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COMBAT HAIR LOSS: How To Grow Your Hair Back (Part 12)

04.12.2012 in COMBAT HAIR LOSS

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REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

(1) “Diseases of the Hair & Scalp”
 Rook and Dawber
 Blackwell Scientific Publications, London, 1991

(2) “Essentials of Dermatology”
 J.L. Burton
 Churchill Livingston, London, 1990

(3) “Advanced Hairdressing Science”
 Florence Openshaw
 Longman Scientific, London, 1991

(4) “The Vitamin Bible”
 Earl Mindell
 Arlington Books, London, 1994

(5) “Trace Elements, Hair Analysis and Nutrition”
 Passwater & Cranton
 Keats Publishing, New Canaan, CT, 1983

(6) “Androgens and Human Hair Growth”
 Valerie Randall
 Clinical Endocrinology Review, Bradford, UK, 1991

(7) “Ailments & Conditions of the Hair Follicle & Scalp”
 P.G. Davies
 Harley Street Centre for Hair Research, London, 1996

(8) “A Colour Atlas of the Hair Scalp and Nails”
 Baran, Dawber & Levene
 Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, 1991

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COMBAT HAIR LOSS: How To Grow Your Hair Back (Part 11)

03.12.2012 in COMBAT HAIR LOSS

THE CHECK LIST

(1) Hormone System

 Make sure that your hormone levels and the whole endocrine system is correct and functioning normally.  Any hormone irregularities should be checked immediately.   Women will experience several major hormone changes and correct functioning should be ensured.  Seek advice from an endocrinologist.

(2) Anaemia

 Check body iron levels carefully together with ferritin levels.  Even small falls in level lower the red blood count and will adversely affect hair growth.  This is a very common condition and women are particularly susceptible.  A blood test will easily enable you to check this.

(3) Thyroid Gland

 A simple blood test will also check the thyroxin (an Iodine compound) levels in the blood.  Over activity or under activity of the thyroid gland, which produces thyroxin, have a marked adverse effect on hair growth.  The condition is easily controlled by medication.

(4) Systemic Illnesses

 Almost all systemic illnesses adversely affect hair and skin growth, in fact many serious illnesses first appear in dermatological guise .  The autoimmune system is triggered and hair growth is affected.  Make sure you have a full, regular health check.

(5) Health

 You must not only be free of any systemic illnesses.  You must be in really good health, completely fit and well to obtain optimum hair growth.  Have the mineral (elements) levels of the body checked; a simple hair analysis will give you this information.  Diet is the key.  Traces of almost all mineral (elements) are required for correct body functioning, but hair growth will be seriously affected by shortages of calcium, iron and iodine.

(6) Diet

 It is really important to eat well, a good omnivore diet in the correct quantities.  Fresh fruit and fresh vegetables are essential.  Vitamin A, B group vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin H are vital for hair growth.  People whose diet may not be balanced (vegetarians for instance) must have the appropriate supplementation.  If you are not sure consult a qualified nutritionalist.  Extreme slimming regimes will not give the best hair growth.

(7) Toxins

 Try to ensure that toxins are not present in the blood or body tissue, smoking, excess alcohol and other agents will all have an adverse effect.

(8) Alopecia Areata

 Patchy loss of hair and baldness caused by partial failure of the autoimmune system.  Seek expert help from a dermatologist or trichologist.  The condition  almost invariably reverses but help will be required.  Work to remove the causes if they can be identified; stress is very often involved.

(9) Stress

 Control of stress (elimination is doubtful) and stress management is required.  Yoga, deep breathing, counselling – there are techniques available.  High stress levels will adversely affect hair growth as they will increase the hormone levels, particularly adrenalin.

(10) Medical Conditions of the Hair and Scalp

 These can usually be treated or controlled and help from a qualified dermatologist or trichologist should be sought.  A GP is usually overworked, often with life threatening cases and may not be the best person to consult.  These distressing scalp conditions (psoriasis, eczema, etc.) will require treatment before the best hair growth can be achieved.

(11) Damage to the Hair Shaft and Breakage

 Seek expert help as No. (10).  Most conditions will correct themselves once the cause of the damage has been removed.  Check to ensure that permanent scarring and loss of the hair follicles has not occurred.

(12) Exercise

 You must quite simply be fit and well and this has to include some form of regular exercise to increase the heart rate, stimulate the blood flow and top-up the autoimmune system. A healthy life-style will give you optimum hair growth.

(13) The Growth Agents

 Try them; many of them work quite well, sometimes when used in combination.  Find one that suits you but make sure you retain a realistic expectation.  None of these products produce dramatic results; you should aim to stabilise the position and obtain a little re-growth.  It is quite simply not possible in cases of Androgenic Alopecia to re-grow a full head of hair.  Set yourself a realistic budget for this help.  Remember you are only “buying time”.

