Disruptions in the normal length of each phase, which can cause hair loss and hair thinning, may be the result of a number of internal and external stimuli. These are also what we call the triggers and causes of your hair loss. As a quick example, dieting can leave the body stressed and in need of important nutrients. Because of this stress, hair growth may be cut shorter than usual and there is an early onset of telogen or shedding of hair.
“Smelling” Receptor Keeps Hair Growing – Many of you may have noticed the headlines regarding sandalwood and hair growth over the past week. The research everyone is talking about comes from Ralf Paus and his team at the Monasterium Laboratory GmbH. For the record, Paus is also the main researcher behind the WAY-316606 hair growth discovery. This time Paus et al identified an olfactory receptor in hair follicles, OR2AT4, which plays a role in regulating hair growth or inhibition. Olfacory receptors are responsible for detecting odors in cell membranes and provide the basis for our sense of smell, they do carry out additional functions though, as demonstrated by Paus.
The significance of this study is the new level of accuracy it could bring to the screening of drugs and compounds to induce hair growth. The current model used which has been used in the field for decades is the familiar “mice model” in which chemicals are injected or rubbed onto the back of shaved mice. If the substance gets hair to grow back faster than mice who do not receive the chemical, it is deemed that the substance holds promise for improving hair growth. We have learned time and time again, that substances which grow hair in mice do not always translate well to humans. Ghosh believes his new hair follicle model can provide a solution to this issue.
Drugs normally used for rheumatoid arthritis and bone marrow cancer, they are now being studied for their uses as a hair growth medicine. These are a new class of medicines labeled as JAK inhibitors. In one study, 6 out of 9 patients dramatically went from bald to a full head of hair after taking Ruxolitinib for 5 months. In another study several subjects were able to regrow full heads of hair. Unfortunately, sustained use of such drugs will have severe side effects. Many of these concerns would be side stepped if a topical formula could be developed. Researchers at the Department of Dermatology and Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical center are now studying other JAK inhibitors in placebo controlled studies.
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.
Follica is developing a wounding device that when coupled with a hair stimulant like minoxidil, is found to be more effective at triggering new growth. They like to call this wounding process ‘skin disruption’. The idea behind this treatment is that after the skin is wounded, cells migrate to that area to repair. They then must choose between two paths: healing the skin (making epidermis) or making hair. It is there where Follica sees the window of opportunity, where they can encourage the cells to do the latter and regenerate new and more hair.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
Dr. Zeichner recommends choosing a shampoo and conditioner that matches the issue you're experiencing. If you have thinning or shedding hair, he says to opt for strengthening products made with keratin or to choose one infused with vitamins and antioxidants, as these can all strengthen strands and create a better environment for your hair follicles to function.
"Despite some of the claims, a shampoo or conditioner won’t be able to stop or slow hair loss, nor help with a receding hairline or thicken hair that’s becoming thinner," says trichologist Anabel Kingsley from The Philip Kingsley Trichology Clinic in London. "At best, a thickening shampoo will make hair temporarily thicker for a short period of time, but they certainly won’t help with hair loss or thinning."
Farrell makes what he calls “hair systems.” They’re not quite wigs or toupees—you can keep them on for weeks at a time. They cost more than a thousand dollars. Farrell was in New York for a week, holding meetings with clients in his hotel room. Now his rolling suitcases were packed. Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Russia: he’s almost always on the road, satiating international demand for high-end hair pieces.
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.
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.
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.)
I must have had about 5 readers email me today about the fascinating research coming out of Yokohama National University in Japan. Professor Junji Fukuda lead the efforts to successfully prepare “hair follicle germs” at large scale simultaneously. Essentially, the researchers prepared a cellular formulation with the right culturing materials to promote successful growth and development of tiny “hair follicle starter kits.” Source article here.
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.
This video is equally hilarious. Once again, there is inspiration here. Deion had a 5,000+ FUE last year and received good results from it. But he’s not done yet, he has the resources to have another procedure and get as close as he can to the result that he really wants, so he did. Surely, he’s just about maxing-out his donor area now. Once again, congratulations to Deion for pursuing his hair growth goals. Enjoy the video and have a big laugh. OOOOeeee.
Things get interesting when we discover a patent which was filed by Sangamo in May 2017 titled “Targeted Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia.” As with virtually all patents, the lengthy text of the patent is difficult to read or to create a concise summary from. An intriguing aspect of this news is Sangamo works in several technology spaces, including previously mentioned genome editing and gene therapy, either would make an advanced type of hair growth therapy we have never seen before. One caveat to mention is the company’s pipeline does not currently display any indication for alopecia, meaning the therapy is not fully developed yet, so it will be some time before trials begin. We certainly hope to hear more from Sangamo Therapeutics as soon as possible about their interesting development for hair growth technology.
3. Nutriceuticals. Rogers recommends that her patients try Viviscal Dietary Supplements ($50 for a one-month supply) or Nutrafol ($88 for a one-month supply), both of which can often be picked up in a salon. The former contains marine-based proteins meant to beef up thinning hair. The latter is packed with antioxidants, like ashwagandha and curcumin, and boasts impressive clinical results.
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.
Many pharmaceutical companies and researchers are in the search for a hair loss cure. This is because 7 out of 10 men and 4 out of 10 women suffer from androgenic alopecia (genetically caused hair loss) in their lifetime. In the United States that amounts to around 80 million men and 40 million women currently suffering from hair loss. Of course, a permanent cure would relieve a huge percentage of the population.
