What Men Can Do About Hair Loss

A new innovative start-up is changing how Australian men deal with hair loss.

Hair loss in males all around the world is common, impacting 1 in 3 men by age 30. A full head of hair is associated with strength, virility, youth, and power. Though men aren’t encouraged to openly discuss their emotional reaction to hair loss, it’s there. Frustration, depression, loss of self-esteem, social withdrawal, even suicide. It’s not just about looks, although that’s certainly a part of it; it’s about a loss of control, the passage of time, mortality. Here in Australia this is made even more difficult, with a lack of available information pushing guys into a world of confusing treatments that are often snake oil, and hugely expensive clinics. A new startup, Pilot, is making it easier to get judgement free, convenient access to treatments that work.

“When men lose their hair, it can be devastating,” says Spencer Kobren, founder and president of the American Hair Loss Association. “Most guys would do just about anything to keep from going bald. We’d rather regrow our hair than lose body fat. If you told a balding guy he could keep his hair if he were to run five miles a day and eat a specific diet, he’d absolutely do it. An overweight guy? Maybe. Hair is different.”

So what can Aussies do? Regulation in Australia means you can’t advertise prescription medication to cure baldness, and men don’t get the information about what works and what doesn’t. This means the gap is filled by dodgy businesses peddling snake oil or worse, clinics with enormous markups and lock in contracts.

The reality is that in most cases there is no miracle cure for hair loss, but a couple of treatments have been shown to be really effective at slowing and stopping people losing their hair.

Firstly, what are the main causes of male hair loss?

The most common cause is androgenic alopecia. This is an inherited genetic condition, also known as male pattern hair loss, and it gets worse with age. Another form of hair loss, which tends not to be permanent, is alopecia areata, which is spot hair loss in specific areas. Telogen effluvium is a temporary form of hair loss that occurs when the normal hair growth cycle is interrupted and is seen in all age ranges.

Can lifestyle factors contribute to hair loss?

They can have a huge impact. Telogen effluvium can be caused by stress, or low iron and vitamin levels. Alopecia areata, although genetic, can be exacerbated by stress and recreational drug use. If you have long hair and use a tight band or clip, that can place undue traction on the hair follicles and contribute to hair loss. To slow the rate of loss, reduce stress and don’t overuse products such as wax and gel. Diet can also have a great impact. Ensure you are not deficient in vitamins, particularly biotin.

What’s on the horizon for hair loss treatment?

The hot topic is hair cloning. We are certainly close now. Currently in hair transplant surgery there is a limit to the amount of hair one can transplant. With hair cloning we will not need to worry about this. When it does arrive there will still be a need for surgery but patients will finally not be limited in their expectations.

And what about RIGHT NOW?

Research over decades has shown that two prescription drugs called finasteride and minoxidil give you the best chance when fighting hair loss. This study showed that Finasteride is effective in stopping hair loss in 83% of cases.

These drugs are what you will get from most major hair loss clinics, but they will do it at a huge markup. The easiest way to access these medications is just by going to a GP and a pharmacy.

Pilot is a service that connects you to GPs and pharmacies online and facilitates the delivery of hair loss treatments on a monthly subscription to make it simple and convenient to fight hair loss.

The Pilot Hair Treatment plan will put you in touch with a doctor who will review your information and create a customised treatment plan, based on Australian GP standards, that could include prescription medicines.

They also focus on transparency, with fair pricing, free doctors follow ups and no lock in contracts.

Avoid the high cost hair loss clinics, and chat with someone about your hair issue online at www.pilot.com.au