Vitamins for Hair Loss - Do They Work?
There has been some research that links certain vitamin deficiencies to hair loss in men. It’s always important to maintain a balanced diet to maintain your overall health: if you’re not getting enough of the essential vitamins, nutrients or minerals your body needs, you may become ill. This is no less true than for your hair.
Some companies market special hair growth vitamins and supplements that you can buy to make it easier for you to stay healthy and help prevent hair loss. In general, however, all you need to do is make sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet (eating lots of protein-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables, fish, eggs and beans), and the right levels of iron, zinc and vitamin A. B, C and folic acid.
However, doing so will only help prevent hair loss or stimulate hair regrowth if a vitamin deficiency is the cause of your hair loss. While you should be keeping a balanced diet anyway, if your hair loss is genetically inherited, it is unlikely that taking these vitamins will have any dramatic effect.
Prescription Medications for Hair Loss
There are several different types of medication you can buy to help treat hair loss. Procepia and Finasteride are currently the only approved drugs you can take that will effectively treat hair loss. The active ingredient in both treatments (finasteride) works by blocking DHT (the male hormone dihydrotestosterone) that causes hair loss by shrinking hair follicles on your scalp. It has been proven to lead to hair regrowth or to stop hair loss in around 9 out of 10 men in clinical trials.
Procepia and Finasteride will only prevent hair loss and aid hair regrowth for the duration of your treatment. As soon as you stop taking them, any hair loss you would have had during that time will happen within a few months of ending the treatment. A doctor needs to check whether you can use either medication. You can order your treatment online from Superdrug and get your prescription from one of our online doctors, who will review your order.
Minoxidil is another medication that comes either as a cream or a foam to be massaged into the scalp to increase blood flow to the hair follicles on your scalp. It has been proven to have some effect, but most people will find that their hair that regrows will be comparatively weak in contrast to the existing, healthy hair on their head.
Mythbusting Hair Loss Remedies
Back in the 17th century, men were told that coating their balding heads with chicken faeces would help them regain a full head of long glossy locks. While we might have moved on somewhat since then, we still don’t fully understand the science behind hair loss and hair regrowth and, unfortunately, there are still some very common myths about hair remedies that we are far too quick to believe.
Here are some of the most common (and false!) beliefs about hair loss remedies:
1. Standing on your head will make your hair grow: apart from making you feel incredibly dizzy (and maybe a little silly), standing on your head won’t do anything to help your hair grow back or stop it from falling out. Hair loss is not due to a lack of blood flow to your scalp, it is almost always caused by factors such as old age and genetics.
2. Cutting or shaving your hair short will help reduce hair loss: this is something men who start to lose their hair can be quick to do but, unfortunately, it has no effect. It is the health of your hair follicles that will determine whether or not you lose it, and cutting it shorter won’t influence these follicles at all.
3. Natural supplements can help battle hair loss: people have tried any number of natural ways to help remedy hair loss, ranging from stinging nettles to palmetto, but so far there have been no clinical trials to prove that these have ever helped prevent or stop hair loss.
4. Regularly brushing or massaging your scalp with help reduce hair loss: just like standing on your head, aiding blood circulation by massaging your scalp won’t boost hair loss. Even worse, being too rough with weak or brittle hair can actually lead to hair breakage.