Articles Tagged with: hair transplant surgeons

Safe Hairstyles for Long Hair

Can Chlorine Cause Hair LossGrowing hair long and strong can take years and determination, and caring for your lengthy locks is key. With long hair, you may be tempted to pull strands back from the face. However, many slicked-back up-do’s cause tension on follicles. Over time, this tension and strain can lead to follicle shock and traction alopecia, which disrupts the natural cycle of growth. This condition is one of many that manifests as thinning or shedding hair.

Everyone needs to tie their hair back once in a while, but traction alopecia prevention is important. Consider the following tips to create a safe hairstyle for long hair without thinning or shedding:

  • Loose Buns and Ponytails

If you want to pull your hair from the nape of your neck on a hot summer day or during exercise, opt for a loose bun. Avoid sharp bobby pins and rubber hair ties for a more natural, soft look. If you have heavier hair, pull strands back into a low bun or ponytail so the added lifted weight does not put additional strain on the scalp.

  • Beach Waves

Summer might be over, but beach waves are a good look any time of year. Put away the curling iron and let hair dry naturally to showcase your natural curls. To tame tresses, use an anti-frizz serum or natural oil that looks in moisture and gives hair a lustrous sheen. If you have naturally straight hair, you can still achieve soft waves without hot hair tools. Let strands dry in loose pig tail braids or a French braid overnight. In the morning, you’ll be left with soft, bohemian waves that can transition easily from the office to a night on the town.

  • Braids

When you’re a kid, pigtail braids are all the rage. As an adult, you can still incorporate braids into your everyday style without looking immature. French braids are both sophisticated and sleek, but keep weaves loose to avoid drawing tension to the scalp. You can also wrap a crown braid around your hairline for a chic, pulled back look without using a tense hairband.

Let your long locks flow naturally once in a while to de-stress follicles and encourage hair health. If you must use styling tools, limit heat exposure to special occasions or weekends instead of styling after each wash. Don’t forget the importance of a high-quality conditioner (free of sulfates) or intensive hair mask that keep locks moisturized and healthy throughout the dry winter season.

How Thyroid Disease May Cause Hair Loss

How Thyroid Disease May Cause Hair LossHair health, fullness, and sheen are often indicators of the body’s internal wellness. Many diseases, conditions, and subsequent treatments trigger hair loss or dull, breaking strands. Two of those conditions are hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. While they are complete opposite in terms of their issues – one is an overproduction while the other is an underproduction of hormones – they share a common symptom: hair loss.

If you suffer from a thyroid disorder and are currently experiencing hair loss or balding, knowing why and the steps you can take to combat this unfortunate side effect is important.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland that releases a steady amount of hormones in the body. It’s pertinent to proper metabolic functions, growth, and development. The thyroid is located just below your voice box on the front of your neck. It is shaped somewhat like a butterfly with two lobes on each side connected in the center by a thin tissue. The thyroid stores hormones in small droplets within it’s vesicles, or follicles.

What does it do?

The thyroid is responsible for the production of three key hormones: T3 (also known as triiodothyronine), T4 (also known as Tetreaiodothyronine), and Calcitonin. T3 and T4 are both made up mainly of iodine.

Being the main component of two thyroid hormones, the thyroid requires iodine to function properly. Usually, the body absorbs iodine through the intestine and enters the blood stream. Then, it’s transferred to the thyroid gland to build T3 and T4. The body cannot produce iodine on it’s own since it’s a trace element.

One reason for an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a lack of iodine. Other potential causes are genetics, age, Hasimoto’s thyroiditis, and various medications. Under-activity usually develops over time, rendering it hard to notice. The symptoms are weight gain, slowed metabolism, loss of energy, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, slow pulse, constipation, and hair loss. Many patients with an underactive thyroid assume their symptoms are part of the aging process, rather than a serious hormonal condition.

Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs from an overproduction of hormones in the thyroid gland. Energy metabolism speeds up and overactive thyroids lead to hot flashes, trembling, insomnia, racing heart, fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, and hair loss.

Autoimmune diseases, issues with the thyroid axis, or autonomy from the pituitary gland are the three main causes of an overactive thyroid. The pituitary gland is responsible for regulating the amount of thyroid hormone produced, and a lack of communication between the two can cause overproduction.

Why does a dysfunctional thyroid lead to hair loss?

