Alopecia areata is a dermatological condition that causes hair loss in men and women. It usually starts out with the development of round bald patches on the scalp and eventually spreads out to other parts of the body. It has no known cause and is sometimes linked to other diseases. However, alopecia areata is believed to be mostly an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly identifies and attacks scalp openings as intruders, thereby causing loss of hair. Though no real cause has been found for this disorder, there are several possible alopecia areata treatments available today.
Since there is no definite cure for this condition yet and it is not generally considered a life-threatening disease, sufferers are fortunate to have access to many options. Patients who suffer it take alopecia areata treatment to soften or remedy the effect of baldness to their overall appearance and regrow lost hair. The hair loss remedies existing today may range from natural hair loss treatments to purely medical solutions.
Anti-inflammatory drugs widely used to treat alopecia areata. These drugs help restrain the immune system to prevent it from causing further damages to the body’s healthy cells. Two most popular of these drug-based hair loss remedies are anthralin and corticosteroids. Anthralin is a tar-like substance that is applied on the skin for a few minutes and then washed off.
Corticosteroids, on the other hand, come in the form of pills, topical creams, and injections. For those who experience heavy hair loss, taking pills is a highly recommended option. For fast results, patients may take injections of corticosteroids on the scalp monthly. Topical creams are directly applied on the affected area but are less effective than the other two. When these two drugs are used in combination, it can deliver amazing results.
Another widely-explored natural alopecia areata treatment is the use of essential oils and onion juice. According to researches, massaging essential oils on the scalp daily will encourage hair growth in just a matter of a few months. On the other hand, applying onion juice on the scalp twice a day induces hair regrowth in a short span of two weeks. Depending on the severity of the condition, these natural hair loss treatments usually show promising outcome in less than a month.
While some patients choose to carry on with the temporary baldness, some patients who are not interested in medical hair loss remedies choose non-medical alternatives. Wearing wigs or hairpieces is one of the creative ways to conceal baldness or unsightly patches of hair loss.
Hypnotheraphy or the use of hypnosis is an alternative alopecia areata treatment as well. A case study involving 28 participants with extensive alopecia areata found that hynotheraphy helped reduce anxiety and depression level among patients. Hair regrowth for a substantial fraction of the participants rose to a big 75-100%. However, this study has received criticism because of its lack of a placebo and small-sized sampling.
Up to now, there is still no known means to prevent alopecia. Fortunately, there are several options which patients can liberally choose from.
Images source: www.flickr.com/photos/urbanaquariumvideo/3331909832/, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1191709
Are hair growth products really effective in treating hair loss? If the answer is yes, then why are many people, both men and women, still losing hair? The answer is simple: many people do not know how to solve their hair problems because they don’t know the root cause. They are unable to trace what causes hair loss or thinning so that they can select the proper hair loss remedies for it.
In stimulating hair production one should be careful in applying hair growth products that really work and not just stick to one advice. So why do people lose hair as early as puberty stage? An average person sheds 30 to 50 hairs a day. More than that is a cause for concern. The common hair loss causes are androgenetic alopecia, traction alopecia, pregnancy, iron deficiency, thyroid anomalies, auto-immune diseases, scalp infections, menopause, poor nutrition, heredity, eating disorders, chemotherapy and stress.
One has to seek a doctor’s advice if he suspects excessive loss of hair. A dermatologist may spot the problem and cure it herself. If not, she can recommend the patient to other doctors for further examinations. If one experiences minor hair loss, it is also wise to visit a doctor. Wrong self-administration of hair growth products may cause more harm than good for either the scalp or for the hair.
Upon doctor’s orders, one may have a variety of options to choose from. Some of the easy and safe treatments are:
1) Hair loss remedies with Minoxidil. This is a hypertensive vasodilator medication which stops hair loss. This FDA approved ingredient is contained in most topical hair fall medicines for men and women. Among the most popular ones is Rogaine. This is one of the widely accepted products for hair loss but be forewarned that the intensity of minoxodil for women is much less than that for men. One has to be careful in applying this product because misuse can result to unwanted hair growth on other body parts. It may also cause eye irritation and itching around the treated area.
2) Hair growth products with Vitamin E. Not known to many, Vitamin E can be very beneficial to treating hair problems. It is an antioxidant that assists blood flow of the scalp. It comes out cheap since it may be found in various shampoos, conditioners, massage oils or even in gel capsules. Some other vitamins are also essential: Vitamin A, C, B, especially biotin for hair growth.
3) Natural hair loss treatments. Massaging the scalp with raw eggs is good for the scalp because the proteins from the eggs will stimulate hair growth. Using vinegar removes unnecessary clogs on the scalp and will then give way for new hairs to grow. Applying the gel of the aloe vera plant on the scalp for a period of time cleanses, conditions and maintains the pH balance of the scalp, thus helps in hair production. These are safe and effective treatments to regrow hair naturally.
4) Hair loss remedies with Castor oil. Aside from locking in moisture for the hair, this oil seeps through the hair shaft easily. This is also available in different products sold over the counter. However, one has to avoid overusing it if he/she has oily scalp.
Summing it up, there is a wide array of options to choose from. Whatever works for one person may not be good for another. The best advice is to choose not the most popular or expensive treatments, but those hair growth products that suit you at best.
Photos: flickr.com/photos/mrseb/5601043514/, flickr.com/photos/55524309@N05/5377724557/
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or H, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a significant role in the human body. It is involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Biotin is important for replication of genes. It promotes the growth of hair, skin and nails, as well as bone marrow and blood cells.
