Articles Tagged with: DHT
Hair Loss Pharmaceuticals in 2019

Hair Loss Pharmaceuticals in 2019

There are many roads you can travel to reach your hair restoration destination. Which path offers the best way to restoring your hair to its full, youthful look will depend on your specific condition as determined by an experienced hair loss physician. It may involve hair transplant surgery, low-level laser therapy, or cutting-edge treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem-cell hair growth.

But many patients who want to stop their hair loss and regrow the hair that has vanished can get outstanding results with prescription medication. Since Minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine®, was approved for the treatment of hair loss in the 1980s, pharmaceutical options for the treatment of pattern baldness in men and women have expanded, offering patients non-surgical avenues to address their hair loss issues.

Here are the most popular and commonly prescribed pharmaceutical hair loss treatments in 2019:

Minoxidil

The granddaddy of hair loss medications, Minoxidil works by converting vellus hairs –  short, fine body hairs –  to terminal hairs, which are fully developed “regular” hairs. This not only increases the size of hair follicles that have been affected by pattern baldness but also extends the growth phase of the growth cycle, resulting in thicker hair.

Minoxidil is typically applied topically to the scalp once or twice each day depending on the patient’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation. Application is easily done at home.

Individual users of Regular Strength Rogaine®  report success rates of 30-40% while users of Extra Strength Rogaine have observed success rates closer to 50-60%.

Minoxidil is not a cure for baldness. Rather, its real benefits are stopping or slowing down hair loss.

Finasteride (Propecia® and Proscar®)

Finasteride’s appeal is its effectiveness at maintaining existing hair for men with pattern baldness. 83% of men studied retained their original follicle count, and 64% experienced re-growth after two years.

Finasteride drugs like Propecia keep hair from shedding by inhibiting the body’s production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring derivative of testosterone. While DHT assists with sexual development in males during fetal development and puberty, research has also linked it to hair loss. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes new hair to stop growing. As such, individuals with elevated DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss.

Reducing DHT levels is what makes DHT blockers such as Propecia and Proscar so effective. Some studies have shown that Propecia can lower DHT levels by as much as 70%.

It is critical to note that because finasteride and DHT blockers like Propecia affect the hormone system, pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should not handle the medication as it may increase the risk of birth defects in male babies.

Dutasteride (Avodart®)

Like finasteride, dutasteride is a DHT-blocker. While the FDA ultimately approved finasteride in 1997 for the treatment of male pattern baldness, dutasteride has yet to receive such approval. But that may come soon.

The lack of FDA approval of dutasteride for hair loss treatment belies the fact that it works really well as a DHT blocker, meaning it may be equally effective at slowing the progression of pattern baldness. One study found that dutasteride blocked 98.4% +/- 1.2% of DHT at a 5mg daily dose, compared to 70.8 +/- 18.3% with the same amount of finasteride.

Dutasteride not only is effective at slowing hair loss, but it may also be better at promoting hair growth. A 2006 study of 416 men between 21 and 45 years-old found that over a 12-24-week period, dutasteride produced better hair count results than finasteride.

Spironolactone (Aldactone® or CaroSpir®)

Approved by the FDA to treat fluid retention caused by a range of conditions such as Iiver disease and kidney disease, spironolactone is also used to treat other ailments beyond its approved use, including the treatment of high blood pressure, heart failure, and hyperaldosteronism. In recent years, physicians have added female pattern hair loss to this list of “off-label” uses for spironolactone, usually after other medications or treatments haven’t worked for a patient.

Spironolactone is an “aldosterone receptor antagonist.” The “antagonist” part refers to the medication’s effectiveness at slowing down and reducing the body’s production of androgens. These male sex hormones, also found in women, are associated with hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia. Reducing androgen levels can stop the progression of hair loss and even can encourage hair regrowth.

Call the Miami Hair & Skin Institute to Learn More About Pharmaceutical Hair Loss Options

If you’re ready to do something about your thinning hair and want to learn whether medication offers a viable solution for restoring your hair, contact the Miami Hair & Skin Institute online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.

women's hair loss

How Does Men and Women’s Hair Loss Differ?

women's hair lossFor decades, stand-up comedians have made jokes about the differences between men and women. While losing hair is no laughing matter, and men and women’s hair loss share commonalities, there are a few important distinctions between the causes, manifestations, and treatment depending on sex.

