Preventing and Reversing Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenic Alopecia)
In this article I will discuss Male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), its cause and solutions that work. I will talk about pros and cons
of different methods as well as ways of making excessively expensive methods very affordable, all that is needed is a bit of knowledge. I will also discuss
some alternative or complimentary methods which might hold some promise. This article will get updated over time as I learn more about the subject, or new
discoveries are made.
Below you will find a list of contents. This is a large article which will first cover FDA approved legitimate and proven methods of preventing male pattern baldness and increasing hair count. The article will continue on with alternative or complimentary approaches which might be of some benefit in slowing or stopping male pattern baldness. In the final chapters the article will answer frequently asked questions about Male pattern baldness including what will happen when products are discontinued or replaced. And finally myths and non functioning methods are also covered.
Note to Females suffering From Female pattern Baldness
This article discusses "androgenic alopecia" commonly revered to as "male pattern baldness". If a woman suffers from androgenic alopecia it is commonly revered to as "female pattern baldness". Al dough this article commonly reveres to Male pattern Baldness it is just as relevant to females suffering from female pattern baldness as both terms revere to androgenic alopecia which is caused by the male hormone dihydrotestosterone and can also occur in women.
Content of Hair Loss Prevention Methods
- What is Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenic Alopecia)
- What Causes Male Pattern Baldness
- Cures for Male Pattern Baldness
- Finasteride (Propecia)
- Minoxidil (Rogaine)
- Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Skin Needling Derma Rolling
- Natural Causes and Possible Preventions for Male Pattern Baldness
- Pumpkin Seed Oil a Natural Cure Against Androgenic Alopecia that Might Actually Works
- Exercise is Beneficial for Hair Growth
- How Shampoos and Hair Products are Detrimental to Scalp Health and Hair Growth
- Gluten Might Contribute to Male Pattern Balding
- Eating a Anti Inflammatory Diet Might Help Prevent Male Pattern Balding
- Male Pattern Baldness FAQ
- Myths about Male Pattern Baldness
- Methods that do not Work in Preventing Male Pattern Baldness
What is Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenic Alopecia)
Androgenic Alopecia is the medical term for thinning and eventual balding of the hair due to DHT. In men the condition is commonly revered to as male pattern baldness. In females androgenic alopecia is often revered to as female pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is the same thing as Female pattern baldness except that one refers to males with androgenic alopecia and the other refers to females with androgenic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is the same for males and females but the pattern in which males and females loose their hair is different. Males get a receding hairline in a distinctive M shaped pattern along with thinning at the vertex. Females do not get a receding hairline but instead thin evenly along the top of the head.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) is caused by the androgenic hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). How susceptible a persons hair is to DHT depends on ones genetics. Susceptibility to male pattern baldness is most common in Caucasoids it is less commonly found in Mongoloids or Negroids. Genetically men and women are equally as susceptible to DHT the only reason woman do not suffer from female pattern baldness as often as men suffer from male pattern baldness is because women only have a small amount of the male hormone testosterone which converts in to DHT. In Males the majority of testosterone is produced in the testicles. Small amounts of testosterone are produced in the adrenal cortex of the adrenal Gland in both men and women. In women small amounts of testosterone are also produced in the ovaries. The enzyme 5α-Reductase converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in both men and women. Dihydrotestosterone will then cause androgenic alopecia if the individual is genetically susceptible. Individuals with hair follicles which are resistant to DHT will not go bold regardless of DHT levels. Individuals with hair follicles which are susceptible to DHT will be effected and will go bald over time. in such individuals the balding process will speed up if DHT levels are elevated. DHT levels can very due to a number of factors. for instance DHT levels could remain low even when testosterone levels are high if the individual has lower levels of the enzyme 5α-Reductase. DHT levels could also remain lower if a individual has lower testosterone levels and therefore less testosterone to convert to DHT.
Cures for Male Pattern Baldness
There are only two FDA approved products that can stop male pattern baldness or regrow hair. They are Finasteride (Propecia) which is
taken orally and Minoxidil (Rogain) which is applied topically. There is also "low level laser light therapy" LLLT which
has also been FDA approved. There are many shops and websites that will try to sell you products that don't work. Unfortunately there aren't any known and
effective natural or herbal alternatives to the drugs Finasteride and minoxidil. To your surprise if you go the right way about it finasteride and
minoxidil will probably even wind up costing you less than dodgy alternatives that don't work. One herbal remedy you might be tempted to try is saw
palmetto do to its ability to reduce DHT. What you probably don't know is that saw palmetto reduces DHT only in the prostate but blood DHT levels remain
the same which means that Saw Palmeto could possible be helpful if you suffer from a enlarged prostate but sadly because the blood DHT level remains the
same it will most likely not do anything for your hair.
I am not a fan of pharmaceuticals but unfortunately at this point they are the only proven and reliable method of halting hairless and if you are lucky even slightly reversing it. This does not mean there aren't any other methods of preventing male pattern baldness but such a alternative method follows a path that requires a radical and permanent lifestyle change. As I have mentioned above Caucasoids are more prone to suffer from Male pattern Baldness than Mongoloids or Negroids. However it has become very obvious that the number of Asians and Africans suffering from male pattern baldness has gone up when they adopt a western European type lifestyle. It is true that Europeans are still more susceptible but the number has definitely gone up significantly relative to Africans and Asians who maintain a traditional non European lifestyle. It is therefore plausible that male pattern baldness can be slowed or even stopped by discarding the culprits in the modern western lifestyle. It is currently impossible to say exactly with scientific proof which part of the western lifestyle is to blame. But there are certainly plausible theories about numerous elements which might be contributing to male pattern baldness and I shall discuss them further down in this article.
