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21 February 2007

Baldness cure or scam?

Unscrupulous advertisers know a good thing when they see it - promise a man a full head of hair and he'll buy your product. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer or fast cure.

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Unscrupulous advertisers know a good thing when they see it - promise a man a full head of hair and he'll buy your product. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer or fast cure for male baldness. And the only thing you're sure to get from those TV ads is a lighter wallet.

It is normal to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair a day. Like your nails and skin, your hair goes through a cycle of growth and rest. Gradual thinning occurs as a normal part of the ageing process.

Gradual hair loss also can occur any time your hair's growth cycle is upset. Diet, medications, hormones, pregnancy, improper hair care, poor nutrition, underlying diseases and other factors can cause too many follicles to rest at once, producing bald patches or diffuse thinning.

There is no magic remedy to prevent hair loss or encourage new growth. However, the following tips can help keep your hair healthy.

  • Eat a nutritionally balanced diet.
  • Handle your hair gently. When possible, allow your hair to dry naturally in the air.
  • Avoid tight hairstyles such as braids, buns or ponytails.
  • Avoid compulsively twisting, rubbing or pulling your hair.

An over-the-counter medication called minoxidil can promote new hair growth in a small percentage of people, but the drug eventually loses its effectiveness and can be costly. Other hair growth products for baldness are of no proven benefit. Hair transplants and scalp reduction are other methods available to treat the problem, but they are also costly and have their risks.

 
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