Ninety-nine percent of men who lose their hair inherit the pattern from somebody in the family (not necessarily their maternal grandfathers, contrary to the common myth). Receding hair at the temples and the bald spot on the back of the head progress to the monkish look of the wreath of hair around the side and back. Although half of men in the whole world will eventually suffer from baldness, there are very real psychological consequences of hair loss, leading to feelings of inferiority, loss of self-esteem and feelings of shame and self-consciousness.
The conventional ways of combatting baldness are :
Avoiding over use of hairdryers and dyes, managing stress, remembering to exercise, eating a healthy diet containing vitamins B and C, zinc, protein and omega 3 fatty acids, and getting enough sleep for starters.
There are dozens of remedies on the market. Drugs such as Minoxidil [Rogaine] seem to work but if you stop all the effects are lost.
Platelet rich plasma technique involves separating platelets and growth factor proteins from the subject’s blood and adding them to the scalp, increasing blood flow and kick-starting dormant hairs.
Laser therapy is best for men who want to maintain the hair they have as well as achieve some re-growth. 40% of subjects get thicker hair and 80% have a decrease in hair loss.
Hair transplants use the strip method, where a strip of hair is removed from the back of the head and grafted onto the bald patch with tiny incisions.
What is interesting about baldness is the hair follicles are not actually dead, they’re just asleep. Typically hair grows continually for four years maximum, and then the follicles switch to a dormant state and the strand of hair falls out. Usually during this dormant period stem cells in the skin begin the process of growing new hair. The problem starts when the follicles fail to wake up. While normal follicles jump back and forth from active to passive, in bald men passivity seems to be the preferred state. The question is, how can we give those dormant hair follicles a proverbial kick in the ***?
Stem cell therapy is providing new solutions to baldness. Stem cells are kept in a healthy condition in a state of hypoxia (low in oxygen). Molecules have now been identified that mimic the effect of hypoxia on stem cells. They jolt the empty hair follicles into making new hair. Dr Bruno Bernard, head of hair biology at L’Oreal in Paris who carried out the research, has now announced that the company is developing a new treatment that can be applied to the scalp in a shampoo or cream to help encourage hair to grow again.
However, in the meantime, think about it. The power of the mind over the body has now been established in countless experiments, for example visualisation has proved effective in restimulating blood flow to dying tissue in stroke patients. If our cells are dormant, and the mind controls the messages sent to our cells…
Worth a try?