Latest Hair Loss Research 2023

What’s the latest in hair loss research? We rounded up all the current data and innovations you’ll want to know about.

Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is a common medical condition that affects 16 percent of men aged 18 to 29 and more than half of all men in their 40s.

Because hair loss is so common, a significant amount of resources are spent researching potential new treatment options for everything from the receding hairline many men develop in their 20s, 30s or 40s to forms of autoimmune hair loss that are currently challenging to treat.

From medications that stimulate healthy hair growth to systems for reactivating inactive human hair follicles, research in the last few years has revealed numerous promising options for treating hair loss more efficiently and effectively in the near future. 

Below, we’ll discuss the state of hair loss research in 2023, including new findings from recent clinical studies.

We’ll also cover what your best options are if you’re beginning to notice the early signs of hair loss and want to take action to protect your hair, prevent shedding and promote long-term hair regrowth without waiting for new treatments.

The Basics of Hair Loss

Before we get into recent hair loss research breakthroughs, let’s quickly go over the basics of how and why hair loss occurs in men and women.

In men, the most common type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. This form of hair loss is caused by a combination of genetic factors and the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a hormone produced in your body as a byproduct of testosterone.

Over time, DHT can damage your hair follicles and affect your hair growth cycle — the natural cycle in which your hair grows to its full length, sheds and grows again.

You can learn more about the effects of dihydrotestosterone in our guide to DHT and its link to male pattern hair loss

In addition to androgenetic alopecia, several other issues may cause you to lose hair. This includes:

  • Stress. Severe or persistent stress, including physical stress caused by injuries or surgery, can result in a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium. This causes hairs to prematurely shed, without any lasting damage to the hair follicle cells.

  • Illness. Some illnesses can also cause temporary hair loss. For example, it’s common to experience hair shedding from telogen effluvium after an illness that causes fever or severe infection.

  • Medication. Certain medications may disrupt your hair’s growth phase and cause you to shed or lose hair. Medications linked to hair loss include anticoagulants, retinoids and beta blockers, as well as certain immunizations.

  • Autoimmune diseases. Some autoimmune diseases may damage your hair follicles or cause hair follicle destruction. For example, alopecia areata is a form of hair loss caused by your immune system targeting and attacking your hair follicles.

  • Skin diseases and infections. Finally, some skin diseases and infections may result in hair shedding. Tinea capitis, a fungal infection that affects the scalp, can cause scarring that may result in the destruction of hair follicles.

You can learn more about these issues and the effects they may have on your hair in our guide to the different types of hair loss.

Recent Discoveries in Hair Loss Treatment

Treatments for hair loss have been around for decades, as minoxidil and finasteride were approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) in the 1980s and 1990s.

Although these treatments are effective, researchers have continued to look for new forms of treatments that could help reduce loss of hair and promote regrowth, as well as the potential causes of hair loss.

Below, we’ll share discoveries of interest from the last few years, as well as how these findings may affect hair loss treatment in the near future.

Chronic Stress and Hair Loss

Researchers recently found a link between elevated levels of stress hormones and reduced hair follicle stem cell regeneration.

Hair follicles pass through multiple stages during the hair growth cycle. In the telogen phase, old hair detaches from the scalp and sheds from each follicle, allowing new hair to grow in its place and provide sustained, ongoing hair growth.

It’s normal for 10 to 15 percent of your hair follicles to enter the telogen phase at any time — which means some hair shedding is normal.

Stress has long been associated with the premature entry of hair follicles into the telogen phase, which can disrupt the hair cycle and cause even more shedding. 

In a recent study on mice, researchers found that the stress hormone corticosterone (the equivalent to cortisol in humans) appears to slow down the regeneration cycle of hair follicles, when new hair grows.

This hormone, which is released in response to stressors, may explain why stress causes many people to experience increased hair shedding. 

The researchers noted that reducing this inhibiting effect of stress hormones on hair growth appears to lead to more frequent regeneration cycles, allowing more hair to grow.

While this research is certainly interesting, particularly for people with telogen effluvium, it’s vital to keep in mind that the study was only done on mice. 

This means it’ll likely be a long time before we have enough reliable data to find out how similar mechanisms might work in humans — let alone how to treat them and prevent stress-related loss of hair.

JAK Inhibitors for Hair Loss

Janus Kinase inhibitors, or JAK inhibitors, are medications that block the immune system from targeting and damaging specific parts of the body. 

Because of their ability to limit immune system activity, these medications are frequently used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Recently, a team of researchers found that the JAK inhibitor baricitinib (sold as Olumiant®) was effective at stimulating hair growth in people with alopecia areata, a type of hair loss caused by the immune system targeting cells in hair follicles.

The study was one of several placebo-controlled studies that played a role in Olumiant gaining approval from the FDA as the first systemic treatment for alopecia areata.

It’s a great development that gives people affected by alopecia areata another treatment option alongside existing drugs, such as corticosteroids and immunotherapy medications.

