Hair follicles are living cells found in the skin. They are tiny, sac-like structures that grow hair by producing keratin, a type of protein. When hair follicles are injured or have died, they may leave behind what is known as scar tissue. Hair loss can be caused by injury to the scalp or malfunctioning of the follicles.
However, in most cases, hair is lost only in areas where the skin is damaged or diseased. Hair growth is promoted when new hair cells are generated to replace dying ones. This process occurs naturally in childhood and adolescence, but the cycle slows down after puberty.
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Is it possible to regenerate dead hair follicles?
Hair cells can regenerate with treatment that stimulates hair growth. One of the most frequently prescribed medications for hair loss is minoxidil, which enhances hair cell regeneration.
Research has also shown that new hair cells can be generated in the lab by using certain types of stem cells to create what are known as “induced pluripotent stem cells,” or iPSCs. These are skin cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state.
They can then be stimulated to become hair cells or other types of skin cells. In addition, the body’s regenerative abilities may be increased through a procedure known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, in which a small amount of blood from a patient is spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets.
According to researchers in Korea, these platelets contain growth factors that can boost hair cell production when injected at the affected skin areas.
Proven products to revive dead hair follicles
The following products are among those known for their ability to revitalize hair follicles and promote new hair growth:
This medication, which is applied topically, has been in use since the 1980s. It comes in various forms and can be purchased without a prescription. Minoxidil works by widening blood vessels to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, thus enhancing their ability to grow hair.
The drug also prolongs the growth cycle of each strand of hair so that it does not fall out as quickly. Minoxidil has also been found to reverse the miniaturization of hair follicles in bald patches, which can help regenerate hair and prevent further hair loss.
These creams, such as tretinoin (Retin-A), adapalene (Differin) and tazarotene (Tazorac), stimulate the growth of new hair cells. They can help reverse the miniaturization of hair follicles, according to researchers in Korea.
These creams or ointments reduce inflammation by suppressing immune system activity. One study found that applying a topical corticosteroid, clobetasol propionate, every day for a week caused hair follicles to grow new hairs. In addition, the cream increased blood flow by widening blood vessels and boosting lymphatic drainage from the scalp.
Topical steroid/antibiotic combination
Hair loss can be due to bacterial infections and inflammation caused by rashes, allergies, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis. Research has shown that topical antibiotics such as neomycin sulfate can be effective in treating scalp infections. When taken orally, the antibiotic minocycline also triggers hair cell regeneration in mice with damaged hair follicles.
Saw palmetto extract
This herbal extract is popular for its ability to block DHT formation, a hormone known to trigger hair loss and prostate enlargement in men and acne in both sexes. It also appears to promote hair growth by killing bacteria and increasing blood flow near the scalp.
This type of interferon promotes hair growth and can be found in a topical solution. However, this product is relatively expensive and may cause side effects such as flu-like symptoms.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
PRP therapy involves taking the patient’s blood and spinning it around to separate the platelets, which contain various growth factors that enhance hair cell production. The platelets are then injected into the scalp to help stimulate hair growth. A study found that PRP treatment increased blood flow and improved occipital hair density in female patients with thinning hair.
In addition, various vitamins have been shown to encourage healthier hair follicles at the cellular level, including B-complex vitamins and vitamin A (found in carrots), C, and E. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to hair loss, particularly thinning at the temple area. In contrast, high doses of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid can help prevent hair thinning and promote new hair growth in some patients.
Additionally, certain minerals such as iron and zinc also play a role in hair health. Iron deficiency can cause hair loss, while zinc has been shown to reduce inflammation and balance oil production.
How to deal with genetic balding?
In those suffering from genetic balding or male pattern baldness (MPB), as many as 18 genes have been linked to the condition. While both men and women inherit MPB from their parents, balding tends to occur in men earlier than women due to differences in the male androgen hormone testosterone.
In 2013, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute’s Laboratory for Hair and Skin Science identified a protein called KROX20 that is “highly expressed” in hair follicles during their growth phase but then becomes virtually undetectable once the hair enters the involution phase of its life cycle.
How to regrow your hair naturally?
We all wish we had a magic wand that would regrow our hair, but such a thing doesn’t exist. Instead, there are some natural remedies and options that can help you grow your hair back stronger and thicker than before.
The protein found in eggs strengthens the follicles, producing hair more quickly and reducing hair loss. It also provides the necessary nutrients for hair growth, such as vitamin B, iron and sulfur. To maximize its effects, whip one or two eggs in a bowl along with two tablespoons of olive oil and one teaspoon of honey. Apply it to your scalp before shampooing as usual.
Also known as vitamin H, biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin essential to cell growth. It’s often combined with other hair supplements since it prevents hair loss and promotes hair regrowth. Almonds, soybeans, eggs, avocado, cauliflower and mushrooms are some of the foods that contain high levels of biotin.
Sprinkle three to four drops of lavender oil in your shampoo bottle or directly on your scalp before washing. It will help you improve blood circulation, which is essential for hair growth.
Rosemary oil makes hair grow faster and thicker by increasing blood flow to the scalp. Mix two tablespoons of olive oil with three teaspoons each of rosemary oil, lavender oil and cedarwood oil. Massage it into your scalp every night for about 15 minutes before going to bed. Cool it off by wrapping a towel around your head until the oil is absorbed into the skin.
Horsetail is one of the most effective hair vitamins because it acts as an antiseptic, anesthetic and astringent. Regular intake of horsetail tea can reduce hair loss by regenerating the scalp tissues and boosting blood flow to the follicles. It also strengthens the roots of hairs, so you’ll grow thicker, longer strands in less time.
Chamomile is a natural antioxidant that can help restore damaged skin cells and regenerate new ones to promote hair growth. It also contains antibacterial properties that can prevent scalp infections, one of the main causes of hair loss.
The right combination of oils can nourish your scalp while hydrating dry hair. Just massage 1 tablespoon of castor oil, coconut oil and olive oil into your scalp before shampooing. Mix it with fresh apple cider vinegar to balance its pH level, which is important for absorbing nutrients in any hair treatment product.
While there is no quick fix for genetic balding and male pattern baldness, natural remedies can still help you regrow your hair without the use of chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Such remedies not only strengthen your existing strands but also stimulate growth along the entire length of your scalp, so you’ll have more volume in less time.