Hair loss affects men and women of all ages. Although for some people hair loss is hereditary, it can also be caused by certain medications, an underlying medical condition, or how you treat your hair. There are many products available that strengthen hair, promote hair growth or slow the rate of hair loss. Being knowledgeable about what ingredients to look for will help you choose a product that's right for you.
According to The Mayo Clinic, the medical term for hair loss is alopecia. Pattern baldness is the most common type of alopecia and affects roughly one-third of men and women. It is typically permanent. Other types of alopecia are temporary and can involve hair loss on your scalp or other parts of your body. These include baldness from wearing ponytails, braids or cornrows, and baldness from medications such as chemotherapeutic drugs. In the case of temporary baldness, once the cause of hair loss is removed, hair will grow back naturally.
Temporary Hair Loss
One ingredient that has been found to be beneficial for male pattern baldness is procyanidin B-2. Procyanidin B-2 prolongs the hair growth cycle and shortens the rest cycle. This compound is found in the skins of unripe green apples. Clinical studies at the Tsukuba Research Laboratories in Japan have shown that topical application of procyanidin B-2 improves hair growth and hair diameter.
Japanese researchers conducted three consecutive studies, all of which produced evidence to support the claim that topical application of procyanidin B-2 promotes hair growth both in length and diameter. The studies involved treating balding men with apple procyanidin B-2 solution and comparing them to balding men who did not use the solution. After six months, researchers reported that both vellus and terminal hair growth were significantly greater in those men who received the procyanidin B-2. In a second study, 71 percent of subjects showed an increased number of hairs, and in the third study, 78.9 percent showed an increased mean value of hair diameter. In addition, people taking apple procyanidins in pill form noticed faster hair growth, stronger fingernails, and softer, smoother skin.
Talk to your doctor if you experience sudden hair loss. This can signal an underlying medical condition and may require medical treatment. Before pursuing any treatment option, you should talk with your doctor about the cause of and best possible treatments for your hair loss.