As long as people have had hair, they have been looking for cures for baldness. In the 21st Century, medical science has found ways to not only diagnose the causes of baldness, but have also found new cures for people that struggle with baldness. Between cancer drugs, eyelash therapy, and hats with lasers, there have never been more ways to treat the scourge of the aging. All of them have their benefits and drawbacks, and these are worth taking a look at.
Scientists are discovering what the causes are for baldness on a regular basis. While the old adage, “If your mother’s father is bald, you will be bald, too” may not be truly scientific, science has linked male-pattern baldness to genetic factors. A sensitivity to the testosterone by-product DHT has been found to be hereditary, and this sensitivity is linked to hair loss. Scientists also look for different hormone problems, or iron deficiencies. Finding the cause of a person’s baldness can be imperative, as men who are bald have been shown to have higher instances of prostate cancer.
Making recent news is a new treatment for the condition alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a condition, considered to be hereditary, in which a person’s autoimmune system attacks their hair follicles, stopping hair growth. Alopecia’s affects begin with bald spots, then spreading to make the person entirely hairless. Recently, however, researchers may have found a cure for alopecia. The cancer drug ruxolitinib was discovered to regrow hair fully in three different alopecia sufferers. The problem with this treatment is the cost. The annual treatment could cost very nearly $70,000.
Another new treatment for baldness is the laser cap. In the 60’s, scientists studying cancer were using different stimulants on shaved mice to see if any would cause cancer. When testing low level light, they found that rather than causeing cancer, the light would actually regrow the mice’s hair By putting these low level lasers into a hat, doctor’s have been able to regrow hair for baldness sufferers. Like the alopecia treatment, these caps can be expensive, but the cost over time will most likely be lower than continued use of other cures.
It is not just men who suffer from about baldness, though recent baldness treatments for women do not deal with head baldness.Latisse, a drug originally created to treat glaucoma patients, was found to stimulate eyelash growth. This was a boon to women who had been struggling with weak or thinning lashes. Latisse is gotten with a doctor’s prescription, so a patient should never share with another, and people under the age of 18 or that are breast feeding should avoid using it.
Beyond medications, there are other ways for people to help with their baldness. Changing shampoos is an inexpensive way to try for a baldness cure. There is also the old stand-by of hair transplant, but that can be costly as well and comes with an extensive recovery time. Sometimes, the best cure for baldness is baldness itself, as a short haircut can do wonders for a man’s look.
As long as people lose hair, they will look for new cures for baldness. While some of these cures will work, other’s will be like so much snake oil. Only time, and the hair on a person’s head, will tell.
By Bryan Levy