Coming to terms with hair loss can be the source of a lot of unwanted stress and frustration. After all, we're quite attached to our hair. Even though a lot of men pull off the bald look extremely well, saying goodbye to a thick head of hair is difficult. But what if I told you that experiencing hair loss doesn't mean that you have to go bald? In fact, with the right treatment program, you might be able to stop the dreaded receding hairline.

“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.


Researchers from South Korea have identified a new peptide called PTD-DBM which exhibits wound healing and hair regeneration effects in preclinical studies. The research is being led by Professor Kang-Yell Choi of Yonsei University. Choi’s team identified the peptide PTD-DBM which targets a protein called CXXC5. The interaction of these two proteins leads to stimulation of the Wnt pathway, which then initiates hair follicle neogenesis. Choi hopes to develop this peptide further into a potential hair growth drug candidate. A research paper about these findings was put out by the team earlier this year. Source article about this development here.

Bumble & bumble had fine-haired beauties in mind when creating this super-moisturizing (but still super-weightless) formula. The shampoo’s trifecta relies on damage-controlling panthenol (or you as you may know it, vitamin B5), strengthening wheat protein, and scalp-loving, deep-conditioning aloe vera. Strands are left prepped for big, voluminous blowouts or to be hand-tousled for texture, movement, and shine.
Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs most often in women of African descent. It begins in the center of the scalp. As it progresses, the hair loss radiates out from the center of the scalp. The affected scalp becomes smooth and shiny. The hair loss can be very slow or rapid. When hair loss occurs quickly, the person may have tingling, burning, pain, or itching on the scalp. Treatment may help the hair re-grow if scarring has not occurred.
Dupilumab is FDA approved for treating eczema aka atopic dermatitis and sold under the brand name Dupixent.  As the story goes, a patient with alopecia totalis (a form of areata which leaves a person’s head completely bald) was being treated for eczema by the drug Dupixent. After 6 weeks the patient first began to notice progress in terms of hair growth and at 7 months she had noticeable pigmented hair growth on her scalp. Notably, the patient stopped taking the dupilumab for a period of time and noticed her growth subsided; when she began taking the drug again the hair improved once more. This provides another useful therapy option for patients seeking treatment for AA. One would imagine a topical version would be worthwhile to investigate.
As I entered a small operating room at Bernstein’s Midtown East medical practice, a front-desk secretary shouted out, “Hope you got a strong stomach!” Inside, a patient dozed in an operating chair, while nurses held a strip of back-of-the-head skin—something like a fat hairy caterpillar—with tweezers. They began dissecting the follicular units under a microscope.
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.
Revivogen’s shampoo is formulated by dermatologists to do three different things: cleanse and revitalize the scalp while fighting dandruff with aloe vera and menthol, moisturize hair and make it look thicker and fuller with proteins and nutrients – and most importantly, prevent hair follicles and the scalp from being saturated with the DHT blamed for causing most cases of pattern baldness.
Thinning hair in women is worth investigating for more than its impact on physical appearance. While many conditions that lead to temporary hair loss will go away without treatment or with simple lifestyle measures, others may be signs of potentially irreversible loss or health conditions. Others yet may respond well to treatments to promote regrowth, so starting sooner rather than later is key.
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 inhibits an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes hair loss in men, and unlike minoxidil, this drug can actually help hair grow back, as well as prevent further loss. All you have to do is take one pill a day, and according to Dr. Evan Rieder, dermatologist in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, two-thirds of men taking this treatment will see improvements in hair density over time.
The best shampoos for thinning hair are the ones that address more than just flat hair, so when shopping for a shampoo, look for lightweight, nutrient-rich formulas designed to aid in proper hair production and health, while also providing a volumizing effect. Luckily for you, we already did the hard part for you and scoured the beauty world for the best picks for every hair type. 

In fact, the Japanese government has recently committed to establish a new approval process for regenerative medicine products focused on accelerating approval timelines. As it turns out, hair loss is a big concern in Asian countries. Buckler said some 21% of adult males and 6% of females in China suffer from hormone-driven hair loss.  And the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery’s (ISHRS) biennial survey of hair restoration physicians found that the number of hair restoration patients in Asia increased 345% from 2004 to 2010.


The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of hims, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
But there is a Canadian company who has been working diligently to change that. And if they’re right—and so far the research indicates they are—baldness may become a thing of the past for those who choose not to tolerate hair loss anymore. And they're not only attacking baldness, Aging skin and tendon degeneration are on the cutting block as well. It's great news for the tens of millions of older Americans who suffer from these malladies. But the most fascinating part lies in the source of the cure. It’s you. The company focuses on the development of cell therapies using a patient's own cells.
2. Volumizing shampoos and treatments. Typically, these work by depositing ingredients, like wheat protein and keratin, that adhere to the hair shaft to a) thicken it and b) create spaces between hairs so you look like you have more of it. Try Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo ($18) with hydrolyzed wheat protein; Rogers likes Redken Cerafill Defy Shampoo and Conditioner ($20 each) with ceramides that bulk up hair.
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.
Yet another company has made news this week for phase 2 trial progress. Concert Pharmaceuticals announced today that they have completed enrollment for their phase 2a trial using CTP-543 in alopecia areata. CTP-543 is an oral JAK inhibitor which acts on JAK 1 and 2, it’s also known as ruxolitinib. Concert’s version of ruxolitinib has been modified by the company’s proprietary deuterium chemistry technology which the company hopes will improve its effects on AA.