Causes

We’ll start with what men and women’s hair loss has in common. The reasons behind pattern baldness in both sexes largely come down to something we all share: genetics. Over 95 percent of hair loss cases in men and women are caused by androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary hair loss condition that affects over 3 million Americans annually.

As the name implies, androgenic alopecia involves hormones called androgens. These hormones, which include testosterone, play an important part in male sexual development. They also play a central role in hair growth for both sexes. Testosterone produces a by-product known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Men and women who suffer from pattern baldness have a genetic sensitivity to DHT that results in shrinking hair follicles, which ultimately stop producing viable hair to replace the hair that we all lose on a regular basis.

Additional factors distinct to women can also lead to hair loss, such as hormonal and other changes caused by menopause.

Manifestations

Androgenetic alopecia may share a common origin in men and women, but the distinct ways in which androgenetic alopecia typically manifests itself – and how that impacts when hair loss is first noticed – is perhaps the biggest difference between the sexes when it comes to hair loss.

Men are more likely to notice and experience pattern baldness earlier than women. A quarter of American men see symptoms of male pattern baldness before the age of 21, approximately 66 percent of men experience some degree of loss by the age of 35, and 85 percent of men see significant thinning related to androgenetic alopecia by age 50. Most women, however, do not notice any signs of thinning or balding hair until the age of 50 or 60, long after the condition has already begun.  

This gap between when men and women typically notice they have a problem with hair loss is due to the different ways men and women typically lose hair as a result of androgenetic alopecia. In men, androgenetic alopecia follows a relatively predictable and familiar pattern that starts with shedding in the frontal hairline. This leads to more pronounced hair loss across the top of the head, and finally toward the crown. Since this hair loss in men occurs in distinct areas of the scalp, it is relatively easy to see it happening while it is happening

In women, however, androgenetic alopecia progresses differently. Instead of losing hair in isolated areas, women’s hair loss tends to occur throughout the scalp, resulting in thinning hair that can be more difficult to detect than a receding hairline or bald spot on the top of the head. Fortunately. there are warning signs of hair loss in women that facilitate faster action. Early detection is critical, as all medical therapies are most effective if initiated in the earlier stages of hair loss.

Treatment

A wide range of treatments can be used to address both men and women’s hair loss. The nature and degree of hair loss in the individual patient help determine the most effective treatment. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we have developed a comprehensive, holistic approach to evaluating and treating patients with hair loss, and leverage the very latest scientific advancements at our state-of-the art facility.

 

For men and women alike, the first step towards addressing hair loss is arranging for an evaluation as soon as possible. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring your hair — and regaining your confidence. Let us help you reclaim a healthy, vibrant, and full head of hair. Schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.

hair loss myths

4 Hair Loss Myths Everyone Should Ignore

hair loss mythsHair loss myths seem to circulate around social media, no matter how much concrete and credible information is readily available. Unfortunately, the popularity and sheer temptation of self-diagnosis is difficult to overcome. Once you notice those few extra strands on your pillow or in your shower drain, placing blame on genetics, stress, diet, haircare or an underlying illness can be your initial (and often accurate) reaction. While these are the most common hair loss causes, outlying and unrelated factors are frequently accused of initiating excessive thinning or shedding.

Here are four hair loss myths that you should never believe:

  1. Women Don’t Have Genetic Hair Loss

Not only is female pattern hair loss (FPHL) a result of genetics, it’s one of the most common causes of women’s hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women account for nearly 40 percent of all hair loss victims. Keep in mind, androgenic alopecia – the clinical terminology for hereditary hair loss – does not affect men the same way it does women. Male-pattern baldness is more targeted with noticeable balding around the hairline, temples or crown. FPHL is more diffuse, causing a general thinning across the scalp. One of the first signs of FPHL is a widening part, though individual cases vary.  

  1. Tanning Causes Hair Loss

Contrary to popular notion, UV radiation is not linked to hair loss. This myth is rooted in the misconception that sunshine damages hair follicles to the point where they shut down and fail to cycle through the hair growth stages as usual. While excessive sun exposure could lead to damage, breakage and skin cancer, you don’t have to worry about it affecting the volume of your hair.

  1. Balding is Linked to High Testosterone

At the pinnacle of all hair loss myths is the belief that balding men have more testosterone running through their systems. Although inaccurate, it’s easy to see where this fallacy lies. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that is scientifically linked to hair loss. Researchers say that the amount of testosterone isn’t the issue, but rather the level of DHT fastening to hair follicle receptors in the scalp. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes them to stop growing new hairs.

