One of the longest running companies in the hair growth industry, Histogen, has been granted an IND from the US FDA for the use of its growth factor biologic (HSC) in female androgenic alopecia. The product will be called “HSC660” for use in women. IND stands for ‘investigational new drug’, and is a necessary permit that companies must obtain before starting clinical trials with a new medicinal substance.
I recently published an article covering a story in the press of SkinTE helping to possibly save the life of a burn patient (see Articles). In that post I shared an image from SkinTE’s website which shows an application for hair growth. What some may not be aware of is the fact that Dr. Denver Lough, CEO of PolarityTE, has done some legitimate hair follicle research while at Johns Hopkins University. Whether or not this will increase the chances of a “HairTE” product to become a success, we can’t say. However, it may be of interest to recall two peer reviewed articles that Lough and colleagues published involving the proteins LGR5+ and LGR6+ stem cells and hair growth.
RepliCel is a regenerative medicine company focused on developing autologous cell therapies (or therapies that involve one individual as both donor and recipient) that address conditions linked to a deficit of healthy cells required for normal healing and function. Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company has developed first-of-their-kind cell therapies that will, they hope, treat conditions that now affect 1 in 3 Americans: pattern baldness, aging and sun-damaged skin, and chronic tendon degeneration.
During a hair transplant procedure, a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon removes tiny patches of skin, each containing one to several hairs, from the back or side of your scalp. Sometimes a larger strip of skin containing multiple hair groupings is taken. He or she then implants the hair follicle by follicle into the bald sections. Some doctors recommend using minoxidil after the transplant, to help minimize hair loss. And you may need more than one surgery to get the effect you want. Hereditary hair loss will eventually progress despite surgery.
Would there be any harm/benefit in combining the use of two hair-loss prevention shampoos, to take advantage of different ingredients and functions? Mainly Nizoral, at the twice a week recommendation, plus the Argan Oil Shampoo twice a week? I have somewhat oily hair and do get dandruff from time to time, but I do feel after washing my hair, it can feel dry and stiff. Just wondering if a combination of the two (one for dandruff, and one for healthy, thicker hair) might prove effective. Also, would you have any recommendations on a combo? Thanks!
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While trauma can come on suddenly and unexpectedly, you may be able to help manage ongoing stress in your life with exercise, like yoga, or mindfulness techniques, like meditation. Some researchers are even exploring these alternative healing modalities in relation to reversing hair loss. The idea is that yoga and meditation may help regulate blood sugar and enhance circulation, promoting regrowth.
A little farther up the follicle is the mysterious feature called the bulge. That's where follicle stem cells live. When they get the right set of chemical signals, these self-renewing cells divide. They don't divide like normal cells, in which both halves become new cells that keep splitting and developing. Only one half of the follicle stem cell does that. The other half becomes a new stem cell, and stays put for future regeneration.
Hair loss is not a hopeless condition. While there are certainly cases of permanent hair loss in men, there are still cases when it's only temporary and therefore can be treated, controlled and prevented. There are treatments and cures available, and many of these, especially those for temporary cases, can be as simple as lifestyle changes -- eating the right foods, learning to manage stress properly, and doing away with unhealthy, nasty habits that can aggravate the condition.
In II Kings 2:23-24, the prophet Elisha is mocked by a gang of surly kids. The kids “said unto him, ‘Go up, you bald head! Go up, you bald head!’ ” Elisha “cursed them in the name of the Lord.” Promptly “two she-bears came out of the wood and tore forty-two of them.” Sometime later—in 2013—German researchers published a study indicating that men experienced hair loss as an “enormous emotional burden” that could lead to an “impaired quality of life” and “psychological disorders.” Inversely, one study has shown that people perceive men with bountiful hair as likely having big penises.
Female pattern baldness: Treatment and genetics While most women lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day, this hair is usually quickly replaced by new growth. When bald patches or thinning occurs, however, it may be a sign of female pattern baldness. In this article, learn more about the common causes and treatment of hair loss in women. Read now
However, the high incidence of androgenic alopecia is caused by the male hormones. Testosterone in the scalp is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that causes the follicles to shrink in size, therefore inhibiting the growth of hair, which eventually leads to baldness. However, hair follicles on the sides and back of the head do not have as much DHT compared to the top, hence why hair loss is concentrated on the crown of the head. Interestingly, DHT is known to help in the growth of the beard and hair on the chest, a reason why most bald men have hairy chests and grow their beards much faster.
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Along with male pattern baldness, there is also a condition known as female pattern baldness, in which hair thins on the top of the head. Less is known about this type of hair loss, but it is more common in women who have been through the menopause. Female pattern baldness cannot be treated with finasteride (as with male pattern baldness), but it can be treated with minoxidil. Minoxidil is rubbed into the scalp once or twice a day and should start to show results after about four months. After ceasing treatment with minoxidil, hair loss should resume within a few months.
“This industry can be ruthless—full of liars,” Farrell told me. “Just imagine how emotional people can be about their hair. If it didn’t work, some bruiser could throw me right out the window!” He laughed. “I’d rather sell hamburgers than make people ugly. But they’re always just so beautiful. I’ve done it almost forty-seven thousand times.” (Forty-six thousand and seventy-four, he later clarified, in more than thirty years.) He was originally a hairdresser; he learned the ways of wigs from a stylist on the set of a Ronald McDonald shoot. Now he’s an unabashed proselytizer. It’s all in the details, he said. “Clockwise growth patterns. Counterclockwise retention. Gravity splits according to your growth patterns and gravitational force. Irregularly shaped hairlines. The density, the texture, the colors, the highlights, the grays, the curls, the curl clash. I mean, this is rocket science! We have proprietary techniques!”
When you notice one or more of these problems, you might be experiencing hair loss. For more information on the different stages of balding, have a look at the Norwood Scale. There, you can see the seven different stages of male pattern baldness. As hair loss progresses higher on the scale it becomes more difficult to keep your hair and potentially regrow lost hair.
One friend who went bald in his early 20s said that even once he’d readjusted to his new look, the thing that saddened him was that this look would define him pretty much for ever. Another, now in his 40s, found it dispiriting when his hair started falling out in his 20s – “the first sign that my youth was fading…” He decided against Minoxidil and Finasteride – “If I recall correctly, one of the side effects was impotence or diminished libido, which didn’t seem a good trade-off” – and found the idea of surgery “laughable”, so opted to shave it all off, finding some cheer in the new-found solidarity among his fellow balding friends. Still, he says, anti-bald prejudices are real.
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.
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.
More good research coming from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that a certain gene affecting mitochondrial function can dramatically reverse signs of aging in mice. The aging factors which were shown to be reversible include skin wrinkles, gray hair, and hair loss. Next comes the important phase where the researchers continue forward to translate this discovery to human use. Full article on the front page.
There seems to be some contention over whether hair products like hair sprays, hair gels and serums can lead to hair loss. What's true though is that frequent use of these products can damage your hair, either make it thinner or more prone to breakage. Limit the use of these products for those occasions when you absolutely need to. If you use hair products with harsh chemicals, especially hair sprays, wash your hair at night with a mild shampoo to get rid of the chemicals.
Many other women, though, start noticing thinning hair on top of their heads. Doctors say the defining sign is a widening of the part. The hairline itself is usually intact, but the hair becomes less dense behind it. Doctors will often run a battery of tests to make sure there are no treatable medical conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, tumors, or hormonal problems. "Ninety percent of the time, it's normal," Patel said.