Recently, I’ve heard several complaints from women regarding thinning hair. It’s a subject that I should be sensitive to since my hair began thinning at age 16. However, through the years of trying all sorts of hair-regrowth methods to no avail, I gave up the idea that I would ever have a full head of hair until recently. A product rep from Rene Furterer convinced me to try their newly revised Triphasic treatment for progressive thinning hair. They also have one for sudden, temporary hair loss. We took before photos and since I’m only in the 3rd week there’s nothing to show for it yet. The treatment includes a twice weekly pre-treatment oil and shampoo, plus a once daily nutritional supplement. I’ll need to use it at least 3 months before seeing any results. I’ll keep you posted if it works.
What causes thinning hair?
Hair loss is a normal part of life. Each day most people lose 50-100 strands of hair. However, as we age, the rate of hair loss increases. While this may sound like a lot, your scalp contains 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles. At any given point, your hair is transitioning between three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen.
-Anagen (growth): 90 percent of hair follicles are in this phase. In this phase, a hair grows one centimeter approximately every month.
–Catagen (transformation): During this 3-week phase, the hair follicle begins to retract into the subcutaneous layer. About 1% of hair follicles are catagenic.
-Telogen (resting): About 10 percent of hair follicles are in telogen. In this phase, hair follicles are ready to be shed.
Contributing Factors to Hair Loss
Age and hormones: 50 percent of women experience some degree of hair thinning or hair loss before age 50. After menopause, estrogen levels significantly drop. Estrogen plays a strong role in supporting hair growth. Changes in estrogen levels helps to explain why some women experience temporary hair loss after pregnancy.
Thyroid hormones are essential to our body’s day-to-day functions. This includes temperature, metabolism, and even hair growth. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair loss.
Nutrient deficiency: Like the rest of your body, your hair requires a steady supply of nutrients in order to grow rich and healthy. B-vitamins, zinc and biotin are particularly important.
Topical Hair Loss Treatments and Prevention
The women I have spoken with recently are starting to use supplements and trying DHT controlling shampoos. DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone; it is a by-product of the male sex hormone testosterone. DHT is bad news for your hair: it binds to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and eventually die.
Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, is a vasodilator. This medication works by widening blood vessels, allowing more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to reach the hair follicle. This may cause follicles that are in the telogen phase to shed and be replaced with new anagen phase hair follicles.
DHT controlling shampoos The problem with “DHT-blocking” supplements and shampoos is their proven ingredients. For the most part, the exotic herbs and oils found in the products have the potential to block DHT; however, these ingredients have not been medically tested. So there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually work.
Rosemary The essential oil extracted from this commonly found herb contains an active ingredient which may promote nerve growth in the scalp, and help to encourage hair growth. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and improves circulation.
Drugs Options for Thinning Hair
Finasteride (internal) 20-28% effective, works by directly block DHT. Side effects can include gastric distress, liver abnormalities, etc.
Spironolactone (internal and topical) 44% effective, works by slowing the production of androgens such as testosterone.
Hair transplantation (FUT or FUE), works best for specific areas, not diffused (all over).
Vitamin Supplements for Hair Loss
DHT blocker supplements (internal)
More About Rene Furterer Triphasic Treatment
Triphasic Strengthening Shampoo Based on the ingredients in this shampoo, I haven’t found one that would be responsible for strengthening, so it doesn’t seem necessary. Combined with the fact that it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, I probably won’t purchase it again.
Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Extract This pre-treatment oil smells divine and feels energizing on my scalp. I really enjoy using it.
Vitalfan Supplements for Progressive Thinning Hair – This is the one I am currently taking. It’s a green, soft capsule that is easy to take. The active ingredients are safe, healthy and include Niacin, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Zinc. Supplement link here.
Vitalfan Supplements for Sudden, Temporary Hair loss – I’m not taking this one. The active ingredients are Biotin, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium. Supplement link here.
For sudden loss, I found a full Rene Furterer kit here.