  1. Hair Loss is Inherited from Your Mother’s Side

If you tell a friend you’re worried about going bald, they’ll probably tell you to check your maternal grandfather’s locks first. However, your mother’s side of the family isn’t the only piece of your genetic makeup that puts you at a greater predisposition of developing androgenic alopecia. You’re just as likely to inherit hair loss from your father’s side, so consider all relatives before you stress about the future.

Only qualified hair loss specialists and dedicated physicians can formally diagnose a hair loss condition. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we invite those concerned about thinning or shedding to undergo a comprehensive hair loss evaluation at our South Florida clinic. To schedule an appointment, call 305-925-0222 today.

Does TRT Cause Hair Loss?

Does TRT Cause Hair Loss?Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a new option for aging men who suffer with low testosterone. With just a few treatments, many men report big gains across some of the most significant dimensions of lifestyle and fitness. More energy, increased libido, and better mood are just a few of the positive effects reported by men who undergo TRT under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. TRT is not without potential risks, however.

Not all men are healthy candidates for TRT. Of those who are candidates, some TRT patients may experience side effects. Hair loss is one example of such side effects, causing great distress among the men who are often shocked that “extra testosterone” may cause hair to fall.

TRT Causing Hair Loss?

So, will TRT cause hair loss? The answer may vary from person to person. The biggest variables to consider are testosterone, DHT, and personal predisposition to hair loss.

Testosterone

Low testosterone, or Low T, is one of the biggest reasons patients elect to go on TRT. To assess the impact TRT may have on your hair, it’s important to know what your testosterone levels are at the start. As TRT is more heavily relied upon, the risk for hair loss may increase in some individuals.

DHT

Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a unique and synthesized version of your body’s natural testosterone. It’s important to note that the conversion of testosterone to DHT happens naturally and at a unique level for every individual. Many studies cite DHT as a primary driver behind hair follicle miniaturization, which often leads to shedding and male pattern baldness.

Hair Loss

One of the biggest factors determining risk of hair loss is genetics. Looking at family history, do thin hairlines and balding crowns characterize any of your relatives? Cast aside the myth that male pattern baldness is determined by the mother’s side only. In fact, baldness throughout both the maternal and paternal lineage can increase the likelihood of experiencing hair loss in the future.

Putting it All Together: Does TRT Cause Hair Loss?

While the exact reason for hair loss may vary across each TRT patient, there seems to be a correlation between increased testosterone and the synthesis of DHT. The following hypothetical may help to illustrate how TRT may cause hair loss among some men:

  1. TRT increases available testosterone;
  2. Higher levels of testosterone may lead to a higher rate of DHT synthesis;
  3. As testosterone levels and DHT synthesis increase, DHT may begin to shut-down hair follicle activity.

Reverse TRT Hair Loss

Schedule a hair loss evaluation with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami if your hair appears to be getting thinner or finer while undergoing TRT. Our team is comprised of South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, nurses, microscopists, and technicians. We understand the challenges that hair loss presents to personal, social, and professional life, and we are here to help make a difference.

Learn more about hair loss evaluations online, or call our Institute directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Baldness in Men

Baldness in middle aged men is more common than you might think. For instance, it’s estimated that roughly 2/3rds of all adult men experience baldness at some point in their life. Take a moment to review the following statistics to learn more about how baldness occurs, and what men of all ages can do about it.

Things to Know About Male Pattern Baldness:

1. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss among men. Recent numbers estimate male pattern baldness to constitute roughly 90-95% of all cases.

2. More than 3 out of every 4 men has thinning hair by age 50.

3. Of those men who suffer with male pattern baldness, about 25% will see signs by age 25.

The last statistic is very important. Though it’s alarming to think that 25 year-old men suffer with hair loss, it’s also important to remember that early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.

Classifying Baldness in Men

If you spend time evaluating your hairline and crown for potential areas of baldness, you can rest assured you are not alone. Most men worry about losing their hair. Moreover, the statistics above illustrate a sobering point: Most men do lose their hair.

It’s not all bad news, however. Physicians say the best way to prevent baldness in men is to learn to recognize the signs of a receding hairline, thinning hair, and balding crown. The sooner the signs are recognized, the more quickly and effectively baldness can be treated with either surgical or non-surgical hair restoration.

To help classify and ultimately treat male pattern baldness, physicians rely on a chart known as the Norwood Classification. The Norwood Classification illustrates the usual progression of baldness in men. Using the scale, physicians can diagnose baldness and help men of all ages plan to treat it before it worsens. Take a moment to review the chart below. For more information, visit our blog article on the Norwood Classification.

