If you’re a seasoned traveller, it won’t have escaped your attention that hair loss is an issue that lots of people face across the world. Given that it affects so many of us, it’s not surprising that there’s an array of treatments available. However, some are much more effective than others – and some are completely worthless. If you want fuller locks, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. To help you, here are three common hair loss treatment myths you should know about.
1) All treatments are old wives’ tales
From standing on their head to rubbing onion juice into their scalps, some people are prepared to try anything to encourage their tresses to grow. Given the unproven nature of many of these so-called treatments, you might be suspicious about anything purporting to encourage hair regrowth. It’s important to realise though that there’s a big difference between these unscientific approaches and the highly tailored medicines now available that are backed up by detailed research.
One organisation that’s well aware of this is Online Doctor LloydsPharmacy, which recently reported a 24 per cent increase in sales of hair loss treatments this year. Along with a number of other pharmacies, it provides the prescription medicine finasteride. Better known under the brand name Propecia, this comes in tablet form and it can help to treat male-pattern baldness. It works by decreasing the effect of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which can cause hair follicles to shrink, weaken and eventually die. Studies have shown that 90 per cent of the men who use it see positive results, while around two in three experience renewed hair growth.
Minoxidil is another treatment with a proven track record. Available as a lotion that you rub directly into your scalp, it can be used to tackle male-pattern and female-pattern baldness. Although it’s not known exactly how it works, research has shown it slows hair loss in approximately half of those who use it and just over one in 10 see hair regrowth.
These treatments aren’t miracle cures, but they can be effective if used correctly and on an ongoing basis.
2) Washing in cold water helps you keep your locks
The old adage ‘no pain, no gain’ might have merit when it comes to trying to get fit, but it doesn’t always work so well if you’re attempting to tackle hair loss. It has long been suggested that washing hair in cold water can minimise hair loss, helping to give people thicker tresses. The theory behind this is that the low temperature somehow encourages circulation and therefore boosts hair growth.
In reality, there’s no evidence that dunking your head under cold water has any positive impact on your locks, so unless your boiler’s packed in, there’s no reason to brace yourself for a chilly start to the morning.
3) Massaging the scalp enhances hair health
Massaging or brushing your scalp can feel nice, and some people think it has the potential to boost hair growth. Similar to the cold shower theory, this is based on the idea that it enhances circulation and therefore improves the health of hair follicles. Unfortunately though, while it might have a soothing effect on you, science doesn’t back up the suggestion that massaging your scalp will slow or reverse hair loss. In fact, if you start brushing your hair excessively, there’s a risk you’ll damage and break it, leading to the appearance of thinner tresses.
If you’d like to find out more about the effective hair loss treatments now available, you can speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.