Researchers from UCLA in the lab of Jing Huang have recently shown that certain molecules which activate the cellular process known as autophagy also drive hair follicles into the anagen (growth) phase. The researchers studied different metabolite molecules and other molecules which are FDA approved and on the market as drugs. The most recognizable drugs from the study were metformin and rapamycin, one is a diabetes medicine and the other an immunosuppressant. Dr. Huang says her lab is looking to study these drugs for human hair growth soon. In my opinion, results from that study are something to look out for. Full article on the Articles page. 

When it comes to organic products there are popular and high-quality brands you can choose from. Some chemicals can have quite harsh effects on longer hair, which means that they are not always suitable for women.  There are several organic brands that can be effective for those sensitive to these chemicals and in some cases can be more effective. Among the organic shampoos available are Reborn MAX and PhytoWorx.  Two brands that use caffeine are Apex Crown from Wick & Strom, and Ultrax Labs Hair Surge.


Beware online stores selling Propecia without a prescription.Finasteride is FDA approved, but buying it online without a prescription can be illegal and dangerous. Prescription-free online stores have a reputation for selling placebos or dangerous replacements. We recommend speaking with a doctor about prescriptions or sticking to save over-the-counter treatments.
A popular skin care drug—which is intended to target eczema—was just found to have an unusual side effect: hair growth. According to an article on Newsweek, the FDA-approved drug dupilumab was given to a 13-year-old alopecia sufferer to treat her eczema. The patient, who hadn’t grown hair on her scalp since she was two, suddenly grew a significant amount of hair on her head after continual use of the drug, a study in the journal JAMA Dermatology reports.
NFL Hall of Fame player Deion Sanders has recently undergone a hair transplant. He has not been shy about discussing it publicly and over the last several weeks has actually continued to put out a slew of hilarious and outrageous posts pertaining to his renewed follicles. For his first announcement to social media, he posted this jubilant and priceless video to his Instagram:

Key features: The Thick & full Hair Growth Set by DermaChange is a go-to option for hair loss and thinning strands — it's chock-full of vitamins and oils that promote hair regrowth and prevent hair loss by hydrating, strengthening, and thickening strands with natural ingredients. It's also made with a gentle, sulfate-free formula, so it's a safe choice for color-treated hair and sensitive scalps.
You’ll find ketoconazole in Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo, and preliminary research indicates that it may be effective in treating hair loss. Researchers found that both 2% ketoconazole and minoxidil regimens improved hair density, size, and proportion of anagen follicles. Ketoconazole also is effective in treating a fungus called Pityriasis that often inhabits the scalp.

Lipogaine Big 3 does contain ketoconazole, but only a couple other hair loss/thinning related ingredients. Their Big 5 does not contain ketoconazole, but it does contain a proprietary mix of 17 ingredients for hair loss/thinning. It seems to be a more complete shampoo overall, aside from the hair loss aspects. My initial thought is to go with a combination of Big 5 and Nizoral.

I wonder whether hair loss would get as much attention if it were primarily suffered by women. But Kobren corrects me. “Actually, 40% of hair loss sufferers are women,” he says. “Except women are able to wear wigs and hair extensions and they can camouflage it in a way that men aren’t really allowed to.” He describes female pattern hair loss as a “silent epidemic of biblical proportions” that he puts down to the use of cosmetics and birth control (some women experience hair loss as a side effect to contraceptive pills).
I’ve been updating the Ultimate Guide to Hair Regeneration 2018 a bit over the last several weeks. There are two new companies who made the list, although you’ve most likely heard of them before, and some positions have changed. Position changes usually happen when pivotal news gets reported or progress is made by a particular company. I’ve been meaning to work on the Guide for a while now and only recently found time for it in between writing new articles and other activities. 

Quietly, however, progress churns. Joseph is the pseudonymous proprietor of the Web site Follicle Thought, a popular destination for hair-loss obsessives. Follicle Thought is dedicated to “what’s next,” Joseph told me. “What could be coming? Obviously we have other things to cure. But, like, what is the world doing about hair? Hundreds of millions of people really want it. It’s a really deep, emotional, psychological issue for people.” He paused. “I’ve put so much thought into that question.”

