It is estimated that every day each of us loses several dozen hairs (up to a hundred in the case of thicker hair), according to a natural mechanism that allows the replacement of hair. However, when hair begins to fall out in greater quantities, more or less suddenly, it is an anomalous event whose causes can be very different. One of the first is genetics, and this happens especially in men: it is androgenic alopecia which leads to baldness and which can strike at any age. But abnormal hair loss can also affect women, and this generally happens following a deficiency of some kind such as vitamins, minerals or iron. In more serious cases, hair loss may be due to hormonal imbalances which increase androgen levels in women. Even during periods of illness there is greater than normal hair loss, and other factors that strongly influence the phenomenon are pollution, stress and lack of sleep. According to the Washington Post, in the United States alone every year about 3.5 billion dollars are spent on products to prevent hair loss. Unfortunately, 99% of these products – often marketed in an unethical manner – are ineffective. For those who begin to have this problem, a new, stressful phase of their life begins which makes individuals particularly vulnerable and inclined to spend even large sums to purchase anti-hair loss remedies. To avoid wasting your money on ineffective products, it is always a good idea to carefully choose what you buy, taking advice from a dermatologist and making sure that there are valid scientific studies to demonstrate the advertised effects. The active ingredients that characterize the products can be very different, and their effectiveness varies from person to person depending on the situation and individual sensitivity. There are in particular products intended for men or women, which differ based on their chemical composition.
Treatments for men
In recent years, medicine has made real giant strides in combating hair loss. In the most modern products, particularly efficient active ingredients are used which slow down, but in some cases can even stop, hair loss. To be effective, however, treatments must be as timely as possible: when the fall has lasted for a long time, and at a constant rate, the situation has probably degenerated too much to be able to stop it. Here are some of the most effective products for men:
- Finasteride: it is a drug initially developed for the treatment of the prostate, but which was also discovered to be effective against androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). Finasteride inhibits a chemical, 5-alpha-reductase, which transforms male testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) responsible for hair loss.
- Minoxidil: This drug was also discovered by chance, since it was created to treat hypertension. By applying the product locally to the skin, hair and hair growth is stimulated. However, it is best to use this drug only if finasteride has had no effect.
Treatments for women
When a woman loses hair abnormally, the causes could be different, such as a hormonal imbalance that causes an increase in androgens (male hormones). If this is the case, treatments with systemic drugs are necessary to restore normality. Even in this case it is necessary to intervene promptly, since with the passage of time the follicles are increasingly compromised until they are destroyed. Here are some active ingredients commonly used for women:
- Ketoconazole: it is an active ingredient that reduces the production of testosterone and androgens, and for this reason it is used in cases of hair loss. It is often found in the form of lotion or shampoo.
- Spironolactone: is a product used to treat hypertension, but which is also effective in reducing androgens.
- Cimetidine: is mainly used for the treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers, but also has a good anti-androgenic action.
- Minoxidil: This chemical compound is also used to treat men (see previous paragraph).
How to prevent falls
When the causes are not hormonal, then there is probably something wrong with your lifestyle and especially with regards to nutrition. It has been shown that deficiencies of vitamins A, C, B6, B12, E, folic acid and biotin can cause hair loss, as can insufficient intakes of copper, zinc and iron in one's diet. To avoid, or at least stem, the problem, the first golden rule is to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes a varied and balanced diet, the correct alternation of sleep-wake cycles, the consumption of good quantities of water and cleanliness. of your hair with delicate shampoo and conditioner. However, when this is not enough, specific products can be used. When choosing anti-hair loss products, you shouldn't be influenced by advertising hype, since rip-offs are always around the corner. You should also avoid purchasing a product recommended by a friend or relative, since every person is different and therefore a treatment that was effective for someone may not be so for someone else. The ideal choice is to always consult your dermatologist who will be able to recommend the best solutions for the treatment.
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