Kuntzman described the “snake oil” era of hair restoration, in the early twentieth century, when salesmen offered nonsense treatments, often with horrific results. One involved “cylinders of skin taken from the abdomen and sewn into your scalp to function as a sort of belt loop” for new hairs, Kuntzman said; another used paraffin injections that left some customers with lifelong horn-like head bumps. Most of the really ugly stuff ended in 1938, when the Food and Drug Administration began regulating the industry.
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.
What’s equally frustrating for women is that their hair loss is not as clearly understood as hair loss in men and, according to an article in www.dermentz.org, “..presents itself quite differently from the more recognizable male pattern baldness which usually begins with a receding frontal hairline that progresses to a bald patch on top of the head.” The same article also says that it’s uncommon for women to follow a male pattern unless there is excessive production of androgens in her body.
Tinea capitis requires systemic treatment; topical antifungal agents do not penetrate hair follicles. If the causative agent is a Trichophyton species, treatment options include oral terbinafine (Lamisil), itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), and griseofulvin.15 These agents have similar efficacy rates and potential adverse effects, but griseofulvin requires a longer treatment course. Griseofulvin is the preferred treatment for infections caused by Microsporum species, but definitive studies are lacking.15,16 There are limited data about empiric treatment before culture results are available. Because griseofulvin may have lower cure rates in the treatment of T. tonsurans infections, it may not be as effective when used empirically.15 All close contacts of patients with tinea capitis should be examined for signs of infection and treated, if necessary.
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.
You may not know it, but stress affects your health in a number of different ways. It can zap your energy, make you feel physically ill, and even cause your hair to fall out. That’s right, stress plays a big role in contributing to thinning hair. On its own, stress-related hair loss is usually temporary and grows back over time. However, it can also speed up other forms of hair loss like male pattern baldness.
Scientists from the Indiana University School of Medicine have for the first time created skin with hair follicles using mice stem cells. Research was led by Professor Karl Koehler. The team was able to grow both the epidermis and dermis layers of skin to create a realistic skin model. An interesting quote from Professor Koehler: “It looks like a little ball of pocket lint that floats around in the culture medium. The skin develops as a spherical cyst and then the hair follicles grow outward in all directions – like dandelion seeds.”
Certain foods have also been found to aggravate or worsen hair fall, such as sugar, which triggers the overproduction of the male hormone, androgen, which in turn causes the hair follicles to shrink in size and for hair to fall out or stop growing. Fish products that are known to contain high levels of mercury like tuna, mackerel and swordfish can also cause hair weakening and excessive hair fall. Studies have also found that fried foods are associated with the production of high levels of DHT.
1. Minoxidil. It’s the only FDA-approved topical nonprescription medication that can claim to regrow hair — and it should be part of any hair-loss plan if you have serious thinning, says Rogers. Minoxidil has loads of research to back it, but it requires commitment. If you quit using it, your hair will start to lose ground again. Use a 5 percent strength, like Women’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam ($30), once daily to see results in three to four months, says Rogers.
This moisturizing double-duty product is incredibly well rated (and you don’t even have to pay the pink tax to boot). Soy proteins and shea butter add silky strength, while scalp-tingling peppermint and rosemary provide minty freshness and lift at the root. “The thickening properties of the shampoo are great at this price point, so if you have thin or thinning hair, this will add some volume,” wrote one reviewer. “I also noticed that this is the first shampoo/conditioner shampoo that tends to actually condition your hair."
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.)
Patel said the problem with those treatments is that they have not been subjected to large or head-to-head research. There's great variation in how doctors give the plasma treatments and in laser-based devices, so it's hard for patients to know whether they're getting a proven regimen. Nutrafol seems promising, he said, but he does not think that company-funded research showing its effectiveness has been replicated. He has not recommended it yet.
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In 1952, a New York dermatologist named Norman Orentreich invented hair plugs. He removed hair from the back of a patient’s head, where it still grew, and grafted it onto the front. In the decades since, the transplantation process has become more refined. Following the lead of the pioneering dermatologist Robert Bernstein, most doctors perform follicular-unit extraction; instead of crudely ripping up large parts of the scalp, they pluck and move individual follicular units.
Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, said that Rogaine works better on the top and crown (for reasons not fully understood, the frontal hairline tends to be more resistant to treatment) and ideally should be started as soon as women notice thinning. “Any regrowth you get is a minimal amount,” Dr. Piliang said. “So the more density when you start, the better results you get.”
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.
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.
This medication goes by the name Avodart. It is used for the treatment of BPH also known as enlarged prostate. However, there are a large number of users using it for the off label purpose of treating hair loss. Remember the 5 alpha reductase we mentioned that Propecia blocks? Well there are two types of 5 alpha reductase. Type I and Type II. Whereas Propecia has only been shown to block type II, Avodart blocks both types. This effect overall lowers DHT levels even more, further reducing the risk of damaged hair follicles. However, it faces the same limitations as Propecia. It must be taken daily and may lose its effectiveness overtime.
Skeptics (among them, Dr. Wesley) are starting to come around after a 2014 randomized double-blind study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found a “statistically significant” difference in hair density for women who used a laser comb compared with those who used a sham device. (“Comb” is something of a misnomer. The device looks like a hairbrush crossed with a cordless phone; it is glided back and forth across the scalp, roughly a half-inch at a time, usually about 15 minutes three times a week.)
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.
Pattern balding is most common among middle-aged men, but signs can actually begin as early as the mid-20s. Once the hair loss starts, it generally takes about 15-25 years for most men with this condition to lose most of their hair. In some cases though, the progression of the condition can be fast so that others are already completely bald in just five years.
When you're investing considerable time and money on a mix of hair treatments and cures, the last things you should be doing are those that will only aggravate your condition. Likewise, when your hair has finally grown back, the last thing you would want is for you to go through another horrific episode of hair loss. Preventing further - or another case of hair loss, and stopping it before it actually happens should be your goal.
Our other recommendation is the HairMax Ultima 12 LaserComb. The comb uses low-level lasers to stimulate hair follicles and modulate dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a hormone that causes the most common type of hair loss. While it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, the treatment works, and the dermatologists we consulted reported that their patients saw thicker and longer hair when combined with our top pick. The only catch: The comb isn’t as effective as minoxidil treatments, and at nearly $400, it’s a much bigger investment. Still, it’s the best option if you’re looking for a non-invasive, non-chemical treatment.
For those of you who only check the Updates page, there was a new Brotzu Check-In article published yesterday. Giovanni Brotzu will be presenting data pertaining to his lotion’s use in androgenetic alopecia at an Italian hair research Congress this Saturday, April 14th. We hope to see photo results from the presentation. Check back to the Brotzu article next week for updates.
The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs per day naturally due to this cycle. But if the process is interrupted at any stage—for example, if the follicle doesn’t come back out of resting mode or starts to shrink—hair loss and hair thinning can result. Interruptions to the cycle can be caused by hormones, stress, poor diet, chemical hair treatments, certain medications, and, of course, good ol' genetics.