Today marks the first day of the 2nd half of 2018. It has long been anticipated, due to various reports, that both the Brotzu lotion and RCH-01 in Japan may come to market in H2 2018. To recap official announcements from these companies: In January 2017 Fidia made an enigmatic reference to completing a product by the end of 2018. In 2016 Shiseido was very confident and vocal about “curing baldness in 2018”, many of you will recall. (note that Forbes does not publish news based on “internet hearsay”)
Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.
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.
At first the researchers conducted studies using cyclosporine A, an immunosuppressant. One of its side effects is hair growth. That set of testing led them to the SFRP1 protein and the discovery that the protein blocks hair growth. But cyclosporine A has too many side effects to pursue further testing, which is why they set their sights on the osteoporosis drug.
"Firstly, even the very good ones won’t get to the root of the issue - pardon the pun - and prevent or treat male or female pattern baldness which is caused by genetics, nor deal with hormonal issues at the heart of female hair loss. But they can help make the hair you do have stronger and healthier. And they can be useful in putting a hair loss regime in place, along with medication like Minoxidil or Finasteride and/ or a hair transplant.
Hair changes about as fast as grass grows, which is to say it’s extraordinarily slow and not visible to anyone checking impatiently in the mirror every day. But during regular follow-up appointments, Harklinikken uses high-tech equipment to photograph and magnify the scalp and count new hairs and active follicles, which motivates users to adhere to the regimen. Too many people give up on treatments like Rogaine and low-level-light devices before they’ve had a chance to work, Dr. Senna said.
Taking hair supplements can be helpful for anyone who is experiencing hair loss or hair thinning. Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, previously recommended Nutrafol, a research-backed hair supplement, to Prevention. "This uses highly concentrated botanicals to address every stage of the growth cycle," she says. Nutrafol's hair supplements include vitamin E and ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps balance cortisol levels in the body), among others.
Now known as RCH-01, RepliCel’s procedure is a patented cellular replication and implantation technology designed to rejuvenate damaged and miniaturized hair follicles in a balding scalp. According to Buckler, the technology involves the extraction of as few as 20 hair follicles from the back of a patient’s scalp where healthy cycling hair follicles reside. Specific cells are isolated from hair follicles and are cultured using the company’s proprietary cellular replication process. The cultured cells are reintroduced or injected back into balding areas on a patient’s scalp and are expected to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles leading to the growth of new healthy hair fibers.
To do the exercise, simply rub the fingernails of both hands - except the thumbs - against each other as hard as possible. Make sure not to let the surface of the nails rub against each other - just the tips. In acupressure therapy, it is believed that the hair follicles on the scalp are connected to the fingernails and by doing the exercise, it will stimulate blood circulation and nutrients into the follicles, therefore promoting hair growth.
Trichotillomania may be difficult to diagnose if the patient is not forthcoming about pulling at his or her hair. Patients typically present with frontoparietal patches of alopecia that progress posteriorly and may include the eyelashes and eyebrows. Bare patches are typical, and the hair may appear uneven, with twisted or broken off hairs. Trichotillomania may lead to problems with self-esteem and social avoidance. Complications include infection, skin damage, and permanent scarring.18
A clinician diagnoses female pattern hair loss by taking a medical history and examining the scalp. She or he will observe the pattern of hair loss, check for signs of inflammation or infection, and possibly order blood tests to investigate other possible causes of hair loss, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and iron deficiency. Unless there are signs of excess androgen activity (such as menstrual irregularities, acne, and unwanted hair growth), a hormonal evaluation is usually unnecessary.
It is called the vampire treatment because blood is taken from the patient that removes the platelet rich plasma. Then, the PRP is injected back into the scalp. This energizes the scalp with new active blood flow. Treatment is available at select clinics but widespread adoption may become the norm. It is less invasive than hair transplants but costs more if you count the cost of doing many sessions.
There are pharmaceutical solutions, too. Finasteride (often referred to by its brand name, Propecia) and Minoxidil (aka Regaine/Rogaine) are both available via online prescription in the UK. They stop hair falling out as opposed to making it grow back again, though some report more lustrous locks after three months or so. Donald Trump is the world’s most famous Propecia user. “Never go bald,” he once counselled. “The worst thing a man can do is go bald.” He’s not wrong. The anti-bald dating prejudice that David lamented extends to politics. Only five US presidents have ever been bald. As laughable as Trump’s follicular arrangements are, chances are that if nature had taken its course, a bald Trump wouldn’t have got to the White House. Careful what you wish for.
Researchers from UCLA in the lab of Jing Huang have recently shown that certain molecules which activate the cellular process known as autophagy also drive hair follicles into the anagen (growth) phase. The researchers studied different metabolite molecules and other molecules which are FDA approved and on the market as drugs. The most recognizable drugs from the study were metformin and rapamycin, one is a diabetes medicine and the other an immunosuppressant. Dr. Huang says her lab is looking to study these drugs for human hair growth soon. In my opinion, results from that study are something to look out for. Full article on the Articles page.
Christiano is more of a skeptic. Lab results are nice, she said, but “you can grow mouse or rat hair sixteen ways till Sunday. They grow beautifully!” She laughed. “Humans, not so much.” She points out that there’s so much we still don’t understand. For one: Why does the hair on the back of men’s heads stick around, even when all the rest drops? She also counsels caution when playing God with hair loss. Some companies are seeking hair-restoration cures by attempting to modify developmental-cell pathways. Those pathways, Christiano says, “are potent, and so it’s tempting, but you have to make sure it’s well enough controlled that you don’t initiate a cancer signal.”
In either sex, hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, a hair's growing phase, and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. (See "Life cycle of a hair.") That means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called "follicular miniaturization." As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived "terminal" hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs called "vellus."