Finasteride can be used the the treatment and prevention of male pattern baldness (Androgenic alopecia). Finasteride was initially given to patients with enlarged prostates in 5mg doses. Finasteride is a drug that prevents testosterone from converting in to DHT it reduces DHT not only in the prostate but blood DHT levels are also significantly reduced by the use of finasteride. One of the side effects patients on finasteride experienced was fine regrowth of lost hair due to male pattern baldness. Tests where done to find the smallest dose of finasteride necessary to combat male pattern baldness. The resulting drug was a 1mg Finasteride tablet marketed under the name Propecia, only one fifth the size of the prostate drug which was a 5mg. The user takes the one 1mg tablet of Propecia once a day. Finasteride is a prescription medication that stops further hairless in about 80 – 90 % of its users. About 40 – 50% of finasteride users experience slight regrowth of hair that they have already lost. It is not uncommon for people starting to use finasteride to initially experience some shedding of hair over the first couple of months, the shedded hair will later regrow stronger than it was. It takes at least 3 to 6 months for finasteride to have any visible effects. If you discontinue the use of finasteride you will loose any gains you have made within the last year.
How does Finasteride Work
Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. 5-alpha-reductase is a enzyme which converts testosterone to dyhidrotestosterone and oestrogen in to dyhidroestrogen. Since finasteride inhibits the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme testosterone will not convert in to dyhidrotestosterone and therefore prevent the effects that dyhidrotestosterone has on the prostate and hair follicles.
Will Finasteride Effect Your Muscles and Bones
Finasteride prevents testosterone from converting to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The body responds by slightly increasing Testosterone levels in an attempt to get more DHT. Testosterone and DHT are both male hormones but only DHT makes you loose your hair. DHT is a more potent Sex hormone increasing libido, sex drive sperm production and so forth. Testosterone is superior to DHT when it comes to Muscle skeletal functioning. Testosterone is more anabolic causing muscle hypertrophy strength and power. Finasteride will not adversely effect bone density. Testosterone and Finasteride is sometimes prescribed to older men suffering from low bone mineral density. Testosterone is given to increase bone mineral density and Finasteride is given to prevent conversion to DHT causing a enlarged prostate. When comparing Testosterone verses testosterone and Finasteride there are no clinically significant differences in bone density between the two.
How to take Finasteride
The 1mg Propecia medication is extremely expensive. One way to get the same medication for a lot less is to buy the generic 5mg Finasteride tablet used for enlarged Prostates. You can split the tablet with a razor blade in to two 2.5mg pieces. And take half a tablet daily. This will be more than twice the dose that Propecia would give at a much smaller cost than Propecia. You cannot effectively take half a tablet every second day because finasteride has a half life of only about six hours and will not stay in the system long enough. If you are very skilled at splitting tablets you can split the tablet in to four 1.25 mg pieces. This will give you a daily dose which is slightly higher than that of a Propecia tablet.
Side Effects of Finasteride
This brings us to the possible side effects of taking Finasteride. The following side effects occur only in about four percent of its users and subside in about half of those effected as they continue using Finasteride. If these side effects persist and if they bother you discontinue the use of finasteride.
- Loss of sex drive (libido)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced sperm count
- Ejaculation disorder
- Decreased volume of ejaculation
In rare cases the medication might cause the following side effects. In which case you should discontinue the use of finasteride immediately and contact your Doctor.
- Sore Testicles
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
- Nipple discharge
- Skin rashes itching
- Lumps under skin
- Swelling of Lips and Face
Reports of a 4 year Study on Finasteride Side Effects
The following tables are a summary of the side effects reported in a study where subjects where given a daily placebo or 5mg of Finasterade.
|5mg Finasteride 1524 subjects||Blacebo 1516 subjects|
|Discontinued due to side effects||4.9% 74 subjects||3.3% 50 subjects|
|Discontinued due to adverse effects due to sexual function||3.7% 57 subjects||2.1% 32 subjects|
First Year of Study
|Side Effects||% in 5mg Finasteride Group||% in Placebo Group|
|Decreased Volume of Ejaculation||3.7%||0.8%|
Years 2-4 of Study
|Side Effects||% in 5mg Finasteride Group||% in Placebo Group|
|Decreased Volume of Ejaculation||1.5%||0.5%|
Continued Studies from 5-6 years did not show any significant differences compared to the 2-4 year study.
Original trials showed that after Finasteride was discontinued things would return to normal just the way they where before the drag was taken. DHT levels would return to normal and so would the patients sexual function.
There are exceptions where sexual dysfunctions have become permanent and did not disappear after finasteride was discontinued. Throughout the web there have been complaints by former Finasteride users claiming to have suffered permanent sexual dysfunctions along with dedicated websites warning of its dangers. Although this is somewhat anecdotal and not very scientific at first, it does turn out there is some truth to this. On April 11, 2012, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced changes to the professional labels of Finasteride products. These updated side effect warnings now include the possibility of permanent sexual dysfunctions. Click here to read the official changes by the FDA. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/informationbydrugclass/ucm299754.htm.
Finasteride Ruined My Life
If you believe to be the victim of permanent sexual dysfunction due to finasteride use there is still a good chance that you may not be and the real cause of your dysfunction might have a much more common cause such as ageing combined with lack of exercise and bad diet which accounts for nearly all sexual dysfunctions. Where as finasteride will only cause permanent sexual dysfunction in a very small percentage of its users. Many men start taking finasteride in their thirties and forties when they start to take action against their increasingly thinning hair. Coincidentally it is also in their thirties and forties that many men start showing their first signs of erectile dysfunctions and loss of sex drive. It is therefore entirely plausible for someone to miss attribute their sexual dysfunctions to Finasteride while the real cause might be independent of the individuals use of Finasteride.
Topical minoxidil is used to regrow and
thicken scalp hair. Minoxidil was first used as a oral medication called Loniten for patients with high blood pressure.
One of the side effects was regrowth of hair in people suffering from male pattern baldness. Minoxidil was then manufactured as a topical solution which one
puts on the effected area externally. The product was marketed under the name Rogaine in the USA and Regaine in Europe.
