Thin hair and hair loss problems caused by genetics and hereditary known as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) occur due to inheritance of an autosomal dominance or multi-factor gene transference; they are genetic factors caused by the interaction of a variety of genes together with environmental factors which often occurs in males. The symptoms do not negatively affect physical health. Adversely, they are likely to affect the mental state. Unfortunately, the symptoms of hair loss will gradually increase since young age and become more obvious as ones turn older. In Thailand, some types of genetic hair problems are often found among males between the age of 18-90 years and the number could rise up to 38.5%. Moreover, most Asians tend to experience hair loss around a crown area of a head.
The main reason of thin hair is the increased levels of 5α-reductase (5-alpha reductase) at a scalp. Normally, this enzyme is responsible for changing Testosterone hormones into a Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which causes hair follicles in a scalp to be smaller. Therefore, those with the problem have the increased level of 5α-reductase, causing the hair produced to be thin and short which eventually leads to baldness.
Some genetic hair treatments with modern drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration include oral Finasteride tablets and Minoxidil, which have various benefits and side effects as follows.
- The oral Finasteride inhibits the activity of the enzyme 5α-reductase, which causes the level of DHT on the scalp to decrease; therefore, it can reduce hair loss and help stimulate hair growth. The recommended dose is 1 mg / 1 time per day orally for at least 6 months to see the results of hair growth and to prevent hair loss. However, if you stop taking this drug, the problem will recur within 12 months. According to long-term medication reports, 1 mg of Finasteride taken once a day for 5 years causes side effects such as erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual desire.
- Minoxidil for external use has the effect of stimulating hair growth. The recommend is 5%, as there are clear studies showing that after applying 5% of Minoxidil at symptomatic areas for 1 ml. twice a day for 48 weeks is more effective than 2%. The scalp should be cleaned and dried before applying and the results will appear after about 6 months of use and can be used for a long time to maintain the effect of the drug. If stopped taking Minoxidil, hair loss will gradually return within 4-6 months. There are 2 types of Minoxidil sold in Thailand: drip type and spray type. However, the Minoxidil can be absorbed through the scalp into the bloodstream. But, the amount of medication in the bloodstream is so low that it cannot be measured. The application of Minoxidil can cause side effects as well such as skin irritation, allergic rashes and facial hair, etc.
However, another available Minoxidil alternative is oral type but it is not recommended for hair growth stimulation since oral medication has an Antihypertensive effect. Therefore, taking the medication by our own beyond the supervision of medical personnel may put you at risk of hypotension. Patients often have dizziness, blurred vision and fainting. Also, taking too much of the medication can cause the blood pressure levels to drop and lead to unconsciousness.
Apart from the treatments with modern medicine, currently, there are still medical technologies to extract hair follicle cells in order to create healthy cells that can grow into new healthy hair. This well-known method is used to treat people with hair loss – thin hair – baldness in Europe. And, in Thailand, it is specially imported and adapted by medical technologies to suit Asian people to deliver good results and there is no need to take the drugs mentioned above since this method can increase the amount of hair on the scalp naturally.
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