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair loss. First, overactive thyroids sometimes lead to an increased development of DHT. DHT influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, including physical appearance. But too much DHT can cause hair follicle shrinkage or elimination, resulting in shedding or thinning hair. Therefore, when an overactive thyroid impairs the production of DHT from testosterone, balding occurs.

For patients currently prescribed medication for an underactive thyroid, it’s important to note the side effects. One of the most common treatments is levothyroxine sodium, which also goes by the brand names Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Sythroid specifically has been shown to cause long-term hair loss in patients.

How to treat thyroid-related hair loss

Whether you’re suffering from hair loss due to a hormonal imbalance from hypothyroidism or your thyroid medication is causing your hair loss, you have options for treatment.

First, many individuals take additional medication to offset the hair loss from their current thyroid medication. Results vary since medication affects every individual differently, but make sure to consult your physician prior to adding or subtracting from your current regimen.

Hair transplant surgery is another treatment option known to deliver consistent results. Given the advances in hair transplants, such as the Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT) developed by Dr. Paul Rose, transplants are more naturally looking than ever. Using FIT, Dr. Rose extracts individual follicles from donor areas and moves them to balding areas with little scarring. Follicular Unit Transplantations (FUT) is a more traditional approach offered by many restoration experts, including the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami.

Many individuals aren’t candidates for additional medication or hair transplant surgery after suffering from thyroid-related hair loss. Low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, uses safe lasers to stimulate hair follicles. At-home laser caps can be worn underneath virtually any hat or covering.

Learn More About Hair Loss Treatment in Miami

If you’re suffering from hair loss related to an underactive or overactive thyroid, the Hair Transplant Institute can help. We offer a variety of treatment options, customized to individual conditions, to revert this unfortunate side effect of thyroid dysfunction. Visit Miami Hair online, or contact our institute at 305-925-0222 to learn more about our personalized approach to hair loss diagnosis and treatment.

How to Prevent Men’s Hair Loss

It’s a condition that affects more than two-thirds of men: male pattern baldness. Men often notice the thinning around their hairline after the age of 35, but don’t exactly understand what’s causing this decrease in volume.

Although everyone is unique, most men’s hair loss troubles stem from a similar problem. Hormones shift as men age, allowing hair follicles to minimize and therefore produce new hair at a slower rate. Over time, the follicles shrink to a point where no more hair is produced and baldness becomes apparent.

Read on to understand what you can do to slow down hair loss, or alternatively, reverse balding.

Take Care of Yourself

It’s no secret that your physical appearance is a reflection of your internal health. Think about when you fail to get a full night’s sleep – your eyes appear dark and droopy, your skin looks dull, and your overall energetic zeal is missing. Healthy hair is an indication that you’re receiving the right nutrients, including proteins, biotin, zinc, and iron, while maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Sometimes, hair loss is attributed to stress. In these cases, many patients are able to stop their hair loss by practicing daily stress management techniques and changing their diets to include more wholesome, organic ingredients full of vitamins and nutrients.

Recognize Hair Loss Symptoms

Hair loss is an emotional issue. It’s not uncommon for men to wait until their appearance starts to suffer, or emotionally agonize, to consult a doctor regarding hair restoration treatment options. Waiting until the last minute can actually decrease your chances of success. If you’re concerned about the thinning of your hair, consider a microscopic exam. Physicians diagnose the condition of your hair and the stage of your hair loss. From there, it’s easier to determine the best, most promising treatment route.

Rejuvenate Your Scalp

Did you know that you can stimulate your hair follicles to enter the regrowth stage through phototherapy? Also known as low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, using lasers to promote a full head of hair is a new, FDA-approved method. LLLT is available through laser combs, cap inserts, or in-office domes. The Capillus272™ laser cap is one of the only products on the market that you can wear for just 30 minutes, twice a day, to see results. And you don’t have to sacrifice style for treatment. Simply insert the device into your favorite hat and go about your daily routine. This treatment can be used alongside of other topical prescriptions, shampoos, and hair restoration surgeries.

If you’re past the stages of prevention…

Once you’ve already been diagnosed with male pattern baldness, reversal requires more than a balanced diet and a good night’s rest. In fact, it may even be too pronounced for effective phototherapy caps, a rejuvenated spirit, healthy nutrition, topical treatments such as Rogaine, or prescriptions like Propecia.

