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.
The Holy Grail remains a drug that will promote regrowth, but this might not be so far away. Earlier this year, Manchester University announced that an osteoporosis drug had been found to have “dramatic results” promoting hair growth when applied to tissue samples in pre-clinical trials. The resultant frenzy left the PhD student responsible, Dr Nathan Hawkshaw, a little dazed. “Every other week, something comes out about hair loss and it doesn’t generate as much media coverage as what I experienced,” he grumbles. He’s in this for the science – there aren’t many fields where you get to mess around with real human tissue – but such is the distress caused by hair loss and such is the potential customer base that interest is always high.
McElwee is an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology and Skin Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in British Columbia, Canada and director of the Hair Research Laboratory in the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHI) at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). A hair research scientist, McElwee is one of only a small group of research scientists worldwide who studies hair biology and associated diseases.
Beyond that, things get more controversial, with some doctors saying there's inadequate evidence for other treatments. Saxena thinks there is enough scientific evidence to support some of the alternatives and recommends them to patients. But they are not for women on tight budgets. There's Nutrafol, a "nutraceutical" that costs about $80 a month. Women can also get injections in the scalp of platelet-rich plasma made from their own blood. The first four treatments cost about $2,000 at Saxena's practice in Fort Washington or Lansdale. Maintenance injections, done every three to six months, cost $515 each. Women can also buy Theradome, a light-emitting helmet, for $895 online. Saxena, who has hair loss herself, said she has had the injections and currently uses minoxidil, spironolactone, and Nutrafol.
Also known as Rogaine, this over-the-counter (OTC) medication can be used for men or women with alopecia areata or androgenic alopecia. This drug comes in foam or liquid form and is spread on the scalp each day. It may cause more hair loss at first, and new growth may be shorter and thinner than before. You may also need to use it six months or more to prevent further loss and promote regrowth.
Natural hair that is subjected to constant physical trauma from excessive brushing or combing, tight braids or ponytails, or extreme scratching or massage can cause hair at the temples to become weak and to stop growing to its normal length. Clean shaving, especially for men, can cause white bumps to appear on the area where the hair was shaved short, and at times can become infected with pus and leave permanent scarring, affecting hair growth.
Hair grooming, but more importantly, having a head-full of hair is as important to men as it is to women. To women, it may be an important accessory of beauty, and for men, it adds to a sense of manliness, enhances their looks and makes them more appealing and attractive to women. Balding to men is associated with aging (only old men are expected to lose hair) and therefore, having hair on one's head is a sign of virility and masculinity.
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.
Pfizer Reports Positive AA Trial Results – A JAK3 inhibitor and a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TYK2/JAK1) have shown statistically significant results in a phase 2a trial conducted by Pfizer. The company announced the results on September 15, 2018 at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology Congress. Subjects of the trial received oral doses of the drugs over a 6 month period. The TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor showed the greater efficacy, improving hair regrowth by 49.5 points on the Severity of Alopecia Tool scale, compared to an improvement of 33.6 points by the JAK3 inhibitor. However, Pfizer has apparently decided to move forward with its JAK3 inhibitor due to 2 adverse events in the TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor cohort during the trial. Pfizer’s JAK3 candidate, PF-06651600, was also recently granted Breakthrough Designation from the US FDA for treating alopecia areata.
Follicum announced yesterday it has successfully completed the development of a topical formulation for FOL-005. The company had been working in parallel to develop an optimal topical version of FOL-005 while an injectable version of the peptide was being used in a clinical trial. Now that the topical formula is completed it will be trialed in a further phase 2 clinical trial which will likely begin very late 2018 or early 2019.
Researchers continue to strive for the holy grail of hair loss cures by trying to gain a better understanding of how the hair growth cycle is controlled. Rather than treating the symptoms of hair loss, scientists aim to target the cause, which, in turn, may yield fewer side effects. Recently, there have been numerous discoveries in the hair loss arena that may lead to new promising treatments.
Patients with tinea capitis typically present with patchy alopecia with or without scaling, although the entire scalp may be involved. Other findings include adenopathy and pruritus. Children may have an associated kerion, a painful erythematous boggy plaque, often with purulent drainage and regional lymphadenopathy. Posterior auricular lymphadenopathy may help differentiate tinea capitis from other inflammatory causes of alopecia. If the diagnosis is not clear from the history and physical examination, a skin scraping taken from the active border of the inflamed patch in a potassium hydroxide preparation can be examined microscopically for the presence of hyphae. Skin scrapings can also be sent for fungal culture, but this is less helpful because the fungi can take up to six weeks to grow.
Egg mask. Eggs are one of the riches sources of protein, which is the building block of keratin, as well as other minerals like zinc, iron, selenium, phosphorous and iodine. Mix an egg white with a tablespoon of olive oil and honey to make a paste. Apply it on your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse and shampoo using cold water. You can apply this egg mask on your hair once a week.
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Nioxin is available in literally dozens of options, but the most common packages are two-step (shampoo & conditioner) and three-step (shampoo & conditioner & leave-in scalp treatment). While there are no hard studies done on the efficacy of Nioxin, P&G has pointed to a study where 70% of Nioxin users notice denser, thicker looking hair after four weeks using the Nioxin 3-part system.
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.