by: Damian Sofsian
The U.S. generates something close to $1 billion annually in revenue generated by the treatment of baldness. Needless to say, a good many of the systems used are completely useless and rely solely on the power of wishful thinking. However, the enormous amount of valid scientific research that has gone into the subject of baldness has reaped some bona fide results, too.
The focus in baldness treatment is now on prevention rather than cure since it is more realistic and easier to achieve. Since most cases of progressive baldness can be identified at an early stage, results are quite satisfactory. One treatment is increasing use of finasteride, an antiandrogen that is typically used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Since it inhibits the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, it has been found beneficial in retarding hair loss as well, and is sold by prescription under the brand names Proscar and Propecia in the US.
Minoxidil has found favor in addressing advanced hair loss. Originally developed as an antihypertensive drug, it has proved to have some regenerative properties on hair follicles. It is available in the US as a topical application under the brand name Rogaine and is also prescribed as an oral medicine. Reports indicate that the results of minoxidil use, though undeniable, are far from dramatic. The best that can be hoped for is a thin, fine growth or Ã¯Â¿Â½peach fuzzÃ¯Â¿Â½, and even this will cease and reverse when administration of the drug is stopped. Users have also been known to develop moderate-to-severe allergic reactions.
Tricomin (or Triamino Copper Nutritional Complex) is a product that has reportedly been of some benefit to a limited number of users. Theoretically, its effect of enhancing melanin production and eliminating certain free radicals encourages hair growth. Other forms of treatment such as hair cloning have proved successful under laboratory conditions and have not found useful human applications yet.
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