There’s no getting around it – it’s depressing when you first realize that you’re starting to lose your hair. Other signs of natural aging can be hidden or explained away, but thinning or disappearing hair is different. Your hair is not only front-and-center whenever you’re in public, but it’s one of the features which define you through most of your life. To many, hair loss is a traumatic experience which can seem impossible to deal with, let alone overcome.
Kerastem, a company developing an autologous fat-derived stem cell therapy for hair growth, has reported positive data from their phase 2 trial. The results have come from a 6 month clinical trial involving 70 patients. In this study, the patients received a one-time injection of fat-derived stem cells, and purified fat, into their scalp. Kerastem reports an average increase of 29 hairs per cm2 from the treatment, or an increase of 17% from baseline. The press release does mention that the treatment “successfully stimulates hair growth in people with early stage hair loss”, so that is something to take into consideration when evaluating the results. For more info visit Kerastem’s website.
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 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.
Iron supplements. Iron deficiency could be a cause of hair loss in some women . Your doctor may test your blood iron level, particularly if you're a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. If you do have iron deficiency, you will need to take a supplement and it may stop your hair loss. However, if your iron level is normal, taking extra iron will only cause side effects, such as stomach upset and constipation.
“I was 21 when I noticed my hair getting thinner,” says David Anderson, 45, who has had seven hair transplants. He is now senior patient adviser at the Maitland Clinic in Liverpool, one of the country’s leading hair transplant clinics, where he raises awareness of the vulnerability of sufferers. “It was devastating. It completely consumed my existence. Now, I really regret that. But time and again, I’m meeting patients going through the same anxieties. It’s an epidemic. A lot of people don’t understand how it can make you feel.”
Though, it is important to point out that a lot of these companies are developing procedures that involve implanting hair, which means there is a chance they will be expensive — as we mentioned before, traditional hair transplants are costly. But a few companies and products such as Follicum’s FOL-S-005 and Fidia Pharma’s Brotzu Lotion are being designed as topical treatments.