Some day, perhaps in the distant future, baldness may become a curable aliment. Scientists are currently researching gene therapies to alter a person's genetic vulnerability to hair loss. However, the actual implementation of such hair loss treatments may be decades away.
In the near future, drug treatments which inhibit the balding process seem more promising. The hair loss drug Propecia (finasteride) has been proven successful in slowing and/or stopping hair loss by blocking the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp.
Another promising drug that inhibits the development of hair loss causing DHT hormones is Dutasteride.
Like Propecia, it also inhibits the creation of DHT. And based on preliminary clinical studies, dutasteride promises to be even more successful than Propecia in inhibiting the production of DHT.
In addition, Dutasteride inhibits the activities of two types of 5-alpha-reductase enzymes. In contrast, Propecia (Finasteride) only inhibits one type. Dutasteride has been shown to decrease levels of DHT by 90% after only two weeks, making it a more powerful and faster-acting weapon against hair loss than Propecia (Finasteride).
Dutasteride is not yet FDA approved for the treatment of hair loss. However, it is being marketed as Avodart by GlaxoSmithKline as a hair loss treatment. Some hair restoration physicians also prescribe it for the treatment of hair loss. Like Propecia, Avodart is not safe for women and children.
In time, perhaps even more effective hair loss drugs will be developed to inhibit the hair loss process.
Future Hair Transplants - an endless supply of bald resistant donor hairs?
The amount of hair you can transplant is ultimately limited by the amount of hair follicles you can safely relocate from the bald resistant donor area at the back and sides of your head.
Some day it may be possible for physicians to create multiple hair follicles from one original follicle. This process typically called "hair cloning" or more correctly "Hair Multiplication" is currently being investigated by several research scientists and hair restoration physicians.
If and when this process is successfully developed patients would no longer be limited by the finite amount of bald resistant hairs that can be relocated from their donor area. Hair multiplication would result in a virtually limitless supply of hair available for hair transplantation.
This would be especially good news for men or women with extensive baldness and a very limited supply of donor hair. Even those with extensive baldness would theoretically be able achieve thick full heads of hair.
However, experts believe that we are at least ten years away from hair multiplication being available, if even then.
For most men and women, hair loss can be effectively halted or even reversed with current hair loss treatments. But the future holds the promise of even more effective treatments and perhaps some day even a "hair loss cure".