These are the types of hair treatment available in the market claiming to help regrow hair faster. The unfortunate reality is that not all of these “anti-hair loss” treatments deliver what they promise. What they do is leave people even more defeated because they fail to solve their balding situation.
Some people learned it the hard way. They experienced worsening hair loss, unwanted side effects, and lack of results. Here are 15 personal accounts to save yourself from false hopes
Administering corticosteroid shots, ointment or pills
Andrea, a 30-year-old account executive, suffered hair loss for many years. She turned to corticosteroid, a hair loss medicine that suppresses the immune system, which she learned about over the Internet. This medicine may be injected, taken as pills or applied as cream or ointment on areas with hair loss. Andrea opted for the pills but had to stop after experiencing serious side effects including suppressed adrenal gland hormone production, increased risk of infections, and high blood sugar.
Using minoxidil cream or foam
Hair thinning is a depressing matter. *Jolene, a 25-year-old accountant, always kept her hair tied back to hide her predicament. A co-worker recommended minoxidil, a hair loss medicine available as foam solution or cream/ointment. However, she had to drop the treatment after two months when she started experiencing burning and redness on the application area. After discontinuing minoxidil, she learned that abruptly stopping the medicine can lead to worse hair loss.
Using anthralin cream
*Tom, a 48-year-old architect, never leaves the house without a hat, cap or any kind of headgear to hide his bald patches. The hair loss did not only kill his confidence but also caused depressive periods. Tom used anthralin, a tar-like hair loss treatment, for several weeks. Anthralin alters the immune system by slowing down the growth of skin cells and is primarily used as long-term treatment for psoriasis. Tom, however, had to find alternative remedies because anthralin triggered an allergic reaction.
Applying diphencyprone ointment
*Shereen, a 25-year-old photographer, has always wanted long locks. However, her thin hair could only accommodate short hairstyles like a bob, which she has been sporting since college. She tried various hair remedies including DPCP, which prevent hair loss by tricking the immune system through a small allergic reaction.
The reaction characterized by redness and swelling, stimulates the immune system to divert white blood cells to the surface of the scalp and allow hair to regrow. Sadly, DPCP brought more problems than solutions. Shereen suffered from severe eczema for weeks after the application.
Ingesting more protein without addressing the root cause of the problem
*Gina, a 32-year-old lawyer, knew that a proper diet is key to addressing many health conditions including hair loss. So to improve her health, she ate green leafy vegetables, nuts and beans, lean meat and fish. These foods are rich in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B and promote hair growth. However, Gina later learned that what was causing her hair thinning was a thyroid disorder. A healthy diet is good for her health but the real answer to her hair loss problem is to address her medical condition first. She learned that having a protein-rich diet to grow back hair is a myth. Protein may help make your hair look healthy, but it doesn’t fix hair loss.
*Nadine’s hair has always been thin. When she became pregnant, her hair condition worsened and she lost about 25% of her hair. After giving birth, she also experienced postpartum hair shedding. She insisted on treating the issue, which led to spironolactone being prescribed to her. However, her hair follicles ended up miniaturized, which made her hair even thinner.
Increasing Vitamin B12 intake
*Maribel, a 20-year-old college student, started noticing clumps of fallen hair after she showers when she decided to slim down. Maribel’s weight has been affecting her social life, but after a drastic dieting program, she also suffered from severe hair loss. She read somewhere that Vitamin B12 can bring back her hair. She was enticed by this alternative and started consuming foods rich in Vitamin B12. It improved her health considerably but her hair kept on shedding. Maribel mistook Vitamin B12 as a hair loss solution and it resulted in little to no effect to her hair loss problem so she ended up looking for other remedies.
Reducing Vitamin A consumption
*Gerald, a 55-year-old financial analyst, knew that his age is partly to be blamed for his receding hairline. Still, balding bothers him. A couple of hours of online research convinced him to assess his consumption of vitamin supplements. Vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss, but overconsumption can also have the same effect. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, supports skin health and contributes to healthy hair. However, too much vitamin A can result in hair loss. Gerald now strictly follows the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A, which is 900 mcg/day for adult males. His balding problem, however, persists.
