Hair loss is rarely a cause for concern but it can foster insecurities so treating it becomes a priority for many people. Unfortunately, the market is saturated with sham products so people often turn to cosmetic options. This can be costly and invasive, however. After a spirited attempt to find a solution, many people simply give up.
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Research suggests that the search need not be a fool’s errand.
One study has found promise in a nutrient typically taken in supplement form to aid weight loss.
Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that’s often taken as a supplement.
Evidence suggests its benefits extend to treating hair loss.
In a study conducted on balding human hair at the University of Lubeck in Germany, carnitine was shown to promote hair growth, stimulate hair shaft elongation and reduce hair cell death.
According to the study, carnitine was able to produce these effects by boosting the proliferation of follicular keratinocytes – the epidermal cells that produce keratin, which hair strands are made of.
It also slowed down cellular death.
The authors of this study concluded: “Our findings suggest that Carnitine stimulates human scalp hair growth by up regulation of proliferation and down regulation of apoptosis in follicular keratinocytes in vitro.”
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According to the study, prolonging the life and function of the keratinocytes within the hair follicles means you get to benefit from a healthier scalp and consequently, thicker hair.
Carnitine helps transport fatty acids that easily enter the hair follicles.
These fats are easily burned by the cells to produce energy.
The increase in energy helps the hair follicles to function better, which can result in more hair growth and reduced hair loss.
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Other treatments for hair loss
According to the NHS, finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.
“Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women shouldn’t use finasteride,” notes the health site.
There are some drawbacks to using these treatments, however.
As the NHS explains, these treatments don’t work for everyone and only work for as long as they’re used.
They also aren’t available on the NHS and can be expensive.
Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
It is worth noting that there are pros and cons to consider before purchasing wigs too.
As the NHS explains, synthetic wigs are easier to look after than real-hair wigs but do not last as long and can be itchy and hot.
Real-hair wigs, on the other hand, last three to four years and look more natural but cost more and can be harder to maintain.
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