Hair loss is rarely a sign of a serious health condition but it can have a harmful effect on your mental health. Losing a lot of hair in a short period of time can be particularly upsetting. Over time, it can knock your self-esteem and open the door to other body image issues.
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Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat hair loss, although some may be more appealing than others.
For example, surgery is one potential avenue but this may be off-putting for some people.
Before you consider cosmetic options, which can be pricey, it is worth noting there is a range of natural supplements that have been shown to stimulate hair growth.
One such supplement is spermidine-based supplements.
Spermidine is a compound found in foods such as aged cheese, mushrooms, soy products, legumes, corn and whole grains.
Supplements containing this compound have been shown to promote hair growth.
For example, a study of 100 healthy people found a spermidine-based nutritional supplement prolonged a phase of active hair growth called the anagen phase.
The longer a hair follicle stays in the anagen phase, the longer it will grow.
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Test-tube studies have also shown that spermidine promotes human hair growth.
Other ways to treat hair loss
According to the NHS, minoxidil is one of the main over-the-counter treatments for pattern baldness.
Pattern baldness is a type of permanent hair loss that usually runs in the family.
A couple of studies have shown the treatment to be an effective solution to hair loss.
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In the large clinical study that led to the drug’s approval in 1987, 40 percent of men had moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of their head.
What’s more, in a one-year observational study, 62 percent of the 984 men using five percent minoxidil reported a reduction in hair loss.
In terms of hair regrowth, the drug was rated as “very effective” in 16 percent of participants, “effective” in 48 percent, “moderately effective” in 21 percent, and “ineffective” in 16 percent.
The positive effects have also been seen in women.
In one double-blind study, 19 percent of women ages 18 to 45 using minoxidil for eight months reported moderate hair regrowth, while 40 percent had minimal growth (compared to seven percent and 33 percent for placebo, respectively).
Are there any downsides to taking minoxidil?
According to the NHS, minoxidil:
- Doesn’t work for everyone
- Only works for as long as it’s used
- Isn’t available on the NHS
- Can be expensive
Another option is to wear a wig, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help, says the health site.
There are two types of wigs available: synthetic wigs and real-hair wigs.
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