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What Is A Scalp Biopsy And Why Would You Need One?

You can’t effectively fix a problem unless you know what it is. That is why understanding the reasons behind hair loss is an essential first step in the hair restoration journey. By understanding the cause of a patient’s hair loss, our hair restoration physicians can develop and implement the most effective treatment strategy specifically tailored to their unique characteristics.

At the Miami Hair Institute, we use a comprehensive methodology that includes gathering a detailed medical history, performing an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging tools, and taking hair mass measurements. If appropriate and indicated, we may perform blood tests to identify any hormonal imbalances or deficiencies that might be contributing to a patient’s hair loss. And in some cases, we may recommend a scalp biopsy to get to the bottom of the issue.

What is a Scalp Biopsy?

When we perform a scalp biopsy, we extract one or two small specimens of scalp tissue and hair follicles for analysis. Each sample is about the size of a pencil eraser. To gather the specimens, we clean a discreet area of the scalp, trim the hair in that area, and administer a local anesthetic. Once we remove the samples, we close the small scar with stitches that we will take out a couple of weeks after the biopsy. The whole procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. After gathering the specimens, we submit them to a skin pathologist specializing in diagnosing hair loss problems.

Why Would We Perform A Scalp Biopsy?

When a follicle scarring process appears to be the cause of a patient’s hair loss, a scalp biopsy is often necessary to establish or confirm a diagnosis. We can use the results of a biopsy to make or confirm a diagnosis of alopecia. We can also obtain important information in cases of unexplained hair loss or when the potential for regrowth is in doubt.

Call the Miami Hair Institute Today For Your Personal Hair Loss Consultation

Not all patients require a scalp biopsy to determine the cause of hair loss and choose the best treatment options. But the first step in discovering why you are losing your hair and what you can do about it is to schedule a hair loss consultation. We invite you to schedule an evaluation at the Miami Hair Institute. Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are internationally acclaimed hair restoration surgeons with more than 40 years of combined experience. To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Alcohol Consumption and Hair Loss

Just as having one drink may not significantly put you at risk for drunk driving, having the occasional beer, wine, or cocktail will not increase the chances that you will lose your hair. But if you drink heavily and regularly, your alcohol consumption can lead to health issues, like nutritional deficiencies and hormonal problems, that directly impact the strength and resiliency of your hair in ways that can lead to hair loss.

Interference With Absorption of Nutrients

Like the rest of your body, your hair follicles need a steady supply of essential nutrients for strength and growth. If hair does not receive or cannot absorb sufficient vitamins and minerals, it will weaken, die, and fall out.

Excessive alcohol consumption can distract people from eating enough nutrients in their diet. Even if someone who drinks too much eats well, all of that booze interferes with the body’s ability to process and use that fuel to maintain its optimal functioning.

Specifically, heavy drinking can deny hair a sufficient supply of iron, zinc, copper, and protein, all of which are necessary for hair health.
An inadequate amount of iron is one of the more common causes of dietary-related hair loss. Low iron levels limit proper blood flow – something hair follicles need to receive and absorb growth-stimulating nutrients. Excessive drinking can lead to a decrease in the amount of iron-rich foods a person consumes.

Alcohol may also diminish zinc absorption, further increasing the possibility of hair loss. A 2013 study involving people suffering from alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, female pattern hair loss, and male pattern hair loss revealed that zinc deficiency might contribute to hair loss.

As you may remember from your high school biology class, protein and their amino acids are the “building blocks” of the body. That applies to hair, as well. A diet that includes a sufficient amount of protein from various sources can be the key to resilient and growing hair. Drinking alcohol may interfere with the absorption of protein or lead to lower protein consumption.

Drinking Can Lead To Thyroid Problems

When the thyroid produces too much or too little of the hormones that play a critical role in hair growth and retention, hair loss is often the result. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to just such disruption.

Both hypothyroidism (too few hormones) and hyperthyroidism (too many) can cause hair loss through its impact on the development of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A synthesized version of the hormone testosterone, DHT plays a role in the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, including physical appearance. Unlike testosterone, however, too much DHT disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair and can cause hair follicle shrinkage or elimination, resulting in shedding or thinning hair.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation

Of course, hair loss isn’t the only health problem associated with excessive drinking, and excessive drinking isn’t the only factor that can contribute to hair loss. No matter what the nature or cause of your hair loss issues, we can help. At the Miami Hair Institute, our skilled hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases through the most advanced hair transplant surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Make a Full Head of Hair Your 2021 New Year’s Resolution

This past year has been so unprecedented that none of us want to hear the word “unprecedented” ever again. And it is doubtful that anyone will one day look back fondly on 2020 or wish they could turn back time and return to this awful year. However, as the calendar mercifully changes and we welcome 2021, many folks suffering from hair loss may decide that the new year is the time to finally turn back the clock on their appearance by doing something about their thinning hair or receding hairline.   

