Today, there are millions of men and women struggling with hair loss. There are many reasons for it. For some people, it is due to hormone imbalance. For others, genetics plays a role. Medications, illness, stress, and even the way you style your hair can contribute to hair loss. Yet, for many people, the question is not always why it is happening. It is what can be done about it. For some people, new resources and treatments are becoming available and they potentially could be life changing. JAK inhibitors could be one of the most sought-after options available.
What Are JAK Inhibitors?
JAK inhibitors are very new type of treatment option and they are yet to be fully proven. Scientifically, they are called janus kinase inhibitors. This is a type of drug that works to suppress the function of certain (JAK) enzymes in the body. So, what does that mean?
JAK enzymes are known to be a key part of the normal hair growth cycle. Additionally, recent research has found that these inhibitor drugs can be used for hair loss because of how they work during the hair growth cycle. The most common medications include tofacitinib and ruxolitinib. Both seem to be a good choice for helping to prevent hair loss. However, research on them is continuing and there has been no official word on whether or not they will be a treatment option approved for use.
When May They Help?
Specifically, researchers used these drugs to treat alopecia areata. This is a common type of autoimmune disease. The body, in those that have this condition, will develop patchy hair loss. Some people will experience complete hair loss as a part of this condition. Why would these medications work only in this particular type of situation?
What we know is that those who suffer from alopecia areata do not have a genetic background that impacts hair loss. They also do not suffer hair loss as a result of lifestyle factors. Rather, those who have this condition experience a trigger during the normal hair growth cycle. This causes the cycle to get "stuck" in the resting phase. This leads to the feeling of hair loss. Why would this be happening? Unfortunately, researchers are still working to understand this. What they do believe, though, is that some type of sudden shock or intense level of stress can often be linked to this type of hair loss.
Doesn't the Hair Grow Back?
Generally, those who are suffering from alopecia areata will have hair loss that does come back over time. The problem is time. There is no way to know if and when hair will begin to regrow after an event like this. That's often a key factor in which individuals seek out more advanced types of help for hair loss.
How Does JAK Inhibitors Work?
JAK inhibitors work to target those specific enzymes that are located within the hair follicles. These are the ones responsible for maintaining the hair in a dormant state. When they get stuck in this dormant state, the hair fails to regrow, creating the feeling of hair loss. The drugs target those enzymes specifically. When they do, the follicles begin to move out of this non-growth phase and become active growth again. In other words, by targeting the specific hair loss enzymes, it is possible for this drug to work to stop hair loss from alopecia areata.
Again, this type of treatment is not fully understood. What we do know, though, is that there are numerous trials going on that hope to shed light into why individuals experience this type of hair loss, what can be done about it, and how to overcome it long term.
If you are suffering from hair loss – for any reason, even if you are unsure what that reason is – work with your doctor as a first step. Discuss the treatment options by first focusing on the underlying cause of your hair loss (if it is possible to do so). For more information on hair loss options for hair loss, thinning hair or hair loss prevention treatments, contact the team at Unique Hair Concepts.