Using Stem Cells to Grow Hair Follicles

In 2022, researchers based in Japan published a research article on an innovative potential new treatment option for hair loss — growing new hair follicles using stem cells.

Using stem cells from mice, the researchers were able to grow skin organoids in vitro, “including hair follicles and sebaceous glands.” In other words, the follicles — which are vital for hair growth on the scalp and other areas of skin — were grown outside a live animal.

The researchers selected cells from mice for their “shorter period of hair generation, higher hair-inducing activity, and availability compared to cells of human origin.” 

However, they noted that their system must be “optimized with human cells” in order to produce findings that would be relevant to treating issues such as male pattern hair loss in the future.

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What Are The Best Options for Treating Hair Loss in 2023?

Studies into stem cell treatments and the relationship between stress and hair loss are certainly promising for the future. However, their value is limited if you’re already losing your hair and want to take action now.

The good news is that although the treatments we have right now for hair loss aren’t necessarily perfect, they work well for most men with mild or moderate hair loss.

If you’re beginning to notice a receding hairline, a bald patch around your scalp or other common signs of premature hair loss and don’t feel like waiting for the next great scientific breakthrough, you may want to consider the treatment options below.

Finasteride

Finasteride is a prescription medication for hair loss. It’s been available since the ‘90s under the brand name Propecia and is currently sold as a generic medication.

Right now, finasteride is the most effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. It works by preventing your body from converting testosterone into DHT, a hormone that can affect the activity of hair follicles on your scalp and cause hair loss.

Finasteride starts working right away, but it can take some time for improvements in your hair to become visible. Most guys notice results from finasteride after about six months, with the most visible results typically occurring after one year of daily use.

We offer finasteride online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who’ll determine if a prescription is appropriate.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a topical medication for hair loss. It’s available as Rogaine® and as a generic foam or topical solution.

Unlike finasteride, which prevents your body from producing normal amounts of DHT, minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to your scalp and moving your dormant hair follicles into an active state of growth.

Minoxidil can take several months to produce improvements in your hair and needs to be used on a twice-daily basis. However, it’s an easy medication to use, so you should be able to quickly incorporate it into your morning and evening haircare routine. 

We offer minoxidil solution and minoxidil foam online as part of our wide range of hair loss treatments for men.

Hair Transplant Surgery

If you have more extensive hair loss, such as a deep receding hairline or large bald patch, you may want to consider hair transplant surgery.

This type of surgical procedure involves removing healthy, DHT-resistant hair follicles from the rear and sides of your scalp, then carefully relocating them to your hairline or other areas with significant hair loss.

Hair transplant surgery has advanced a lot over the years, and modern hair transplants can be indistinguishable from a natural hairline when performed by a skilled surgeon.

That said, this increase in hair follicles around your hairline or crown comes at a cost, with the typical hair transplant varying in price from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more. The price is largely based on the number of hair follicles you need relocated.

You can learn more about this type of procedure, as well as potential risks and benefits, in our guide to hair transplant surgery.

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The Combination Hair Loss Serum

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Finasteride & Minoxidil Combo Kit

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This combo kit includes two treatments. The once-daily tablet is clinically proven to stop hair loss. The alcohol-free topical serum, applied twice daily, is used for hair regrowth.

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This once-daily tablet is clinically proven to stop hair loss.

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Alcohol-free Minoxidil Serum

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This alcohol-free topical serum, applied twice daily, is used for hair regrowth

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The Bottom Line on Hair Loss Research

Dealing with hair loss is rarely a fun experience. But with treatment options like finasteride and minoxidil available as generic medications and intriguing new procedures being researched as we speak, the prospect of losing hair in 2023 is far less scary than it was in, say, 1993. 

Thanks to the FDA approval of medications like Olumiant for alopecia areata, it’s less scary than it was even just a year ago.

If you’re one of the tens of millions of U.S. men dealing with hair loss and want to take action and stop it, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • New treatments are being studied, but they may take some time. Scientific progress rarely happens overnight. Even if a study looks promising, it could be decades before it’s turned into a hair loss research breakthrough that’s actually useful for humans.

  • Not all experimental hair loss treatments pan out. Growing hair follicles in a petri dish is one thing — growing them in humans is another. Hair follicle development is extremely complicated, and it may take some time before this is possible for humans (if at all).

  • Existing treatments aren’t perfect, but they work well. Instead of waiting for the next big development in androgenetic hair loss treatment, you’ll get better results by taking a proactive approach and using existing treatments, such as finasteride and minoxidil.

Interested in learning more about the treatments we already have for hair loss? Get up to speed with our guide to how minoxidil and finasteride work as hair loss medications.

Ready to take the next step? Start a hair loss consultation with a healthcare provider to discuss your options and work out a treatment plan to stop shedding, protect your hair follicles and promote healthy, consistent hair growth.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

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