Norwood-Classification-for-baldness-in-men

Causes of Male Pattern Baldness

What causes baldness in men? Worldwide, there are countless institutions, researchers, and physicians dedicated to discovering more about this illusive and devastating condition. Below are a few things that researchers have been able to associate with thinning and balding. Though there is still much to learn, the following should provide insight on how baldness develops and progresses.

Genetics. Some men can be genetically predisposed to losing hair at a specific point in life. For example, researchers have identified a specific gene for hair loss on the X chromosome. If a man inherits a dominant form of that chromosome from his mother, the trait will be expressed.

Hormones. Baldness does not have to be hardwired into your genetic makeup, however. Hormonal fluctuations may also cause baldness in men. Specifically, an overabundance of a testosterone derivative called DHT may cause the phenomenon of hair follicle miniaturization. Over time, follicles shrink and become unable to sustain a healthy hair growth cycle. Hair eventually stops growing, the follicle becomes dormant, and to the naked eye, the scalp appears to be bald.

Stress. Another form of baldness might occur after a particularly stressful event shocks the hair follicles into dormancy. This condition is known as telogen effluvium. Baldness has been known to set in after things like surgery, car accidents, and other traumatic events. As the stress is managed, however, hair follicles can regain their ability to grow normal and healthy hair. At that point, the signs of baldness slowly fade away.

Medications. Sometimes, medications may cause baldness in men. Important Note: Never discontinue the use of medications without first speaking with your physician. If you suspect medication might be causing baldness, schedule a consultation with a hair loss specialist or your primary care physician. A hair loss specialist can help diagnose the cause of baldness, and your primary care physician can assist in finding alternative medications for which baldness is not have known side effect.

Treating Male Baldness

Fortunately, men have several options for treating baldness. The major options are detailed below:

Rogaine®. This non-surgical treatment for male hair loss is known to stop the progression of baldness. Rogaine is a topical foam that is applied to the scalp as directed by your hair loss professional. Though it has demonstrated effectiveness as a treatment for baldness in men, it should be noted that discontinuation of Rogaine often results in further hair loss.

Propecia®. Many men find Propecia effective in treating baldness. The prescription medication is a pill that men take daily, as prescribed by a hair loss professional. Like Rogaine, this hair loss drug only prevents future hair loss. In most cases, baldness progresses following discontinued use.

Low Level Laser Therapy. LLLT is a new technology with a wide variety of medical applications. This year, LLLT LaserComb™ was proven effective in stimulating new hair growth in both women and men who suffer with baldness.

Strip-donor Hair Transplant. Strip-donor transplant involves harvesting a micrograft of donor hair from a healthy area of scalp to transplant to the balding area. Learn more about strip-donor hair transplant.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUT is a highly refined hair transplant procedure that uses a small punch-like instrument to isolate and harvest individual clusters of hair follicles to transplant to areas of bald scalp. Because the procedure harvests donor hair via punch instrument instead of micrograft, patients can wear their hair shorter with virtually no visible sign that a procedure has been performed. Learn more about FUT hair transplant.

Robotic FUE Transplant. Robotic FUE is the newest and most advanced hair transplant option available to balding men. The procedure is similar to the FUT procedure described above, but uses advanced robotics and digital imaging to select only the healthiest donor hairs for harvest. Learn more about robotic FUE transplant with the ARTAS® in Miami.

Learn More About Male Pattern Baldness

Learn more about male pattern baldness using the resources below:

American Hair Loss Association

International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery

Children’s Alopecia Project

The Bald Truth

Learn More About Treating Male Pattern Baldness

To learn more about treatment options for male pattern baldness, contact our institute online or call or clinic directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Creatine Linked with Hair Loss

Creatine-Linked-with-Hair-LossMen and women who take creatine monohydrate might soon see signs of hair loss. According to a study published by the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, creatine use has been linked with hair loss among individuals taking the popular exercise supplement. The primary mechanism of hair loss is increased production of DHT among creatine users, a well-documented precursor to pattern baldness.

What is Creatine?

Contrary to popular belief, creatine is naturally produced by the human body. It is formed primarily by the kidney and liver, though not in the doses available via popular weight training supplements. In the body, creatine is a non-essential nutrient produced by L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine that helps muscles form ATP to produce energy.

