In this article we’ll review the growband, a device that has become increasingly popular in recent months for its ability to improve hair health.
We’ll take a look at the science behind how it could work in theory and then try and find out if it does work in real life.
You’ll learn about the pros and cons of using it versus traditional treatments.
What Is the Growband?
The growband is a device that consists of an inner tube. This tube rests on the back and sides of the head and, when inflated, it relieves pressure on the scalp so as to increase blood flow to the follicles.
To understand more about how the growband can help, let’s take a closer look at the Scalp Tension theory of hair loss.
The Scalp Tension Theory of Hair Loss
There are various types of hair loss, though the most common in men (and second most common in women) is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as pattern baldness.
For decades now, the reigning theory on how and why AGA progresses was follicular sensitivity to the androgen hormone DHT (1).
That is, scientists believed that the presence of the androgen DHT would trigger miniaturization of the follicles. This would then lead to thinning and hair loss in the M-shaped pattern that’s associated with the condition.
But there are many problems with this theory. Just a few of them are:
- Why does DHT increase in AGA-prone scalp tissues?
- What causes the pattern of hair loss?
- Why does androgen suppression stop AGA, but it doesn’t regrow all hair?
The Scalp Tension theory of hair loss answers these questions, and more. So, what does the theory propose?
Scalp tension is a term that refers to chronic tension of the galea layer, which is a fibrous tissue that connects the outermost layer of the scalp to the muscles beneath.
There are various causes of this tension, though as hypothesized by Robert S. English Jr., the tension is “mediated by pubertal and post-pubertal skull bone growth and/or the overdevelopment and chronic contraction of muscles connected to the GA (2).”
So, to further expand, the progression of the Scalp Tension theory is as follows:
- Chronic tension of the galea layer triggers 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 (3).
- 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.
This theory answers many of the questions which have been posed by hair loss researchers for years, and it even refutes DHT theory of hair loss in various instances. For example, with the Scalp Tension we now know (4):
- Why DHT increases in AGA-prone scalp tissues (i.e., DHT is a response to tension-mediated inflammation)
- The mechanisms by which DHT is involved in AGA progression (i.e., DHT is involved in the onset of fibrosis and calcification)
- The pattern of AGA (i.e., AGA progression matches that of where GA-transmitted scalp tension is highest, and progresses as peak tension points change during fibrosis onset)
- Why AGA is observed more often in elderly populations versus young adults (i.e., calcification and fibrosis have had more time to accumulate)
- Why DHT is associated with body and facial hair growth and also AGA-related hair loss (i.e., tension-mediated inflammation induces TGF-β1 and DHT, and remodels tissue in AGA sites – a phenomenon not observed in body and facial hair growth sites)
- Why androgen suppression stops AGA, but does not regrow all hair (i.e.; DHT inhibitors may reduce fibrosis progression in AGA, but do not reverse fibrosis already present)
It’s also important to remember that, throughout this entire process, the blood flow to the scalp is being slowly strangled. And as blood delivers oxygen and key nutrients, a healthy blood flow is absolutely crucial to healthy hair growth.
If scalp tension is the cause of hair loss, what’s the solution?
How the Growband Can Help
As mentioned above, the growband is a device which relieves pressure on the scalp. This remediates many of the problems that occur as a result of scalp tension, including lack of blood flow, fibrosis, and calcification.
So, where’s the proof?
The Growband is a device designed and sold by Hairguard. As part of the development process, they tried their device on real people with real hair loss.
And according to the research, “BETA product testers were experiencing visual hair growth within 9 weeks from using what we began to call the ‘Growband’ for only ten minutes each day.”
Their research isn’t just based on the experience of BETA users, though. They also performed a number of tests to ensure that the Growband was doing exactly what it should – increase blood circulation to the scalp.
One way to test this was by taking the temperature of the scalp after 10 minutes of use.
In most cases, the temperature of the scalp had increased by an average of 15 percent. This strongly indicates that blood flow is being restored, and that’s exactly what’s needed to grow new hair.
With the increase in blood flow to the scalp, there are two additional benefits to hair loss sufferers.
The first is that scalp fibrosis is reduced or eliminated.
Because the Growband promotes blood circulation, the risk of fibrosis is significantly reduced. This means the scalp stays healthy and elastic so as to be an environment in which hair can grow.
The second benefit is the elimination of scalp calcification.
The presence of calcium deposits can make it impossible for the hair follicles to grow new hair. With the increased blood flow and reduced fibrosis, the risk of calcification is eliminated.
Learn more about the Growband and its benefits for hair loss sufferers here.
How the Growband Compares to Other Treatments
The Growband has quite the following already, but there are still many other treatment options on the market. The two most popular are minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia)
So, how does the Growband device compare?
The main difference between the Growband and hair loss drugs is that the Growband treats the problem at its source.
Minoxidil and finasteride have many positive effects on the scalp while they’re being used.
But these drugs only treat small portions of the problem while ignoring the bigger picture.
The Growband actually targets the true cause of pattern balding – scalp tension. This then leads to a healthy scalp environment which is conducive to hair growth.
Is the Growband Right for You?
There are many products on the market that claim to stop hair loss and even to regrow your hair.
But if you’re convinced by the evidence supporting the Scalp Tension theory, then the Growband is certainly a device that you should consider for your hair regrowth efforts.
Do you have experience with the Growband device? Do you have questions? Be sure to leave your comments and questions down below.