Biochemistry of Hair Growth ? How hair loss drugs work and the role of blood flow in hair growth
Every man has testosterone coursing through his veins. It is produced in your testicles and organs in your body convert into other useful androgen hormones to perform various functions in your body.One of these androgens that it is converted to is DHT (5?- Dihydrotestosterone). It is produced in many places in your body including your prostate gland, your testicles, your adrenal glands and, crucially, your hair follicles. DHT is also important in developing and maintaining your masculine characteristics. The problem with DHT is that it also restricts the blood flow to the hair follicles over time. Healthy blood flow to the follicles is one of the key prerequisites for a healthy head of hair (I’ll touch on this topic again shortly). Take away the blood flow and the hair follicle is starved of nutrients. Your hair starts to thin over time and eventually your follicle gives up and produces no more hair.
This is how the 2 FDA approved drugs for hair loss work. One of them increases the blood flow all over the body (it was originally created to lower blood pressure). The other one blocks the production of DHT. Unfortunately, both of them have adverse side effects such as dangerously low blood pressure, erectile dysfunction and development of breasts! So something to bear in mind is that we want to increase the blood flow to the head but without altering levels of DHT everywhere in the body.
It’s All About Circulation, Baby!
Manual circulation (massage) of scalp helps in more ways than you may think. It is one of those things that has unfortunately become synonymous with balding men and is purported to be a myth by the insensitive media who often make jokes at the expense of men suffering hair loss. This leads many to believe that there is no real science behind the idea of circulation being beneficial for hair loss cessation and hair regrowth. This could not be further from the truth! Here’s why.
In the last section, we saw that a hair follicle needs healthy blood flow to work best. Let me describe this a bit better to you. The scalp contains tens of thousands of hair follicles. A hair follicle is nothing more than where a hair grows from. It’s actually far more complicated when we look inside it.The critical key in the hair follicle is something called the dermal papillus. A good analogy is the connection of an electrical appliance at the socket. If you don’t plug it into the socket then nothing is going to happen. An appliance without a plug and socket cannot connect to the electricity it needs and is useless. In the same way, the dermal papillus is a way for the hair shaft to connect to the blood supply.
Without it, hair cannot grow.
when a hair is ready to fall out, the dermal papillus retracts and the hair later falls out. When a new hair is ready to start growing, the dermal papillus reconnects and hair growth starts. With male pattern baldness, the blood flow becomes worse over time and eventually the dermal papillus retracts as normal but does not reconnect.Blood flow is critical when it comes to healthy hair. By improving the blood flow with circulation, hair will not become progressively thinner. Not just that, but improved blood flow can actually reactivate the follicle and the dermal papillus can once more connect and help nourish the follicle to create hair. Unlike other forms of hair loss, the follicles do not immediately die in male pattern baldness. They are simply dormant for a few years and with some persistence, some of them can be coaxed to start working again.