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Finally, if these tests come back normal, your dermatologist may suggest a scalp biopsy of a couple of two-millimeter sections taken from your scalp under local anesthesia ($400 and up). It can determine whether genetic hair loss, telogen effluvium (a condition in which hair falls out from stress or rapid weight gain), or a disease (such as lupus) is the cause of your shedding, and your dermatologist can treat you accordingly.
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.
That said, hair loss isn't as bad or as hopeless as it sounds. It shouldn't be cause for added personal stress or social stigma, nor should it be something that should make us feel more self-conscious and less confident as individuals. With the advances in technology, you don't have to be saddled anymore with the uncomfortable choice of wearing an ill-fitting, unnatural-looking hairpiece. There is now a wide array of options available to treat and cure hair loss, whether temporary or permanent.
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The more upsetting problem is central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, a type of baldness that starts at the crown of the head and spreads outward. "It's hugely, hugely difficult," said Susan Taylor, a dermatologist at Penn Medicine who specializes in treating women with CCCA. "It affects quality of life." She said it is seen "almost exclusively" in women of African descent. One study found it in 10 percent to 15 percent of black women, but Taylor thinks it's more common. "I could see women all day, every day, with this problem," she said.
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Her hope is that the procedure (she has helped start a company named Rapunzel to develop it) will eventually become another lunchtime cosmetic treatment. Once a patient has had her cells harvested and cultured, they could be stored indefinitely; then, after giving her doctor a month’s notice (the time it takes to grow the million needed), she could pop in for injections. Costs would likely be on par with hair transplants, roughly $10,000 and up.
"The majority of men lose their hair not through stress, or bad diet, or lack of sleep, but through the genetic trait of male pattern baldness which is hard to treat through shampoos or supplements alone. Women lose their hair for very different reasons, but the argument still stands that a lot of the hair loss products on the market are just offering false hope. That said, there are a few that really work."
“It all comes from the tissue taken from the back of the head. The hair follicle has a lot of Type 1 collagen in it,” he said. “We can isolate the hair-growing or collagen-producing cells and use them to start hair growth or regenerate degenerative tendons or tissues of skin. And it is a more natural way of doing it. There is nothing more natural than using your own cells to make your skin look healthy, to heal damaged tendons or to have a thicker head of hair.”
While diet alone won’t save your hair, there may be some truth to the old adage that you are what you eat. “You’re not going to have the healthiest hair if you’re living off doughnuts, because being nutrient-deficient weakens strands and makes them more prone to breakage,” says Denise Kernan, owner of DK Hair Techs, Inc., a member of the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery, and a hair transplant technician who has worked on everyone from senators to sports stars to actors to mafia guys (she won’t name names to protect the privacy of her clients).
I just received an email sharing a new Trinov website: TrinovAnticaduta.com. This one does appear to be an official website for Trinov. The page is in Italian and can be translated, it mainly features a sign up form to download the “Trinov ebook” for either the men or women’s version. I downloaded the men’s Trinov ebook, however it is a pdf in the Italian language and cannot be translated. There is also a short YouTube video for Trinov featured on the page. Fidia Pharma’s logo is at the bottom of the TrinovAnticaduta page and for good measure I looked up the domain on Whois and saw that the page is registered to Fidia. Things will just keep getting more interesting from here.
Approved by the FDA and available in over-the-counter form for both men and women, minoxidil has been found to work in two out of three men. However, and this is a huge problem, if you stop using it, then your hair will actually fall out again and potentially faster than before. Plus, you might not even notice any changes until you’ve been using this medication for at least four months!
Products like these come from huge pharma companies and are the direct beneficiaries of tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars worth of research and development, compliance, production and advertising. Since drugs have the capacity to significantly change your bodily functions and can cause threatening and undesirable side effects, there’s a need for the government to protect consumers via tough regulations.
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.
It wasn’t quite the “accident” it was portrayed to be. He worked out that the drug targeted a protein called SFRP1, which affects follicle growth. He looked into the literature and discovered there was a pre-existing osteoporosis drug, WAY-316606, designed to target this protein with much more precision. So he applied that to leftover slabs of scalp donated by hair transplant clinics. “We usually do experiments for over a week. We put the hair follicles in a dish and this drug enhanced hair shaft elongation within two days. But it also kept the hairs healthier. When you look at them, they’re larger, thicker hair follicles. So, it’s quite promising.”
In fact, the Japanese government has recently committed to establish a new approval process for regenerative medicine products focused on accelerating approval timelines. As it turns out, hair loss is a big concern in Asian countries. Buckler said some 21% of adult males and 6% of females in China suffer from hormone-driven hair loss. And the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery’s (ISHRS) biennial survey of hair restoration physicians found that the number of hair restoration patients in Asia increased 345% from 2004 to 2010.
2. Pyrithione zinc shampoo. Traditional volumizing shampoos will give the hair you have a lift so it looks fuller (we like the sulfate-free L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Shampoo, $8). But some research suggests shampoos with the antidandruff ingredient zinc pyrithione can mitigate hair loss that’s caused by conditions like dandruff, says Mirmirani. Try Head & Shoulders Deep Moisture Shampoo ($6), and use a conditioner without silicones — they can make hair appear limper, especially if it's applied near the roots (we like Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Conditioner, $9).
Coconut milk / coconut oil. Coconut milk/oil, like aloe vera, is one of the oldest and most common natural ingredients for promoting hair growth and growing healthy, shiny hair. Coconut is rich in protein, iron and other minerals that promote healthy hair and prevent breakage. Apply the coconut milk/oil on your bald spots or all over the scalp, and leave it on overnight. Rinse the next day with cool water. You can do this every time you wash your hair.
