Updated blog post: This blog was originally written in 2012. The study and its results which feature in the original article still apply.
Losing their hair is one of the things that men worry about the most when it comes to getting older. A hint of the silver fox hasn't been anything to worry about since Harrison Ford and George Clooney turned it from a sign of ageing into part of a sophisticated style, but the receding hairline has yet to be seen as a fashion choice.
Before we look into how to fix hair loss, it's important that we consider the various causes of this condition. These can include:
Whilst it can help to try and avoid some of the avoidable causes listed above, once hair loss has begun it's time to seek extra help.
To all concerned men – there is hope. That hope comes in the form of a variety of remedies that can effectively, or in some cases not so effectively, cure hair loss. Yes, whilst natural remedies and cures for hair loss do exist, there isn't significant evidence to prove that each and every one of them is a guaranteed cure. Let's start by taking a look at a cure that is currently being developed for hair loss…
The protein prostaglandin D synthase has been found by researchers to inhibit hair grown when it attaches to the follicles. This discovery could lead not only to a new way of preventing hair loss but also help to potentially re-grow the hair of men who already suffer from androgenic alopecia (AGA) due to high levels of the protein.
Unfortunately for many of the men worried about developing AGA, scientists have not yet been able to find a way of using prostaglandin to prevent hair loss, although it is used to help increase hair volume and grown in many medications.
A study led by Professor George Cotsarelis at the University of Pennsylvania, explained that the discovery would hopefully lead to a new way of treating baldness by reversing it with a cream or ointment - as opposed to oral tablets - which would contain the necessary properties to inhibit the protein receptors.
Whilst scientists are developing this potential cure for hair loss there are multiple natural remedies available that can also help to treat your hair loss.
Apple cider vinegar rinse is a great treatment for hair due to its multiple benefits. According to a report, when used as a follow-up to baking soda, apple cider vinegar reduces frizz, seals the hair's cuticles and makes hair shiner. As a shampoo ACV can be used to remove build up. The acidity in this produce when mixed with water can help to maintain your hair's pH balance, while removing build up. Apple cider vinegar contains mild enzymes, which can destroy the bacteria that are responsible for dandruff, flakes and itchiness. If you hair becomes clogged, it will produce flakes on the scalp, which deprive the hair of oil. This could lead to hair breakage and in severe cases lead to hair loss. Rinsing your hair with ACV can rid you of the bacterial causes of hair loss.
Yes, onion juice is indeed a thing. It can help treat hair loss by improving blood circulation to the hair follicles as a result of its high sulphur content. It essentially regenerates the hair follicles whilst also reducing inflammation. On top of this, onion juice can help to treat hair loss by killing the germs and parasites that can trigger hair loss. According to a study in The Journal of Dermatology 20 out of the 23 individuals who used onion juice on their scalps twice a day saw regrowth within just six weeks. Onion juice can be found in your nearest grocery shop.
Aloe Vera can help to treat hair loss because it contains enzymes that promote healthy hair growth and its alkalising properties can bring the scalp and hair's pH to a healthier and more stable level. It has been used for centuries to stimulate hair growth and comes with the additional benefits of reducing inflammation and itchiness. To use Aloe Vera, simply apply it to your scalp and leave it for a few hours before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. This routine should be repeated three or four times each week.
Good hair growth is stimulated by protein and essential fats, both of which happen to be present in coconut milk. When coconut milk is applied to your hair (or what's left of it) it can show quick results with regards to hair regrowth. Coconut milk is very easy to obtain and is incredibly simple to make at home by mixing grated into a pan of water. When using it to aid hair regrowth, you will need to apply the milk to your scalp and through your hair. You should then leave the coconut milk in your hair for a duration of 20 minutes before shampooing your hair. The effectiveness of coconut milk can be improved by mixing in powdered fenugreek seeds.
Indian gooseberry, or Amla, is regarded as the 'wonder berry' and with good reason. It can provide both quick and natural hair regrowth, as it is a good source of vitamin C, a lack of which can contribute towards hair loss. Indian gooseberries provide antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to ensure that your scalp stays healthy. To use the Indian gooseberry simply mix one tablespoon each of Indian gooseberry (obviously) and lemon juice. You should then massage the mixture into your scalp and cover your hair overnight before washing your hair the very next morning with shampoo.
Even with the availability of all of these remedies and cures, individuals experiencing hair loss don't always seek treatment. But, why? Studies show that 40% of men have noticed hair loss by the age of 35, 65% by age 60 and 80% by the time they reach their 80s. Many sufferers think that AGA is irreversible, but aside from the treatments, follicle transplants are also available to those hoping to restore a full head of hair, although the topic is somewhat taboo amongst men and is rarely discussed in the media. In fact, more than half of hair loss sufferers have said that they would be more likely to consider this option if celebrities were more open about hair restoration surgery.
There are currently medications which can help with hair loss in both men and women, so if you're starting to see some thinner patches - don't worry too much, you're not doomed and you're definitely not alone.