The trade names Avacor and Mintop have also been used for Minoxidil. Rogaine and
Regine are very expensive but cheaper generic minoxidil products which are identical in Minoxidil content and effectiveness are available such as Minoxidil by
Kirkland costing only a
fraction of the price. Topical Minoxidil products are available over the counter, no prescription is required.
Minoxidil has to be applied twice daily on the affected area. And about 50% of users will experience regrowth and thickening of fine hair. The user will see results after about 2-4 months of continuous use. The product claims to be effective only on the cervix. And tests have shown the cervix to be the most responsive area. However many users of minoxidil have used it in the front where their hairline is receding and reported good results. Any improvement in hair gain from the use of minoxidil will only remain as long as the person continues to apply Minoxidil. As soon as the individual discontinues the use of Minoxidil he will loose all the hair gained due to Minoxidil. Because Minoxidil does not prevent DHT from attacking your hair, DHT will continue to do damage even while on Minoxidil. Therefore I would recommended to use Minoxidil in conjunction with Finasteride. Finasteride will prevent further balding due to DHT while Minoxidil will regrow lost hair improving its appearance.
Side Effects of Minoxidil
The following list contains the more common side effects due to topical minoxidil. Especially dryness of the scalp is not uncommon but also not to serious.
- Dry scalp
- Redness of skin
- Itching and irritation
- Burning of scalp
- inflammation and or soreness at hair root
- Acne at application site
- Growth of facial and body hair
Less common but more serious side effects are normally only experienced with oral minoxidil, but they can occur if medication is absorbed in to the body trough the skin. If any of these more serious side effects occur discontinue Minoxidil immediately and talk to a doctor as these side effects are more serious and might need medical attention.
- increased heart rate
- irregular heart beat
- trouble breathing
- swelling or puffiness of face and or limbs
- cardiac lesions
- Chest pain
- Head ache
- Blurred vision
- Swelling of hands feet and lower legs
- Rapid weight gain
- Numbness and or tingling of hands feet or face
Cat owners please be cautions asMinoxidil is highly toxic to cats and exposure could potentially kill your cat.
Never ever expose a cat to minoxidil.
One other side effect which is not mentioned on the package or other lists of side effects is as follows. Some recent Studies have found that Minoxidil interferes with collagen production in the skin. This is bad news as collagen is vitally important in maintaining healthy and youthful looking skin. A search on goggle will show many reviews of individuals reporting that Minoxidil did wonders for hair regrowth but made their skin look old wrinkly and worn out. Many reporting black circles around the eyes much like those of a smoker or drug addict. Human reviews are not always reliable as many humans suffer from Placebo effects and are very prone to suggestion. however these reports seemed to be fairly consistent. And I am pointing this out so that you can make a more informed decision. The fact that you would use Minoxidil might be that you care about your appearance and exchanging improved hair for ugly skin might not be a good trade off. Especially considering that any improvement in hair growth from using Minoxidil will vanish when the product is no longer applied. If you do use Minoxidil I recommend that you keep a close eye on your skins appearance and if you see your skin showing signs of ageing discontinue the use of Minoxidil immediately unless ugly skin does not bother you. If you want to play it safe use Finasteride without Minoxidil. Finasteride is really the preferred product of the two anyway. And if you want another solution consider. Low level laser therapy.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
You might have seen adverts from hair clinics offering LLLT. But the fact that it costs thousands of dollars would have put you off thinking that this is
a solution only millionaires could afford. And knowing that you would have to visit the studio on a regular basis is not very pleasing. The machine that
the studio uses costs around $40 000 US and visiting a hair studio to use the machine might cost you around $4000 US a year. LLLT has proven effective
for some at preventing male pattern baldness and regrowing and thickening hair. Due to the large cost involved this is clearly something an ordinary
citizen can not afford. There are various laser brushes and laser combs on the market and thanks to competition they have steadily been getting cheaper
and can now be afforded by anybody. These laser brushes contain around five diodes and some have even less. The Diodes used in these brushes are the exact
same type of diode as the ones used in expensive studio laser devices. The only difference is that the studio laser contains many diodes and the brush which
you can buy only a couple. If you have ever owned such a brush you where probably disappointed. The reason is that the small number of diodes do not
generate a sufficient amount of light to have any significant effect. And paying any amount of money for a brush that contains a view diodes valued at
$4 each is disappointing especially considering the lack of light being produces from such a small number of diodes contained in the brush.
The amount of time you have to sit under a studio laser to receive the optimum exposure is approximately 20 minutes. The amount of time you would have to use a laser comb to receive the optimum amount of exposure would be somewhere between four to eight hours depending on the comb. Nobody can spare four to eight hours three times a week to comb their hair. Using the comb for half an hour will not give you anywhere near enough exposure to be of any benefit. Laser combs are simply not powerful enough to be a plausible solution and are therefore a waste of money and a waste of time.
Now comes the good news. It is in fact possible for you to build your own Laser Helmet or laser device. You can buy the exact same laser diodes found in the studio laser for $4 a diode. What you do is buy 100 or 200 of these diodes, and a 3 volt power supply. Which will cost you a view hundred dollars. With this quantity of laser diodes your laser helmet will be equally as powerfully as the $40 00 hair studio laser. The good thing is that you will own this laser helmet and you can use it for the rest of your life in the comfort of your own home, without any extra cost except the power that it uses which is no more than a light bulb. The electronics of wiring the diodes is not much harder than hooking up tiny light bulbs to a battery. For wiring and construction plans click on this link www.overmachogrande.com. The owner of this website has gone trough all the detail of constructing laser devices of every sort imaginable along with a ton of information. Simply visit hes website to find all the information you need to build your own LLLT device. Hes website also contains numerous articles on the use and effectiveness of LLLT.
