Androgenetic alopecia, also called male or female pattern baldness, is a frustrating type of hair loss. As people get older, it is common to lose some hair thickness and coverage. In some cases, this can lead to a completely bald crown. This leads many to wonder if there is any way to reverse this condition. The good news is that there may be more hope than you expect.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia?
Male or female pattern hair loss is a type of permanent loss of hair from the scalp. It is associated with male hormones called androgens, hence the name.
As you likely know, your hair grows from follicles in your scalp. These follicles follow a three-phase growth cycle:
Anagen: This is the growth phase. Typically, this is the longest phase and the majority of follicles are in it.
Catagen: This is the transitional phase. It is the shortest phase and represents the end of the growth period.
- Telogen: This is the resting phase. It is an important part of how your hair follicles renew so they can reenter the anagen phase. In a health scalp, less than 10% of follicles are in this phase.
Androgenetic alopecia caused some changes to this hair growth cycle. The main culprit is an androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a more potent form of testosterone. While DHT plays an important role in the body, especially for young males, it can also cause some unwanted side effects. The most notable and frustrating for many people is hair loss.
DHT causes the hair follicles to slowly shrink. They then receive fewer nutrients and oxygen through the blood vessels in the scalp. Furthermore, they spend much more time in the telogen phase. Eventually, the anagen phase will be so short that the hair strands never break through the skin.
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The body produces DHT by transforming free testosterone using an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. Again, this is a normal and healthy process. Every healthy person has some DHT (males have a lot more).
Scientists believe that genetics play a major role in how DHT affects hair growth. Although the exact causes are still to be determined, studies have shown that variations in the AR gene are correlated to hair loss.
Can It Be Reversed?
Yes, androgenetic alopecia can be reversed in some cases. Unfortunately, it is notoriously difficult to do. That doesn’t mean that there is no hope, however.
The harm caused by androgenetic alopecia to hair follicles can be significant. It can take a lot of time and treatment to reverse this. Nonetheless, the mechanisms for treating hair loss can be effective for regrowing hair. With the right combination of treatments for your hair, you can reverse much of the effects of androgenetic alopecia.
It is worth noting that hair loss treatments have been shown to be much more effective at preventing further hair loss. If you start to notice some thinning of your hair and begin treatment, you will likely be able to slow or completely halt your hair loss. Furthermore, it is typically easier to regrow hair when it has been lost recently in small amounts than it is to regrow a completely bald crown of hair.
Additionally, although androgenetic alopecia is primarily caused by androgens, other factors can exacerbate the problem. These include stress, nutrient deficiency, inflammation and medications among other factors. Addressing these secondary elements can also help with slowing and even reversing hair loss.
How Do Treatments Work?
There are several mechanisms for treating hair loss. They can be loosely grouped into DHT blockers, hair growth stimulators and hair health treatments. Typically, combining all three of these is the most effective way to slow or reverse androgenetic alopecia.
DHT blockers prevent the androgen from causing hair follicles to shrink. The most common way of achieving this is by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase, thus stopping it from converting free testosterone into DHT. Alone, blocking this hormone is not sufficient to reverse hair loss. However, it is one of the best ways to prevent more hair loss from occurring.
Some treatments stimulate the growth of new hairs. A popular way of achieving this is by dilating the blood vessels in the scalp, bringing extra nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. In turn, this helps to extend the anagen phase and increase hair growth. This can reverse hair loss but may be ineffective without treating the root causes.
Finally, shrinking hair follicles produce unhealthy hair. Treatments that can help your follicles grow thicker, stronger and healthier hair can improve the effectiveness of other treatments. This can be especially valuable for women (who tend to experience androgenetic alopecia as an overall thinning).
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What Are Some Effective Products for Treating Androgenetic Alopecia?
At DS Laboratories, we create hair health treatments based on clinically tested ingredients. These are some of our products that have been shown to slow, halt and even reverse androgenetic alopecia:
SPECTRAL.DNC-N: This topical hair treatment includes a powerful compound called Nanoxidil. This vasodilator opens up ion channels in the scalp, helping to promote new hair growth. It does so without the side effects of minoxidil, another common treatment. also includes powerful DHT blockers and a total of nine ingredients to promote health and growth.
REVITA SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER: This shampoo includes proven ingredients for treating hair loss. For example, it features ketoconazole, a potent DHT blocker. It also includes procyanidin B2, a treatment that has been shown to increase hair diameter by up to 80%. With a total of 14 active ingredients, this combination treatment is a great way to combat androgenetic alopecia.
- SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER: We have also created a formulation of our shampoo including cannabidiol. This potent substance works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Using this shampoo, patients have seen thicker, longer and healthier hair.
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Whether you are tackling androgenetic alopecia or another form of hair loss, DS Laboratories is here for you with clinically tested treatments. Explore our full range of hair health products to find the right solution for your needs.