|Step 1 - Understand why it's
|Its extremely important that you
start off by knowing what is happening in your body. Unfortunately
it's never as simple as one would like it to be. It is
in fact still mostly not understood what causes it, however
in the past few years we've made great strides in identifying
the major factors. Please note that our explanation is
going to address only balding in men. In time, we hope
to add sections for women's hairloss. It
is also understood that you have ruled out any medical conditions
or medications that may be responsible, with your physician.
Old Wives Tales
First lets just get this out in the
open and respond to those things you *know* you're wondering.
The following old wives tales are very commonly believed, but many
times very illogical and downright wrong. A good rule of thumb - if it didn't make you
bald when you were 15, it's probably not making you bald now.
- Stress - Possibly. However in order to cause a significant amount
of fallout on your head that reaches proportions which reveal
skin where there was none prior, you would have to be under
extreme emotional turmoil for several months on end. We're
talking extreme. This also is not universally true, as most people
deal with stress and do *not* go bald. Stress is
one of the most commonly assumed reasons for hair loss, and
while it does happen, if you are a male in your 20's-30's, the
chances are near 100% that stress is not the culprit. Think about
it, did you ever stress in high school? Were you bald
- Bad Circulation - Extremely
doubtful. Standing on your head or massaging your scalp is
an act of futility. Some swear by it, but there just is
not enough evidence to label circulation as a cause. Keep in mind there are always medical conditions
that can do such a thing. Aside from that, did you need to
rub your head every day in high school to keep your mane?
- Increased Sebum/Sweat
Production - possible contributing factor, but again, not
enough evidence to call it a major cause.
Sebum is the natural oil on your scalp, and some maintain that
overproduction of this can clog and kill your follicles.
Sweat more and you're destined to be bald! Wrong.
Cleansing shampoos can help reduce Sebum/sweat, and of course
this can only help your scalp. It's part of a healthy
regimen for living life, but you sweat in high school didn't
you? Were you bald then? No.
- Wearing a Hat - Once again,
any extreme condition can cause abnormal things to happen, but
no, wearing a hat is not the reason, even if you wear it
daily for years. If you just noticed you're receding, it is because
conditions started changing in your scalp fairly recently. We all
wore hats in high school, and no, we didn't go bald.
- Long hair (Weight) / Pony Tail
(Pulling) - No. The weight is not a burden on
your follicle, and ponytailing it will not make it fall out
either. Women have long hair and ponytails, and they
definitely aren't bald.
So obviously there's something going
on here that people aren't telling us! Why can women sweat,
have bad circulation, stress, wear hats, have ponytails and not go bald, but we do? Because hair loss
has little or nothing to do with any of those things.
The REAL causes
of hair loss
As mentioned above, science has yet
to prove what is truly responsible. What they do know is
DHT is a naturally occurring
hormone which assists with sexual development during
puberty. When a man begins to undergo that second
"change of life", DHT becomes some a follicle's worst
enemy. Follicles at the front, top, and upper back of the
head in most men are genetically programmed to become susceptible
to DHT at some point in the man's life. Those follicles which
cover the sides and bottom back of the head typically are not.
When a person starts to see
thinning, DHT has begun to
treat your follicles as foreign objects in your body.
Similar to an auto-immune response, it slowly begins to reject the
follicles. This is an extremely long process, and the cycles
for the growth phase are typically about 3-9 months for balding
men. Each time it cycles, the follicle will become thinner, shorter, and
ultimately it will not grow back in.
Propecia works to stop the creation
of DHT in your system. It had an 83% effectiveness rate in
stopping thinning, and 64% effectiveness at spurring regrowth, so one could say that Science has given us an
83% chance that DHT is one of the most major factors. Obviously there is genetic preprogramming going on
here as some follicles would never become susceptible to DHT in
the first place, were they not programmed to. Likewise, when
DHT is attacking a follicle, increased sebum production can aggravate
the environment for a dying follicle, and therefore
"cause" further balding. Sweat and Stress could
possibly also affect the situation, whereas they may not otherwise
hurt a healthy follicle. See how this works? This is
where people get these ideas. 20% truth, 80%
misunderstanding. But now you're informed!
|Step 2 - Evaluate your Situation
Type of Hair Loss
Take a look in the mirror. How
is your hair changing? Odds are, its in one of four different
- General thinning throughout top
and/or back of head
- Receding hairline above the
temples, giving you that U shaped look
- Balding spot in the Vertex
(top/back of head)
- Any combination of the above
Based upon the type of balding you have,
there are very specific *proven* treatments you can take which will
be most effective. For example, Propecia is good for
maintaining, Rogaine is good for regrowth. Once again, these treatments each have
their own "claim to fame". Some are better for
thinning, some are better for receding temples, etc.
There are other major factors related
to the level of success you may have:
- How long have you been thinning or
receding?. The sooner you catch it, the greater
chance there is that you will see results. There is much
truth to the theory that the longer you wait, the longer the
follicles have been dormant, the harder it will be to "wake
- Age. This theory is yet
unproven, but there is evidence that
supports the idea that the younger you are, the better chance