Hair loss can have temporary causes, such as a response to stress, but more often than not, it is permanent. Male pattern baldness – a common type of hair loss – usually runs in the family or is a result of genetics. If you are experiencing hair loss, probability would suggest pattern baldness is the cause – it is estimated to affect around 6.5 million men in the UK.
Notwithstanding the complex causes, solutions for hair loss can be surprisingly simple.
Evidence makes a strong case for trying out natural products before resorting to invasive medical procedures or taking drug treatments, both of which can come with nasty side effects.
Many people consume fish or fish oil supplements to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss and research does bear out this strategy.
One study indicated that women taking a fish oil supplement experienced significantly increased hair growth and reduced hair loss.
Another study indicated that when mackerel-derived fermented fish oil (FFO) extract was topically applied to mice it significantly stimulated hair growth.
What’s more, a study published in the Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology indicated that women experienced reduced hair loss and increased hair density when taking a supplement of antioxidants along with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are healthy unsaturated fats commonly found in fish oil supplements and fish.
The study suggests that supplements containing these fatty acids may reverse hair loss.
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According to Holland Barrett, omega-3 nourishes hair at the follicles to boost strength, lustre and thickness while soothing dry, flaky scalps and inhibiting the inflammation that can result in hair loss.
If you are considering prescribed drug treatments for hair loss, finasteride and minoxidil.
According to the NHS, minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness but women shouldn’t use finasteride.
There are important caveats to consider before pursuing these drugs, warns the health body.
- Don’t work for everyone
- Only work for as long as they’re used
- Aren’t available on the NHS
- Can be expensive.
Some wigs are also available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
Wigs too come with pros and cons and they vary according to the type of wig you opt for.
Synthetic wigs do not last as long as real-hair wigs but they are easier to maintain and cheaper, explains the NHS.
Real-hair wigs, on the other hand, last three to four years and look more natural, but are far more expensive and difficult to maintain.
While you weigh up your options, you may benefit from some psychological support if your hair loss is causing you distress.
You may benefit from joining a support group, or speaking to other people in the same situation on online forums.
Try these online support groups:
- Alopecia UK
- Alopecia Awareness.
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