At the Miami Hair Institute, we may not be able to turn back time, but we can turn your hair into a source of confidence and pride rather than something to worry about or be embarrassed by. Our world-renowned hair transplant surgeons are masters of the art and science of hair restoration. At our welcoming and comfortable facility, you’ll find experienced professionals who are committed to finding the optimal solution for your hair loss issues.

Plenty of Hair Restoration Options For 2021

We offer patients a range of treatment options tailored to their specific concerns and goals. These can include the most advanced hair transplantation procedures available, other revolutionary treatments such as stem cell therapy, and non-invasive treatment options such as medication and low-level laser therapy. All of our treatments and procedures are safe, proven, and effective, and thousands of men and women in South Florida and around the country offer living proof of our exceptional work.

We see ourselves as real partners with our patients as they begin and continue their hair restoration journey. We provide assistance and guidance for those struggling with the psychological impact of hair loss and help our patients make lifestyle changes – such as stress reduction and healthier diets rich in hair-strengthening nutrients – that can slow hair shedding and promote the retention and growth of healthy, resilient hair.

No Time Like The Present To Make Hair Loss A Thing Of The Past

You may have tried shampoos, medication, or other home efforts to slow down or reverse your hair loss with no success, or maybe you’ve done nothing at all.

There is no time like the beginning of the year to finally do things differently. By taking action, you’ll improve your self-esteem and overall sense of wellness, and you will feel a sense of pride in successfully addressing a problem that had likely been bothering you for a long time.

The first step is a phone call to our office to schedule a hair loss consultation at the Miami Hair Institute. At your initial evaluation, you’ll meet with a doctor, not merely a “consultant.” We will evaluate your hair loss using a comprehensive and proven methodology, obtain a detailed medical history, perform an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and if indicated, use blood tests to detect any underlying imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the hair loss problem. With this information, we can determine the cause of hair loss and the most effective treatment option.

As we bid a less-than-fond farewell to the dumpster fire that was 2020 and look ahead to a much better 2021, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you and explore how we can help. Schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation today by contacting us online or calling our office directly at 305-925-0222. Happy New Year!

Tips For Preventing Hair Loss During The Holidays

Even in the best of years, the holiday season can be a busy and stressful time. And 2020 has been far from the best of years. All the running around we usually do between Thanksgiving and New Year’s now comes with worries about COVID and the wrench thrown into our traditions as we may not be able to be with loved ones as we usually would. All of these stressors can have adverse effects on our health. This includes hair loss.

Increased hair shedding is one of the season’s unwanted gifts for many people. And it’s not just stress that’s to blame.  As autumn turns to winter, the cooler, dryer air that comes with the change in the seasons can also lead to hair loss.

Here are three big culprits behind hair loss during the holidays and tips for how you can keep it from becoming a problem as you deck the halls this winter:

Manage Your Holiday Stress

Holiday stress now seems as much a part of the holiday season as Santa and jingle bells. While we may not be going to parties and big family gatherings this season, we certainly aren’t lacking for stress, and haven’t been all year. All of that accumulated stress can be a huge contributor to hair loss. Stress-induced hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium (TE), usually appears a few months following a highly stressful period or event. 2020 certainly counts as a highly stressful period or event.

Finding effective ways to reduce stress is important throughout the year for a whole host of health reasons beyond hair loss. While it may take more of an effort to make time for stress relief during the busyness of the holidays, try to take regular breaks from the madness to take care of yourself. Keep your regular exercise regimen, set aside short periods for meditation, quiet time, or reading, and turn off your gadgets from time to time. All of these simple adjustments can help lower your holiday stress levels and combat TE.

Curb Your Holiday Eating and Drinking

What we eat and drink impacts our health and well-being in countless ways, including the strength of our hair follicles. During the holiday season, our diets change, not just in terms of overindulging but also in the kinds of foods we eat or beverages we drink (whether alcoholic or not).