At the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, they showed that stem cells derived from human skin to grow hair when grafted onto the skin of mice. A paper describing this research, which was published on January 21st 2015 can be found here in the PLOS One medical journal. Dr. Alexey, a member of the research team made the following written statement: “Our stem cell method provides an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation and isn’t limited by the availability of existing hair follicles.” Once successfully developed, this could transform a fully bald man or woman to the head of hair they had as a teenager. The main challenge now will be replicating their results in large-scale human trials.
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.
3. Hair fibers. The best (and easiest) way to hide a widening part or sparse patch is with hair fibers. They’re tiny, charged fibers that adhere to your scalp (until your next shampoo). Toppik Hair Building Fibers ($25) come in a range of colors so you can easily find one that matches your own hair. (In a pinch, you can also brush a powdered eye shadow that matches your hair color along your part.)
While some medical practitioners are still on the fence about the effectiveness of laser treatments, studies have found that hair growth using laser therapy increased by 19 normal-size hairs per square centimetre. The regrowth is also observed as thicker, shinier and more manageable. It's a non-invasive, painless procedure that works for both men and women. However, the LLLT is not a stand-alone cure and is thus used in combination with other treatments.
Thinning hair in women is worth investigating for more than its impact on physical appearance. While many conditions that lead to temporary hair loss will go away without treatment or with simple lifestyle measures, others may be signs of potentially irreversible loss or health conditions. Others yet may respond well to treatments to promote regrowth, so starting sooner rather than later is key.

I feel inspired to share on the Updates thread a few uplifting comments I received from readers in the past week. Following my admonition to a previous commenter that sending out short, supportive emails to hair growth companies (without asking for extra information that you know they are not ready to share) would be a worthwhile endeavor and boost morale, I received some encouraging responses from two frequent visitors of this site who followed through on the idea. Their comments are shared below. 🙂


David made this claim back in 2000. But fast-forward a few years and his enhanced compensation strategy begins to look a little quaint. Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, afflicts about half of all men aged 50 and they can’t all reinvent the sitcom. And significant advances in the £3bn hair regrowth industry mean that they have other, seemingly easier, options. The man who is “ideally bald” (to use Vladimir Nabokov’s description of his comic hero, Pnin) may soon become a rare sight. 

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.
Hollywood has made movies about it. Industries have made billions from it. And if the volume of scripture is any indication, the Almighty God must have placed great value on his creation of the head of human hair. After all, He gave Samson—the strongest man of whom the Bible tells—his immense strength through his hair and declared a woman’s hair "a glory unto" her in the 11th chapter of 1 Chorinthians.
Aclaris Therapeutics has announced on March 9, 2018 that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued their company U.S. Patent No. 9,895,301, for methods related to  the use and administration of a certain janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor for treating hair loss disorders. This patent covers the treatment of both alopecia areata as well as androgenic alopecia.
Trichorrhexis nodosa occurs when hairs break secondary to trauma or because of fragile hair (Figure 7). It affects the proximal hair shaft, although the distal shaft may also be involved.20 Causative traumas include excessive brushing, heat application, tight hairstyles, trichotillomania, and conditions that cause excessive scalp scratching. Chemical traumas include harsh hair treatments (e.g., excessive use of bleach, dye, shampoo, perms, or relaxers21) and excessive exposure to salt water. Examples of congenital or genetic conditions that may cause trichorrhexis nodosa include trichorrhexis invaginata (bamboo hair), intussusception of the hair shaft at the keratinization zone, Menkes disease, keratinization defects due to defective copper metabolism, and argininosuccinic aciduria.22 Rarely, trichorrhexis nodosa can be a manifestation of hypothyroidism.23
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.
Hair loss is more common than you think and it can happen to anyone. According to Michele J Farber, MD of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, causes range from, “androgenetic or hormone-related hair loss, stress related-hair loss, also called telogen effluvium, and dandruff. Medications, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disorders, excess styling, and autoimmune disorders can also cause hair loss and thinning.” But the good news is, there are viable solutions, starting with topical growth treatments.
Researchers from the NIH and the University of Alabama, Birmingham have discovered a connection between the body’s innate immune regulation and hair graying. It was found that the transcritpion factor known as MITF, which plays an important role in melanocyte function, also plays a major role in hair graying. When the body’s immune system is dealing with a pathogenic infection such as bacteria or virus, molecules called interferons will send out signals to the body to take action against the pathogen. If MITF loses control of interferon response in melanocyte stem cells (due to an immune system response), hair turns gray. Essentially, immune system response may contribute to the process of hair graying according to the study.
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.