While biotin plays one of the leading parts in many essential functions in the body, it is not needed in big amounts. Real biotin deficiency is rather rare, as this vitamin is fairly bioavailable in foods, and exists in bacteria that live in human bowels. Averagely a person requires about 30 micrograms of biotin per day. The vitamin is sufficiently obtained from a well-balanced diet since it is found in lots of food sources including eggs and dairy products, meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains. Raw, fresh and unprocessed foods contain larger amount of biotin.
Because biotin is essential for healthy hair, its deficiency may cause slow hair growth and even hair loss. Therefore, many dermatologists and trichologists routinely recommend this vitamin as a natural hair loss treatment. Apart from its functions in general metabolism, biotin promotes new hair growth by increasing production of keratin, a fibrous protein which is key structural element of hair.
Biotin can be taken orally in the form of a dietary supplement. The vitamin is water-soluble and non-toxic. It is considered to be safe even when taken in large doses. Quiet often biotin supplements also contain zinc, magnesium, silica and other minerals and vitamins for natural hair growth. If you are not comfortable with oral medications you can still get the benefits of biotin through special shampoos and conditioners. These topical hair loss treatments can help you achieve the same results as with biotin supplements. However, some individuals are unable to absorb biotin through the scalp.
Aloe vera is a short-stemmed plant about up to 1 meter tall with thick green leaves. It is sometimes called medicinal aloe. And that’s more than appropriate, as aloe vera has been associated with traditional medicine since ancient times. Due to its healing, soothing and moisturizing effect it has been used to treat various skin conditions such as cuts, burns, skin inflammations and infections, scrapes, etc. Aloe vera has become quite popular in organic cosmetics as well.
Though there are no thorough scientific studies, aloe vera has proven to be beneficial for many balding men and women. It can considerably improve the condition of one’s scalp and hair, as well as it is an effective natural hair loss treatment. Native Americans, Indians and Caribbeans have been using this product for many centuries to prevent hair loss and promote natural hair regrowth. And you can rarely see people of these cultures who are balding or have a poor hair condition.
Indeed, the properties of aloe vera make it a safe and effective remedy for natural hair regrowth:
- Aloe vera increases blood circulation in the scalp and hair follicles;
- It nourishes hair shafts and follicles with vitamins and minerals which are essential for hair growth;
- It moisturizes the scalp and balances its pH level;
- It has an antibacterial effect soothing skin inflammations and fighting excessive sebum production in the scalp.
Aloe vera is often added into organic shampoos and conditioners. Basically, they are manufactured with the use of natural components and don’t contain alcohol, petroleum and other artificial additives. You can also make a natural shampoo with aloe vera on your own. Just mix some aloe vera gel or lotion with coconut milk and essential oil that you like (jojoba, almond, rose, etc.) and apply it on your scalp on a regular basis. It’s good to rub the shampoo in the scalp and keep it for some time to restore its pH level, increase blood circulation and promote natural hair regrowth.
You can also use aloe vera alone to treat hair thinning. Some believe that such use of the plant is more beneficial as you can get more out of its healing properties. This is more than true if you grow the plant at home instead of buying some commercial aloe vera product and take the fresh gel from its leaves just before you apply it. Use the gel on the balding areas of the scalp to regrow hair naturally. Aloe vera is also good for treating seborrhea, dandruff, psoriasis, scalp and hair dryness, so you will certainly want to apply it on your whole scalp and hair as well.
Red chili pepper has long been widely used in traditional medicine. Nowadays its extract is contained in quite a lot of products for detoxification, joint and muscle pain, fat burning and normal metabolism. Also red chili pepper is one of the most effective natural hair loss treatments. It contains alkaloid capsaicin, which improves blood circulation and stimulates insulin-like factors of hair growth. It’s effective for treatment of different types of alopecia and can be successfully used to regrow hair in both men and women.
One can reach good results with this pepper even if you just take it as a seasoning for your everyday meals. If for some reason spicy food is not recommended, one can apply this pepper directly on hair roots. A mixture of ground red pepper with a little olive oil is the simplest yet very effective hair loss mask. Rub this mixture into your scalp, put a cap, wrap a soft towel around your head and keep it for about 1 hour. Then rinse your hair.
You can prepare special oil for hair regrowth containing red chili pepper: Mix 25 oz. of ground pepper with 200 ml of olive oil and infuse it in a warm place for two weeks. You can also add to this mixture other ingredients with a warming effect such as ground cloves, mustard, black pepper and ginger.
Alcoholate with this pepper is even more effective than oil for hair regrowth mainly because capsaicin in alcoholate penetrates into the skin faster and easier. To make pepper alcoholate steep 30 grams of ground red pepper into 200 ml of alcohol (40-70%) and infuse it in a dark warm place for two weeks. You can mix this alcoholate with pepper oil prepared according to the previous recipe if you want. You can add essential oils to it if you wish. Oils of eucalyptus, lavender, cloves, orange, basil and cedar are particularly useful for natural hair regrowth.
You can also make a hair loss mask with red chili pepper and hot water. Mix about 30 grams of pepper powder with hot water to get creamy mass, rub the mask in hair roots and keep it for 1 hour.
One more old and effective recipe to regrow hair naturally is to mix pepper, salt and fresh onion juice and apply this mixture on your scalp. Unfortunately, this hair mask has unpleasant smell, which can remain even after thorough washing. But beauty requires sacrifice!
Nowadays one can buy special dietary supplements containing red pepper in their formula. They are also useful for natural hair regrowth because capsaicin improves blood circulation and stimulates insulin-like growth factors if taken both topically and orally.