Skin Needling / Derma Rolling
Skin needling involves puncturing the skin with a device containing lots of tiny needles. Usually in the form of a Derma Roller or sometimes a Derma Stamp.
A derma roller is a device which looks like a tiny roller with has lots of tiny needles sticking out. It gets rolled over the skin causing lots of tiny
punctures. A Derma Stamp also contains tiny needles but instead it has the shape of a stamp rather than a roller which gets pressed on to the skin.
The tiny needle punctures in the skin stimulate the healing mechanism which increases the skins collagen production. That is why Skin Needling was
originally used to prevent wrinkles and skin ageing. The tiny punctures in the skin also increases the absorption of any cream which is applied to the
needled area of of the skin.
Several studies have been done using skin needling of the scalp in conjunction with Minoxidil in people suffering from hair loss. The needling causes improved absorption of Minoxidil. As a result patients using Skin Needling in conjunction with Minoxidil have shown greater improvements compared to patients using only Minoxidil without skin needling.
Skin needling would be able to increase the absorption and benefit of any topically applied product as long as the product itself is capable of improving hair growth. Unfortunately Minoxidil is currently the only available product clinically proven to work. Bogus snake oils will not work with or without Skin Needling.
So far there are not any real studies that have been conducted using Skin Needling without the use of Minoxidil or any other product for that matter. There are several claims which suggest that skin needling might be beneficial for stimulating hair growth by itself. There might be some benefit to Skin Needling the scalp without Minoxidil but I'm unable to promise any miracles. Doing so might benefit your hair growth but on the other hand it might do nothing other than give you nice skin.
Skin Needling to Counter the Skin Ageing Effects of Minoxidil
If you are using minoxidil you might want to consider Skin Needling your face. Minoxidil can lower the skins collagen production causing wrinkles and
loss of skin firmness. Many Minoxidil users report circles around the eyes along with wrinkles. Skin needling the face could be of benefit in
counteracting this effect. When skin needling the face do make sure the derma roller or derma stamp is clean from Minoxidil you only apply Minoxidil
on your scalp where your hair grows or is supposed to grow. When needling your face you can enhance its benefits by applying a beneficial cream or natural
oil before and after needling. Clove oil is good before as it also slightly numbs the skin. Retinal and copper peptides also stimulates collagen
production which is a good choice in conjunction with derma rolling. Coenzime Q10 is beneficial to the skin but is very poorly absorbed which also
makes this product ideal to use while derma rolling as the punctures of the needles greatly improve its absorption. Natural oils such as caster oil,
coconut oil, sesame oil, jojoba oil etc. are also an excellent choice as they are free of mineral oils and full of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
How to use a Derma Roller or a Derma Stamp
Never share your Derma Roller or Derma Stamp with another person. To prevent the transfer of any diseases treat derma needling devices the way you
would treat a hypodermic syringe and only use it on yourself. Derma needling devices will be sterile packed when you first get them. Do not buy Second
hand devices only buy brand new devices. You will be able to use your derma needle device many times. All you have to do is sterilise the device either
using special sterilising fluids or by dipping them in boiling Water.
Derma rollers and derma stamps come in various needle lengths. Needles can be as short as 0.2 mm and as long as 3.0 mm on the long end. The length of the needle determines how frequently the device can be used
- 0.2 mm – 0.4 mm Can be used every other Day
- 0.5 mm – 0.9 mm Can be used once to twice a Week
- 1.0 mm – 1.4 mm Can be used once every two weeks
- 1.5 mm – 1.9 mm Can be used once a Month
- 2.0 mm – 2.4 mm Can be used once every two months
- 2.5 mm and longer Should only be used by an expert or someone who really knows what they are doing.
These numbers are suggestions for use frequency. If the targeted skin is thin such as under the eyes the needles should either be shorter or used less
frequently. If the targeted skin is very thick such as on the back. The needles can be longer or used more frequently.
Different length needles are also used to accomplish different goals.
- 0.2 mm Enlarged Pores, Product Penetration, Pigmentation, Stimulating Hair Growth
- 0.5 mm Elasticity, Enlarged Pores, Product Penetration, Pigmentation, Stimulating Hair Growth, Sun Damage, Wrinkles
- 1.0 mm Acne Scars, Elasticity, Hypopigmentaton, Pigmentation, Sun Damage, Stimulating Hair Growth, Wrinkles
- 1.5 mm Acne, Cellulite, Scars, Elasticity, Hypopigmentaton, Wrinkles, Scars, Stretch Marks, Sun Damage
- 2.0 mm Cellulite, Stretch Marks, Burn Scars, Scars
- 2.5 mm and longer. Burn Scars, Scars
For Stimulating Hair growth Use a 0.2 mm Derma roller or derma stamp every other day to increase product absorption such as minoxidil. Additionally you
can also use a 0.5 or 1.0 mm roller once a week or so to stimulate circulation to the scalp and hair follicles.
For improving Collagen production of the face. Use 0.5 mm needles once or twice a week, 1.0 mm needles every other week, or 1.5 mm needles once a month. In addition a 0.2 mm needles may be used every other day to improve skincare product absorption. Skin needling the face is not necessary for improving hair growth. But if you are using Minoxidil for your hair I recommend you do so in order to prevent your face from showing signs of premature ageing which is one of the side effects of Minoxidil. If you are not using Minoxidil on your scalp you can still derma needle your face if you would like to look younger than you really are and hold back the signs of ageing skin.
Natural Causes and Possible Preventions for Male Pattern Baldness
In This section I will cover possible causes of male pattern Baldness due to modern western lifestyle. As well as natural non pharmaceutical
things you might be able to do to save your hair from male pattern balding. This area of male pattern baldness is not very well researched and sadly has
been taken advantage of by charlatans and snake oil salesmen as well as the cosmetic Industry. Be very sceptical of any miracle cures whether it is a
potion, special shampoo, or books and reports with huge promises and large price tags. I can promise you that so far al of them have turned out to be shams.
