Hair Loss: Research
1. Loss of hair in earlier years might signal prostate cancer in later life
A French group of researchers have found a curious clue associating early balding to prostate cancer. Their extensive studies indicate that men who experienced thinning of hair or alopecia in their early life (as early as the 20s) contracted prostate cancer in their later life. The team led by Philippe Giraud, professor of radiation oncology at Paris Descartes University, noted that although conclusive stages of the research work is still to be attained but initial studies reveal that balding of men in their twenties may be one of the signaling factor to help identify their high risk to the disease. He elucidated that androgens have already been known to lead to prostate cancer. With the new studies showing a relation between baldness and androgenic hormones, the inference is clear. Hair loss is caused by di-hydro-testosterone which is a formed by an extra adaptation of the male hormone called testosterone. However, the drug Finasteride helps block this conversion and has consequently shown to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer in the patient too. The research is, however, still in its nascent stage and requires more investigation at molecular level to come up with more substantial evidence.
2. Medicines for hair loss cause erectile dysfunction and lack of libido in men
A team of researchers from Medicine School of Boston University have found that 5a-reductase inhibitor, while curing possible hair loss issues, produces unfavorable consequences in some individuals including diminishing libido, ejaculatory and erectile dysfunction leading to other sexual depressions. Exploring through various cases studies, researchers found a contributory relationship between men exposed to finasteride and dutasteride, two main components of hair loss medicines, and those suffering from undesirable effects on sexual functioning. They suggest that prior to any recommendation of 5a-reductase inhibitor therapy for hair growth in patients, utmost care should be prioritized for letting them know of these consequences.
3. Ability of the hair stem cell to communicate with each other to coerce hair growth
A research team of biologists from the University of Oxford investigated the changing patterns in hair growth of lab-testing animals and deducted that there is a sequential relay between dormant and active stem cells in hair follicles. The scientists detected that these stem cells converse with each other with the aid of a pair of molecular activator and inhibitor which are otherwise not apparent to the naked eye. These are used as signals to restore and coerce hair growth on skin surfaces. The research holds potential for finding a helpful environment to project these signals better and lead to a successful cure for hair loss.