“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. 
Dry, brittle strands—whether from heat damage or age—can definitely cause your hair to thin out. With more than 5,000 verified customer reviews, the Pura D’or Gold Label Shampoo gets top marks for its restorative, regenerative, and strand-strengthening properties. Among the shampoo’s 17 active ingredients are red Korean seaweed, which is proven to treat alopecia, and scalp-stimulating black cumin seed oil.
It can be safe provided you use registered, regulated healthcare or pharmaceutical services. LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor offers both Propecia and finasteride for men suffering from male pattern baldness through a safe and discreet online prescription service, and you will be able to order minoxidil or Regaine through our online shop or in one of our pharmacy stores.

Hair is made up of the hair follicle (a pocket in the skin that anchors each hair) and the shaft (the visible fiber above the scalp). In the hair bulb, located at the base of the follicle, cells divide and grow to produce the hair shaft, which is made from a protein called keratin. Papilla that surround the bulb contain tiny blood vessels that nourish the hair follicles and deliver hormones to regulate the growth and structure of the hair.

Involutional alopecia. This one is less of a medical condition (it's not caused by a disease or genetics) and is more concerned with the hair growth cycle. Also called telogen effluvium, this condition is marked by a long dormant phase of telogen than growth or anagen. This type of hair loss is the second most common next to pattern baldness but is also the most unpredictable and difficult to pinpoint its cause. Studies have shown that the dormancy phase in the hair growth cycle is related to a range of factors, including hormonal imbalances, pregnancy in women, stress, diet, etc.
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.

Hair may be all about vanity but hair conditions, such as hair loss and balding may have emotional, mental and psychological repercussions: insecurity, the loss of self-confidence, humiliation or embarrassment, self-imposed isolation out of fear of what people might think of how we look with that missing part of ourselves. Hair issues are more than vanity.
“If you don’t want a scar because you like to wear your hair short, you might opt for a “scarless” hair transplant,” says Dr. Joyce. Also known as follicular unit extraction (FUE), grafts are harvested one at a time with tiny punches that heal virtually undetected so you can still buzz your head. “If you’ve gone so bald that you don’t have a lot of donor hair on your head, we can do FUE extractions with body hair such as on your chest, stomach, back, and sometimes even the pubic area,” says Dr. Joyce.

“Re the post 10/17/18 I really liked your response to the request made by one of your readers to email companies asking for information. So I decided to do what you suggested and sent emails to Organ Technologies, Rivertown and Follicum (no particular reason) basically thanking them for their work and wishing them success with their products. Interestingly I received a very nice response from Organ Technologies which really surprised me. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the sentiment is to be thankful and encouraging to what is being done appose to being negative that we have yet to get what we all want.”


Unfortunately nutritional supplements are hit and miss. While the risks of side effects go down which is attractive, clinical data is sparse. In most cases the individual has to conduct their own experimentation. At 6 months a pop for a fair trial, this is a time consuming process. Time is a very limited commodity especially in the hair loss game. As we know, it is easier to do preventative maintenance than reverse hair loss. Nevertheless, natural DHT inhibitors like saw palmetto and nettle have worked to prevent hair loss in some users.
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.
Following which, Federal officials went on a crackdown on the herbal industry, targeting manufacturers who falsely claimed their solutions could help you lose belly fat, build six packs or even regrow hair.  68 percent of product owners interviewed, admitted that they were not aware of the active ingredients in the brands they were buying — including the very ingredients responsible for the lawsuit.
“Everyone wants to try it,” Altman told me. “We get inundated with e-mails saying, ‘Tell me what the price is, I really don’t care, I’ll buy it.’ ” Weinstein looked at me. “You have your hair,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re interested in this,” Altman chimed in, with wildly unrealistic but much appreciated enthusiasm for my reporting. “ ’Cause eighty million people don’t! There’ll be eighty million people reading this article!”
The truth is, the amount of propylene glycol in hair loss treatments is not likely to cause any real harm and the FDA has given the chemical approval for many uses. But even though it is safe, we wanted to ensure that our top picks would be as comfortable to use as possible. So when Dr. Khadavi told us that “a third of my patients get irritated from minoxidil products because of propylene glycol,” we decided to cut any treatments with it. In any case, it’s the minoxidil that helps curb hair loss and not the propylene glycol.