However there are some alternative methods which might help, but they will not require you to buy any exclusive products or reports.
Alternative natural methods that might help prevent or reverse male pattern baldness do not function vie a miracle product. Instead It requires that you undergo a radical lifestyle change which will greatly benefit your health in many other ways as well. So even if these methods fail to save your hair they will still save your health and perhaps even your live by warding of various diseases such as heart deceases, diabetics, obesity, Cancer etc.
The following chapters cover numerous elements of things that should be done as well as things that should be avoided. It is important that you understand that simply doing just one thing out of that list is unlikely going to benefit you. You need to do them all and you need to do them for years or the rest of your life if you do not want their benefits to disappear. You might experience health benefits within a view weeks. Your balding should slow down or stop. If you are lucky you might experience a small amount of hair regrowth. but please be aware that regrowth of hair is really thickening of hair that has become to thin and small to be visible. Hair follicles that have already died off can not be saved not even with prescription medication. An increase in hair volume will only be seen after many months or even a year or more. After you undergo these lifestyle changes it first takes a a bit of time to take effect. If things go well you will stop loosing hair if you are lucky and things go really well your hair might slowly start to thicken in two to three months. This thickening might only become visible to the eye in six months on top of that you than need to wait several months longer as it takes about a month for 1 cm or ½ inch of hair to grow. The tips of Hair that is one inch or three centimetres long grew three months ago. That is why it is not unreasonable for results only to realy become visible after a year.
Due to the lack clinical studies in regards to hair loss and lifestyle I am unable to make you any promises. However there is enough knowledge out there to suggest that its benefits are plausible. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence but I am reluctant to draw a conclusion from anecdotes as the human brain is subject to both suggestion and biases.
Pumpkin Seed Oil a Natural Cure Against Androgenic Alopecia that Might Actually Works
Pumpkin Seed oil might be the most promising alternative natural cure for male pattern baldness yet and now there is promising evidence. Korea's Pusan
National University has conducted a trial testing the effectiveness of pumpkin seed oil on participants with male pattern Baldness. The results are
If future studies show similar results pumpkin seed may be as effective at preventing male pattern baldness as the prescription drug finasteride seemingly with less side effects. Pumpkin seed oil could possibly be the best solution out there for Women suffering from Androgenic alopecia (Female Pattern baldness) as doctors will not prescribe finasteride to female patients. Pumpkin seed oil has been found to inhibit the action of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase which converts testosterone in to the androgenic hormone dyhidrotestosterone which is responsible for androgenic alopecia in tohose susceptible to it.
Pumpkin seed oil is a natural product which is save and accessible. It is also inexpensive at the quantities required for preventing male pattern baldness.
Study on the Effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Male Pattern Balding by Pusan National University of Korea
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted by the Republic of Korea’s Pusan National University. The aim of the trial was to
observe the effects of pumpkin seed oil on male Subjects with mild to moderate male pattern baldness.
The study used 76 Male participants which where split in to two groups. 37 participants received 400mg of pumpkin seed oil per day. The pumpkin seed oil was given in capsule form. Two 100mg capsules were given 30 minutes before breakfast and another two 100mg capsules were given 30 minutes before dinner. The other 39 participants received a control placebo.
Blind Investigator Assessment of Hair Growth from Photographs
Photographs where taken of the scalp of all participants. All photos where assessed by a blind investigator. meaning the blind Investigator did not know
which subjects where in the pumpkin seed oil group and which ones where in the placebo group. Below is a summary of their findings after six months.
The product used in the Korean Trial was Octa Sabal Plus. But feel free to experiment with other pumkin seed oils. Make sure you choose one that is extra virgin (Cold Pressed).
Pumpkin Seed Oil Group
- 45.9% (17/37) Slightly or moderately improved Hair Growth
- 51.4% (19/37) were unchanged
- 2.7% (1/37) Became slightly balder by the end of the six Months
Placebo Control Group
- 7.7 % (3/39)Slightly to moderately improved Hair Growth
- 64.1% (25/39)were unchanged
- 28.2% (11/39)Had more baldness
This Study has found significant differences between the Pumpkin Seed oil Group and the Placebo control group.
Hair Analysis Using Phototrichography found a mean increase in hair count of 40% in the Pumpkin seed oil group compared to a mean increase of 10% in hair count in the placebo group after 24 weeks.
For a More in depth look at this Study please visit the following website www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4017725/
Exercise is Beneficial for Hair Growth
Some People fear exercise especially Anaerobic exercise because it increases testosterone levels and some of his increased quantity of testosterone will
convert in to dihydrotestosterone. Since dihydrotestosterone is what causes male pattern baldness it causes some people to fear that exercise could speed
up the balding process.
In reality things are a bit more complicated and exercise if anything will slow down Male pattern balding, not speed it up. The mechanism of male pattern balding is not fully understood but it seems to be agreed upon that dihydrotestosterone causes susceptible hair follicles to get chronically inflamed which will cause the hair follicle to miniaturise and eventually die. More people suffer from Male pattern baldness in old age relative to when they where young. This is happening despite the known fact that testosterone along with dihydrotestosterone levels steadily decline as one ages. This alone shows that the higher levels of dihydrotestosterone of a young person are less detrimental than the diminishing levels of dihydrotestosterone of a old person. In part the older persons hair has been exposed to dihydrotestosterone for a longer time but hair loss still seems to speed up with age rather than slow down in accordance with the dropping dihydrotestosterone level. Clearly health and youth which a younger person possesses are of benefit to ones hair. This is also why the benefits of exercise far outweigh any rise in dihydrotestosterone it may cause. Intense anaerobic or weight bearing exercise increases health and youth by stimulates the production of youth hormones to a level which more closely resembles that of a younger youthful person. Exercise increases testosterone as well as Human Growth hormone and IGF1 levels. Growth hormone is not only a youth hormone that stimulates hair growth. Growth hormone is the ultimate youth hormone which also helps burn fat and build muscles as well as crate a healthier more youthful appearance. IGF1 is another youth hormone with similar properties to growth hormone. The halve live of IGF1 is significantly longer than that of growth hormone and will therefore stay in the system for longer. The body will also convert growth hormone in to IGF1 which is a good thing due to IGF1's prolonged lifespan. Exercise strengthens the body and the cardiovascular system. It improves circulation to every body part including the scalp. It is a know fact that exercise slows the ageing process and causes all parts of the body to be in a more youthful and healthier condition, and this includes the hair.
