Androgenetic Alopecia - Do Hair Follicles Die?
It is often assumed that hair that is lost in pattern balding, androgenetic alopecia, somehow "dies" after a certain period of time; therefore, rendered incapable of regeneration. This assumption is also erroneously reinforced by certain doctors and other hair specialists.
The fact is that hair follicles technically never "die", they miniaturize to the point that they are no longer visible, over time resulting in thinning hair and eventually a bald appearance. Once a hair follicle miniaturizes to this point, it becomes extremely resistant to treatment and regeneration. Trichologists have discovered that hair follicles on the scalp become trapped in a resting state (telogen phase) where they do not grow new hair, leading to thinning.
Dr. Bruno Bernard, head of hair biology at L'Oreal in Paris, revealed that, "hair follicles exist in two stable states - either an active state or a dormant state. From time to time, they will jump from one state to another. Some of the follicles are just resting in the dormant state and are waiting for the right signal to make new hair. They are in a latency period. If you can reduce this latency period, you will have more hair."
Researchers at academic institutions identified the culprit behind this resistance to regeneration as a progressive and long-standing fibrosis (chronic inflammation induced collagen hardening) that occurs in Androgenetic Alopecia. Perifollicular Fibrosis and the resulting miniaturization occur in response to inflammation and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), making it almost impossible to regrow hair in completely bald areas in the short term. However, as fibrosis is gradually reversed, regrowth of hair is possible in the long term.
Perifollicular Fibrosis can be reversed a number of ways. The most side-effect prone is the usage of prescribed oral anti-androgens such as Propecia (finasteride). The sexual side-effects of finasteride are alarmingly common and severe. Lawsuits have been filed by users of Propecia that have suffered injuries due to this drug. The sexual side effects include: decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and ejaculation problems, and may continue after stopping the medication.
Another option is to use Minoxidil to decrease collagen production. Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is a pyrimidine derivative that was originally developed as an anti-hypertensive agent and unexpectedly found to stimulate hair growth. Minoxidil has common side effects which include: burning or irritation of the eye, itching, redness or irritation at the treated area, as well as unwanted hair growth elsewhere on the body.
An example of a product with all-natural ingredients and no known side effects is Procerin. Backed by an independent study, Procerin is proven to reverse hair loss and regrow lost hair, primarily by blocking DHT. Procerin also helps to revitalize hair follicles, stimulate new hair growth and maintain scalp health. Although other treatments work, it is a better decision to select a product that benefits your overall health and delivers the same results.