December 2nd, 2014
I talk to many different men and women about hair loss, and they always seem to tell me the same thing: that they were afraid to come in for their hair transplant. Likely, this is because of a dearth of information out there, as well as an unflattering stigma against getting “work” done.
To counter this, I am offering a free hair transplant to a patient in need. The only requirement is that he or she lets me document the transplant experience on video. If interested in this opportunity, please upload a video (no longer than five minutes) of yourself telling me why you think you are the right candidate for the free hair transplant, and what this procedure would mean to you. Video submissions will be accepted via my Facebook page until January 16, 2015, and the winner will be announced on January 23, 2015 on our new website.
I’m excited to hear your stories!
June 24th, 2014
There is exciting news for patients who suffer from Alopecia Univeralis (UA). A Yale Doctor has prescribed a completely bald man suffering from alopecia universalis a drug called Xeiljanz, which is used to treat autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, in order to treat his hairlessness.
What is Alopecia Universalis?
Alopecia Universalis, a severe variation of Alopecia Areata (AA), is a skin condition that causes rapid hair loss not only on the scalp but in the entire body. It is a rare condition with an incidence of about one in every two hundred thousand people.
This report from Dr. Brett King explains how the 25-Year-Old Hairless patient was able to completely regrow the hair on his scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes in eight months after taking Xeilanz.
What is Xeiljanz?
Xeiljanz is an inhibitor of the enzyme janus kinase 3. That means the medication can interfere with the JAK-STAT signaling pathway, which transmits extracellular information into the cell nucleus, influencing DNA transcription. The final effect of this medication that makes it useful for inflammatory diseases and in this case alopecia universalis is its anti-inflammatory effect.
What does it mean people with common baldness?
Although Xeiljanz treatment seems very promising for patients with alopecia Areata and Universalis, it is not likely to impact the majority of people suffering from Androgenetic Alopeica (male patterned baldness). The experimental treatment of Alopecia Universalis with immunomodulators is not a new concept, and more information is needed from clinical trials to see if the Xeiljanz could be used as a hair
loss treatment for male patterned baldness.
June 3rd, 2014
A new article published in The British Journal of Dermatology focused on treating hair cells in a lab by exposing them to caffeine. The study, by Fischer et al., reviewed the effects of caffeine on hair follicular cells, and found an increased number of cells in the outer root sheath of hair, which are responsible for the elongation of hair shaft due to the enlargement of the hair matrix (body). The investigators were reviewing the effect of caffeine studied growth factors involving both male and female hair follicles.
They concluded that caffeine stimulates elongation of hair shafts by increasing the growth phase of hair cells and enhancing proliferation’s of hair matrix cells.
We still don’t know how this report can be applicable in the growth of human hair. It will be interesting to see if this mechanism can lead to the development of a new treatment option for baldness in the future.
April 28th, 2014
A story from the New York Post has caught fire across the hair transplant community. It seems that facial hair transplants have become the latest phenomenon to attract the attention of Brooklyn’s hipster population:
“The specific hipster-inspired style — a lumberjack-meets-roadie hybrid — was made popular in neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick and Park Slope.”
Local NY hair transplant physicians report treating several clients for this procedure every week, when there used to be only a few every year. Though trending with hipsters, this fashion statement has already had an appreciable impact on the general population including many we see here at USHR.
“Doctors said their clients include men who have struggled since adolescence to grow a beard, those undergoing a gender transition from female to male, men with facial scarring and Hasidic Jews who hope to achieve denser payot, or sidelocks.”
The process is very similar to FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction. The hair for beard transplants is typically taken from the patient’s head and then implanted through micro-incisions into the face. The procedure takes eight hours and requires anesthesia.
April 22nd, 2014
A recent study by Su et. al. that was published in JAMA Dermatology revealed an important connection between pattered hair loss, cardiovascular disease and the risk of death in patients with heart disease. This study reviewed 7,252 patients aged 30 to 95 for five years. The patients were monitored and followed for their incidence of mortality related to heart disease and diabetes. Among the study participants, patients with male or female patterned hair loss had a significantly higher risk of death form either having a heart disease or diabetes.