Minoxidil is a similar treatment to finasteride and is also available in the UK as a generic or as the well known brand-name “Regaine”. Minoxidil can be bought over the counter, unlike Propecia or finasteride, and comes in the form of a lotion, foam or cream that is rubbed into the scalp every day. Minoxidil is less effective than finasteride (only 60% of men who used Regaine Extra Strength reported regrowth after 48 weeks) but is still a viable option for men seeking treatment. It is also suitable for use by women, and can be used to treat alopecia areata. However, as with finasteride, any beneficial effects will cease once treatment has stopped.


DS Laboratories have covered all the bases with this shampoo, circulation, cleansing action, and anti-DHT properties. It starts acting on the first day of use but most users of the shampoo start to see results after about 4-6 months of use. When you wash with the shampoo, you leave it on the scalp for about 2 minutes before rinsing to allow you scalp to absorb all the ingredients. For the best results, DS Laboratories suggest using Revita at least 5 times per week.
Certainly a company with a unique background and game plan, HairClone has received some recent media attention. The UK biotech startup was featured in this month’s publication of “Consulting Room” online magazine. In the article both Dr. Bessam Farjo and Paul Kemp of HairClone provided insight as to the company’s current progress and plans for the future. Things seem to be coming along well for HairClone and we should expect to hear from them again within the next several weeks. Full story is on Articles main page.

Over the past year, the Hair Restoration Laboratories’ Professional Strength DHT Blocking Hair Loss Shampoo (and accompanying DHT Blocking Hair Loss Conditioner) has been a top seller on Amazon and many other sites. Combined, the daily use Shampoo and Conditioner has more DHT blockers than any shampoo/conditioner set presently available. Among the key DHT Blockers in this set are: Caffeine, Saw Palmetto, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Cayenne Fruit Extract, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Pea Extract and many more. By helping to block DHT, they should be a great asset in helping to halt the miniaturization of the hair follicles and regrow healthier and thicker hair.
If you do decide to start treatment to save your hair, a good place to start is with minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine. Don’t expect this hair-loss treatment to create luscious locks; minoxidil is better at slowing down or preventing more loss rather than promoting hair growth. But, according to Dr. Amy McMichael, professor and chair of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology, it is effective “if used as recommended, with evidence of improvement seen around six to nine months.” Simply massage the foam or solution into your scalp once or twice daily, and for best results, use a formula with 5 percent concentration.
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some — not all — women, it can't restore the full density of the lost hair. It's not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won't see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you'll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you'll start to lose hair again.
Whatever shampoo you use, look for the following four ingredients. Research, though in its preliminary stages in most cases, has shown that all four can not only slow hair loss but also generate new growth. And keep in mind that the only Food and Drug Administration medications used to treat male pattern baldness are topical minoxidil (a.k.a. Rogaine) and finasteride, more commonly referred to as Propecia.
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.

“While nutritious eating isn’t going to bring your hair back by any means, eating plenty of protein-rich foods and healthy fats can make the hair that you still have look thicker and shinier.” Skimping on the B vitamins in particular can interfere with the formation of hair cells and, therefore, hair growth. The best sources of Bs are protein-packed foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and pork, as well as leafy greens such as spinach. (These foods are also good for melting belly fat, so it’s a win win).


