I read with interest quite a few remedies that some of my erstwhile colleagues (includes a pain & palliative medicine specialist!) & some fellow baldies have suggested or recommended as medicines for hair fall. I state very categorically "Like many other medical conditions, baldness can be treated, but not cured"!!
Having said that, to begin with, hair loss or 'trichology' demands that at the outset, one must assess the 'type' of hair fall & the 'ammount' of hair fall. The age old hair-pull test has given way to more sophisticated scanners & computer assisted software/hardware based assessment options!
Most people dont realise that a hair loss of 50-100/day is actually quite the norm. Stress (physical, delivery/post-partum, emotional) plays a big role in most folk. Water characteristics & local practices (hair brading/straightening) & fashion statements too play their part in hair fall!
Beginning in the 1980s, drug therapy has given a very minor improvement option for baldness in both men and women. Minoxidil
& its derivatives & Finasteride
are still the Gold standard as far as medications go that work even for a male pattern baldness
Then we have hair transplantation
as a tool largely centred around strip grafting & follicular transplant units being grafted & various newer tools like lasers are being used to in effect sharpen the same old procedure.
Many laser light therapies (LLT) have sprung up from head chambers to combs that promise much but deliver little. Mesotherapy (injection of various hair-raising cocktails) also is in a similar category!
Grateloupia Elliptica..a red seaweed native to Jeju Island, South Korea, has the potential to treat androgenic alopecia
as well as alopecia areata
& is a more recent addition to the armementarium
Various dietary supplements too (some with an oral equivalent of minoxidil called TRX2 also promise much but are not FDA approved as yet as they dont qualify as drugs.
Grandmother's remedies & Alternative medicine
remedies are dime a dozen in addition to ones mentioned above & many promise hair oils (never understood how any of these work given they have to work from the outside & the skin interface is not as permeable in an adult as opposed to a neonate) & certain dermatologists' too are keeping things in their family business' by marketing their mothers' home-made oil therapies!
Stem cell research & Genetics of late have sprung up with few recent developments & a process known as Hair Multiplication (HM) or hair cloning is the recent rage & is being developed by companies in the UK/US & is probably one to watch closely over the next decade.
In conclusion, "Horses for courses" is a phrase probably apt in the management of hair fall...there is No Best medicine..it all depends on the type of hair fall & individual perceptions therof. "Bald is Beautiful" or "More face to kiss" are often catch phrases being bandied about by the more hirsuite challenged! Persis Khambatta perhaps was the first Indian woman in the 80's if i remember correctly who made a fashion statement by going 'skinheaded' to capture a role in the then famous popular Hollywood sci-fi series "Star Trek"! Closer home today, no more are only the 'baddies' portrayed as 'bald' in Bollywood.
I do hope i have managed to give you a comprehensive yet 'objective' view of the small matter of medicines for hair fall as briefly as can put it. For further discussions &/or available treatments in the market please do visit any of the dermatologists on the healthcaremagic.com portal or in their clinics depending on which part of the world you hail from!
Personally, i have started a Dermatology & Cosmetology unit recently @ Vikram Hospital, Bangalore, India & perform all these standard procedures like Mesotherapy et al with due diligence after taking the patient into confidence. I also do Hair Transplantation procedures @ one of my other locations in a different part of the city..the Asian Skin Institute, Bangalore, India (reputed to be the first hair transplantation unit in India & at the time a novel idea with israeli collaboration) in collaboration with a team of doctors' under the aegis of BNR hospitals.
Here's wishing you a "Good Hair Day" & do note.." Bhal or Bald"...it's a personal choice..All the Best!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD
Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Venereologist
Vikram Hospital, Bangalore, India