Hair regeneration generally refers to one of many techniques to regrow hair lost due to male pattern baldness or other forms of alopecia. Hair regeneration is considered different from hair replacement, such as wearing a wig, or hair transplant, because it usually involves regrowing hair through follicular regeneration. Tonics, shampoos, creams, laser light treatments, and medications have all claimed to help regrow hair. Some hair regeneration treatments are generally considered more effective than others.
The regeneration of lost hair is often a topic of great concern for those who suffer from alopecia, particularly men. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved two types of topical medication for the regeneration of hair follicles. These are finasteride and minoxidil. Shampoos and creams that claim to stimulate hair regeneration often contain one of these drugs as an active ingredient. These medications can also be administered orally to help regenerate hair follicles and stimulate hair regeneration.
Some experts believe that hair loss is often related to poor nutrition and lack of adequate blood flow in the scalp. Natural hair regrowth techniques may include herbal tonics or supplements, vitamin supplements, and scalp massages. Vitamins A, B, C, and E may be considered essential for maintaining the health of hair follicles, for normal hair growth. Scalp massages are believed to stimulate blood circulation to the skin of the scalp, for optimum health of hair follicles.
Newer hair regeneration treatments include laser hair regeneration. This technique is believed to have originated in the 1960s. Andre Mester, a researcher at the Semmelweis University of Budapest in 1964, believed that exposure to laser light might increase the risk of skin cancer. He tested his theory by exposing shaved mice to cold laser light.
The mice did not develop skin cancer, but instead they regrew their fur at a much faster rate than expected. Mester believed that these mice experienced accelerated hair regrowth because the laser lights stimulated cellular metabolism in the skin. The laser lights may also boost blood circulation to the hair follicles, improving follicle health.
Hair regeneration products and techniques are often considered controversial, as manufacturers sometimes make claims about their products that remain unproven. Products containing finasteride or minoxidil are often considered the most effective for bringing about actual hair regrowth.