Verdict: For male readers (and to a lesser extent female readers) looking for explanations of their hair loss and options for treating it, this scholarly work provides an extensive historical look at alopecia and the latest scientific advances concerning hair restoration.
Although many types of hair loss (alopecia) are explored in this book, the primary topic is male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), a condition affecting 35 million American men. The author–who began his study of hair loss because of his own thinning hair, according to the About the Author page–offers a studious third-person account of his research, rather than a personal story. Based on the research, he concludes that “while testosterone is at the core of the hair-loss process, the conversion of testosterone to DHT is believed to be the primary causative factor or culprit for balding.” The glossary at the back of the book defines DHT as dihydrotestosterone, a derivative of testosterone after it has been converted by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This stronger converted form of testosterone is believed to be responsible for hair loss.
In 19 chapters, the author describes the subject of hair loss from multiple angles. The book begins with a chapter on the anatomy and physiology of hair growth, and then covers issues including male/female hair loss classifications, historical hair loss treatments, heredity, hormones, and aging, scalp conditions, surgical and non-surgical treatments, hygiene and nutrition, and future trends in hair restoration. His overall conclusion is that a multi-faceted approach usually works best, including hair transplantation surgery, topical minoxidil application, systemic or topical finasteride therapy, and laser therapy treatments. The book includes black-and-white photographs and illustrations to elaborate on the text, in addition to an appendix, references, and index.
Reviewed for accuracy by Manuel A. Soler-Perez, M.D. and Margot C. Sarratea, MSN, ARNP, FNP-Bc, the book can be repetitive at times (most notably in transitions and mentions of the product Rogaine®, the first branded, FDA-approved hair loss product with 5% minoxidil). “The two medications that have FDA approval in the United States for growing hair are Rogaine®, a topical vasodilator solution, and Propecia®, an oral, systemic medication.” (An IR internet check revealed several other over-the-counter hair restoration products are also FDA-approved and contain 5% minoxidil, in addition to Rogaine®.)
Instructive and thorough, this book appears to be best suited for cosmetology students and those who want an exhaustive explanation for their hair loss. Casual readers may seek a more personal approach to the subject with an active voice and a less in-depth look at hair loss and its treatments.
HAIR LOSS: OPTIONS FOR RESTORATION & REVERSAL aids readers in understanding the causes of androgenic alopecia and offers some hope for restoring a full head of hair.
~Carol Michaels for IndieReader.