5 Hair Loss Treatments (That Don’t Really Work)
26 Jun | 2019
When looking for a treatment to hair loss, there are seemingly endless options available to you (especially online). Unfortunately, quite a number of these ‘solutions’ are little more effective than simply wishing your hair to grow back. Here’s a quick list of products to doublethink when considering hair loss treatments.
The idea behind caffeine shampoos is that the caffeine stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which in turn supposedly helps prevent hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia. Research conducted by the manufacturers of these shampoos shows caffeine does in fact stimulate hair growth… in hairs removed from the scalp and bathed in a petri dish filled with either testosterone or caffeine meaning the full hair follicle was saturated. That’s a relatively far cry from using a shampoo with caffeine diluted by a list of other ingredients. If you’re looking for a treatment shampoo, your best bet is to find a medicated topical treatment with at least a 2% solution such as Regaine as these types of medicated products are the only MHRA and FDA recognized topical treatments shown to slow or prevent hair loss.
Hair Growth Brushes
Just like caffeine shampoos, these magnetized or sonic vibration brushes claim to promote hair growth by stimulating blood flow to the scalp. In short, there’s no evidence vibration or magnets in combs do anything besides take a few extra pounds from your wallet. Beware though, as using the wrong kind of brush can seriously damage your hair. When shopping for a brush, look for flexible, blunted bristles that won’t scratch your scalp or tug at your hair. Natural hair bristles can help distribute sebum evenly along the hair shaft which aids in overall hair health and shine more than any magnet could. Also if you have longer locks, prevent breakage by brushing out the ends of your hair first, then working your way closer to the scalp with each pass.
Certain vitamins are essential to healthy hair, however many supplements should be taken with a grain or two of salt and under the supervision of your GP. For one, supplements cannot change your genetics, which are what truly determine maximum hair length and likelihood of hair loss. Before buying potentially expensive vitamins, consider that (unless you have an underlying medical issue) eating a varied diet of mostly fresh foods will provide you (and your hair) all the necessary nutrients to grow. Finally, it is vital to consult your GP about any supplement you want to take because some can cause potentially serious adverse effects, especially if you take prescription medication. Also, ironically, over-supplementation of things like vitamin A or E may actually stunt hair growth.
From caster to olive, oils are a wildly popular hair loss treatment. While massaging your scalp with oil can improve hair quality by moisturising the scalp and hair shaft, it will not increase the rate at which your hair grows. There are a handful of studies showing twice daily topical applications of rosemary oil are as effective as a medicated topical treatment like Regaine with at least a 2% solution at preventing further hair loss and promoting growth for users with androgenic alopecia. However, before you go out and buy rosemary oil, know these claims need further research. Topical rosemary oil may be a good option for sufferers of patterned hair loss who are highly reactive or allergic to medicated products like Regaine, but this option does not have scientific backing or regulation because it is not a regulated medication.
Headstands (aka Inversions)
Really? Headstands? The theory goes that if you get your head below your heart a few minutes each day the extra blood flow to your scalp will stimulate the hair follicles to grow. However, the nature of hair doesn’t back these claims. Hair loss is caused by an array of things like medications, hormones, and stress, and it’s biologically impossible for a few minutes of extra blood flow a day to reverse hair loss associated with any of them. Plus, this DIY is not recommended for persons with medical issues like high blood pressure or sinus issues as they could feel incredibly uncomfortable or even faint from staying in inverted positions for extended periods of time. It’s best to keep the head-over-heels moments to your (supervised) yoga practice.