A very kind and talented hair blogger from Japan, Fuji Maru Kagurazaka, recently contacted me and suggested that the blogs aimed at promoting hair growth treatments/cures for hair loss should unite their efforts and cooperate. While I acknowledge that the websites who are focused on this material are each unique and have their own (and sometimes differing) perspectives, I do believe that civility and solidarity are certainly desirable qualities for this sector.  Fuji wrote up this nice article about my website, check it out (make sure translate is on if you are not fluent in Japanese). And, I encourage you to read his other articles. Fuji has a sincere and highly detailed approach to hair growth blogging. His personality is highly welcomed and refreshing to the online hair community.
And though this treatment appears to be safe and somewhat effective, it’s hard to tell who will react well to this low-level light therapy, which is why the doctors I spoke with were hesitant to fully endorse it. “We’re not sure what the optimal power is, what the optimal wavelength is, we don’t even really know the mechanism of action of how this is working,” says Rieder. Plus, it doesn’t work on everyone. “There are subpopulations of patients who do respond to low-level laser light, but this is not easily predictable,” explains McMichael, though she adds that the risk of using the LaserComb is low.

Minoxidil (Rogaine, generic versions). This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that they were growing hair in places where they had lost it. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved over-the-counter 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women. Since then a 5% solution has also become available when a stronger solution is need for a woman's hair loss.


This particular research which was published in the Nature journal showed that a synthetic version of sandalwood, called Sandalore, binds to the OR2AT4 receptor in hair folliles and prolongs their anagen (growth) phase. The hair follicles studied were treated in a petri dish. Paus has subsequently announced that a completed clinical trial of 20 female volunteers using a topical version of Sandalore showed a reduction of daily hair loss. There is also another larger clinical trial ongoing now which hopes to confirm the effect and announce results in early 2019. Paus has gone as far to say “there is even a chance that this might be able to bring the hair back.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
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.

Hair transplant surgery – which works by painstakingly moving grafts of hair (typically two to four follicles at a time) from the back of the head to the temples and crown, the first parts to drop – is becoming mainstream. Wayne Rooney was frank about his 48-hour, £30,000 follicular unit extraction at Harley Street Hair Clinic in 2011, and is widely credited with changing attitudes towards the procedure. Actor James Nesbitt had one as he feared he’d lose out on roles as a bald man. “It was something I struggled with,” he said, “and that was probably the vanity in me.”
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.
RepliCel is a form of cell therapy that has a lot of folks excited. This is also known as RCH-01 and RepliCel is collaborating with global cosmetic company Shiseido. RepliCel will be an injectable like Histogen or Botox for example. It is basically hair transplants on steroids, but they are migrating cells instead of hairs. Their goal is to take a seed biopsy then multiply it in the lab for about 3 months. After replication, they inject it back into the scalp where it is needed. RepliCel has completed a phase 1 clinical trial and will enroll 160 male participants with mild to moderate hair loss for their Phase 2 trial. In other news RepliCel announced a research collaboration with University of British Columbia. They goal is to create a map with protein and gene expression of hair follicle cells to help RepliCel further improve their cell therapies i.e. hair loss prevention products.

During this procedure, surgeons remove a narrow strip of scalp and divide it into hundreds of tiny grafts, each containing just a few hairs. Each graft is planted in a slit in the scalp created by a blade or needle in the area of missing hair. Hair grows naturally this way, in small clusters of one to four follicles, called follicular units. As a result, the graft looks better than the larger "plugs" associated with hair transplants of yesteryear.
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.
1. Hair color. Anytime you dye your hair, you’re increasing the diameter of each strand, which can help add volume when your hair is sparse and fine. As a general rule, ask your colorist to make sure highlights are finer at the top of the head, where hair is the thinnest, and more intense at the bottom, where it’s thickest, says Eva Scrivo, a hairstylist and the owner of the Eva Scrivo Salon in New York City. And beware: A color that contrasts with your scalp (blonde tones if your scalp is dark, deep brunettes if your scalp is light) will make any visible scalp more obvious.

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.

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.


Dupilumab is FDA approved for treating eczema aka atopic dermatitis and sold under the brand name Dupixent.  As the story goes, a patient with alopecia totalis (a form of areata which leaves a person’s head completely bald) was being treated for eczema by the drug Dupixent. After 6 weeks the patient first began to notice progress in terms of hair growth and at 7 months she had noticeable pigmented hair growth on her scalp. Notably, the patient stopped taking the dupilumab for a period of time and noticed her growth subsided; when she began taking the drug again the hair improved once more. This provides another useful therapy option for patients seeking treatment for AA. One would imagine a topical version would be worthwhile to investigate.
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