The good news in the UK is that a small group of dermatologists with a genuine interest in alopecia is seriously involved in research and hair loss treatment.
They try very hard to help the patient through the trauma of hair loss. Dr Andrew Messenger, Consultant Dermatologist at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, sees his role a ‘more than an administrator of treatments’.
He recognizes the importance of talking with patients and helping them through the many associated problems of hair loss.
So, the bad news is that more people are bald. The good news is that hair loss medical treatment is much better, with many pioneer treatments currently being introduced. In the past few years the medical outlook has changed completely, giving hair loss a new medical respectability.
So there is now an excellent chance that you will get medical help to bring your hair back.
- Topical minoxidil (Regaine) – has been the first pioneer. Originally a treatment for high blood pressure, it is now a tried and tested medication which can actually save your hair! According to recent studies, standard formula Regaine has a 40 per cent success rate in treating alopecia androgenetica and has recently been followed by the launch of a stronger version containing 5 per cent minoxidil which has achieved hair regrowth in 60 per cent of cases. Forced on to the medical market by inspired pharmacists who refused to accept that ‘baldness cures’ were tacky or a commercial gimmick, the minoxidil success has bec followed by good news from other parts of the world.
- In Haifa, Israel, a woman dermatologist discovered Philial, an ointment which seemed to make hair grow and cure hair loss. At the time she was trying to find a healing substance to close wounds. The ointment is now undergoing clinical trials.
- In the US, finasteride, a treatment for the enlarged male prostate, has been found to act as an anti androgen, blocking the effects of androgen. It is now available on prescription for hair loss.
- In Bognor Regis, England, a botanist found that a Greek herbal treatment called Squill was helping hair to grow. Athens-born Elias Bouras spent months trying to convince UK doctors that his idea would work. Now at last he has acquired commercial backing and has launched a two year programme of clinical trials in leading British hospitals.
- A dermatologist in Aberdeen is conducting clinical trials on alopecia patients with the essential I oils of aromatherapy to see whether they will promote hair growth.
- Meanwhile, at a Leicestershire zoo, a chimpanzee has had both his dermatitis and his baldness put right by a herbal balm which is now being tried by humans.
And they say it works!