5 Myths About Hair Loss Treatments
When it comes to dealing with hair loss, everyone wants to be helpful. From old wives’ tales about brushing your hair 100 times before bed to hardcore hair transplant disciples, when you start going bald you’ll likely discover that everybody has expertise of some kind they want to share.
Well, let’s clear a few things up.
For most men experiencing hair loss – 95% in fact – it will be a result of Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). MPB occurs when the body starts producing a hormone called DHT. In some men, DHT has the effect of weakening hair follicles over time, leading to thinning hair. There are only two medical treatments proven to treat MPB: Finasteride, taken in pill form, and Minoxidil – a lotion that’s sprayed onto the head daily. These two tried-and-tested products work in a majority of men experiencing MPB, and work even better when used together. Our experts trust them, so you can too!
That said, if you’re still getting texts about home-made alternatives, allow us to clear up a few myths!
MYTH #1: Egg Hair Masks
As weird as it sounds, the practice of making “egg hair masks” for improved locks has been around for years, the idea being that the egg will feed and strengthen damaged hair. The internet is full of recipes for masks, many of them combining eggs with oils, and some even recommending you throw a banana into the mix. Tasty.
Here’s the thing, though: unlike Finasteride and Minoxidil, which are both FDA-approved treatments, no scientific study has ever proven egg mixtures to impact on baldness. While an oily egg mask might give someone with long hair a nice waxy sheen, there’s absolutely no evidence to suggest it will impact Male Pattern Baldness at all.
Worth bearing in mind before you make an omelette on your scalp.
MYTH #2: A Special Hair Loss Brush
If the eggs don’t work, some people might tell you to buy a fancy-sounding brush. In recent years there’s been a boom in specialist hair brushes promising to stimulate hair follicles by increasing blood flow, either through the use of magnets or in some cases by massaging the scalp. While the theory here is a little more solid the reality is there is no reliable medical evidence to back up these claims.
There are real medical treatments that can do this job. Minoxidil has been proven to stimulate hair follicles by increasing the flow of blood to the scalp – studies show that over two thirds of men with MPB enjoyed an improvement after using it. Low-level laser therapy or the injection of “platelet-rich plasma” – processed blood – have also proven effective. Sadly for that fancy-sounding-scalp-massaging-magnetic brush, these are the only medically-backed ways of improving blood-circulation to a thinning scalp.
MYTH #3: Getting a Haircut
Sounds counterintuitive but some people think that cutting your hair more often will affect how much of it you grow! Because hair can get frayed and dry at the ends, some stay-at-home docs reckon trimming it more regularly will encourage a fuller head of hair in the long term.
Truth is, while cutting the ends off long hair can make it look healthier, it has no bearing on how much of the stuff you grow. Hair follicles, which dictate growth, are on the scalp, not the ends. It takes a treatment like Finasteride – which blocks the production of DHT, thus slowing Male Pattern Baldness – to deal with them. Not a pair of scissors.
So, yeah. Cutting your hair to make it longer: just as counterintuitive as it sounds. Got it.
MYTH #4: Chili Oil
Reaching further into the recesses of your kitchen cupboards here, some people claim that slathering a healthy dose of chili oil onto your scalp will stimulate growth. The theory goes that because chilies are full of goodies like iron, potassium, vitamins B1 and B2 – all admittedly good for healthy hair – introducing them to the affected area will make a difference.
Well sadly, once again, there’s no evidence to suggest this is the case. Unlike Minoxidil, which has been proven to affect blood circulation, chilies, administered topically, have no effect on hair loss. While eating them might make a small difference, rubbing them onto your head is likely to do little more than potentially make your eyes sting if you’re not careful.
Could work well with the eggs though, so there’s that.
MYTH #5: Onion Juice
Hair loss tips from Shrek here: apparently covering your head in onion juice can go some way to reversing the effects of hair loss. There’s even been a medical study to put the theory to the test, which found that a group of test patients applying onion juice to their heads enjoyed more growth than a group using tap water. Despite this there’s nowhere near enough evidence to confidently say covering yourself in blitzed onions will counter the effects of male pattern baldness.
Plus: c’mon. Onion juice? On your head? Don’t blame us when you get kicked out of bed for smelling like a bowl of cold French soup.
So What Does Work?
Finasteride pills are effective in a whopping nine out of 10 men, while Minoxidil solutions promote growth in over two-thirds of people who try it. Those odds are even better for people who use them in tandem. It’s worth bearing in mind that the sooner you start using these treatments, the more of your hair you’ll keep. That time spent bottling chili oil could be better spent using a clinically-proven treatment that could make a real difference.
Still unsure? Here at Manual we have a team of online experts ready to field your questions and find a hair loss solution tailored to you. All it takes is a quick, free consultation to figure out which is the right plan for you, then we’ll deliver the treatment to your door – for less than half the cost of going to a specialist hair clinic!
For more information about our hair-saving products, have a look at our personalised plans starting at just £18 per month.