That’s where Miami Hair transplant surgery can help. Male pattern baldness affects only certain parts of the scalp, leaving the sides and back of the head relatively unscathed. Using these healthy follicles, Miami hair transplant surgeons Drs. Nusbaum and Rose can successfully and seamlessly restore areas of balding scalp with your own, natural hair.

Treat Hair Loss Today

If you’ve exhausted all the prior options and prefer a permanent, proven technique with natural results, hair transplants are your best bet. With today’s technology and innovative grafting techniques, the “hair plug” look is no longer an issue. In fact, recent hair transplant advancements, like the patented Mosaic® Hair Restoration procedure, enable victims of hair loss to restore their original look without noticeable scarring.

Contact Miami Hair to schedule a consultation for our experienced surgeons to determine your stage of hair loss. Then, we will decide the best way to treat your individual condition effectively.

Hair Loss Advice from Our Miami Surgeons

Unfortunately, misleading information on hair loss and restoration is common. However, you can aptly inform yourself – whether you or a love one is suffering from patterned baldness or stress-related hair loss.

Here are some of the top hair loss related questions, and our experts’ advice on each.

Common Questions About Losing Hair

Do Baseball Caps Cause Hair Loss?

Contrary to popular belief, hair follicles don’t require direct access to fresh air in order to “breathe.” Actually, follicles receive oxygen from the blood stream. You’re safe to wear a baseball cap or any other hair covering, whether or not you’re already suffering from baldness.

If My Mother’s Side Suffers Hair Loss, Will I?

Not exactly. Inheritance from your maternal grandfather is slightly stronger, but not a direct indictor of your potential hair loss condition. Balding can actually stem from the father’s side as well.

What is Rogaine®?

When it first came on the market, Rogaine was used to regular blood pressure. Currently, it’s primarily intended for hair growth. About a third of men that use Rogaine see results, which makes it a great option for hair loss patients who prefer a cost-effective, topical product over a surgical, permanent procedure. Extra strength Rogaine starts working in about 8 weeks of treatment while the original Rogaine starts working after about 4 months of use. The product is applied on the scalp twice a day and requires continued use to maintain regrowth side effects. Once use has discontinued, hair loss will begin again.

How is it Different from Propecia®?

Propecia differs from Rogaine because of the way it interacts with your body’s hormones. Finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia, blocks the production of DHT, which is the hormone related to men’s hair loss. It’s twice the price of Rogaine at $60 per month. However, patients looking for a budget-friendly alternative with the same efficacy can speak to their dermatologist regarding generic finasteride. It’s five times a regular dose of Propecia (which comes in 1-milligram pills), but can be divided with a pill cutter. Since Rogaine is a topical treatment and Propecia is consumed orally, these two can be taken simultaneously for accelerated results.

 

Keep in mind that women are not candidates for Propecia prescriptions. If you or a loved one is pregnant, be extra careful when handling Propecia as the crushed tablets can cause abnormalities in male fetus’ sex organs. Since unbroken tablets are coated, they are harmless for handling but should be stored safely away to avoid mishaps. If you are using the generic version of Propecia and have a pill cutter to split into 1-milligram doses, do not share the same pill cutter with any women who are or who may become pregnant.

Am I Too Young to Use Hair Loss Treatments?

As long as you are 18 and older, the FDA approves of your use of Propecia. In fact, the sooner the better, since it’s best used as a preventative measure versus a reversal treatment method. Keep in mind that Propecia has been shown to cause erectile dysfunction in some patients. For the small amount of patients using Propecia that do experience sexual problems, the problem is reversed after dosage is discontinued. Generic Propecia is actually used as a treatment for prostate cancer and can diminish odds of development by about 25 percent.

Can I Use a Shampoo or Conditioner to Reverse Hair Loss?

In short, shampoos and conditioners do not reverse hair loss or lead to restoration. While they help increase your hair’s overall volume, everyday washes and creams without the ingredients minoxidil or finasteride will not stimulate regrowth. However, there’s no harm in incorporating thickening washes and crème rinses into your everyday routine on top of your hair loss treatment method.

If you’re interested in learning how to use Rogaine or inquiring about the side effects of Propecia, or if you’d like to consult a physician about a more advanced level of treatment, contact Miami Hair surgeons Dr. Nusbaum and Dr. Rose at 305-448-9100.