Coconut milk / coconut oil. Coconut milk/oil, like aloe vera, is one of the oldest and most common natural ingredients for promoting hair growth and growing healthy, shiny hair. Coconut is rich in protein, iron and other minerals that promote healthy hair and prevent breakage. Apply the coconut milk/oil on your bald spots or all over the scalp, and leave it on overnight. Rinse the next day with cool water. You can do this every time you wash your hair.
Due to the concern of several readers, I’ve removed the link to the new Trinov website that has popped up on the net. For now, the website only contains an email address subscription box which really poses no issue to anyone who subscribed. At this time, it’s not confirmed who the actual owner of the new Trinov site is, so use your discretion until we find out more regarding this matter. Until more information is known the website will not be shared on Follicle Thought.
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. Its applications are many, and some researchers believe that it may help with hair loss from alopecia areata. How? The needles inserted into the scalp may help stimulate hair follicles and promote regrowth. More research needs to be done in this area, but consider asking your doctor for a referral to a licensed acupuncturist if this treatment sounds appealing to you. (Learn more about acupuncture for hair loss.)
What fans say: One user, who has an 11-year-old daughter with severe dandruff, said " I tried multiple OTC shampoos, home remedies, and two prescription scalp treatments. Nothing worked. I really panicked when I noticed a bald spot on her head! A friend suggested Ducray. After two or three shampoos, my daughter’s head was almost clear. I could not believe it. After several weeks of using this shampoo three or four times a week, the chunky flakes are completely gone and her scalp is no longer itchy and red."
Hair practices. Our hair is one of the strongest and most elastic parts of our body. One strand of a healthy hair can be twice as strong as a copper wire of similar thickness. However, not all hair types are equal. Unfortunately, hair care practices and styling can lead to scalp damage and unnecessary pressure on the hair follicles, resulting in hair breakage and loss.
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.
The more upsetting problem is central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, a type of baldness that starts at the crown of the head and spreads outward. "It's hugely, hugely difficult," said Susan Taylor, a dermatologist at Penn Medicine who specializes in treating women with CCCA. "It affects quality of life." She said it is seen "almost exclusively" in women of African descent. One study found it in 10 percent to 15 percent of black women, but Taylor thinks it's more common. "I could see women all day, every day, with this problem," she said.
A company not previously discussed in online news, SWITCH BIOTECH, has sights on developing a drug for androgenic alopecia. As you will see, the company is still in the very early stages of developing a therapy for AGA, however they are a knowledgeable dermatology-focused company and have a unique method of drug development. Here’s a quote from their website about working on AGA:
I hope you’re all having a good Friday and feeling good out there. Two weeks ago I posted my first “Feel Good Friday” update which contained a hilarious video of Deion Sanders showing off his new hairline from a 5,000+ FUE procedure he had in 2017. That video is now unable to embed because its owner changed his account to private. Coincidentally, a week after I shared that video I noticed that Deion posted a new video to his own Instagram account of him going back to his clinic for another FUE hair transplant to “comeplete his comeback”, in his own words.
However, ketoconazole is still not FDA approved for hair loss treatment, which means it cannot be endorsed or marketed as such. Put simply, ketoconazole likely curbs hair loss, but additional research is needed for the FDA to give it approval. While it is safe to use as a supplement to our top picks, we wanted to recommend products with as much scientific backing as possible. So, we stuck with FDA approved minoxidil or FDA cleared laser treatments. But we’ll keep a close eye on products like ketoconazole shampoos and update as new research appears.
DHT blockers and thickening agents combine forces to come to the rescue of hair follicle in dire straights. Good Lab packs this shampoo with just about every ingredient that has any clinical data whatsoever supporting it. Included is their hair boost blend, a patented combination of ingredients to help fight DHT. For it’s full effect, you might want to consider using this shampoo with the Good Lab conditioner and thickening serum.
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.
HCell Inc. announced this week in a press release the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Robert P. Ryan PhD and Marlene Haffner MD PhD comprise the additions to the Board. HCell mentions in the release that the respective additions will be supportive to HCell through their combined experience in orphan drug development and FDA regulatory processes.
Hair thinning occurs in a sex-specific pattern. Men typically present with bitemporal thinning, thinning of the frontal and vertex scalp, or complete hair loss with residual hair at the occiput and temporal fringes.5 Women typically present with diffuse hair thinning of the vertex with sparing of the frontal hairline. Some women experience thinning over the lateral scalp. Common conditions that mimic androgenetic alopecia include thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia, and malnutrition.
Key features: Dr. Zeichner recommends the Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner by OGX for thinning or fine hair that needs the extra strength. This budget-friendly option uses keratin proteins mixed with argan oil to nourish, condition, and strengthen strands, and it's only $16 for the set. The smoothing formula can also increase elasticity for less breakage and split ends.
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