When it comes to hair, three truths stand out: Many people have lost it, many want it back, and the person who invents that cure will have plenty of customers.
According to the Hair Society, about 35 million men, and 21 million women suffer from hair loss.
The best hope is two new drugs that have been demonstrated to grow thick, normal hair in mice.
Reported in 2015 in the journal, Science Advances, two drugs, approved by the FDA for other uses, have been demonstrated to grow coats of hair on bald mice in just 10 days. The drugs are enzyme inhibitors reawaken the hair follicles from their resting state to their active state. The drugs, Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib, have been tested in cases of Alopecia Areata, but new trials will test their effects on male pattern baldness. Alopecia Areata is the sudden loss of hair in patches.
In fact, hair growth in the case of Alopecia was a surprise side effect in a Yale study on plaque psoriasis. At the end of the seven-month study, one patient who had not shown hair growth for seven years ended up with a full head of hair.
The drugs are promising, but trials, expected to be completed in 2016, are still incomplete.
On the scale of fake promises, hair regrowth has to be in the top 10, right behind miracle weight loss pills. From herbal supplements to laser hair brushes, the claims to cure are legion, but the results are sketchy to non-existent.
Medications like Rogaine and Propecia can regrow hair in cases of Alopecia. The treatment is lifelong. But people can see some results in three to four months.
Speak to a doctor and do your research before you choose a hair loss treatment.