For the best and easiest way to benefit from exercise I recommend that you have three high intensity workouts a week with each lasting no longer than one Hour. This can be done in a gym or at home using home gym equipment. If you Don't like the Gym and don't own or want to get home gym equipment you can do high intensity interval training Such as Peek eight, which will only take about 20 minutes three times a week.
In order to truly get the most out of your exercise it is important to really apply yourself. When observing people in a commercial gym you will find that nine out of ten people just go trough the motions but don't really apply themselves, as a result they often go to the gym for years and have very little to show for it. In fact you are far better off having only two twenty minute high intensity workouts a week and applying yourself fully than having a daily two hour session while only giving it 80%.
How Shampoos and Hair Products are Detrimental to Scalp Health and Hair Growth
Stop using any conventional Shampoos, Conditioners and Haircare products. They are bad for your hair. Shampoos are not the cause of male pattern baldness
but they are not helpful as they are bad for the hair follicles and weaken your hair growth in their own way whether you suffer from male pattern
baldness or not. If you want to stand any chance of preventing male pattern baldness from advancing you need to provide your hair with a healthy
stress free environment and not weaken and stress your scalp and follicles with nasty chemicals contained in conventional Hair Products.
Sure there are people walking around with a full head of thick hair despite using bad hair products. They simply get away with it because they are not susceptible to to male pattern baldness and they also have a higher tolerance to the chemicals contained in hair products. You however If you are suffering from balding do not have that kind of luxury.
Almost al Conventional Shampoos contain Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate(SLES). SLS or SLES are inexpensive detergents degreaser and foaming agents. They are harsh irritating to the skin and hair follicles. Incorrect use and poor rinsing can cause SLS to damage hair follicles leading to hair loss. Since you probably haven't got a degree in the correct use of SLS and you are also unlikely to take a swab sample on your scalp after you you have washed your hair and then send it in to a laboratory to test whether you have successfully rinsed your entire scalp without leaving any SLS residue behind. Besides you do not want bad products like that making contact with your scalp even for a moment.
SLS is of course only one chemical contained in Hair products that is questionable. Conventional Hair products have a huge array of potentially nasty ingredients many are common in a number of product brands while others are present only in some products. I will not discuss each on its own. All you need to know is that you should avoid them all.
The hair and beauty industry are a private enterprises and their products fall in to the category of cosmetics, which unlike Pharmaceuticals does not have to undergo rigorous independent testing. Private Enterprises have their own agenda of making a profit and keeping investors happy. Marketing and the illusion of quality gets far more attention than actual product safety and effectiveness. Cosmetics which are clinically proven to work would fall in to the category of Pharmaceuticals where they would be regulated, the reason why cosmetics are unable to participate in pharmaceutical testing is obvious. Despite the rigorous testing of Pharmaceuticals I do not claim that the Pharmaceutical industry is free from corruption.
Just because a product bottle has images and labels such as, Herbal, with avocado oil, with lavender etc. does not mean that the Product is good or natural, Herbs and natural ingredients advertised on the bottle usually only make up a very small percentage of the bottles ingredients. If you read the content list of a bottle al items must be ordered according to how much of that ingredient is in the bottle. The ingredient which there is the largest quantity of is placed first on the list. Where as ingredients which there is the least amount of which present relative to the other ingredients is placed at the end of the list. Consistently you will find that any good and natural ingredients are found at the end of the list. It is a bit like adding a Drop of lavender oil in to a canister of Engine Oil and then labelling the canister as Lavender oil. On the beginning of the list you will find water as a filler followed by cheap chemical ingredients such as SLS for personal cleaners, or Mineral oil which makes up the bulk of creams and lotions. Which is usually nothing more than a distillate of petroleum. A by product from crude oil when producing Petroleum and Petroleum based products
So what are you going to wash your hair with. Humans have existed for over 100,000 years. Commercial Shampoos, conditioners and hair care products have only been around for the last hundred years or so. People feel very dependent on those products but the reality is that such products were never part of our life's up until very recently.
There are really two alternative you can chose from in order to care for your hair. The first method is to wash your hair using only water. It works perfectly fine. You could for instance wash your hair whenever you take a shower using only water and nothing else. If you think this is weird you might be pleased to know that Prince William and Prince Harry washes his hair using nothing but water and nobody has made any remarks about either of them smelling bad or not being clean.
If you do need to use a shampoo, method number two is that you go out and find a shampoo that is 100% natural and free of nasty and harsh detergents. You are most likely to find such a product in a Organics store or health shop.
If you like to put products in your for styling and shine after washing your hair try experimenting with the following and find the one most suitable for your needs. Coconut oil, jojoba oil, caster oil, amla oil etc. Using a small amount of any of those will make your hair shiny, smooth and reduce frizz. Don't apply excessive amounts otherwise your hair will look greasy.
Gluten Might Contribute to Male Pattern Balding
Many people are gluten intolerant and numerous autoimmune diseases are linked to prolonged gluten consumption. Gluten is found in many grains the
biggest offender of which is wheat. Wheat has undergone a radical change over the years due to selective cultivation and is now very different from
the way wheat was in times before the rise of industry. Wheat has been bread for productivity pest resistance and maximum gluten content which gives
it the ability to create stretchy dough which makes for flaky and fluffy baked products.
