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“The DHT hormone (dihydrotestosterone) can contribute to thinning in women who are genetically predisposed to female pattern thinning,” Fusco says. For those whose case falls into this category, she advises a prescription shampoo with ketoconazole 2 percent, as it has anti-androgenic properties. “Ketoconazole has been proposed to disrupt the pathway of DHT leading to thinning of follicles.”
3. Surgical hair replacement. If you opt for hair transplantation (which runs $5,000 and up), your dermatologist or hair-replacement surgeon will remove single hair follicles from the back of the head, near the nape of the neck, where your hair is fullest. Once those follicles are harvested, they are then dissected and reimplanted into an area of the scalp where hair is thinning. The procedure takes anywhere from three to six hours, and newly implanted hair will usually begin to grow on its own 3 to 12 months after the treatment session. Traditionally, hair transplantation required removal of an entire strip of scalp, Sadick says, but this new follicle-by-follicle technique looks more natural when it heals and allows patients to get heads of hair as dense-looking as before they started losing it.
Her hope is that the procedure (she has helped start a company named Rapunzel to develop it) will eventually become another lunchtime cosmetic treatment. Once a patient has had her cells harvested and cultured, they could be stored indefinitely; then, after giving her doctor a month’s notice (the time it takes to grow the million needed), she could pop in for injections. Costs would likely be on par with hair transplants, roughly $10,000 and up.
MAX BioPharma, a company working with Hedgehog pathway therapeutics, wants to test its lead compound for hair growth in mouse model. If data from this experiment turns out to be positive the company says it will reach out to cosmetic or larger pharma partners to commercialize the product. While we currently don’t know how this therapy will fare for hair growth, in the past we have seen impressive potential from stimulators of the Hedgehog pathway.
Weinstein has big dark eyebrows and a kind face. Kind of an Elliott Gould vibe. I looked at his head. There was a spotty, thatchy outcropping of gray-black hair. Not exactly an overflowing abundance, but hair, to be sure. “I had nothing on top,” Weinstein said. “You can see—I grew my hair back! And it grew back more or less the color I had when I was young.”
Consider other factors besides color. Color is important - your wig or hair piece should match your natural hair to look natural. However, consider also texture. You wig should feel like real hair; it should have a smooth and silky feel. For those that need full coverage, choose a wig that bounces to give the illusion of volume. A wig that has a lacing that fits your natural hair also helps in making sure that you have a more natural looking hairline.
DH—or as it’s less commonly known, Dihydrotestosterone—is the bodily byproduct that (in the TL;DR explanation) shrinks hair follicles until they’re so thin and short they just fall out. Keranique’s unique blend includes a DHT-inhibitor, which penetrates the scalp and follicles to deliver a keratin amino complex, developed to add resilience and protection. This one can contribute to improved texture, healthier strands, and yes, even new growth.
Laser therapy is available in salons and administered by a hair professional who has been trained in the procedure. Treatment is usually two to three times a week. Generally, each session involves a short 8-15 minute exposure of the scalp to the laser device. There is generally no prescribed period of time that the treatment should be administered, although the more frequent and longer the duration, the more effective results have been observed. Noticeable hair growth can be observed after 12 to 26 weeks of treatment. The LLLT is also prescribed as a complementary treatment in post-operative hair surgery.
After the robot was done, two nurses picked off the skin grafts and hairs and put them in petri dishes. While they prepared them for implantation, Bernstein explained the real future of the business: cloning. Bernstein has partnered with a Columbia University geneticist, Angela Christiano, who is working on duplicating hairs. The problem with hair transplantation is that you’re moving hairs around, not creating new ones. Women affected by female-pattern hair loss, in particular, are left out: they don’t have a thick back patch of “donor hair” to work with.
While thinning generally worsens after menopause, doctors said hormone treatments typically do not improve hair growth. Minoxidil lotion or foam, which can be purchased over the counter, is the first line of treatment. About half of women who use it have not lost more hair a year later, Cotsarelis said. Spironolactone, a blood-pressure drug, can also help, doctors said. Some may also try finasteride — approved to treat baldness in men — off-label. The evidence that it works in women is weak, Patel said.
Jimenez, J. J., Wikramanayake, T. C., Bergfeld, W., Hordinsky, M., Hickman, J. G., Hamblin, M. R., & Schachner, L. A. (2014). Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 15(2), 115–127.
Finasteride (brand name Propecia) is the closest to a hair loss cure pill that scientists have discovered to date. This is a DHT hair loss cure. DHT is made when 5 alpha reductase converts testosterone, and Propecia has been found to be an effective inhibitor of DHT by preventing this process from happening. It works internally, at the root of the cause. Therefore, DHT sensitive hair follicles in the front and top of the scalp don’t have to fight off nearly as much DHT.
For the first twenty years of my life, I took having hair for granted. One day, in college, I woke up and looked in the mirror, and was convinced that my hair was falling out. Not receding—dropping, that minute. Later that day, I told a roommate. He took a beat, and then asked, not without kindness, “Were you on PCP?” That semester, in a creative-writing workshop, I was moved enough to write a long, confused story about a teen-ager with male-pattern baldness who suffers a meltdown and robs the hot-dog counter where he works. By my late twenties, hair loss was something that I thought about all the time. I understood, largely, that my obsession was a specific expression of a more general anxiety. I’ve never been to therapy. There are many things that have led me to consider it. But one of the most distinct, definable, and pressing has been my obsession with hair loss.
Skeptics (among them, Dr. Wesley) are starting to come around after a 2014 randomized double-blind study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found a “statistically significant” difference in hair density for women who used a laser comb compared with those who used a sham device. (“Comb” is something of a misnomer. The device looks like a hairbrush crossed with a cordless phone; it is glided back and forth across the scalp, roughly a half-inch at a time, usually about 15 minutes three times a week.)
In either sex, hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, a hair's growing phase, and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. (See "Life cycle of a hair.") That means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called "follicular miniaturization." As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived "terminal" hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs called "vellus."