Norwood hair loss stage 7Until recently, it was believed that very little could be done to reverse total baldness, if the cause was androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as male-pattern baldness. Whilst there are some exciting new treatments being developed currently to treat alopecia areata, where hair is lost suddenly, due to the follicles lying dormant, in androgenetic alopecia it is generally believed that the follicles die off entirely, so to regrow new hair would be very difficult.

Wound healing

However, recent studies have shown that when a wound is made to the skin, as the body creates new tissue to heal this wound, sometimes new hair grows there as well. In fact, a British journal last year reported the case of a 78-year-old man who had suffered from male-pattern baldness for several years, who fell head-first into a coal fire, sustained serious burns to the scalp and then went on to grow a full head of hair. Scientists are continuing to develop ways in which to apply this knowledge to hair loss treatment – whilst the case study is interesting, it is difficult to imagine many hair loss sufferers volunteering to plunge their scalps into a fire to see if their hair grows back!

JAK inhibitors

Some recent research has seemed to show that drugs that inhibit the production of the enzyme JAK can be effective in treating alopecia areata – clinical trials on mice have shown some quite impressive results. Although these drugs are generally believed to be useful only in treating alopecia areata and not androgenetic alopecia, a report in the British Medical Journal as far back as 1982 showed that a similar anti-inflammatory drug had been able to regrow hair in a 75-year-old patient who had been suffering from male-pattern baldness for 30 years.

Combination therapy?

Whilst both these treatments are still a long way from being made available to the general public, the likelihood is that a combination of the two treatments – some form of wounding, together with the application of a JAK inhibitor – could prove beneficial in the treatment of even total baldness in men suffering from male-pattern baldness. In the meantime, if you don’t feel you can wait that long, you could try a hair transplant, or try shaving your head completely and opting for scalp micropigmentation, which will mask your baldness by creating the impression of a number one all over.



By Ian Watson


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