Wheat and its high gluten content could possibly be one of the biggest contributors to male pattern Balding. It is found in virtually all baked goods and makes up a significant part of everyone's diet in modern western civilisation. Male pattern baldness is more common and more prominent in societies that adopt a western lifestyle and gluten is definitely a likely cause.
Gluten is a cause of chronic inflammation in many people even if they might not be aware of it. It is Known that people who suffer from male pattern baldness have chronically inflamed hair follicles which over the course of many years gradually weakens the hair causing the follicle to miniaturise and eventually die. Gluten is a likely contributor to the chronic inflammation of the hair follicles and eliminating gluten from the diet could reduce this inflammation allowing the hair follicle to survive or even recover. Male pattern Balding occurs in hair which is susceptible to dihydrotestosterone. The presence of dihydrotestosterone causes the follicle to get inflamed. The follicle then gets attacked by the persons own immune system. Obviously eliminating dihydrotestosterone has proven effective at preventing inflammation of the hair follicle. But eliminating gluten may also be effective at reducing or preventing inflammation in the hair follicle.
You should therefore Remove all Gluten Containing Foods from your diet. The biggest and most offensive gluten contributor is wheat and you should avoid everything containing wheat. Gluten is also present in barley and rye which you should also avoid but if you make exceptions these are more acceptable than wheat. Practically all other cereals also contain some form of gluten but they are less of a concern. For the sake of saving your hair without the aid of finasteride you should definitely avoid wheat barley and rye, and perhaps go easy on any other grains as well.
Eating a Anti Inflammatory Diet Might Help Prevent Male Pattern Balding
Since hair follicles in sufferers of male pattern balding are chronically inflamed it might be beneficial to eat a diet which is primarily anti inflammatory.
Doing so may not only be beneficial at preventing male pattern baldness but it most definitely is highly beneficial for your general health. Countless
deceases that mankind suffers from are inflammation related diseases. In which case if you follow this advice it might safe your hair but it most
definitely will safe your health as you get older and possibly ad many years in good health to your life.
I will explain this dietary approach in three simple parts which are interconnected. The reason I break this in to three parts is not necessarily because it consists of three parts but rather because it makes it to easier to quickly gain oversight of what needs to be done.
Building a Healthy Gut Flora
You need to Take care of your Gut Microbiota which is a colony of good Bacteria and fungi which live in your gut. Your gut is really a ecosystem in which
the microbiota live. You must create a beneficial environment in order for your Gut Flora to thrive. This is largely done trough Nutrition. Many people
suffer from a Gut flora which is in poor health due to antibiotics which kills the gut flora as well as a bad diet of processed and heated dead food which
is devoid of nutrients and enzymes.
If the gut flora is in poor health or if it lacs diversity you should introduce new cultures to your gut most people know about the cultures found in yoghurt which is often taken after antibiotics to recover gut function. But this is not enough for optimal gut health. You should also consume demented vegetables such as Sauerkraut which has not been heat treated or preserved. In order to get your gut flora to thrive The majority of your died should consist of raw unprocessed uncooked foods which is free of preservatives herbicides and pesticides. Raw food has all enzymes intact which are vital for the gut flora health. Enzymes aid the digestion process.
I recommend the following website by Biomedical Researcher by Dr. Art Ayers. coolinginflammation.blogspot.com
Eating Anti Inflammatory Foods while avoiding Inflammatory Foods
Food can be proinflamatory, anti inflammatory or neutral. It is important that the majority of all foods one consumes fall in to the anti inflammatory
or neutral category. It is equally important to avoid food which falls in to the proinflamatory category.
Anti Inflammatory Foods You Should Eat
Anti inflammatory Foods consist mainly of Natural unprocessed uncooked and unmodified foods consisting of Fruit, Vegetables, Greens, Nuts and seeds.
- Nuts and Seeds
Pronflammatory Foods You Should Avoid
Proinflamatory foods mainly consist of processed food which have been modified, heated or otherwise tempered with. Animal derived products also have a tendency to be proinflamatory.
- All Processed Foods
- White Flour Products
- White Bread
- Trans Fats
- Excessive Saturated Fats
- MSG (Monosodium Gglutamate)
Anti Inflammatory Super Foods
There are several foods particularly Herbs and spices which posses extraordinary powerful anti inflammatory properties which are off the charts.
I recommend that you eat those on a daily basis in addition to a healthy anti inflammatory diet. Some of these herbs and spices have an effect when
taken regularly for seasoning, but to get the most benefit out of their anti inflammatory properties they can be taken in generous quantities such as a
teaspoon per spice or herb per day. Some people buy them in capsule form but I recommend you buy them from a place that sells spices, preferably organic.
Buying them as spices will save you a lot of money as capsules at health or supplement stores tend to be grossly overpriced. Bags of spices contain more
of the spice at a lower cost and they are equally as effective.
List of Anti Inflammatory Herbs and Spices
Male Pattern Baldness FAQ
This chapter will answer some common questions about the use of and the combining of hair loss medication, what happens when one type of medication is substituted for another or what happens when medication is discontinued. Some content in this chapter might repeat some of the information in previous chapters.
What Happens if I Stop Taking Finasteride and Start Taking Minoxidil
When finasteride is discontinued hair loss due to DHT will resume from where it stopped when you started taking finasteride. If you are a fortunate individual and experienced some regrowth thanks to finasteride you will also loose any progress in increased hair growth from within the past year. The following graph shows a individual who was able to stop further hair loss at age thirty by taking oral finasteride. twenty years later the subject discontinues the use of finasteride and starts taking topical minoxidil instead. the minoxidil increases the subjects hair count which is shown by the spike at age fifty. As the subject ages hair loss due to DHT continues as finasteride is no longer preventing the condition from progressing. Minoxidil will only keep the hair count higher than it would otherwise be but does not do anything to prevent male pattern balding from progressing.