7 Shocking Stats About Hair Loss

For most men and women, just the thought of losing hair stirs immense feelings of fear and anxiety. But are those feelings warranted? A look at these 7 shocking hair loss statistics says yes, perhaps they are.

To illustrate: Did you know that about 50 million American men and women suffer with hair loss? Of those affected, would you ever imagine that 47% say they are willing to trade their life savings to regain their hair?

Take a moment to review the hair loss statistics below, and tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of the page. For additional statistics related specifically to hair transplant, visit this list of ISHRS hair loss statistics.

Hair Loss Statistics

50-100: The number of hairs the average person loses each day.

Many men and women are surprised to learn that hair loss is technically always occurring. This is because hair grows in 3 stages: Anagen, categen, and telogen. In the telogen phase, growth ceases and the strand of hair falls from the follicle. That’s why the average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day, according to statistics gathered by the American Hair Loss Association.

35 million: Number of men in the United States who suffer with hair loss.

Hair loss disproportionately affects men, amounting to about 35 million cases in the U.S. alone. Of those affected, about 40% will show visible signs of hair loss by age 35. These signs are illustrated in the Norwood Classification, a diagram that shows the typical progression of pattern baldness.

21 million: Number of women in the United States who suffer with hair loss.

Although hair loss is more common among males than females, women still experience it at an alarmingly high rate. Moreover, hair loss affects women differently than men. The Ludwig Classification illustrates how female pattern baldness progresses in a more diffuse manner, making it much more difficult to detect and treat early.

85%: Percentage of male hair loss sufferers who use a topical foam treatment, like Rogaine®.

Minoxidil, better known by the brand name Rogaine®, is one of the most widely used non-surgical hair loss treatments. The topical foam is applied to the scalp daily, and it has shown tremendous effectiveness in helping hair loss sufferers keep their existing hair.

47%: Percentage of men and women who would trade their life savings for a new, full head hair.

Even in turbulent world economy, nearly half of all hair loss sufferers admit they would trade their life savings for a new, full head of hair. In a study conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), more than 60% of respondents said they believed a new head of hair would translate to career advancement and higher earnings (i).

60%: Percentage of men and women who would choose a new head of hair over more money or friends.

This statistics further illustrates the desperation felt by individuals who suffer with hair loss, demonstrating a markedly higher desire for more hair over new friends and/or more money.

1 in 3: Number of men and women who would abstain from sex for life, if it meant a new head of hair.

This sobering statistic really puts things into perspective. More than 30% of men and women who suffer with hair loss say they are willing to give up sex for the rest of their lives in order to regain the hair of their youth.

85%: Percentage of people who cannot recognize a hair transplant procedure.

Surgical hair restoration has come a long way. Today’s hair transplant procedures are faster, more precise, and more comfortable than ever before. Best of all, they produce a result that is so natural in appearance that over 85% of people cannot tell when a hair transplant has been performed (ii).

What have you always wanted to know about hair loss?

Have questions about hair loss? Be sure to post a comment in the Comments section below, or contact our Institute to learn more about hair restoration procedures in Miami.

Sources

(i) “2010 Hair Transplant Challenge Survey.” International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. Accessed 17 June 2013.

(ii) See above.

Hair Transplants Increase 85% Worldwide

Hair Transplants Increase 85 WorldwideAccording to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), hair transplant surgery has increased approximately 85% since 2004 (i). Over a quarter million transplants were performed during the year 2012 alone, amounting to 310,624 worldwide.

The hair transplant surgeons and staff at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami are pleased to provide this special report.

Hair Transplants on the Rise

This new trend has at least 2 exciting implications for men and women who suffer with hair loss. First, it signals greater awareness for the prevalence and seriousness of hair loss. An estimated 2/3rds of all adult men and 20-30 million females suffer with hair loss, often feeling a compromised sense of self confidence that ultimately causes personal and professional life to suffer. Climbing rates of hair transplant surgery indicate that more men and women are taking action, restoring hairlines and self image in a way that betters overall quality of life.

Most excitingly, the near doubling of hair transplant surgeries between 2004 and 2012 indicates that refined transplant methods are giving way to authentic results that are better than ever. In fact, 2012 and 2013 saw increasing numbers of celebrities speaking up to the public about their hair transplant surgeries. Manchester United star Wayne Rooney publicly discussed his successful follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedures with British media throughout 212, telling his Twitter Followers “Just to confirm… I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25, why not. I’m delighted with the result,” (ii).