Because it serves a vital role in the production of energy, creatine has become a popular weight lifting supplement that men and women use to enhance strength and endurance while exercising. A large body of research has positively correlated creatine supplementation and strength gain since the late 1970s, making the supplement wildly popular among male and female athletes looking for a relatively “safe” edge in the gym.

But does creatine cause hair loss? According to new studies, there is reason to think it might.

Creatine and Hair Loss

The link between creatine and hair loss is still being studied. In one of the most talked-about studies, creatine supplementation was correlated with a 56% increase in DHT production (i). The conversion of testosterone to DHT has been strongly correlated with hair miniaturization, a phenomenon that causes hair follicles to slowly become incapable of supporting natural hair growth. Hair miniaturization is thought to be one of the main causes of pattern baldness in both men and women.

The Rugby Institute of South Africa served as the backdrop for this creatine and hair loss study. Additional information on this study:

Study: Double-blind, placebo-controlled.

Subjects: Rugby players volunteered for the study. All participants were of college age.

Dosage: Creatine dosage consisted of a loading phase and maintenance phase, which is commonly recommended by manufacturers of recreational creatine supplements. Loading phase lasted 7 days and consisted of 25 grams/day along with 25 grams of sugar (glucose). Maintenance phase consisted of 14 consecutive days immediately following loading phase, with participants receiving 5 grams/day with 25 grams sugar (glucose).

Placebo: Control group given just sugar.

Results: Testosterone levels remained constant throughout both loading and maintenance phases. Among participants given creatine, DHT levels increased about 57% after loading phase. During maintenance phase, participants taking creatine exhibited DHT levels about 40% above baseline.

Followup Reading: Visit the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine in the sources section below to read the original study.

Hair Loss Consultation in Miami

Don’t let hair loss cause social, professional, or personal anxiety. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold your pursuit of a new and full head of hair in the highest regard. We proudly offer South Florida residents with the most advanced and comprehensive hair loss treatments available.

To learn more about hair loss evaluations and treatments, contact our Institute online or call directly 305-925-0222.

Sources:

(i) Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Issue: Volume 19(5), September 2009, pg. 399-404.

Hair Loss During Menopause: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

hair loss and menopauseHair loss is a lesser-known side effect of menopause. Most commonly, women and physicians associate menopause with other side effects like hot flashes, emotional swings, and significant menstrual cycle changes. Unfortunately, hair loss during menopause is a common occurrence that presents a very real threat to mental and emotional health.

Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness, occurs differently in women than it does in men. Simply compare the Ludwig Classification (for female hair loss) with the Norwood Classification (for males), and the difference is quite clear. For men, pattern baldness typically begins with a receding hairline and progresses toward loss of hair at the crown of the head. For women, however, hair loss can be much more difficult to detect.

When a woman begins to lose hair, it usually happens in a more spread-out and diffuse manner along the top portion of the head. For this reason, many women do not recognize the [signs of female hair] loss until long after it has already begun.

With this in mind, here are 4 things to know and understand about hair loss during menopause.

Menopausal Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hair Loss During Menopause is Hormonal

Hormonal fluctuations are known to cause hair loss in both men and women. For men, increased DHT production is usually the culprit responsible for the development of pattern baldness after age 40. Pregnant women sometimes experience the opposite, as pregnancy causes a surge in healthy hormones that can cause hair to become thick, rich, and vibrant.

During menopause, the body’s production of estrogen and other female hormones begins to decline. This causes a relative rise in androgens, or male hormones, which ultimate puts women at risk for developing hormonally induced hair loss.

Stress During Menopause Might Also Cause Thin Hair

Of course, hormones are not the only factor to consider. Certain elements of lifestyle might also contribute to hair loss during menopause. Most common is stress, which can lead to a specific type of hair loss referred to as telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium appears to occur when stress “shocks” the hair follicles into a dormant state in which hair no longer grows, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Taking proactive steps to reduce daily stress can help. Yoga, meditation, journaling, and quiet time alone are all activities that numerous studies associate with low levels of stress.

Psychological Effects of Hair Loss

Hair loss can cause serious mental and emotional health issues for both men and women. It’s vital to understand that such side effects are normal; the hair, face, and teeth are among the first characteristics one individual will notice about another. Together, they help to establish a first impression and, in some cases, a certain level of attraction. Not surprisingly, men and women can feel anxious, embarrassed, and depressed when the health and aesthetics of the face and hair are compromised.

