rogaine liquid is available with 2 percent minoxidil, while the Womens foam is available with 5 percent minoxidil. However, women should only use the foam once daily to avoid any complications associated with its use .
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How Does Rogaine Work To Regrow Hair
Until now, the consensus has been that topical Rogaine® works by opening the scalps blood vessels to receive more nutrients and oxygen. In turn, follicles enter the growth phase and stimulate new hairs to grow.
However, our meticulous research has unlocked critical evidence on exactly how the active ingredient, Minoxidil, inRogaine® works.
Minoxidil converts in the scalp into an active form called minoxidil sulfate. And what aids that conversion?
For the active ingredient Minoxidil to be effective in Rogaine®, you need to have anenzyme called sulfotransferase present in your hair follicles. SULT1A1 is necessary to convert and activate Minoxidil. Without this enzyme, Rogaine® will not work on your scalp.
So, why isnt Rogaine® prescribed for everyone suffering from hair loss? Because not every hair loss patient is experiencing genetic hair loss. While genetics cause 80% of male hair loss, and 50% of womens hair loss, there are many other causes of hair loss outside of the lines of genetics, including:
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Is Minoxidil Effective For A Receding Hairline
Minoxidil works by improving blood flow to the area in which its applied. Apply it to your scalp and it can potentially improve hair density and increase the rate of growth.
As such, theres no reason minoxidil shouldnt work for a receding hairline. The hair follicles in your hairline arent significantly different from the others on your scalp or crown, meaning that you should still experience the benefits of minoxidil when you apply it to your hairline.
There are also countless anecdotal cases of people with receding hairlines improving growth and increasing thickness by using minoxidil.
However, right now there isnt much detailed scientific research on the effects of minoxidil on the hairline. As such, its best to view minoxidil as something with potential benefits, instead of as a guaranteed way to regrow your hairline.
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