What Happens if I Stop Taking Minoxidil and Start Taking Finasteride
When minoxidil is discontinued any increase in hair count will disappear within a short time frame. The graph below shows a individual taking minoxidil for twenty years from age thirty to fifty. Minoxidil causes the subjects hair count to increase but does not stop male pattern hair loss from progressing. At age fifty the subject discontinues the use of minoxidil and starts taking finasteride instead. The graph shows at age fifty there is a drop in hair count to where male pattern baldness has progressed to. Minoxidil simply increased the hair count and thickens to more than it would be but does not prevent progression of male pattern balding. At age fifty the subject takes finasteride and as a result you see a straight line which is due to finasteride preventing male pattern baldness from progressing any further. Minoxidil increases hair count and thickness from the baseline but does not prevent the baseline from dropping where as finasteride usually will not significantly increase hair count from the baseline but does prevent the baseline from dropping. This is why finasteride will yield better results in the long run than minoxidil does.
Can I take Finasteride and Minoxidil Together
Yes finasteride and minoxidil are a beneficial combination as far as hair loss is concerned. Finasteride will work by preventing male pattern baldness from progressing any further while minoxidil is able to cause thin and weak hair to grow thicker longer and darker. The combined effect of the two drugs will increase your hair count and at the same time prevent male pattern baldness from progressing over time.
What Happens if I Stop Taking Finasteride and Minoxidil
The graph below shows a person who took both finasteride and minoxidil together for twenty years from age thirty to fifty. The individual gets the benefit of halting the progression of male pattern balding thanks to finasteride and an increase in hair count and thickness due to minoxidil. At age fifty both medications are discontinued. The absence of minoxidil will cause the hair count to drop back to the baseline within a short time frame. Due to the absence of finasteride male pattern balding will resume in a similar fashion as it would have at age thirty except that it has been delayed to age fifty.
Myths about Male Pattern Baldness
This section will look at some of the most common myths associated with male pattern baldness
Male Pattern Baldness is Passed on from the Maternal Side
this myth originates from the discovery of a gene associated with male pattern baldness which is found in the X Chromosome. Since females have two X
chromosomes XX and males have only one X chromosome and one Y chromosome XY. Offspring get one chromosome from each parent which means a Male offspring
must have a XY chromosome in order to be male he must inherit the Y from his father since the mother has two X chromosomes and no Y chromosomes. With the
Y chromosome coming from his father the X can only come from his mother.
The myth usually sounds like this “In order to determine if you will go bold look at your mothers father”. The reason this is a myth is because this gene isn't the only one. there are several genes associated with male pattern hair loss that are not located in the X chromosome. Overall the probability of inheriting a gene from your mother which is associated with male pattern baldness might be somewhat higher. There is still a very real possibility of inheriting other genes associated with hair loss from your father. Therefore male pattern baldness can be passed down from both Mother and Father.
Eating plenty of Protein will Prevent Male Pattern Hair Loss
This of course is totally false. The myth stems from the idea that because hair is made of protein that eating more protein will grow more hair. Hair of course is not the only thing in the human body which is made of protein. There is also protein in skin tissue, nails and many other body tissues but most protein by far is in the form of Muscle. Simply eating more protein will not make your muscles grow nor will it make your hair grow. Modern western diets have a tendency to be to high in protein. Excess protein can have adverse effects on your health and will not increase the quality or quantity of tissues containing protein in the human body. Even vegans get more than enough protein. And if Alexey Voavada a arm wrestling champion can maintain he's heavy weight muscle mass on nothing but fruit and vegetables than you sure as hell can maintain a view grams of hair without having to resort to a high protein diet. Protein deficiency is virtually unheard of and really only happens in extreme famine. A protein deficient person would suffer muscular atrophy (shrinking of the muscles) companied by weakness.
Wearing a Hat Causes Baldness
First of all wearing a hat would not cause male pattern baldness. If it did cause baldness it would be some other type of baldness. The reality is that wearing hats does not cause any type of baldness unless the hat where so tight as to cut of the blood supply to the scalp.
Hairfall is a Sign of Balding
It is normal for a person to shed somewhere between 50 and 150 hairs per day. This is part of the hairs natural life cycle and has nothing to do with going bald. It is normal for 50 -150 strands of hair to accumulate in combs Brushes or the sink hole when the hair is being washed. This no cause for alarm. Every hair goes trough a live cycle and at the end of the cycle the hair falls out and a new hair will later grow from that follicle. Hair falling out is not a sign of male pattern baldness. It is a sign of balding when fallen hair grows back thinner, shorter or not at. In other words it is not the hair that falls which indicates male pattern baldness but the hair that doesn't grow back or grows back weaker.
Methods that do not Work in Preventing Male Pattern Baldness
Following will be methods which are claimed to help prevent Male pattern baldness but do not actually work.
Scalp Massage to Stimulate Hair Growth
The idea is that massaging the scalp would increase blood flow to the hair follicles encouraging hair growth. Many people have invested a huge amount of time in daily scalp massage in an effort to prevent male pattern baldness. Unfortunately there is no evidence that scalp massage will do anything to improve the condition of a balding head. I am sure that massaging the scalp is good for you like any massage but as far as Male pattern baldness is concerned it simply wont help your case. It will only use up a lot of your time.
Special Hair Loss Shampoos
There are hundreds of special shampoos and hair lotions claiming to to thicken hair and stimulate hair growth. So far I have not come across a product which has been clinically proven to be effective. Male pattern balding is a huge cause of frustration for many men and there are no shortages of companies trying to extract money from people desperate to save their hair. The only proven exception would be a shampoo containing Minoxidil (Rogaine). If you do chose to take Minoxidil I would advice you to use minoxidil twice daily applied to your scalp which is left in, rather than as an ingredient added to your shampoo.
Free information to save your hair by Kaiser
First published in the year