There are two very important things to remember, however. First, stress has a way of exacerbating hair loss (see above). For this reason, women who notice symptoms of thinning, shedding, or balding during menopause are smart to remain calm and consult a physician. Second, women must remember that hair loss during menopause is treatable.

Menopausal Hair Loss is Treatable

There are a variety of treatment protocols available for women who notice thinning, shedding, or balding during menopause. When it comes to non-surgical hair restoration methods, Minoxidil (available by brand name Rogaine®) has been shown successful in halting hair loss for women. Minoxidil is a topical foam that must be applied to the scalp daily, however, which becomes tedious for some women.

Low level laser therapy for hair is a second non-surgical restoration method that has demonstrated an ability to reduce hair loss and, in some cases, stimulate new hair growth. LLLT exposes the scalp to safe, FDA-approved lasers that are designed to stimulate blood flow and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. Women are particularly found of these “laser therapies for hair loss” because they are quick, convenient, safe, and effective.

Finally, women may elect to have a surgical hair restoration procedure to permanently reverse signs of hair loss. Surgical hair restoration is most commonly performed as a hair transplant, a procedure during which the patient’s own hair follicles are extracted from areas of healthy scalp and relocated to areas of thinning or balding. Surgeons transplant each follicular cluster (sometimes as small as 1-3 units) by hand, effectively camouflaging bald scalp with real hair that looks, feels, and grows naturally.

Early Detection, Successful Treatment

Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring hair to its naturally full, resilient, and beautiful state. To move forward with a hair loss evaluation, schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Our team represents South Florida’s finest surgeons, registered nurses, and technicians, each of whom hold your pursuit of a fuller head of hair in the highest regard.

Readers may also call our Institute at 305.925.0222 to speak directly with a member of our team.

Hereditary Hair Loss, Demystified

Hereditary Hair Loss, DemystifiedAsapSCIENCE is making a big splash on YouTube. With over 500,000 subscribers, the science-based YouTube channel promises to deliver a weekly dose of science and fun through a series of animated videos that attack and demystify some of life’s most thought provoking questions. From describing the science of aging to learning why the chicken really crossed the road, the producers at AsapSCIENCE seem committed to helping Internet users better understand life, one 2 minute video at a time.

Earlier this month, AsapSCIENCE produced an excellent video on the science behind the most common instance of hereditary hair loss. We’re excited to share this video with our readers and encourage everyone to take a look:

An Important Note: As mentioned at the conclusion of the video, the presence (or absence) of a hair loss gene on the X chromosome is just one of the contributors to hair loss. And while it is the most common, it is important to remember that researchers are continually finding new hair loss genes. The hair loss gene APCDD1, for example, was just recently identified by collaborative research conducted at Columbia, Rockefeller, and Stanford Universities.

Hair Loss: A Polygenic Trait

The myth that “hair loss is inherited from the mother’s side” is derived from hair loss research of the early 1900s. Though well intentioned and progressive at the time, researchers were limited in their ability to analyze all possible contributing factors exhibited by their subjects. In the past, researchers have taken a single gene approach to hair loss research, choosing only 1 gene to track, analyze, and compare across different groups of subjects (i). This eventually led to the belief that hair loss was caused by a single gene on the X chromosome (as described in the video above).

While it’s true that certain genes on the X chromosome may cause hereditary hair loss, we now know that there’s a much bigger picture to consider. Modern medical research has identified hair loss is a very complex condition that is actually polygenic, meaning that a number of genes can play a causal role in its development and progression. Moreover, such genes can be inherited from either parent.

Genes and Appearance: What Determines Expression?

To complicate matters further, genetics are not the only thing to impact the way in which hair loss becomes visible, or expressed. A number of other factors may contribute as well, including:

Age. As a man or women continues to age, the likelihood that a hair loss gene may begin to express itself may increase.

Hormones. The relative balance of certain hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and DHT may have a profound impact on the health of hair follicles. DHT, in particular, is known to cause hair miniaturization by impairing healthy follicular function. For women, birth control pills may cause hair loss by similarly disrupting the relative balance of estrogen to testosterone.

Stress. According to the American Hair Loss Association, there is an apparent link between stress and hair loss (ii). Stress seems to affect hair follicle biochemistry, which may cause the hair to enter into a “resting” phase prematurely. This can lead to Telogen Effluvium, specific type of stress-induced hair loss.