When your body lacks the nutrients necessary to function properly, certain of those functions shut down. This can include hair growth and regeneration. As you fill yourself with turkey and ham or munch on those holiday cookies, try to ensure that your body is getting enough of these nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for hair growth and overall good health.

Fight Dryness

Even in South Florida, winter can bring drier air, both outside as well as indoors. To keep your hair clean and provide it with the moisture it needs, wash your hair with a gentle shampoo that exfoliates and cleanses your scalp. Follow that up with an ultra-light moisturizing conditioner which can nourish your follicles and soften the brittleness that often comes with dry hair.

Winter is A Great Time to Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation

Hair loss can be a problem no matter what the season. If you are ready to do something about your thinning hair, there is no time like now. At the Miami Hair Institute, our skilled hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases through the most advanced hair transplant surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Medications That Can Cause Hair Loss

If you’ve ever seen a television ad for a new drug or game-changing medication, you know that about half the ad’s time is taken up by someone reading a seemingly endless list of potential side effects. That’s the way it is for almost any medication – all the good they do also comes with some bad. For many vital and life-sustaining drugs and treatments, one of those side effects can be hair loss.

Drug-induced hair loss can be just as troubling as pattern baldness or any other type of hair loss. The good news, however, is that most hair loss caused by medication is temporary, with hair growing back after you stop taking the drug.

What’s Behind Drug-Induced Hair Loss?

Medications can cause hair loss by interfering with hair’s normal growth cycle. Hair grows during the anagen phase, which usually lasts between two to seven years. Hair then rests during the telogen phase, which is about three months long. At the end of each telogen phase, hair falls out and is quickly replaced by new hair.

Medications can disrupt one or both of these cycles. Telogen effluvium,  the most common form of medication-related hair loss, usually appears two to four months after starting a drug. Telogen effluvium causes hair follicles to go into their resting phase and fall out earlier than they should. People with telogen effluvium usually shed between 30 percent to 70 percent more hairs than the typical 100 and 150 hairs per day.

Drug-induced hair loss that occurs during the anagen phase of the hair cycle is called anagen effluvium. This condition prevents the matrix cells, which produce new hairs, from dividing as they usually would. This type of hair loss usually occurs within a few days to weeks after taking a medication and is a common phenomenon for patients taking chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.

What Medications Are Associated With Hair Loss?

In addition to chemotherapy medications, plenty of other common prescription drugs list hair loss as a potential side effect, including:

  • Acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids)
  • Antibiotics and antifungal medications
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid medications
  • Weight loss drugs
  • Birth control pills
  • Anticlotting drugs
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system
  • Drugs that treat breast cancer and other cancers
  • Epilepsy drugs (anticonvulsants)
  • High blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives), such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Parkinson’s disease drugs

As noted, medication-related hair loss is almost always reversible. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your prescription, and never discontinue a medication because of hair loss without first discussing it with your physician.

No Matter The Reason Behind Your Hair Loss, The Miami Hair Institute Can Help

At the Miami Hair Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering from hair loss regain their hair and self-confidence.

To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Another Reason to Stop Smoking: Hair Loss

You don’t need us to tell you how bad smoking is for your health. You already know that it causes lung cancer, heart disease, and a whole range of other serious ailments. But even if the risk of such chronic health problems isn’t enough to convince you to quit, perhaps the knowledge that smoking can contribute to hair loss will do the trick.

Research has established a significant connection between the harmful chemicals and other materials in cigarette smoke and hair loss in men and women. Here are some of the ways that smoking can kill your otherwise healthy head of hair.

Damaged Hair Follicles

Tobacco smoke contains a grabbag full of substances that are just awful for the human body, including nicotine, caffeine, acetone, aluminum, ammonia, arsenic, benzene, butane, cadmium, tellurium, carbon monoxide, goroside, and cyanide. Of these, nicotine is the biggest villain in terms of hair loss, as it damages hair follicles, making them weaker and more prone to falling out.

Reduced Blood Flow

Smoking limits the flow of blood in your body and reduces the amount of essential nutrients that make their way to your hair follicles. Without an adequate supply of those nutrients, your follicles will grow weak instead of just growing, and will ultimately fall out.  

Increased DHT Levels

DHT is an androgen that helps to give men male traits. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. As a result, the hair growth cycle is shortened, and eventually, new hair stops growing. As such, individuals with higher DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss. Since cigarettes increase the production of DHT, smoking can make hair loss and a receding hairline more likely.

