Patients are losing faith in our hair loss management due to fear of side effects. Researchers today agree that it is not raised DHT, but the altered tissue response of the follicles at the tissue level, which is responsible for hair loss (1,2). The altered response is in the form of disturbance of metabolism, disturbance of ATP formation, energy utilization, accumulation of free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), peroxides and other free radicals, creating inflammation, compromising immunity, making the follicle weak and vulnerable. The hair loss occurring today is not hormonal. Hair loss can occur without raised androgens and without family history, it can skip siblings and skip generations (3,4). Therefore it is not called androgenetic alopecia anymore. It is referred to as male pattern hair loss (MPHL) and female pattern hair loss (FPHL). Should we still insist on treating it like androgenetic alopecia?
The male hormone was in focus in the beginning, when it was thought that only men go bald and hair loss runs in families. We were trying to search and treat a cause. But hair loss is not a sickness or a disease, it is more of a disturbance or slowing down of the biological cycles due to unfavourable conditions at the cellular level. Baldness progresses gradually over a few years. Only the weak hair are lost in a pattern or in a diffuse manner. Rising exposure to pollution, stress, UV rays, sleep cycles, fast foods, poor nutrition, depleting nutrition in the soil, chemicals and EDCs through food and water, altered climatic and season patterns, smoking, alcohol, lifestyle, lack of exercise are making the hair roots weak. The hair loss seen presently is not hormonal, it does not respond to anti androgens alone. We can strengthen the follicles, provide nutrition for energy, repair, restoration, control hair loss and achieve hair growth, as concluded through data from this controlled clinical trial. There is another dimension to hair loss which needs to be explored and deciphered.
Data from clinical trial:
A controlled clinical trial for hair loss management, using antioxidants, iron, calcium, aminoacids, B-complex, biotin, in men and women without the use of anti androgens or DHT blocker, finasteride, showed an average improvement in density of 18% at 2 months and 30% and at 4 months. Hair loss was controlled within 4-6 weeks (6). The average improvement in calibre in 2 months was 9% and at 4 months was 21% (6,7). The improvement was seen in all the patients, there were no non responders to this regimen, as are reported in finasteride and minoxidil studies (8,9). The approach has also helped in hair loss due to smoking (10), hair loss due to pollution (11), hair shaft disorders like monilethrix caused due to poor hair structure too have benefited from nutritional support (12). It has also helped a unusual case of hair loss from exposure to cell phone radiation (13), apart from being consistently effective in management of routine hair loss. Two study groups and two control groups of 100 men, 100 women of similar age and grades of hair loss were compared with a one year follow up. Tattooed areas of hair loss were marked and analyzed by folliscope counts of density and caliber in addition to global photography and personal patient evaluation scores.