Suffering from hair loss? You’re not alone. If you’re one of more than 50 million men in the United States dealing with hair loss, then you will likely be interested to know that science has your back — or, rather, your scalp. Plenty of studies suggest it may be possible to prevent baldness — from stem cell research to gene therapy.
Science aside, it is still important to take action to spur a growth spurt of your own and solve for the great recession of your scalp. After all, baldness is a brave new world, and you will not be faulted for not wishing to cross into that territory.
First, check out these three impressive research studies about hair loss and then check out three products and treatments for immediate hair regrowth assistance — the good news? These products have been proven to help!
Hair loss research
Quorum sensing: It may sound like some superpower or sixth sense from a Marvel comics movie, but quorum sensing is actually quite simple. The University of Southern California discovered plucking a few properly arranged hairs can trigger stem cell regeneration of hair follicles up to five times more than neighboring, un-plucked surrounding hairs. This causes a regeneration response, known as “quorum sensing” where the cells are signaled to take action and collectively regrow. But, if it can help remedy thinning hair, then quorum sensing certainly will be considered something of a superhero.
Stem cells: Stem cell research is influencing the hairs on your head, too. Researchers from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have developed a method using human pluripotent stem cells to create new cells capable of initiating human hair growth. These specific cells adapt quickly and allow existing hair follicles to be transported from one part of the head to another.
“The method is a marked improvement over current methods that rely on transplanting existing hair follicles from one part of the head to another,” said Alexey Terskikh, Ph.D., associate professor in the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham in the press release. “Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isn’t limited by the availability of existing hair follicles.” There is still more research and implementation necessary, but the next step is to work on the transplantation of the cells back into human subjects.
Gene therapy: A gene therapy study emerging from the University College in London has newly identified specific genes related to hair including density and balding. This is in addition to the already established, “sonic hedgehog” gene which is the key indicator of hair loss. Continued research is underway to further identify specific genes and target them at the DNA molecule level to correct the condition. Side note: The study also pointed to genes linked to gray hair, beard thickness, and monobrows — which is to say: It’s not you, it’s your DNA.
Current hair loss treatments
Hair thickening products: While many shampoos and conditioners tout hair thickening qualities, the true effectiveness in preserving your locks is debatable. That said, it’s worth adding a high-quality brand that caters specifically to men to your grooming routine. American Crew’s Hair Recovery and Thickening Shampoo claims to promote hair growth with ingredients including zinc, copper, silicones, and keratin amino acids. It also enhances hair strength and volume while moisturizing and repairing hair, all of which will help lead to a fuller looking head of hair. Another option is Nizoral A-D, the only nonprescription shampoo that contains ketoconazole, which is an anti-fungal used to fight dandruff. However, this ingredients also may help save your strands by reducing hair shedding.
Nioxin’s 3-Part Hair System Kit takes it a step further with a group of three products to promote healthy hair. The volumizing, cosmetic leave-on treatment is specifically formulated for noticeably thinning hair. The combination of a Cleanser, Scalp Therapy Conditioner, and Scalp Treatment contains SPF 15 sunscreen to protect scalp skin along with antioxidants and botanicals to help provide a refreshed scalp environment.
Hair regrowth treatments: In addition to shampoo and other hair conditioning products that restore health to your strands, it may also be time to consider a topical hair regrowth treatment such as the one from Nioxin. Rogaine is another widely known hair loss and hair regrowth treatment and is FDA approved to help regrow hair. It’s also the number-one dermatologist-recommended brand for hair regrowth. The active ingredient in both Nioxin and Rogaine products, minoxidil, is the only ingredient clinically proven to effectively help hair regrowth in men by reinvigorating shrunken hair follicles over time.
Propecia: Unlike topical treatments such as Nioxin and Rogaine, Propecia is ingested orally and available only by prescription, so it requires a bit more commitment on your part. However, it has been clinically proven to help your thinning head of hair.