(14) Check the Cause

 Make sure that the cause of hair loss or poor growth is correctly diagnosed.  The remedy could be quite simple but you must get the diagnosis right.  Consult an expert, a dermatologist or a trichologist.

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COMBAT HAIR LOSS: How To Grow Your Hair Back (Part 10)

02.12.2012 in COMBAT HAIR LOSS

CONCLUSION

A fine head of hair is a joy to behold and probably one of our most important social and secondary sexual characteristics.  Everybody wants to have a good head of hair and the upset and trauma when problems arise with the hair and hair growth are simply enormous.  Loss of hair or hair condition is viewed by most people as far more serious than even the worst imaginable systemic illness because it is clearly visible, and part of our persona, our style, the way we want people to see us has been changed or permanently lost.

This book sets out the deciding factors; it contains all you need to know to improve your hair growth and to improve your hair condition.  It is a do-it-yourself guide for good hair growth.  Detailed explanations and pictures of some of the many dreadful hair and scalp ailments have been avoided.  These require specialist treatment from a Dermatologist or Trichologist.

Here we try to “accentuate the positive” to show that it is possible for people with average or poor hair growth or condition to improve their position to get to the optimum hair growth.  Everything you ever wanted to know about your hair, and were afraid to ask is set out here.  This book will ensure that you always have a good hair day.

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COMBAT HAIR LOSS: How To Grow Your Hair Back (Part 9)

01.12.2012 in COMBAT HAIR LOSS

Another group of products increases cellular oxygen levels and stimulates increased Mytosis (hair cell production); again the growth benefits appear helpful.

The largest group of products are those derived by sheer chance, the “Empirical” group, and they are in very good company, very many of our best known pharmaceutical drugs were originally found empirically, in other words, by guess work, or more frequently, complete chance, i.e. it was noticed that they worked.  Many of these products have been shown in trials to exert a hair growth effect and, providing a realistic expectation is assumed, these products can be very helpful.

It is undoubtedly true that as more basic research into hair biology and structure is undertaken, more compounds will appear, possibly with greater efficacy than those at present available.

One must also consider the “placebo” effect, the amount of growth effect you can produce with a dummy lotion, a pretend product, and against which all the growth products have to be measured when they are appraised in clinical trials.  The placebo effect for hair growth products is astonishingly high, 30 to 35%, and any product claiming to have a growth effect will have to have a measurable growth response higher than 35%.  Many quite promising and technically interesting products have failed at this hurdle.

We all want to have a hair growth product and we want to grow our hair back and look younger.  In some cases you can do this, but where the base cause is genetically determined, where the gradual degeneration and hair loss have already been set in stone before birth (or, to be precise, encoded in our DNA sequences – all six billion molecular pairs), the overwhelming force of events is in a set direction and moving against that force, in the opposite direction, is extremely difficult to achieve.

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COMBAT HAIR LOSS: How To Grow Your Hair Back (Part 8)

30.11.2012 in COMBAT HAIR LOSS

However, many chemical agents are known that can induce hair growth, although many remain completely impractical.  Massive systemic doses of oestrogen for men, for example, will certainly induce hair growth, but the additional feminisation of the male concerned would be generally completely unacceptable, although this technique is used in male to female sex change operations.  The oestrogen supply swamps the testosterone present.

A more elegant approach involves the inhibition of di-hydroxytestosterone (DHT) production, the more potent form of testosterone, and a number of products have been developed to achieve this aim.  Finnasteride (Merck & Co) is a DHT inhibitor, taken orally and marketed as “Propecia”.  The clinical evidence suggests some re-growth for men (the product is contra-indicated for women), although after the initial two years, the reversal appears again, until after about five years the hair growth pattern has reverted back to its original position.  The product does assist in slowing the onset of Androgenic Alopecia but one must bear in mind the side effects, although only a small percentage (1 or 2%) are severe.

There are a number of naturally occurring DHT inhibitors, of which the herb Saw Palmetto (Serenoa Repens) is probably the best known.  Not surprisingly no comprehensive clinical trials have been undertaken but the anecdotal evidence remains strong.

The best known of the “growth” products is of course Minoxydil, applied topically in strengths of 2% to 5%.  Minoxydil certainly assists but is better in some cases than others, and all cases suffer from the drawback of hair fall when treatment ceases.  Minoxydil is a potent vasodilator; it increases the blood supply locally, although its precise mode of action is unknown. 

 A number of other products use a vasodilator technique and the idea of increasing the blood supply, and hence the nutrients carried in the blood, to the dermal papilla and the hair root seems eminently sensible.  However, the hair growth benefit from these products is not so clear cut.

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