There is no doubt about it—our tresses are truly our crowning glory. Aside from it being the most noticeable part of one’s image, it is also often associated with beauty. It enhances a person’s look and has a great impact on one’s entire appearance. Whether it is short, long, auburn, or tangerine, our mane is an expression of our personality; it is a part of who we are as a person, rather than just an auxiliary body part.
Everyone, even men, cares more about their locks than other parts of their bodies. The hair care industry would not grow and reach a staggering 85.5 billion in sales if we don’t, right? Despite its billion-dollar industry, there are still plenty of people who suffer from hair loss and thinning and forty percent of them are women (read more).
Supposedly, hair loss and other problems manifest during old age. But recent reports state that women as young as 18 years old are already experiencing its dreadful consequences. By the age of sixty, several other problems such as hair thinning and receding hairline present themselves.
What causes hair loss?
Normally, a person loses 100 to 120 strands per day. Its shedding is a normal phenomenon as long as it is within the normal range. It happens during the three phases of hair growth.
Anagen or growing phase – the phase is characterized by active hair growth for two to eight years.
Catagen or transition phase – the strand will either shrink or stop growing. It then separates from the follicle—a structure that holds the strand in place. This phase can last for eight to ten days.
The cycle begins again as a new strand grows at the very same follicle. According to this study (https://nyulangone.org/conditions/hair-loss/types), abnormal or excessive loss happens when there is a disturbance in the normal growth cycle of our tresses. Such interferences include genetics, chemical treatment, hormonal imbalance, stress, poor diet, and medications.
As much as we love styling our locks, harsh treatments and mane styles like tight ponytails and braids are the common causes of premature hair loss in women. Because of this, the follicle may suffer from permanent damage, discontinuing its normal action of hair regrowth.
Secondary to this is the inevitable consequences of aging and menopause. As the female body ages, the normal menstrual cycle starts to cease causing declination of estrogen and progesterone levels. As the female hormone decreases, the body is left with DHT—a testosterone derivative responsible for causing pattern baldness. DHT hormone is also the main cause why men aged 50 and above suffer from baldness and receding hairline.
How to regrow your locks?
Both men and women are anxiously seeking treatments to address this dire situation. They are willing to go into great lengths and spend thousands of dollars to bring back their normal, healthy mane. Treatments range from herbal remedies and supplements to a $40,000 surgical hair transplant.
To prevent you from wasting much-needed money, here are effective ways to regrow your tresses without exhausting your bank account.
1. Hair-boosting shampoos and conditioner
The road to a healthy and thick mane is by taking care of its ultimate source—the scalp. We often forget to pay attention to the health of our scalp until such time that it needed addressing. The roots inside it are often the ones who suffer the most when we try new products, color, and other services for our locks.
A cheap but effective solution to treat damaged scalp and promote locks regrowth is by using hair repair products which come in shampoos, conditioners, and sprays. Millions of products are already out in the market, but not all of them are as they claim to be. Make sure to purchase one that is FDA-approved such as the Keranique Hair System or anything similar. These products are clinically tried, tested, and proven to regrow and repair our luscious curls.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter medication that treats genetic baldness diseases such as alopecia. It is not an ideal treatment for premature and normal loss of strands, as well as baldness and receding hairlines. Using it for such purposes may induce faster hair fall and loss after sudden discontinuance.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator chemical that comes in the form of liquid shampoos or foam. It stimulates mane growth by widening the blood vessels to supply an ample amount of oxygen and nutrients to our follicles. Thus, repairing it and activating the normal cycle to produce healthy tresses.
As it is still a chemical drug, side effects is still a precaution for users of the medication. Some women reported sudden scalp drying and irritation. While others are experiencing dermatitis, hypertrichosis, and weight gain (click here to know more).
Another drug that deals with medical baldness and related diseases is the Finasteride. It is an inhibitor drug that was accidentally discovered while creating a medication to treat the enlarged prostate glands of men.
Finasteride acts by inhibiting the type II 5 alpha-reductase from converting testosterone to its potent form, which is the DHT or dihydrotestosterone. DHT is an androgenic hormone that stimulates hair loss. Upon administration, Finasteride decreases the number of DHT in the blood by sixty percent. The drug is an OTC medication and taken orally once a day.
4. Vitamins and supplementary pills
Vitamins and supplements do not only exist to address our dietary issues. Grocery aisles are now also filled with supplements that promise to bring back your lustrous mane. While many of them are truly packed with natural and hair-friendly ingredients, not all can back their promises with scientific data.
Supplements are marketed as such and not as treatments because they did not undergo proven clinical trials. FDA-approved supplements may bring back the strength and volume of your locks, but it won’t treat hair loss, especially ones that stemmed from genetic causes. However, it can treat short-term causes of unhealthy tresses such as stress and poor diet.