Once male-pattern baldness starts, it’s not going to stop until every last hair on your head has shrunk or shed, though the rate at which this happens differs from person to person and depends on genetics. And since the grind of hair loss is unending, it’s important to start treatment as soon as your hairline starts bothering you. If you’re looking for a more quantitative metric, Dr. Paul McAndrews, clinical professor of dermatology at the USC School of Medicine and member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, assures me that “you have to lose half your hair before the human eye can tell.” (Of course, if you don’t care about losing your hair and are fine with going full Prince William and shaving your head, go for it. We’ve got some recommendations for razors and hair trimmers to help you out on that front.)
In fact, research posted in the Journal of Dermatology found that ketoconazole was effective in treating mice for dermatitis and hair loss. In clinical trials, researchers found that 15 men who used finasteride, minoxidil, and ketoconazole for a 90-day period benefitted from hair growth, getting a noticeably thicker head of hair than what they had at the beginning of the studies.
One is how much emphasis the company places on compliance, the major stumbling block in the efficacy of any treatment, said Dr. Senna, an author of studies on the subject. Prospective users are questioned about their ability to stick to a regimen because the extract must be applied every day, and they are told that the more conscientious they are, the better. Users are also reminded and encouraged with regular check-ins.
I started combining two of them right away – because they both had different ingredients that I really wanted. I combine the Hair Surge for the caffeine, ketoconazole, and saw palmetto, along with the Regenepure DR for the Emu oil. I use a bit of both every day – and though I haven’t noticed a lot of hair coming back in – I HAVE noticed that a whole lot less is falling out. I used to see lots of hair in the tub or in my hand after drying. Hopefully some baby hairs will start so show themselves soon.
Medical conditions and medications. A common medical condition that also causes hair loss is hypothyroidism, which can happen in both men and women. Patients suffer from an underactive thyroid gland, which is responsible for producing the hormone, thyroxin, which performs important bodily functions, such as the regulation of body temperature, proper utilization of carbohydrates and fats, and production of protein. Since protein is an important nutrient for the production of keratin, inadequate protein supply in the body due to an underactive thyroid means that hair growth in the follicles is slow. In men especially, hair loss is one of the first signs of hypothyroidism.
“Smelling” Receptor Keeps Hair Growing – Many of you may have noticed the headlines regarding sandalwood and hair growth over the past week. The research everyone is talking about comes from Ralf Paus and his team at the Monasterium Laboratory GmbH. For the record, Paus is also the main researcher behind the WAY-316606 hair growth discovery. This time Paus et al identified an olfactory receptor in hair follicles, OR2AT4,  which plays a role in regulating hair growth or inhibition. Olfacory receptors are responsible for detecting odors in cell membranes and provide the basis for our sense of smell, they do carry out additional functions though, as demonstrated by Paus. 
Hair changes about as fast as grass grows, which is to say it’s extraordinarily slow and not visible to anyone checking impatiently in the mirror every day. But during regular follow-up appointments, Harklinikken uses high-tech equipment to photograph and magnify the scalp and count new hairs and active follicles, which motivates users to adhere to the regimen. Too many people give up on treatments like Rogaine and low-level-light devices before they’ve had a chance to work, Dr. Senna said.
“The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, which is genetic pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Michael B. Wolfeld, a board-certified plastic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The root cause of this type of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone that shrinks certain hair follicles until they eventually stop producing hair.

In the nineteen-forties, a Brooklyn anatomist named James Hamilton studied prisoners in Oklahoma who, having been convicted of sexual assault, were castrated. Hamilton identified testosterone as the root of hair loss, and showed that men castrated before or during puberty did not go bald. He then injected groups of castrated adult men with testosterone and—duly, cruelly—watched their hair fall out.
Examination of the scalp in patients with telogen effluvium typically shows uniform hair thinning. The presence of erythema, scaling, or inflammation; altered or uneven hair distribution; or changes in shaft caliber, length, shape, or fragility may suggest other diagnoses. Laboratory investigations are indicated if the history and physical examination findings suggest underlying systemic disorders (e.g., iron deficiency anemia, zinc deficiency, renal or liver disease, thyroid disease).
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The cause of female-pattern hair loss is unknown, but doctors said there is a strong genetic component. The risk can come from male or female relatives. Though it looks as if the hair is falling out, that's not really what's happening. Cotsarelis said hair follicles are becoming smaller and producing hairs that may be so small that you can't see them.  Women tend to retain more normal, thick hairs than balding men do.

1. Hair color. Anytime you dye your hair, you’re increasing the diameter of each strand, which can help add volume when your hair is sparse and fine. As a general rule, ask your colorist to make sure highlights are finer at the top of the head, where hair is the thinnest, and more intense at the bottom, where it’s thickest, says Eva Scrivo, a hairstylist and the owner of the Eva Scrivo Salon in New York City. And beware: A color that contrasts with your scalp (blonde tones if your scalp is dark, deep brunettes if your scalp is light) will make any visible scalp more obvious.
For hair transplant clinics, this is the ultimate goal. Bald people would make a mad dash to their clinics to get their new heads of hair. Since the main limitation of hair transplantation surgery is how many hairs can be harvested from the back of the scalp before it appears thin, stem cloning (the growing of dermal papilla cells) will solve that problem in totality. Recent research that has taken place in California has taken a big step toward the cure for hair loss.
Joseph Greco, Ms. Telford’s practitioner, who shares a patent for a process to remove growth factors from platelets, said he gets results in 80 percent of patients, more than half of whom are female. Roughly half of them fly in and out, often on the same day, he said, because the procedure doesn’t require downtime and has minimal side effects. (Small clinical studies suggest further research is necessary but acknowledge the procedure’s “excellent safety profile.”)
Alopecia areata: Researchers believe that this is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks its own hair. This causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health. Most people see their hair re-grow. Dermatologists treat people with this disorder to help the hair re-grow more quickly.
The history and physical examination are often sufficient to determine a specific etiology for hair loss. It is convenient to divide the various causes into focal (patchy) and diffuse etiologies, and proceed accordingly. Patchy hair loss is often due to alopecia areata, tinea capitis, and trichotillomania. Diffuse hair loss is commonly due to telogen or anagen effluvium. Androgenetic alopecia may be diffuse or in a specific pattern, and may progress to complete baldness. 

