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The History Of Hair Loss Treatments



Hair loss is a very common issue that both men and women face. Sometimes it can be because of age, but other times it can be things like stress or even hormone imbalances. Back in the early 1980s, hair transplants were not a popular treatment option due to a lack of awareness. However, many opt for this procedure as it has become a more common problem. If you suffer from hair loss problems, we recommend reviewing hair transplant case studies from Mittal Clinic. After that, make any decision.

There are also lots of different treatments that have been relied upon over the years, with modern technology actually managing to restore people’s lost hair. Lots of hair loss sufferers choose to go to Vera Clinic for a hair transplant in Turkey as their quality is unbeatable. However, before we had the magic of hair transplants, there were very different hair loss treatments. So, keep reading and discover the history of hair loss treatments.

Ancient History

In 3000 BC, wigs and hair pieces were common, with only a few “magical” hair loss remedies starting to circulate. Then in 1553 BC, a popular concoction of iron oxide, onions, honey, red lead, and animal fat was used to try and restore hair. However, this peculiar mixture was ingested rather than applied to the head, with praying to the Sun God also necessary for it to work. A little while later, in 420 BC, ancient Greeks like Hippocrates began searching for hair loss treatments. Again, another strange potion was made of horseradish, opium, beetroot, pigeon droppings, and other spices that were tried as a potential cure.

However, as you may have guessed, it didn’t work, and Hippocrates and his fellow companions never did manage to grow back their hair. But he did actually notice that Persian Army eunuchs didn’t lose their hair and suggested castration as prevention for baldness.

This shows that he began to understand the connection between testosterone and hair loss, albeit in a rather limited capacity. Finally, in 44 BC, ancient Romans tried desperately to find a cure for hair loss as having hair was a symbol of power. Their very own Julius Caesar suffered from hair loss and would apply all sorts of things on his head, like ground horse teeth and bear grease, to try and bring it back. Again, this didn’t work, so a comb-over and adorning the head with wreaths was the only solution.

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Not So Ancient History

In 1624, King Louis XIII started to wear wigs to cover up his hair loss, and others began to follow suit. Wigs were then a status symbol and became so popular and expensive that wig thieves would attack passers-by in the hopes of being able to snatch them from them. Then in the 1700s, American colonists began to wear wigs as well, but it didn’t last all that long, thanks to the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. In the 1800s, hair loss cures began popping up everywhere, with hair oils being sold on daily markets. Whether or not these work, we can’t truly say. But it’s safe to think that if they did, the inventor would have been a billionaire, and we wouldn’t have hair loss anymore!

The 20th Century

In the early 1900s, people started to figure out that wearing hats too often could start to make your hair thin and fall out. This was because men who went to work wearing hats every day began to notice that they were suffering from hair loss. Thanks to this discovery, men were urged not to wear them as often so that their scalps could breathe properly. Hair massage gained traction as well, and the procedure involved massaging the scalp but also pulling the hair itself…which probably didn’t help matters all that much.

By 1925, a device was invented called the Thermocap Treatment, and it used static electricity, vibrations, and heat to try and unclog the pores and promote hair growth. It was recommended that people use it for 15 minutes every day, but unfortunately, it didn’t really do anything. Then in 1939, the first idea of a hair transplant emerged from Dr. Shoji Okuda in Japan. He suggested using the hair grafts to replace the lost hair follicles, and he actually managed to successfully complete the procedure.

However, because of World War II, Western cultures didn’t hear about this until much later, when Norman Orentreich was inspired by Okuda and began performing them too in 1959. By 1961, Orentreich had successfully completed over 200 hair transplants!

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More Recent History

In 1978, the first approved medication for hair loss was prescribed to try and reduce the rate at which hair was falling out and promote growth. It was a medicine that was previously used to assist with high blood pressure, but it was discovered that it could help with hair loss.

Originally called Minoxidil, it was rebranded into the commonly known Rogaine in 1988. In the same year, follicular unit micrografting was performed by Dr. Bob Limmer. Although it had been around for a fair few years, it nearly always failed because the magnifying glass used during the preparation didn’t work. So, instead, Dr. Limmer decided to use stereo microscopes, and they found that they had a much higher success rate. In 1991, glue-on hair pieces became trendy and allowed people to keep their wigs in place much better than before. This helped to create a much more natural look, and many people still use this method today.

In 1998, the second prescribed medication called Finasteride started being used to treat hair loss in men only. Apparently, 85% of men who took the drug did manage to retain and grow back their hair. In the same year, the laser-light treatment went through a sudden advancement and was used to stimulate hair growth and prevent it from falling out. At the turn of the Century, Dr. Bernstein and Columbian University tried to invent a long-term cure for hair loss that didn’t involve medication or transplants. Instead, they would multiply the germinative hair cells and implant them into the scalp. This method is sometimes called scalp impregnation. It became so popular that people had to be placed on waiting lists!

Modern Day

In modern times, most people will use a combination of treatments to try and cure their hair loss. Some people even call back to older remedies that rely on more natural resources. However, more scientific research is needed for these to know whether or not they actually work. The most common hair loss treatment is still hair transplants, as their success rate is unparalleled. With up to 40% of men losing their hair as young as their early 20s, it’s no wonder the permanent restorative procedure is the most advanced and common. If you want to grow back your lost locks, then be sure to speak to your doctor or your local hair clinic, and they’ll be able to get you on the right track.

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