Seek a Professional Hair Loss Evaluation, Today

When it comes to reversing the signs of hair loss, early detection is ctritical. Patients trust the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami because we are home to South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons and clinical team. We are proud to offer the most comprehensive approach for evaluating and treating hair loss—an approach that has produced countless success stories.

Hair Loss Evaluation & Treatment. Readers are invited to learn more by visiting our hair loss evaluation page online. For direct assistance, readers are invited to contact our clinic directly at (305) 925-0222.

Sources:

(i) “Hair Loss Genes.” Bernstein Medical. Accessed 25 March 2013.

(ii) “Effluviums.” American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 March 2013.

PCOS and Hair Loss

PCOS and Hair LossPolycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal condition that physicians attribute to both genetic and environmental factors. It is fairly common, affecting an estimated 10% of women worldwide (i). Primarily, PCOS is known to cause hormonal variations that may make it difficult to get pregnant. However, PCOS may cause additional side effects including weight gain, acne, and hair loss. Over time, studies indicate women with untreated PCOS may be at high risk for developing other serious health conditions like type II diabetes and heart disease.

Diagnosing PCOS

PCOS is perhaps the most common of all endocrine (hormonal) disorders experienced by females of reproductive age, and it is believed to be the leading cause of infertility among women. An estimated 50% of women with PCOS do not know they have the condition. In light of this alarming statistic, it is important to spread awareness for the symptoms of PCOS so proactive measures can be taken to reduce its impact on overall physical and emotional health.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Acne
  • Uncontrollable fluctuations in weight (gain or loss)
  • Increased growth of facial and/or body hair
  • Irregular menstruation cycles
  • Infertility / difficulty conceiving
  • Emotional distress, including depression
  • Thinning, shedding, or balding of the scalp

PCOS and Hormonally Induced Female Hair Loss

The defining physical characteristic of PCOS is ovarian cysts, tiny growths that appear throughout the ovaries. While the cysts themselves are not harmful, they do impair the production of an essential ovarian enzyme that may significantly reduce estrogen production. Relative androgen levels rise as a consequence, leading to an increased abundance of hormones like testosterone.

Sudden influxes in testosterone may lead to androgenetic alopecia, a specific type of hair loss caused by hormonal changes in the scalp. Increases in testosterone may fuel the production of DHT, a chemical known to adversely affect the hair follicle’s ability to sustain normal hair growth. Most commonly, DHT causes hair miniaturization; a phenomenon in which hair becomes thinner and finer over time. Eventually, miniaturization turns in to all-out hair loss as DHT shuts down the follicle completely.

In a guest blog on the Women’s Hair Loss Project, holistic nutritionist and certified health coach Ms. Amy Medling offers the following tips for overcoming PCOS naturally (ii):

1. Sizzle in the kitchen. According to Ms. Medling, one of the best ways to get back-on-track is to pay close attention to diet. By cooking your own food, you can be sure to use high quality sources that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote healthy hair.

2. Have discriminating tastes. “Only clean foods allowed in your temple,” Ms. Medling explains. Again, emphasis is placed on seizing control of the quality and nutritional content of each meal.

3. Move it. Not only does physical exercise promote healthy hormonal balance, but it also makes you feel well. Daily exercise and sun exposure can do wonders for reducing stress, which may also decrease the incidence of Telogen Effluvium (stress induced hair loss).

Treatment Options: Restoring Hair Loss Caused by PCOS

Today, a number of procedures are available to women who experience hair loss from PCOS. In addition to improving diet and exercise regimens, women may explore the following options under the guidance of a qualified hair transplant surgeon and clinic:

1. Hair Loss Evaluation. An expert evaluation is essential in diagnosing the root cause of hair loss as well as identifying the most effective course of treatment.

2. Prescription Hair Loss Medications. For women, prescription hair loss treatments like Rogaine® (Minoxidil) may be effective in slowing hormone-induced hair loss.

3. Surgical Hair Restoration. Today, highly refined methods of surgical hair restoration are available to reverse the signs of baldness in a beautiful and all-natural way. Follicular unit extraction procedures are among the most effective, transplanting patients’ real hair to thin or bald areas to produce an authentic end-result with minimal discomfort.

4. ARTAS® System Hair Transplant. Our Institute is proud to be 1 of just 17 clinics in the United States to offer the revolutionary new ARTAS® System by Restoration™ Robotics. A physician-guided robot system, the ARTAS empowers our surgeons to conduct FUE transplants with unparalleled accuracy, consistency, and precision.

