BREAK-THROUGHS IN THE FIELD OF HAIR LOSS
Dr. Kevin Alexander
My interest in the topic of
hair-loss was sparked even before my medical studies began.
My brother developed a sudden
onset of Alopecia androgenetica, (Male pattern baldness), at the age of
twenty. It was the first time that I had witnessed first-hand the distress
that a person undergoes when suddenly faced with the prospect of a hairless
future. He did the usual rounds of treatment and met with the usual failure.
He was given false hope by
some and no hope by others.
I was quite astounded by
the lack of scientific research that was going into such a psychologically
and socially disruptive condition.
Hair-loss in men and especially
in women can at times be absolutely devastating. Entire personalities have
been known to change. People have become reclusive and have even been known
to have committed suicide over this benign condition, which is considered
to be purely cosmetic in nature, and therefore not taken seriously, enough
by medical and allied personnel.
The head is the most visible
part of the body and two thirds of it is usually covered by hair. Hair-loss
is therefore difficult to hide and is at least as psychologically damaging
as acne, if not more so, since many people with hair-loss are treated as
though they are suffering from some terrible or terminal disease.
There had to be a medical,
scientifically proven way, to treat not only male and female pattern baldness,
but all the other types of alopecia (hair-loss) as well.
The causes of hair-loss are
not a mystery to us, and so it is astonishing that, for so many years,
and in some cases, even up the present day, the treatments been shrouded
in mystery. Lotions and Potions which have never been put to the test by
scientifically controlled clinical trials have been sold at exorbitant
prices to the desperate suffers of hair loss.
It is even more astonishing,
given the nature of clinical research, that the medical break-through,
when it came, was more a chance discovery than the results of years of
Although, given the lack
of scientific research into this field up to that point of break-through
in the mid eighties, the chance discovery is not that surprising after
What did happen, is that
renewed interest was sparked in a condition, thought for centuries to be
The success rate achieved
in the majority of men and women was good, and in a few the results were
The new awareness of what
was happening at the level of the hair follicle led to more specialised
research being performed, the fruits of which are only now being enjoyed.
Today, combining older with
newer therapies, or just using either alone, for the first time in the
history of modern medicine, both men and women can be offered scientifically
proven and safe medical forms of treatment, specific to their gender and
their hair-loss condition, with success rates better than anything that
has been achieved in the past.