In the United States, former New England Patriot Wes Welker likewise went public with news of his hair transplant procedure. Welker followed up with a televised commercial, during which he praised the procedure and his surgeon on regional television.

The Future of Hair Transplant

The future of surgical hair restoration (transplant) looks bright. Fueled by new technologies and increasing celebrity endorsement, hair transplant surgery is poised to become even more popular among men and women who suffer with hair loss.

The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami welcomes men and women to visit our website to learn more about hair loss and specific restoration options. To speak with our Institute about hair loss evaluation or consultation, please contact us online or call directly at 305-925-0222.

 

Does Finasteride Cause Cancer?

Does Finasteride Cause CancerFinasteride (brand name Propecia®) is known among male hair loss sufferers as a powerful prescription medication capable of ceasing hair loss. Like all prescription medicines, Propecia is not without side effects. Most know that the medication may cause sexual side effects for the men who take it regularly. But are men also at risk of developing breast cancer?

Physicians have long prescribed Finasteride, and in some cases Dutasteride, to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate in men, or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). As a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, the medicine also helped to cease hair loss in subjects by warding off the chemical reaction that researchers believe causes hair follicles to stop producing hair. However, post-marketing data demonstrated some risk. Specifically, rare reports indicated that male breast cancer were a side effect of Finasteride treatment. For this reason, among others, Finasteride was considered dangerous to prescribe to women. Today, most hair transplant surgeons still steer women clear of Finasteride medication, recommending alternative surgical and non-surgical treatments for hair loss.

Despite rare reports of male breast cancer in men who took the popular BPH/ hair loss drug, the FDA approved Finasteride as a treatment for male pattern baldness in 1997. Now, nearly 15 years later, a study published in the Journal of Urology indicates that there is no link between Finasteride and breast cancer in men.

Study Finds No Link Between Finasteride and Breast Cancer

A new study published in the May 2013 Journal of Urology has men who take Finasteride breathing a long anticipated sigh of relief. According to the study, there appears to be no link between the onset of breast cancer and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, like Finasteride (Propecia®).

The finding is the result of over 10 years of study, during which researchers identified 339 men ages 40-85 who had breast cancer. Approximately 20 controls were identified per subject, amounting to more than 6,500 total. Using those controls, researchers were able to calculate the rate ratio for male breast cancer during regular exposure to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors using conditional logistic regression.

Summarizing the results of the landmark study, researchers report, “No statistically significant associations were observed between 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and breast cancer.”

Side Effects of Finasteride

Finasteride still has side effects, however. Clinical trials indicate that men who take Finasteride might suffer from a number of sexual side effects, including:

  • Loss of sex drive/ decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased ejaculate volume

Notably, Finasteride side effects tend to fade and disappear entirely once the drug is no longer taken. In a 2012 study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that the negative side effects of Finasteride might persist long after use is discontinued. That study was conducted with Propecia®, specifically, and it is important to note that the sample size was very small, consisting of fewer than 100 subjects. Follow-up studies are needed to assess the danger of long-term side effects.

For more information, readers are invited to visit our What is Finasteride reference.

What Kind of Doctor Treats Hair Loss?

What Kind of Doctor Treats Hair Loss?When you notice signs of hair loss, what type of doctor should you see? It’s a common first question for nearly every man or woman who first notices signs of thinning, balding, or shedding. Hair loss treatment is a multi-million dollar business, and it seems there’s no end to the number of different specialists, shampoos, and pills that promise to restore areas of balding scalp. Selecting the right physician will make it easier to get an accurate hair loss diagnosis from the start, which will provide the framework for an efficient treatment regimen.

Before taking a closer look at the different types of doctors who are capable of telling you more about your hair loss, it helps to explore a few of the most common reasons why men and women lose their hair. With the following causes in mind, it becomes easier to see why certain specialists are more capable of providing an expert diagnosis than others.

A few reasons for hair loss include:

  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle stress
  • A stressful event (triggering telogen effluvium)
  • Poor diet
  • A skin condition
  • Prescription medications

At our Institute, we assess each of these factors with comprehensive methodology. Our surgeons implement the most advanced technologies available to get to the root of your hair loss and develop a personalized treatment plan.