If you have something that works for you, don’t change. Search for products that have plenty of positive feedback and don’t just trust Amazon reviews, but dig deeper. Again, most shampoos that claim to halt hair loss and grow new hair are nothing more than snake oil. Stick with ingredients that are clinically proven to work and backed by scientific study.
Perhaps the most important area of hair loss research that I have not yet covered on this blog relates to the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) protein and signaling pathway.  This Shh pathway is used by cells to communicate with each other. While the sonic hedgehog protein has numerous critical effects on a developing human embryo (brain, craniofacial, lungs, teeth and more), it also continues to be important in adulthood when it controls certain stem cell division activities.
1. Collagen powder. Preliminary studies suggest that marine-sourced collagen may stimulate hair growth, says New York City dermatologist Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae. Though more research is needed, participants in studies reported thicker hair after three to six months of daily use. Crushed Tonic Original Powder ($105) easily mixes into coffee, tea, and water.
To us, that meant any product with zero proven ingredients, case studies, or FDA clearance — which shrunk our list by a whopping 180 contenders. That’s right, there are only three treatments that have actually been cleared by the FDA and supported with clinical studies: finasteride (commonly marketed as Propecia), minoxidil, and laser treatments. And, since finasteride is prescription-only, it left us with two.
But Buckler said hair growth isn’t the only perk to his company’s discovery. It turns out that use in skin repair and tendon regeneration are also possibilities of the technology. “While we were delving deep into the hair follicle, we discovered another cell population,” he said. The hair follicle is actually a minor organ. There are two different cell groupings. One grows hair fibers. Another grows the tissue that the hair follicle fiber grows in.” And it is within this latter cell grouping that the magical main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues—collagen—is found.

