Some of you may have heard about the GrowBand. The makers claim the device increases blood flow, reduces calcification and prevents fibrosis. In addition, the makers of the GrowBand have gone on to make bold claims against conventional wisdom, claiming that the cause of hair loss is directly linked with blood supply and oxygen. The question on everyone's mind is will this product actually work? Well keep reading. In this article, we will discuss the GrowBand and whether it is effective for genetic hair loss.
What Causes Hair Loss
Before we can answer whether a product or device will be effective in treating androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss), we must first understand the cause of hair loss. There are several different forms of hair loss, some caused by stress and others by autoimmunde disorders. However, the most common form of hair loss is genetic hair loss. Individuals who suffer from male and female pattern baldness inherit a gene that causes certain hair follicles to become vulnerable to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). All of the clinical studies and scientfic data show that DHT is the main hormone responsible for triggering genetic hair loss.
Hair follicles, as well as sebaceous glands contain a high level of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in to DHT through the blood stream. DHT binds to the hair follicle's androgen receptor shrinking and shortening the hair follicles life cycle. Each time the hair follicle grows back it is smaller and thinner until it no longer grows. This process is called miniaturization or thinning.
How Will The GrowBand Stop Hair Loss
According to the company that manufactures the GrowBand, conventional wisdom has it wrong. They claim that hair loss is not caused by DHT, but rather a reduction in blood supply and oxygen. According to them hair follicles require nutrients, minerals and oxygen to grow, which is delivered through the blood supply. They claim a decrease in blood supply reduces the nutrients a hair follicle receives, which they require to grow. They state that increasing blood flow will actually decrease DHT and slow, stop and even regrow hair. In addition, they claim that the scalp is a like the skin on a drum, as we age and the scalp grows the scalp becomes tighter and increases tension.
Thus, reducing the blood supply to the scalp and causing hair loss. According to them, this is why the top of the scalp suffers from hair loss, as opposed to the sides and back of the scalp.
The device itself is a band that is placed around the scalp, the individual is supposed to pump the band until it inflates lifting the scalp upwards and reducing tension. The product resembles a blood pressure cuff that is placed around the arm to check a persons blood pressure. According to the makers, the GrowBand only requires 10 minutes a day to work and reduce scalp tension.
So What Causes Hair Loss DHT or Reduced Blood Supply?
All of the research and science shows that hereditary hair loss is a genetic condition that is triggered by androgens, specifically DHT. There is no clinical evidence that suggest that hair loss is directly related to a decrease in blood supply. In fact, if blood supply were the main culprit, many could simply hang upside down for a few minutes a day and stop their hair loss for free. Furthermore, if the skin on the scalp was really that tight it would be virtually impossible to excise donor tissue from the back of the scalp for hair transplantation. However, many hair loss sufferers have up to three Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) procedures, because of their excellent scalp elasticity. Moroever, if hair loss was really caused by a reduction of blood supply, newly transplanted grafts would not survive because grafts require ample blood supply to anchor in to the scalp and grow.
While the idea that hair loss is caused by poor blood circulation and oxygen may convince some, the truth is there is no research or science behind the theory. In fact, many of the hair loss myths that circulate today run on the same theory of "poor circulation". This is why many claim wearing hats will cause hair loss or that hanging upside down can regrow hair. If it were that simple, no one would be bald. Currently, there are two medications that have been approved to treat hereditary hair loss. These medications are Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). While hair loss medications may prevent, slow and even stop hair loss they will not regrow hair on a bald scalp. The only proven method of regrowing hair on a completely bald scalp is through surgical hair restoration.
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