Rogaine and other growth stimulators for male hair loss

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Hair Growth Regulators
Topical oxygen free-radical scavengers (e.g., superoxide dismutases, SODs, enzymes that counter excessive free-radical activity) are potent hair-growth stimulators. SODs inhibit oxygen radicals and may inhibit a localized immune response implicated in hair loss and offset damage and inflammation. Unless immunologic factors involved in the hair loss process are effectively treated, the potential for significant hair re-growth may be very limited.

Available agents (e.g., RogaineŽ) minoxidil stimulate some degree of hair growth in some individuals, but by themselves they cannot always produce full healthy hair regrowth and cosmetic benefits. Combination therapy that combines Anti-Androgens, autoimmune system protective agents, oxygen free-radical inhibitors, and other hair-growth stimulators to halt hair loss and generate hair re-growth can offer better benefits than using minoxidil alone.


Minoxidil as a Hair Loss Treatment

Originally used to treat high blood pressure, minoxidil is now widely used as a topical solution applied twice daily to treat male-pattern baldness. It may improve hair growth in 25% and slow hair loss in 90% of users. How minoxidil acts is unclear, but when effective, minoxidil appears to prolong the growing phase in the hair growth cycle, enlarge follicles, and cause dormant follicles to grow. Minoxidil may take 4 months or longer to produce results. Treatment is relatively expensive and must be continued indefinitely. When minoxidil is stopped, re-grown hair falls out. Newly grown hair may not be as long or thick as normal hair. It can be lighter, like baby hair, and grows mostly on the top of the head, not at the hairline. Minoxidil is more effective in young men and men with recent-onset hair loss.

Minnoxidil is a FDA approved Hair Loss Medication for regrowth of lost hair both for men and Hair Loss in Women. Minoxidil is applied topically to the scalp, and has been shown to promote hair growth in about 25% of men and women. New hair is usually thinner and lighter, like baby hair, and grows mostly on the top of the head, not at the hairline. Its effects may fade with time. Skin irritation is the most commonly reported side effect. Dizziness and increased heart rate have also been reported, but rarely.


Mechanism of Action

Minoxidil is neither a hormonal supplement nor does it have an immunosuppressant effect. Rather, its hair growth potential is due to a direct mitogenic effect on epidermal cells as shown both in vitro and in vivo. Another possible mechanism of action is the opposition to intracellular calcium entry, which normally enhances epidermal growth factors to inhibit hair growth. It induces growth by changing the permeability of epidermal cells.

Some Hair Transplant Surgeons recommend that hair transplant patients use Rogaine before surgery and then immediately after the surgery especially when Follicular Hair Transplants have been placed in and around existing hair. The medication may help prevent the temporary loss of healthy, preexisting hair due to the shock of the procedure. Some surgeons do feel that the medication should be stopped a week prior to the surgery, because it dilates blood vessels, and might increase operative bleeding.


Copper Peptides

Copper peptides are topical, and shorten the resting phase of hairs, resulting in more hair follicles on the scalp being in the growing phase (as opposed to the resting or falling out phase) at one time. Copper peptides generally have superoxide dismutate activity. They likely work by destroying superoxide, the antagonist to Nitric Oxide (NO), the natural miNOxidil.


Other Hair Loss Treatments in Men

Some patients may prefer a systemic agent like the Anti-Androgen Finasteride/ Dutasteride, whereas others may favor a topical agent like a growth stimulator like minoxidil as a hair loss medication. In case the condition has not stabilized after 1 year or if the patient wants greater hair density, Hair Transplantation as a hair loss treatment can be considered. Keep in mind that Hair Transplant Replacement under the age of 25 is not generally recommended because at this time the ultimate extent and pattern of hair loss cannot usually be predicted. For patients with a more advanced condition, most of the hair loss medications are not very effective and Hair Restoration Surgery is the best option.