Hair Loss Remedies for Men

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered, “Why can’t my hair grow on the top of my head the way it grows on the side of my head?”


Well, that’s pretty much what a hair transplant does—it takes the strong, healthy hairs on the sides and back of your head and “plants” them onto the top of your head. When done by a qualified physician, the results can be very natural and virtually unnoticeable.

But it’s also the most expensive. Hair transplants are considered minor outpatient surgery. But it’s a fairly simple, painless procedure. And it’s not as though you walk in bald and walk out with a head of beautiful hair. The transplanted hairs must grow, just like regular hairs. So the effect is gradual and natural.

As far as the cost of hair transplants, it depends on how much work is needed.

When your patient is losing hair due to normal androgenetic alopecia, known as pattern baldness in men, you may feel like reassuring him with a joke and telling him there’s not much he can do about it. But reassurance might not be enough, given the genuine psychological effect baldness has on many men in a culture that prizes youth and identifies baldness with age. You may do the patient anxious about baldness a service by informing him of the cosmetic and surgical options available for camouflaging hair loss, especially since many advertised remedies are of no proved value and some are positively dangerous.

A brief explanation of the physiology of androgenetic alopecia may help your patient distinguish false claims from legitimate options. Explain that androgenetic alopecia is a trait inherited by about half the population, both men and women, and expressed to varying degrees. The follicles affected by this trait are hypersensitive to normal circulating levels of dihydrotestosterone, which stimulates them to grow smaller, finer, lighter hair in each successive anagen phase of hair growth. Eventually, the pigmented terminal hairs in the affected area give way to the fine non-pigmented velus hairs that cover most of the body.

What is up there?

Cosmetic techniques for camouflaging hair loss are advertised by diverse and confusing names, but most are just ways of attaching a hairpiece of human or synthetic hair. If the hair is attached to the scalp with tape, it is called a toupee. If it is glued semi-permanently to the scalp or to other hair, it is called a bond. If the supplemental hair is knotted and braided onto the existing hair on the sides, it is called a weave.

While relatively harmless, these techniques can all cause problems. Rarely, the patient may have an allergic reaction to the tape or glue. Hair weaving may exacerbate hair loss by inducing traction alopecia, which may in rare instances be permanent.

Greater risks accompany introduction of sutures or of stainless steel wires covered with a nonstick coating (Teflon) into the scalp for attachment of a hairpiece. These stitches eventually become a source of chronic infection and irritation in most patients. Caution your patient against this invasive procedure.

Tunnel grafting is based on a similar principle. The surgeon incises bad scalp and forms it into tubes with epithelium on the inside. If these tubes heal properly, the surgeon can run a fiber or wire through them to which the toupee is attached. If your patient is willing to undergo a procedure that is this invasive, however, you might recommend transplants by punch grafting instead.

Implantation is the most dangerous and least satisfactory technique promoted recently for correction of male pattern baldness. Now banned by the Food and Drug Administration and in almost total disuse, the technique involved sewing a synthetic fiber or processed human hair into the scalp, knotting one end of the fiber or hair, and pulling the knot into the subcutaneous tissue. The procedure was painful and induced considerable bleeding in many patients. Within a few weeks the fibers typically fell out or broke off; broken ends left in the scalp then caused infection, foreign body reactions, and permanent scarring.

HGH Steroids Linked to Hair Loss

One of Australia’s leading sports scientists said yesterday that he was not surprised by reports that students were using anabolic steroids to quicken growth and improve sporting ability. The head of physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, Dr Dick Telford, said that during a trip to the United States he had been told teenagers in California were using steroids to boost their chances of obtaining scholarships. “One of the suggestions was that a lot of young people were trying to get into basketball and football teams where competition is fierce and education costs are high to go to college,” he said.

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“The Age” reported yesterday that an Australian Customs investigation had uncovered anecdotal evidence that steroids had been used in high schools. A spokesman for the Minister for School Education, Mr Pope, said yesterday that his department had received no evidence of steroid abuse or distribution in Victorian high schools. “Obviously, if people are aware or believe steroids are being used in schools, they should contact the principal and the police,” he said.

Several medical studies have concluded that users of anabolic steroids can suffer a variety of mental and physiological effects, including high blood pressure, abnormal liver functioning, baldness, hair loss, and impotence in men, and the reduction of breast tissue and alterations to the menstrual cycle of women. Customs received reports of steroid use among school students last year when it began an intelligence estimate on the extent of the illegal importation of steroids and human growth hormone. A Customs spokesman in Brisbane, Mr Leon Bedington, told AAP yesterday there was a likelihood that some coaches were encouraging high school students to use steroids.

It was long suspected: Chinese female swimmers taking performance enhancing substances that underpinned their phenomenal rate of improvement in swimming, weightlifting and athletics. They were tested often and sometimes caught. In the past decade, 23 Chinese swimmers have tested positive to steroids. The problem for drug testers worldwide has been the sophistication of the drugs. The discovery of 13 vials of the human growth hormone (HGH) Somatotropin in the bag of a Chinese female swimmer yesterday is the first clear evidence that undetectable drugs are being used by athletes.


HGH occurs naturally in the body. Like EPO – the other hormone drug favored by cheating athletes – HGH cannot be detected by present drug-testing procedures. The testers cannot determine whether the levels of HGH in the body are artificially injected, or naturally occurring. HGH is particularly expensive. A year’s supply would cost an athlete about $20,000. Drug experts say that 13 vials would supply about 25 athletes for a fortnight. The Chinese team comprises 23 swimmers. Stacked with steroids, HGH is thought to aid faster healing or prevent common tearing injuries in connective tissue and cartilage from over-use of steroid-bulked muscles.

Side-effects of long-term HGH abuse include gigantism – overgrown bones in the jaw, hands and feet – a potentially fatal enlargement of the heart, decreased libido, hair loss, and menstrual disorders. Anecdotal reports of illegal use date back to the 1970s. The disgraced Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson admitted taking HGH before the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. HGH was originally extracted from pituitary glands taken from bodies in morgues. First used in Boston in 1958, it was used legally until 1985 to treat children with short stature.