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About Hair Loss
This section of the ProHair Biosystems website will explain the process behind hair loss and extinguish some of the myths surrounding hair loss. The exact mechanism of hair loss is actually still the subject of some debate. This is why Pro Hair Biosystems make a 5% donation of all monies received to further the research into hair loss.
Male Hair Loss & Male Pattern Baldness
Male hair loss is also known as androgenic alopecia. A significant proportion of all men will have experienced some form of balding by the age of 30 and this percentage increases with age. Hair loss is genetic and there is a 57% chance that you have inherited the genes which causes male pattern baldness.
However whether you inherit these genes is a matter of chance which is why you often seen brothers, one of whom has an excellent strong head of hair and the other is bald.
Male pattern baldness is the common form of hair loss which is regularly seen every day in every street. It usually starts with hair thinning and receding from the sides of the forehead, known as having "receding hairline".
The hair loss process can start as early as mid to late teens. It seems like the earlier the hair thinning begins, the more aggressive it becomes. Which is something of a double whammy!
The Male Balding Process
A classic bald patch usually develops on the top of the head beginning at the crown at the rear of the head. Both balding areas increase in size as the hair recedes from the edges. Depending upon the extent of the baldness the two areas can meet up with only the hair around the sides of the head remaining. However a significant proportion of men never reach this end point and often have hair remaining, typically at the centre of the front of the head.
The hormone responsible for the balding process is called DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which ironically also promotes the growth of body and facial hair. DHT is a metabolite of testosterone i.e. is made from testosterone but is distinct from it.
Testosterone is the male hormone that everyone has heard of and is made from a process in the body which begins with cholesterol. Dihydrotestosterone is the biologically active metabolite and belongs to the class of compounds known as the Androgens. The conversion of Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone is achieved via a chemical known as 5-alpha reductase.
The mechanism by which DHT causes hair loss is not yet completely understood but the consensus appears to be that where a man is genetically predisposed to hair loss, the hair roots in his scalp become sensitive to the body's own DHT.
This then begins a process of hair follicle miniaturisation, whereby the hair shaft width is gradually decreased and gets thinner and thinner until it becomes little more than light downy hair or in some cases completely absent by which time the man is bald.
It is generally agreed that the mechanism of action leading to hair weakening and eventual baldness is caused by a restriction of blood flow to the hair root. Hair roots receive their oxygen and other nutrients from blood (hair itself does not breathe) and as DHT restricts blood flow to the root, this in turn this reduces the oxygen and nutrient supply. The hair root is therefore getting less blood and produces weaker and weaker hair follicles and eventually it becomes unable to sustain a healthy hair follicle at all.
Drugs to Prevent Hair Loss
Most drug based treatments such a Propecia attempt to prevent hair loss by limiting the creation of DHT by blocking or partially blocking 5 alpha reductase. It is well reported that Propecia can also have the effect of reducing a man's sex drive or libido. Drug treatments such as Minoxidil (Regaine) which was originally marketed as a blood pressure treatment, work by improving the blood flow to the hair roots in the scalp.
It has been proposed that the active ingredients of ProFusion ™, work by a localised vasodilatatory (widening) effect upon the scalp blood vessels which have narrowed, aiming to return them to normal so they can again provide each hair root with vital nutrients. One of the ingredients in ProFusion™ is also a source of B Vitamins.
We would stress that ProFusion ™ is not a pharmaceutical product, it is a shampoo and conditioner and can be used while taking Finasteride or using Minoxidil. You can also use ProFusion with Saw Palmetto which is a herbal treatment for hair loss (and also used for prostate problems in men).
Additional Actions You Can take to Reduce Hair Loss
It is easy to say "reduce your stress levels" but elevated levels of stress are known to have a detrimental effect upon your body including elevated levels of a hormone called Cortisol. Long periods of stress can cause hair loss and stress can certainly exacerbate an existing problem.
Excessive Straightening or Tonging of Hair
Ironically, attempts to conceal thinning hair by using heated tongs or any mechanical method which puts strain on the roots of the hair can accelerate hair loss.
Iron supplements do not make your hair grow, but iron deficiency is certainly a known cause of hair loss. If you are in any doubt about whether you have iron deficiency (anaemic) you should consult your doctor or pharmacist who will be able to advise you further.
Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Loss
Again, vitamin supplements alone are not going to make your hair grow, but a lack of vitamins and minerals could certainly make the situation worse. Make sure you have a good balanced diet and Vitamin B supplements, particularly Vitamin B6 would be a sensible investment in your health. A Vitamin B and C combined vitamin with minerals might also be beneficial.
Stimulant and High Caffeine Drinks
Any high energy drink such as Red Bull or even Cola, which contain a high level of stimulants such as caffeine is likely to have the effect of reducing the blood flow to your skin and therefore your scalp. It is best to keep your intake of these drinks to a minimum and even think about cutting down or cutting out these drinks and this can include tea and coffee.
Keep Your Hair Short
There are two sides to this. If your hair has already begun receding and you have noticeable hair loss, keeping your hair really short makes this less obvious. Very short hair is also fashionable and can look really good if you suit your hair being short. Shaving your head is sometimes a step too far especially if you have pale skin, and usually a No.1 or No.0 cut at the hairdressers is a better idea. If you are black, regardless of whether your hair is receding, shaving your head actually can look very cool.
Contrary to popular belief shaving your head does not make your hair stronger, but keeping it short does put less strain on the roots of your hair, which is usually advantageous in reducing premature loss of follicles. Also hair gets thinner nearer the tip of the hair follicle and is thickest nearer the root, so keeping your hair short means that the thickest part of the hair shaft is what is seen.
Dandruff is a flaking and itching of the scalp which has recently been linked to the presence of pathogenic yeast on the scalp. As this causes localised inflammation and itching, which most dandruff sufferers are forced to scratch can exacerbate the hair loss process. Although not marketed as a dandruff treatment, users of ProFusion™ products have reported a marked improvement or disappearance of their dandruff while using ProFusion™ shampoo for dry hair.
Infections and Hair Loss
Long term infections or exposure to pathogenic fungi have been known to make male pattern baldness worse. A commonly cited long term infection known to exacerbate hair loss is Chlamydia, and most men are not aware they have it. An example of a long term fungal infection is athletes foot.
Basically the healthier you are, the healthier your hair will be. Although being ultra healthy in itself will not prevent hair loss, a healthy body (and stress free mind) will assist immensely in the process of preventing hair loss.