Increased Oil Secretion

The nicotine in tobacco can accelerate the body’s secretion of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that promotes the production of adrenaline. In turn, the increase in adrenaline can cause more oil to be secreted on the scalp. Too much oil can block hair follicles’ ability to get the nutrients they need and make them more prone to falling out. 

Schedule Your Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

Of course, smoking is hardly the only factor that contributes to hair loss. At the Miami Hair Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration surgeons use the most advanced hair transplant techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments to help patients restore their hair and self-confidence.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

More Women Are Opening Up About Their Hair Loss Issues

Unfair and wrong as it is, society treats hair loss differently in women than it does in men. No one bats an eye when they see a bald man or one with thinning or receding hair walking down the street. But women who suffer from hair loss often experience a different level of embarrassment and even shame because of societal expectations about feminine appearance. Finally, however, women with hair loss issues are speaking out about what is a very common phenomenon, trying to remove the stigma and change perspectives about female hair loss.

Earlier in 2020, Rep. Ayanna Presley made headlines by speaking openly and proudly about her struggles with alopecia. More recently, a series of TikTok videos have gone viral in which a young woman from Oklahoma discusses her hair loss journey.

What Makes Hair Loss In Women Different

The emotional and psychological impact of hair loss in women and the way it is viewed by society at large are not the only things that distinguish male and female hair loss. Many hair loss cases in women share the same cause as most cases of hair loss in men: androgenetic alopecia. But the way women typically lose hair – in a diffuse pattern throughout the scalp rather than in distinct patches – is different than for men. And women also shed hair for reasons specific to their gender, including the hormonal fluctuations that accompany pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

Diffuse Hair Loss Patterns In Women

Androgenetic alopecia in men follows a familiar and predictable pattern. It begins with shedding in the front that causes gradual receding of the hairline. This progresses to more noticeable hair loss across the top of the head, and finally toward the crown. Hair remains relatively robust in the back and sides of the head of most men who have pattern baldness.

In women, androgenetic alopecia usually progresses differently. Instead of losing hair in isolated areas, women tend to experience hair loss throughout the scalp. This diffuse pattern of hair loss in women makes it a challenge to safely extract the donor hair necessary for a transplant. In women, potential donor hairs share space with thinning areas. That means these hairs also share the same problems that caused neighboring hairs to fall out. That also means the follicles won’t likely survive and thrive if transplanted to a recipient area.

Female Hair Transplant Candidates

While a relatively small percentage of women are good candidates for hair transplant surgery, the procedure can help restore hair in women with certain types of hair loss issues. Specifically, women with the following conditions should discuss the possibility of a hair transplant with their hair restoration surgeon:

  • Women who have suffered hair loss due to traction alopecia.
  • Women who have had previous cosmetic surgery and are concerned about hair loss around the incision sites.
  • Women who have pattern baldness that manifests itself similarly to how it does in men and have a donor area unaffected by androgenetic alopecia.
  • Women who experience hair loss due to trauma.
  • Women with alopecia marginalis, a condition that appears very similar to traction alopecia.

There Is No Shame In Hair Loss. But If You Want To Do Something About It, Call The Miami Hair Institute Today

We are glad to see that female hair loss issues are emerging from the shadows and that women are opening up about their struggles. While there is no shame in hair loss, many women want to find ways to address it.

For men and women alike, the first step towards addressing hair loss is arranging for a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring your hair — and regaining your confidence.

Schedule an appointment with the Miami Hair Institute today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.

Postpartum Hair Loss Is An Unwelcome, But Very Common, Phenomenon

Being a new mom isn’t easy. The dramatic changes in responsibilities and routines, chronic sleep deprivation, and other new challenges can be overwhelming. However, for many women, the weeks and months after giving birth also come with another unwanted and unexpected sight: hair loss. 

Recently, a former contestant on The Bachelor and Married At First Sight, Jamie Otis, shared her experiences and struggles with postpartum hair loss. Also called postpartum alopecia – the phenomenon affects up to 90 percent of new mothers who have some degree of hair loss three to five months after giving birth. For many women like Otis, the hair loss includes excessive shedding, even hair falling out in clumps, during that time. The good news for moms is that this hair loss is almost always temporary and hair growth returns to normal in plenty of time for the child’s first birthday party.

