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Alopecia areata is an acute, patchy alopecia that affects up to 2% of the population with no difference between sexes 9 (Figure 3). Approximately 20% of affected patients are children.10 The etiology is unknown, but the pathogenesis is likely autoimmune. Patients may have a single episode, or they may have remission and recurrence. The diagnosis can usually be made clinically.
In Vancouver, a Canadian company called RepliCel focusses on the hair follicle’s “dermal-sheath cup cells,” its C.E.O., Lee Buckler, explained. Buckler believes that DHT attacks these cup cells “like a parasite.” Like Histogen, RepliCel’s consumer product would be an injectable. The company would generate new versions of your cup cells, which would be implanted into your “affected area”—the places where your hair has fallen out. Boom: new hairs. (Theoretically.)
Blow dryers, flat irons, and other devices: Frequent use of a blow dryer tends to damage hair. The high heat from a blow dryer can boil the water in the hair shaft leaving the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Dermatologists recommend that you allow your hair to air dry. Then style your hair when it is dry. Dermatologists also recommend limiting the use of flat irons (these straighten hair by using high heat) and curling irons.
“Regenerative medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs, offering solutions and hope for people who have conditions that today are beyond repair,” Buckler said. “RepliCel is one of the most promising biotech companies to watch in the field of developing medical innovations that are life-changing.”
Key features: The Dove Dermacare anti-dandruff 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is a solid option for dandruff management that's also super affordable. For $15, you'll get not one, but two bottles. Its active ingredient is pyrithione zinc, an anti-fungal ingredient commonly used to treat psoriasis that Dr. Zeichner recommendeds for dandruff. The formula is effective in treating scalp dryness and flakes because of it, and it has a refreshing mint scent.
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.
Other therapies for the treatment of alopecia areata include topical mid- to high-potency corticosteroids, minoxidil, anthralin, immunotherapy (diphenylcyclopropenone, squaric acid dibutylester), and systemic corticosteroids.12 Currently available therapies often yield unsatisfactory results, and some clinicians rely on the high rate of spontaneous remission or recommend a hairpiece or wig if remission does not occur.13
Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
Joseph and his readership, he said, are convinced that we are at a “peak moment” for the industry. He ticked off “platelet-rich plasma” and “injectable cell therapies” and other high-level technologies that are being developed by companies from New York to San Diego, Tokyo, and Stockholm. He won’t make bets on who’s going to win the arms race. But, he says, “if you were the first, that’d be fun for the trillion dollars that you’d make. Over the next few years? It’s prime time.”
A separate study, published in Skin Therapy Letter — a professional reference site for dermatologists — found that women also benefit from using the more potent 5 percent minoxidil treatment. “Patient-reported improvement in hair volume and coverage appears to be greater with 5 percent minoxidil foam,” reads the report. Plus, because the 5 percent treatment is stronger, women only have to apply it once a day to get the same results as they would with the 2 percent treatment applied twice daily.
BBC Newsbeat has released a documentary yesterday titled “Too Young To Go Bald.” The program gives a candid look into the lives of several young adults dealing with various forms of alopecia. Chidera Eggerue, a blogger dealing with traction alopecia, meets up with a female British rapper who previously underwent a hair transplant for her traction alopecia. Also in the documentary, vlogger Perry O’Bree who is dealing with androgenic alopecia shares about his own experiences.
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Originally spotted this on HairLossCure100’s twitter page. Concert Pharmaceutical’s therapy for alopecia areata, CTP-543, has been granted fast track designation from the FDA. CTP-543 is an oral JAK inhibitor (ruxolitinib). From what I’ve read, fast track designation encourages early and frequent communications between the FDA and the company during the development process to ensure issues and questions are resolved quickly.
Two clinical trials have been ran as a proof of concept for Histogen. Terminal hair count and hair thickness noticeably increased after just 12 weeks. Due to this success, Histogen plans to conduct a Phase 1 Clinical Study in the United States. This will be an injectable which when injected into the scalp will stimulate dormant hair follicles and induce new hair follicle formation (think Botox but for hair follicles instead of skin cells). HSC660 is an ongoing female hair loss trial that will run for 22 weeks and a late stage (Phase 3 trial) for men has initiated in Mexico. Histogen founder Gail Naughton even went so far to reveal commercialization, “We’e in very late-stage negotiations with some huge retail partners,” she says. It may not be a magic bullet, but it would sure be nice to have an alternative/supplement to Rogaine that actually stimulates growth.
Hair transplantation involves harvesting follicles from the back of the head that are DHT resistant and transplanting them to bald areas. A surgeon will remove minuscule plugs of skin that contain a few hairs and implant the plugs where the follicles are inactive. Around 15 percent of hairs emerge from the follicle as a single hair, and 15 percent grow in groups of four or five hairs.
The other main hair-loss treatment that was recommended by all four dermatologists I interviewed is finasteride, often called by its brand name Propecia. This FDA-approved medication is only available with a prescription, but these days, it’s found as a generic and ordered online after a virtual consultation, through start-ups like Hims, Keeps, and Lemonaid.
While thinning generally worsens after menopause, doctors said hormone treatments typically do not improve hair growth. Minoxidil lotion or foam, which can be purchased over the counter, is the first line of treatment. About half of women who use it have not lost more hair a year later, Cotsarelis said. Spironolactone, a blood-pressure drug, can also help, doctors said. Some may also try finasteride — approved to treat baldness in men — off-label. The evidence that it works in women is weak, Patel said.
Treatment for adults with less than 50% of scalp involvement is intralesional triamcinolone acetonide injected intradermally using a 0.5-inch, 30-gauge needle. Maximal volume is 3 mL per session.11 Treatment may be repeated every four to six weeks until resolution or for a maximum of six months. Local adverse effects include transient atrophy and telangiectasia.
It looks like Organ Technologies’ recent announcement of its hair cloning progress has attracted some investment capital. Earlier this week, Organ Technologies issued a press release announcing that they have issued new shares to three new investors in exchange for approximately 590 million yen. That’s a lot of yen. In US dollars this converts to roughly $5.3 million, still a good haul. The press release mentions:
After the groundbreaking 1999 study on mice, some researchers were mildly optimistic that SHH activation could also have positive implications on human hair growth in balding men and women. A new company that was formed in 2000 called Curis partnered with Procter & Gamble in 2005 to try and develop a topical Hedgehog agonist product for scalp hair growth.