The authors concluded that Androgenetic Alopecia or male patterned baldness in men and women is an independent predictor of the death rate from heart disease and diabetes in both sexes. It could also conclude that men and women with moderate to severe pattered baldness should be screened more closely for the identifications of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.
The relationship between hair restoration and improvements of psychosocial negative impacts of hair loss were previously published. Could hair loss increase the risk of cardiovascular disease through its psychosocial manifestation? This question should be answered with future studies.
March 25th, 2014
Prostaglandin D2 has been in the news within the last few months for its potential reverse effects on male patterned hair loss. A new article which was published in the Experimental Dermatology Journal in February of 2014 reviews the opportunity to develop novel treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia by manipulating Prostaglandin D2 through the enzymes that synthesize it.
The review article discusses current studies surrounding Prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). It also previews the outlook of similar studies that might lead to a new line of treatment for male patterned hair loss.
Prostaglandins are amongst lipids in the skin, which have many activities that are still unknown to us. Among the newest applications of the lipids in the human body, is the role of prostaglandin D2 in baldness. It has been shown that PGD2 is elevated, in the scalp of men, with Androgenetic Alopecia and can potentially decrease hair growth. The manipulation of the enzyme that synthesizes PGD2 or prostaglandin D2 synthase can affect the levels of PGD2. Manipulation of PGD2 can change the growth rate of hair which, could then be used as an alternative treatment for male patterned baldness in the future.
March 11th, 2014
There have been some studies that show the positive effects of valproic acid on male patterned hair loss in the past. The new study from Jo SJ et. al. reveals that even topical administration of the medication can help hair restoration.
Valproic acid (VPA), inhibits glycogen synthase kinase 3β and the common wound healing/hair growth pathway known as, “Wnt/β-catenin pathway” is associated with hair growth cycle and induction of growth phase (anagen).
In this study the valproic acid was used for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). The investigators performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Subjects who were male patients with moderate AGA underwent treatment with either VPA (sodium valproate, 8.3%) or placebo spray for a period of 24 weeks.
The final findings of this study were that the topical VPA could increase the total number of hair counts for patients with androgenetic alopecia. The authors concluded that valproic acid can be a potential treatment option for men with male patterned baldness.
January 31st, 2014
What percent of men experience the side effect (decrease in sexual desire) when using Propecia? Whether you take 1 mg or 5 mg Propecia, does it have to be daily or it could be every other day?
Based on scientific studies, 1-2% of people who experience actual side effects from Propecia have a decreased sex drive. This side effect does seem to be dose dependent and it may increase by adding to the dose of the medication. In order to prevent hair loss, it is recommended to take no more than 1 mg of Propecia (Finasteride).
January 14th, 2014
Is there any Propecia shampoo or any other shampoos that could slow down hair loss (like Nioxin shampoo)?
Most shampoos that have DHT blockers are not effective, since the absorption of these molecules are very minimal from the skin surface. There has not yet been any study showing that Finasteride (Propecia) in the form of a shampoo can slow down hair loss in Androgenic Alopecia. Other shampoos like Nioxin, may have active ingredients which can be absorbed only if the shampoo has been left on the scalp long enough; however most people wash their hair very quickly not allowing the active ingredients to be absorbed, causing the shampoo to be ineffective.
January 9th, 2014
Is there any liquid Propecia (for local treatment) and if there is would it be locally as effective as systemically? For example, could a regular 5mg Propecia tablet get dissolved in a liquid and be used locally?
Topical DHT blockers like solutions of Finasteride (Propecia) or Saw Palmetto for hair loss treatment have been studied in the past. However, they have not yet been proven to be effective for hair loss treatment. A reason for this might be the size of the molecular solution which makes it impossible for the medication to be absorbed from the scalp skin. More studies are being done to find vehicles that can increase the absorption of Finasteride from the skin surface (ref). At this point we do not have a proven DHT solution that can effectively control male patterned baldness.