One theory that is gaining traction in hair loss circles is the scalp tension theory of hair loss.
It posits that tension throughout the scalp essentially constricts blood flow through to the capillaries that feed the hair follicles.
This lack of nutrients, minerals and oxygen essentially starve the follicle of what it needs to grow.
It seems so simple it makes you wonder why this theory hasn’t gained more traction before and why the DHT theory remains so popular.
In reality, the scalp tension and the DHT theory both make sense, and I’m going to explain why more in this article.
The Growband ties in heavily with the scalp tension theory. It’s believed that by reducing the tension by mechanically lifting up the sides and back of the scalp, the hairs will get a better supply of blood and therefore have a better chance of growing.
In this article we’ll review the growband. This will include an in-depth look at the problem of hair loss, and the way in which the growband may help to combat it.
We’ll also look at the science behind how it could work, as well as how it compares to traditional treatments.
If you’re ready to learn more, read on!
An Introduction to the Growband
The Growband is a device that’s placed upon the scalp. The inner tube, which sits comfortably on the sides and back of the scalp, then inflates and lifts the scalp tissues to reduce pressure and tension.
Before we dig any deeper, however, let’s take a look at the current understanding of hair loss.
What Causes Hair Loss?
There are many causes of hair thinning and balding. These range from genetic to environmental to situational.
For the sake of brevity, though, we’re going to focus on the most common form of hair loss: Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as pattern baldness.
The Old Model (DHT)
For decades, there’s been a consensus among the hair loss community that the androgen hormone DHT is to blame for the progression of pattern baldness (1). But what exactly does this theory propose?
In short, the DHT theory suggests that the presence of DHT at the follicle triggers an inflammatory response. This may be mediated by genetic predisposition to androgen sensitivity.
And it’s true that DHT levels are increased in the scalps of men with AGA.
But as we’ll show in the next section, correlation does not equal causation.
The New Model (Scalp Tension)
The DHT model of hair loss made sense for many years. As new research emerged, however, it left many questions unanswered.
To get a better understanding of how these theories differ, let’s look at a breakdown of the steps involved in the Scalp Tension theory:
- Chronic tension of the scalp causes inflammation.
- The body recruits anti-inflammatories, such as DHT, to the site of inflammation.
- DHT attaches to the androgen receptors found on the follicles.
- The presence of DHT leads to the arrival of transforming growth factor beta 1 (or TGFβ-1), a signaling protein which is a precursor to fibrosis (2).
- With the untreated tension and the presence of TGFβ-1, the inflammation continues. This leads to blood flow restriction which causes the follicle to miniaturize, as well as reduces the delivery of nutrients and oxygen.
- The scalp will take on the classic pattern of balding as a result and, if left untreated, this will lead to calcification of the scalp tissues which makes new hair growth impossible.
As you can see above, the androgen hormone DHT is still believed to play a role in the progression of the condition. But it’s not the true cause of the condition.
Instead, the true cause is believed to be “scalp tension mediated by pubertal and post-pubertal skull bone growth and/or the overdevelopment and chronic contraction of muscles connected to the GA (3).”
The Growband Device: How It Can Help
Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which the Growband can prevent hair loss and even promote new hair growth.
It Increases Blood Circulation
Even within the DHT theory of hair loss, there’s a strong emphasis on blood flow to the scalp. But this emphasis is even more important within the Scalp Tension theory of hair loss. And here’s why.
Blood delivers oxygen and vital nutrients to the hair follicles. As the follicles miniaturize due to scalp tension and inflammation, though, that blood flow is slowly strangled. Fibrosis and, eventually, calcification will then cut off the blood supply entirely.
As you might imagine, this has serious implications for hair growth. More specifically, no blood flow means no cell proliferation and no hair growth.
So, what’s the solution?
The Growband is a device which promotes blood circulation by reducing scalp tension. It literally lifts the scalp up so as to enable healthy circulation.
This continuous flow of blood to the hair follicles will ensure the constant delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
It Decreases Fibrosis
It’s important to ensure a proper blood flow for the sake of oxygen and nutrient delivery. But this will have another positive benefit on the scalp, and that’s the prevention of fibrosis.
Fibrosis is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue. This excess tissue will soon harden, and this makes it near impossible for new hair growth to occur.
By stimulating the scalp and reducing tension, the formation of excess fibrous tissue can be avoided.
In fact, you can even break down current fibrous build up so as to ensure your scalp doesn’t calcify. And that brings us to our next benefit of the Growband.
It Decreases Scalp Calcification
While fibrosis can often be reversed, the same cannot be said for calcified scalp tissue.
Calcification, simply put, is hardening of tissue or other materials due to excess calcium deposits.
This is common in bone structures, especially after a fracture. But when it happens to soft tissues, the tissue will harden and this will make hair growth on the scalp impossible.
The first step towards calcification is often fibrosis.
So, by reversing and preventing fibrosis, you make it unlikely for scalp calcification to occur.
And remember, once calcification occurs there’s no going back.
To learn more about the Growband and its beneficial effects, and for a more in-depth look at the science behind it, go here.
The Growband Versus Hair Loss Medications
Perhaps you’re wondering how the Growband stands up against more conventional hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil and finasteride.
According to the developers of the device:
“The motion of inflation and deflation causes the scalp to move up, release the tension and push blood back into the scalp.
In just ten minutes per day we were giving the hair follicles everything they needed to recover back to full strength.”
How does this compare to topical minoxidil and oral finasteride?
Like the Growband, minoxidil is believed to increase blood flow (4). But it does nothing to mediate the scalp tension.
And finasteride treats an entirely separate issue, which is that of DHT. The oral drug works by inhibiting the activities of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which decreases serum DHT levels (5).
So while minoxidil and finasteride may offer short-term results, they’re just covering up the issue without resolving it. The Growband, on the other hand, offers a long-term solution with no ill effects.
The Growband: Is It Right for You?
When it comes to treating your hair loss effectively, it’s important to treat the direct cause.
While the DHT theory is still quite popular, there is more and more evidence to support the Scalp Tension theory. And if this theory turns out to be the more likely, then the Growband may be just what you need.
So, is the Growband right for you? Only you can decide.
The good news is that Hairguard offers a 180-day money-back guarantee. So if you try it and aren’t impressed with the results, you can return it for a full refund. There’s nothing to lose!
Do you have questions about the Scalp Tension theory of hair loss, or about the Growband device? Do you have experiences of your own that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.