Exclusive Interview: Watch as Dr. Rose presents the ARTAS System to CBS Miami.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold our patients’ desire for a full and natural head of hair in the highest regard. Our team works diligently to ensure each patient feels comfortable and confident during each visit, from evaluation to procedure and post-procedure follow-up.

We invite you to learn more about hair loss evaluations at our Institute, or contact our friendly front desk at 305.925.0222.

Sources:

(i) “Amy Medling, the PCOS Diva.” Women’s Hair Loss Project. Accessed 3 March 2013.

(ii) See above.

Birth Control Pills and Hair Loss

Birth Control Pills and Hair LossDoes ‘the pill’ cause hair loss? The topic of birth control and hair loss is as old as the medication itself, dating back to the 1960s when oral contraceptives were first introduced to American women. Unfortunately, women are often surprised to learn that common side effects of birth control may include hair loss. Those who consider taking birth control must also realize that contraceptives may cause a variety of additional side effects, and they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Learn More. To learn more about birth control and specific side effects, please consult your physician. Always seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional before making any changes to diet, exercise, or prescription medication regimens. The following article is meant to provide a basic overview on oral contraceptives, hormones, and hair loss. It is not a substitute for the expert opinion of a licensed professional.

Which Birth Control Pills Are Most Likely to Cause Hair Loss?

To understand which birth control pills are most likely to cause hair loss, it is first helpful to learn the make-up and basic function of each option. Birth control prevents pregnancy by using different combinations of hormones to suppress ovulation and/or prevent conception. Generally, an oral contraceptive can be characterized by the number of hormones it contains. Combination birth control, for example, contains both estrogen and progestin. The Minipill, by contrast, contains only progestin.

Combination Birth Control vs. Minipill: Which Is Best?

In general, hair loss caused by ‘the pill’ is most often a side effect of hormonal fluctuations. In most cases, birth control causes a relative increase in androgen levels. This may cause a corresponding increase in DHT production, which researchers believe shrinks the hair follicle and causes hair miniaturization. Once this happens, the hair becomes thinner and finer over time. Eventually, it may cease to grow altogether.

Since combination birth control pills contain both progestin and estrogen, they may help to keep androgen levels in check. For this reason, physicians may recommend combination birth control medications to women whose genetics or family history makes them predisposed to hormonally induced hair loss. The minipill, on the other hand, contains no estrogen and may cause a greater relative rise in androgen. With greater fluctuation comes increased sensitivity to hormones (like androgen), which may ultimately contribute to hair loss both during and after birth control use.      

The Androgen Index: Identifying Which Pills Are Least Likely to Cause Hair Loss

The Androgen Index is a way of describing the impact a birth control medication may have on relative androgen levels. By choosing a medication with a low Androgen Index, you may limit your chance of experiencing hair loss (i).

According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following list orders birth control from lowest Androgen Index (1) to highest (20):

  1. Desogen
  2. Ortho-Cept
  3. Ortho-Cyclen
  4. Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  5. Micronor
  6. Nor-Q D
  7. Ovcon-35
  8. Brevicon/Modicon
  9. Ortho Norvum 7/7/7
  10. Ortho Novum 10-11
  11. Tri-Norinyl
  12. Norinyl and Ortho 1/35
  13. Demulen 1/35
  14. Triphasil/Tri-Levien
  15. Nordette
  16. Lo/Ovral
  17. Ovrette
  18. Ovral
  19. Loestrin1/20
  20. Loestrin 1.5/30

High Risk Contraceptives. According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following contraceptives have significant potential for “causing or exacerbating hair loss” (ii):

  1. Progestin Implants, like Norplant.
  2. Hormone Injections, like Depo-Provera.
  3. Skin Patch, like Ortho Evra.
  4. Vaginal Ring, like NuvaRing.

Hair Loss Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment

If you are suffering with hair loss, you are not alone. Nearly 2/3rds of all males experience symptoms of balding, and an estimated 20 million American women experience symptoms of thinning by adulthood.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold our patients’ desire for a full and natural head of hair in the highest regard. We are home of South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons, microscopists, nurses, and staff. Our team works diligently to ensure each patient feels comfortable and confident during each visit, from evaluation to procedure and post-procedure follow-up.

Early diagnosis is key to full, effective, and natural hair restoration. We invite you to learn more about hair loss evaluations at our Institute, or contact our friendly front desk at 305.925.0222.

Sources:

(i) Birth Control and Hair Loss. American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 February 2013.

(ii) Oral Contraceptives. American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 February 2013.

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