Consuming finasteride pills
Marla, a high school teacher in her late forties, has androgenetic alopecia or female pattern baldness, which is often characterized by noticeable hair thinning. This is due to a combination of genes and age. There is no permanent treatment for alopecia, but there are medicines to control its symptoms. Finasteride pills slow down the progression of androgenetic alopecia. Marla found the pills helpful, but she may need to find an alternative soon because finasteride has no beneficial effect on postmenopausal women and it also has serious side effects.
Hydrating the hair
Nika, a 24-year-old fashion enthusiast, is crazy about trendy hairstyles. Lately, she has been noticing that her beautiful locks are shedding in alarming amounts. Nika was diagnosed with traction alopecia, a hair loss condition in which hair follicles are put under intense pressure because of tight hairstyles. Braiding, tight ponytails, and dreadlocks can cause this type of alopecia. Hair will typically regrow but may cause serious hair loss if not detected early. She was advised to hydrate her hair as often as possible, but since her hair-thinning has started to show, drinking water didn’t really help. Because of the state of her alopecia, hydrating had very minimal effects. Drinking water is only applicable for people who wish to make their hair healthier but it doesn’t really treat alopecia. She needed to look for a more effective remedy that best fits her condition.
Taking an iron supplement
Iron deficiency, the most common type of anemia, affects one in 10 women aged 20 to 49. This is a major cause of hair loss among women. Alicia, a marketing associate in her late 20s, tried virtually every brand of shampoo to boost her hair growth. Her doctor already informed her that her iron deficiency is partly to be blamed for her hair loss problems. Aside from taking in 17.0 mg to 18.9 mg of iron supplements per day, Alicia wants another solution to her hair thinning problem, preferably something with faster results.
Experimenting with shampoo brands
Samantha’s job involves a lot of socializing. She is a 23-year-old events organizer. Samantha has been tying her hair back since high school because of her noticeably thin hair. Her hairstyle was not much of an issue in school, but it makes a lot of difference when she joined the workforce. She wants to look and feel good when meeting with clients. She has tried various types of shampoo that promise fuller hair but with no success. The frequent changing of shampoo also damaged her hair because of the influx of chemicals.
Taking in dutasteride tablets
Raymond, a 33-year-old call center agent, has been suffering from balding for years. He explored different hair products including creams and ointments to get back his full mane. He learned about a hair loss drug, dutasteride, from an American friend. Dutasteride is one of the most widely-used medicines for male pattern hair loss in the US. However, something prevented him from taking the medicines. Recent studies show that this drug is linked to persistent erectile dysfunction.
Chien, a sophomore college student, believed that her thin hair was inherited from her paternal ancestors. Nearly all her relatives on her father’s side are either suffering from balding or hair thinning. Some of her aunts have tried acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help their hair regrow. This traditional Chinese procedure is primarily used against chronic pain and is recommended for emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and digestive complaints. Acupuncture is also found to help boost kidney energy and promote blood flow, which are beneficial to healthy hair. Sadly, acupuncture did not improve Chien’s hair growth.
Going through hormone therapy
*Henny, a 33-year-old businesswoman, is among the millions of women who are genetically predisposed to female pattern hair loss. She has lived with thin hair all her life, always sporting a pixie hairstyle. Jenny was advised to take birth control pills to suppress the overproduction of male hormones and minimize hair loss. She had to stop the hormone therapy after experiencing headaches and nausea. It’s also important to take note that there are birth control pills that can actually cause hair loss.
If your balding or hair-thinning is interfering with your life, there are hair loss solutions for women that can fix it. But do yourself a favor — avoid the anti-hair loss alternatives that will only do your self-esteem and health more harm than good.
Instead, seek the help of hair specialists to properly address your situation. Explore tested and foolproof solutions like follicular unit transplantation, and other medications that are prescribed by hair specialists. Choose the right clinic and specialists to finally win the hair loss game!