Dr. Hawkshaw and his team were lead to test WAY-316606 for hair growth after studying the effects of cyclosporine A (CsA) on hair growth. They found that CsA reduced the expression of SFRP1 in human hair follicles. After looking for other drug candidates that had a similar effect on SFRP1, WAY-316606 was identified. The team has already tested WAY-316606 on isolated human hair follicles which were donated from hair transplant surgeries, and plans to test the drug in human clinical trials in the future. A timeline for a human clinical trial has not been set yet, Follicle Thought will update this as news is presented.
A little something for you all to nibble on. I’ve recently discovered a stem cell therapeutic company who has an interest in putting out cosmetic hair growth products. The company, Stemedica, is working on treating a wide range of diseases through clinical stem cell therapies. I counted 6 clinical trials in progress on their pipeline page. Perhaps more interesting for this audience, the company is also developing skin and hair growth cosmetic products from their core stem cell technology. Stemedica has a specific subsidiary in place to roll out dermatology cosmetics called StemCutis. Their website mentions the use of stem cell-derived growth factors to to be used in the products. It’s not clear what stage of development the hair growth product is at, but it’s good to have it listed in Stemedica’s sights.
Contact immunotherapy. Another drug that can be administered for cases of alopecia areata is contact immunotherapy and is recommended for severe cases. Diphenylcyclopropenon (DPCP) is applied on the scalp every week, and the dosage of the drug is increased over time until a mild allergic reaction is observed, which signals that the drug is taking effect. Regrowth may be observed within three months from the beginning of treatment.
How about if you’d rather not get your head punctured? In Sweden, a company called Follicum is now doing Phase IIA clinical studies and planning to communicate results by the end of the year. The end product will be a cream or a lotion, one that could be applied as few as three times a week. In the first trial, Follicum claims, more than seventy-five per cent of patients experienced hair growth. This is the real dream, the one so artfully captured in the Hims ads: pop a pill, slap on some cream, and get Hair God locks.
Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
A healthy scalp might be your ticket to improving overall fullness and density. Nioxin’s cleanser rinses away excess sebum, fatty acids, and other disruptive scalp residue, while also coating strands with BioAMP, a signature blend of amino acids and conditioners that aim to thicken and repair damaged hairs. “This is the best thing I've tried for my hair,” one Ulta reviewer commented. “It's very thin (genetics) and used to fall out in (what I'd call) clumps. I'm not seeing anywhere near as much hair all over the furniture, floor, sink, clothes. It's fabulous.”
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.
Do not lose sleep over it. The more one obsesses over the loss of hair, the more depressed one can get. This can lead to unhealthy habits that can only worsen or aggravate hair loss, such as consuming too much sugar or sleeping less, which can contribute to increased stress and physiological trauma to the body. Proper management of the depression that comes with hair loss is important. Having a strong support group that one connects with and shares feelings and advice is a big help. It's also a big boost if one can learn how to make the most of their appearance to divert attention from their head by playing up other features of their body, such as wearing make-up or putting on a statement jewelry or a striking piece of clothing.
“There’s the ‘I don’t date bald men’ line – hard to argue with, but still an injury to one’s pride.” Then there are a surprising number of people who call out “baldie!” in the street, or equate a shaved head with homosexuality and/or neo-Nazism. “I’ve had baldist/homophobic abuse in the street a couple of times and I’ve even been asked on the Tube: ‘Are you BNP, mate?’ When I expressed bewilderment at this, I was told: ‘It’s the hair, innit.’”
“There are so many different groups going down different avenues to tackle this problem,” says Hawkshaw. “Some use stem cells, some use pharmacological drugs, as we did. There’s a lot of promise in these pre-clinical studies. But whether that extends to real life, we’re not sure yet.” While it is essentially a cosmetic issue, that doesn’t mean it’s trivial. “It causes severe psychological distress,” he says bluntly. “It makes a big difference to a person’s perspective of life.” While he’s pretty lustrous at 28, he does worry about losing his own hair. “It’s a human universal.”
I started combining two of them right away – because they both had different ingredients that I really wanted. I combine the Hair Surge for the caffeine, ketoconazole, and saw palmetto, along with the Regenepure DR for the Emu oil. I use a bit of both every day – and though I haven’t noticed a lot of hair coming back in – I HAVE noticed that a whole lot less is falling out. I used to see lots of hair in the tub or in my hand after drying. Hopefully some baby hairs will start so show themselves soon.
“We are extremely pleased with the continued development of the patent portfolio we exclusively licensed from Columbia. This new issuance continues to expand the breadth and depth of our JAK inhibitor intellectual property portfolio covering methods of use for certain JAK inhibitors for the treatment of hair loss disorders. The issuance of this patent is another step in the development of a robust patent portfolio relating to JAK inhibition and hair loss,”
And just like that, more fascinating hair-related research was published in PLOS Biology. A team of researchers lead by Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw of the University of Manchester have identified the drug ‘WAY-316606’ as a potential candidate for hair regrowth. WAY-316606 is an existing drug used to treat osteoporosis. It’s not clear at this time whether WAY-316606 is approved and on the market, or if it was partially developed to treat the bone disease.
The third and fourth stages are known as telogen and exogen, respectively. In telogen, the hair is supposed to be at "rest" until it finally detaches itself from the follicle and enters the exogen or shedding stage. Once the hair is detached from the follicle, the follicle remains inactive for about three months, after which a new cycle begins again.