Hormonal Whiplash

Pregnancy causes wild fluctuations in hormones, as every mom knows. But these hormonal upheavals don’t end after delivery. The months that follow childbirth also see dramatic changes in hormone levels as the body works its way back to its normal state. This hormonal whiplash can take a toll on hair as well.  

Many women notice that their hair seems thicker and fuller during pregnancy than it did beforehand. This is because of elevated estrogen levels that increase the percentage of hairs in the growth cycle, while simultaneously freezing hair that is in the resting phase of hair growth. After pregnancy, estrogen levels fall dramatically, and all the hair that was growing so impressively starts to fall out. While we all shed hair regularly, at a rate of around 80 hairs per day, the extent of postpartum shedding can raise that number to closer to 400 hairs a day.

While you may not be able to stop postpartum shedding, changing up your hairstyle and keeping control of your stress levels can help you ride out this temporary condition.  Just as life slowly returns to a new normal as the months go by after having a baby, so too will your hair.

Call the Miami Hair Institute Today If You Have Postpartum Hair Loss Questions

While most postpartum hair loss is temporary, not all hair loss problems are. If you are concerned about or are experiencing hair loss and want to know what you can do about it, please contact the Miami Hair Institute. Our world-renowned physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Exparel: Post-Operative Pain Control For An Even Better Patient Experience

At the Miami Hair Institute, patient comfort throughout the entire hair transplant journey is a top priority. If you have been apprehensive about hair transplant surgery because of concerns about pain either during the procedure or in the hours and days that follow, anesthetic advancements have made the post-operative recovery period a largely pain-free experience.

Two Days Of Non-Opioid Pain Relief

Most of our patients experience minimal discomfort and only need pain medication during the first 24 hours after transplant surgery.

We have now added Exparel to many of our patients’ post-op pain management program. Exparel is a new long-lasting local anesthetic composed of liposomal bupivacaine, which acts in a timed-release manner to control donor area pain for up to 48 hours.

One of the advantages of Exparel is that it is not an opioid or narcotic. In addition to being potentially active or ripe for misuse, opioids can actually slow down your recovery by causing nausea, vomiting, and constipation or making you feel drowsy or confused. Unlike opioids, Exparel only addresses pain in the area where the surgery occurred rather than the whole body.

Because Exparel works over time, patients typically need fewer doses of other medications, including opioids. In fact, Exparel has been shown in clinical trials to help patients use fewer opioids as they start their recovery from surgery.

We have developed a technique that utilizes non-invasive ultrasound techniques to direct where the Exparel is administered. Most patients experience minimal post-operative pain for up to two days.

Call the Miami Hair Institute Today to Learn More About Hair Transplant Surgery

If concerns about pain have kept you from considering hair transplant surgery, we invite you to contact the Miami Hair Institute and arrange a personalized consultation with one of our world-renowned hair restoration physicians. We are confident that once you learn how pain-free the procedure is, you will want to move forward and resolve the hair loss issues that have bothered you for so long. 

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Can Silica Help Fight Hair Loss?

When it comes to fighting hair loss, keeping the hair you already have is easier than replacing it after it falls out. That means doing what you can to keep your follicles strong and resilient. Recent studies have suggested that silica may offer significant benefits to hair health and can play a role in slowing down or stopping hair loss.

You may understandably have no idea what silica is or how you could use it to fight hair loss; it’s not something most folks have incorporated into their health regimens. But that may change as more people learn about its potential upsides.

Helping Deliver More Essential Nutrients To Your Follicles

Silica is shorthand for a trace mineral called silicon dioxide (SiO2) composed of a combination of silicon and oxygen. This compound has been found to facilitate the delivery of essential nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. In turn, the more efficient provision of these nutrients makes hair less prone to breaking and shedding. One study of women with fine hair concluded that their strands gained significant strength after nine months of taking 10mg of silica each day.

Not only can silica play an important role in hair health, but it can also help improve skin tone and texture, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and repair and restore sun-damaged skin by promoting collagen production. Additionally, silica can make for stronger nails as well.

However, many people do not get enough silica as it gets flushed out by the kidneys rather than accumulating in the body. That is why silica supplements and extracts made from bamboo or the horsetail plant are widely available. Incorporating whole grains and leafy greens into your diet can up your silica intake as well.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

While silica may help you strengthen and keep your hair, it may not by itself be able to reverse hair loss or stop it completely in its tracks. At the Miami Hair Institute, our skilled physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases that can’t be reversed at home. We can help patients suffering from hair loss through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.

To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

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