Hair styling products from shampoo, conditioner, to hair dye, bleach, gels and perm and straightening products may contain chemicals that can damage the scalp and cause the shaft to break, resulting in hair thinning. Beware of these products that contain toxic chemicals such as arsenic, thallium, meadow saffron (colchicum autumnale), and lead. These chemical ingredients can manipulate and disrupt the natural hair growth cycle, for example, shortening the anagen phase of growth. Hair procedures like hair relaxing and permanent waving, while do not lead to permanent hair loss, can damage the quality of the hair and make it more prone to hair breakage.
I started combining two of them right away – because they both had different ingredients that I really wanted. I combine the Hair Surge for the caffeine, ketoconazole, and saw palmetto, along with the Regenepure DR for the Emu oil. I use a bit of both every day – and though I haven’t noticed a lot of hair coming back in – I HAVE noticed that a whole lot less is falling out. I used to see lots of hair in the tub or in my hand after drying. Hopefully some baby hairs will start so show themselves soon.
OK, we know what’s on your mind at this point, and the answer is no. Drinking massive quantities of coffee or other caffeine-laden drinks will not help make hair grow. As one scientist pointed out, you’d have to drink 40 to 50 cups of coffee for caffeine to have any kind of therapeutic benefit for your hair roots because caffeine is easily diluted and quickly excreted by the body. Besides, that amount of coffee would be toxic because caffeine is, well, kind of a drug.
He now enjoys full scalp coverage, which he credits to modern transplant techniques combined with Propecia – but when he embarked on what he refers to as his “hair-loss journey”, there weren’t so many options. One trichologist advised him to dunk his head in freezing cold water six times per day; another zapped his scalp with infra-red light; finally, he opted for surgery. “The techniques were far less refined – 450 grafts,” he says. “Now, we can move 4,500 grafts in a single session. It left me with scars at the back of my head. And I committed to more and more procedures. Each time, they were taking another strip of tissue from the back of my head, leaving another scar.” He was eventually “fixed” at a surgery in Vancouver, but in his present role he talks people out of surgery as much as talking them into it. “I wish I could turn back the clock so I never had surgery,” he says.
The most notable ingredients of the Big 3 are Biotin (vitamin B7), castor oil, and Emu oil. The latter helps defend against a variety of scalp and skin issues, including inflammation and allergic reactions. It also moisturizes the skin. While you could buy all three ingredients separately, it wouldn’t be very cost effective and why bother if you can purchase them in a product designed for hair loss?
Lipogaine is a complete hair care system to treat most hair loss issues. The Big 5 Shampoo is a blend of Biotin, caffeine, Argan oil, Castor oil, and other powerful ingredients. They use only premium organic and natural DHT blocking ingredients with no sulfates or parabens. Lipogaine is for both men and women and all hair types, including color-treated hair. They also have a Minoxidil product and a fantastic 90-day money-back guarantee, including shipping, which is pretty rare.
Dr. Zeichner recommends choosing a shampoo and conditioner that matches the issue you're experiencing. If you have thinning or shedding hair, he says to opt for strengthening products made with keratin or to choose one infused with vitamins and antioxidants, as these can all strengthen strands and create a better environment for your hair follicles to function.
Harklinikken does not advertise, but the 25-year-old multinational company is beginning an aggressive expansion into the $3.6 billion hair-loss market in the United States, meaning you’re likely to hear a lot more about it. A New York clinic opened in June inside the Core Club in Midtown (you don’t need to be a member to get an appointment); and in August, Harklinikken consultations became available at some 70 Women’s Care Florida obstetrics and gynecology clinics. (Roughly 75 percent of the company’s 50,000 active users are female.)
Follicle Thought is interested in connecting with scientists and startups who are working on hair growth or hair loss prevention research. If you or a colleague is working on hair growth please get in touch on the Contact page, even if you are not ready to share news on the site yet. Follicle Thought can offer networking and other resources to benefit your development. Thanks
“The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, which is genetic pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Michael B. Wolfeld, a board-certified plastic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The root cause of this type of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone that shrinks certain hair follicles until they eventually stop producing hair.
Finally, if these tests come back normal, your dermatologist may suggest a scalp biopsy of a couple of two-millimeter sections taken from your scalp under local anesthesia ($400 and up). It can determine whether genetic hair loss, telogen effluvium (a condition in which hair falls out from stress or rapid weight gain), or a disease (such as lupus) is the cause of your shedding, and your dermatologist can treat you accordingly.
For hair transplant clinics, this is the ultimate goal. Bald people would make a mad dash to their clinics to get their new heads of hair. Since the main limitation of hair transplantation surgery is how many hairs can be harvested from the back of the scalp before it appears thin, stem cloning (the growing of dermal papilla cells) will solve that problem in totality. Recent research that has taken place in California has taken a big step toward the cure for hair loss.

A clinician diagnoses female pattern hair loss by taking a medical history and examining the scalp. She or he will observe the pattern of hair loss, check for signs of inflammation or infection, and possibly order blood tests to investigate other possible causes of hair loss, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and iron deficiency. Unless there are signs of excess androgen activity (such as menstrual irregularities, acne, and unwanted hair growth), a hormonal evaluation is usually unnecessary.


Hair follicles on our head are at various stages of this hair growth cycle, so that while some hair follicles are in the last stages, others are just beginning their anagen phase, while others still are in the middle of the hair growth cycle. It's because of these varying stages of growth that our hair doesn't fall out all at once. Instead, you only shed about 50 - 100 strands a day - this is the normal rate of shedding hair.
Hair loss is often distressing and can have a significant effect on the patient's quality of life. Patients may present to their family physician first with diffuse or patchy hair loss. Scarring alopecia is best evaluated by a dermatologist. Nonscarring alopecias can be readily diagnosed and treated in the family physician's office. Androgenetic alopecia can be diagnosed clinically and treated with minoxidil. Alopecia areata is diagnosed by typical patches of hair loss and is self-limited. Tinea capitis causes patches of alopecia that may be erythematous and scaly and must be treated systemically. Telogen effluvium is a nonscarring, noninflammatory alopecia of relatively sudden onset caused by physiologic or emotional stress. Once the precipitating cause is removed, the hair typically will regrow. Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder; treatment is aimed at controlling the underlying psychiatric condition. Trichorrhexis nodosa occurs when hairs break secondary to trauma and is often a result of hair styling or overuse of hair products. Anagen effluvium is the abnormal diffuse loss of hair during the growth phase caused by an event that impairs the mitotic activity of the hair follicle, most commonly chemotherapy. Physician support is especially important for patients in this situation.
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