We think of our hair as expendable, since we lose it regularly and it grows back regularly. We also put great emphasis on appearance, particularly how our hair looks. A full head of healthy, lustrous hair is something we all strive for, because it is a symbol of attractiveness and good health. So when we get a too-short haircut, we may start wishing our hair grew faster. And for some people, who may be losing too much hair, and whose hair may be growing back slower, or not at all, hair growth is at the forefront of their minds. Is there a way to promote faster hair growth? There must be, judging by the vast selection of hair growth products that are available in the marketplace.
Many hair growth products are available without a prescription. Some are topical creams or lotions that you rub directly on your scalp to promote hair growth. Others are products taken orally, such as vitamin supplements, also known as hair vitamins. Some products are gadgets or hair brushes that you use to stimulate and massage the scalp to promote hair growth and reduce stress. Many of these products may not be supported by formal scientific research, so you should use caution when selecting or using such a hair growth product.
There are several prescription hair growth products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat alopecia, or excessive hair loss and baldness. These products have been tested rigorously, but because they are drugs, they require doctor consultations, prescriptions, and have side effects. These products include Minoxidil, sold under the brand Rogaine, Finasteride, sold under the brand Propecia, corticosteroids, and Anthralin, sold under the brand Dritho-Scalp. While most of these products are topical or oral treatments, corticosteroids are often administered as injections. Side effects vary for the different products, and some, such as Propecia, are not approved for women because of harmful effects from exposure.
Some people may be hesitant to use hair growth products containing man-made medicines due to potential side effects, as well as the difficulty in obtaining the products, either due to price or the need for a prescription. A hair growth product that contains natural ingredients such as various herbs and plant extracts may sound be more appealing than a product with man-made chemicals. Many of the natural herbs and extracts used in these products may have been used for many years in other countries, tapping into ancient wisdom.
There may be concern about the safety of such products, as they may not be tested as rigorously as man-made chemicals and medicines, but there are product development and quality guidelines in place to help protect consumers. Of course, you should always read product labels closely and do research before using any treatment.
It should be noted that hair growth products cannot, and should not, promise instant, overnight results. Whatever the product is, it will take time to produce results. If you come across a product that promises hair growth overnight, proceed with caution!