Over the last two decades there have been a number of novel approaches to treating (and hopefully curing) alopecia- or hair loss. One of the most successful of more recent times has been Minoxidil. It was accidentally discovered to be a hair-restorer when it was given orally to lower blood pressure! But it possesses the ability to increase the blood supply to the hair follicle when it is applied topically. Back in 1995, IAS discussed a British study that showed 3% Minoxidil to be the most potent and cost effective strength. The study compared strengths ranging from 1% to 10%. Accordingly IAS has always offered the strength of 3%.
Hair goes through a growing, resting and dying stage and it is assumed that the stimulation of the hair follicle during the resting stage into a growing stage will help prevent the hair follicle from reaching the dying stage (and therefore prevent the hair from falling out). Other studies have shown that the combination of retinolic acid (the active ingredient in Retin-A ®) further stimulates blood circulation in the skin around and to the hair follicle. Some clinical practices have stated that the combination of retinolic acid with minoxidil improves the statistical advantage of minoxidil alone, by two to four times! As is commonly known, balding mainly afflicts men. This is because one of the primary causes for hair loss is the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Not surprisingly then, it is known that drugs that are used to prevent/ treat prostate conditions (the exact same chemical conversion problem) have also been found to reduce hair loss and enhance hair regrowth.
One of the most "advertised" of recent has been the chemical- Finasteride (in a 1.5mg tablet). Finasteride in a 5mg tablet to treat prostate is branded "Proscar." This drug is quite clear in its side effects- under NO circumstances should women come into contact with it! This includes ingestion or handling of the tablets; and even blood or sperm contact! The reason why women must NOT be exposed to Finasteride is because the drug could damage the development of male babies. Therefore a man taking Finasteride for "mere" hair loss may expose his girlfriend/ wife to dangers that are not worth the risk. It is for this reason that IAS has been very hesitant to expose the use of Finasteride as a hair regrowth drug.
However, saw palmetto (pharmaceutical brand name- Permixon) is also known to help prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, and yet it doesn't suffer with the stated side effects of Finasteride. IAS has therefore discovered a safe topical anti-hair-loss product along the lines of the latest thinking it is called MinSaw-A ®. MinSaw-A ® contains 3% minoxidil, 0.025% retinolic acid and 3% of pharmaceutical strength saw palmetto.
Applied regularly to the scalp vis-a-vis Minoxidil it will encourage new hair regrowth and help prevent further loss, (its potency may also be enhanced with regular use of the shampoos- Dercos ® and Nizoral ®).
MinSaw-A ® is the safest- clinically proven, anti-hair loss product available today.