The results speak for themselves. Click the following link to view images of real patients, before and after hair transplant procedures.

What Types of Physicians Can Treat Alopecia?

In truth, there are a few different types of physicians who might be able to provide a basic alopecia, or hair loss, diagnosis. The following professionals typically encounter patients who suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding hair.

Hair Stylists are among the first professionals to notice signs of hair loss. While these individuals are not licensed medical professionals, they can help you determine whether or not certain hard-to-see areas are receding, losing volume, or becoming thinner. It is recommended that you see a licensed medical professional if a stylist or hairdresser notices such signs.

Trichologists are professionals who have studied trichology, or the health of the hair and scalp. Not all trichologists are licensed medical professionals, however. For effective hair loss treatment, we recommend patients choose a hair loss clinic and/or licensed medical professional to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Endocrinologists are licensed medical professionals who specialize in the endocrine system, hormones, and the diseases that result from hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can often cause hair loss, so it is common for this type of physician to see patients who suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding. They do not specialize in hair restoration, however.

Dermatologists are licensed medical professionals who provide specialized care for the skin, nails, and hair. Physicians who are Board Certified in Dermatology are the most qualified to diagnose the root cause of hair loss and provide an effective treatment recommendation.

Why See a Hair Transplant Surgeon?

A hair transplant surgeon is a medically licensed dermatologist who has completed both medical school and a minimum 5-year residency, during which rigorous surgical training is completed. Here are a few reasons why patients should see a hair transplant surgeon for a hair loss diagnosis:

  1. Hair transplant surgeons are Board Certified in Dermatology, the only medical specialty with certified residency training in hair loss and scalp diseases.
  2. In addition to surgical hair restoration, hair transplant surgeons offer non-surgical methods of hair loss treatment that include medications (Rogaine®, Propecia®) and FDA-approved Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) devices.
  3. As a specialist, they keep up with new techniques and transplant technologies that continually improve patient experience and results.
  4. Surgeons can also be members of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, an internationally-recognized organization of more than 1,000 elite surgeons in over 60 countries worldwide. ISHRS is committed to advancing the highest standards of medical treatment and ethics, ensuring hair loss sufferers always receive professional hair loss treatment and an unparalleled patient experience.

Finding a Miami Specialist and Hair Loss Clinic

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we represent South Florida’s finest transplant surgeons, registered nurses, microscopists, and staff. We hold your pursuit of a full head of natural, healthy hair in the highest regard. To learn more about our Institute:

Readers are also invited to call our front desk directly at 305-925-0222.

Can Chlorine Cause Hair Loss?

With summer in full swing, Miami residents are rushing to local beaches and swimming pools to find cool relief from the rising temperatures of July and August. Spending too much time in chlorinated water can be bad for your skin and hair, however. This week, the Miami Hair Blog explores the science behind chorine-induced hair damage and the ways it can be prevented.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Chlorine, Hair Damage, and Health

Can Chlorine Cause Hair LossThough common in most public and private swimming pools, chlorine is a corrosive chemical that many health experts say is bad for human health, particularly the skin and eyes. Chlorine has an oxidizing effect that may cause dryness and irritation after prolonged exposure. In some cases, chlorine exposure may lead to the formation of hypochlorous acid, a substance known to penetrate cells and destroy them from the inside (i).

However, low concentrations of chlorine are highly effective in keeping swimming pools sanitary. In summer months, swimming pools are among the primary cause for chlorine exposure in humans. Though encountered in low concentrations, chlorinated pool water still has the potential to cause serious harm to the hair, skin, and eyes.

Stay healthy this summer by taking a moment to review these frequently asked questions about chlorine, hair damage/ loss, and health.

Does chlorine cause hair loss?

No. Normal exposure to chlorine does not cause hair loss. This myth was debunked after a study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Dermatology. In the study, researchers compared the hair of 67 professional swimmers to that of 54 individuals who spent little to no time in the pool. Although swimmers’ hair exhibited signs of chlorine-induced damage (i.e. dryness and coarseness), swimmers were not significantly more likely to experience hair loss.

However, there is evidence that suggests abnormally high exposure to chlorine might cause the scalp to become agitated, dry, and flaky. Thinning or shedding might occur as a result, but it’s important to understand that the chlorine exposure needed to bring about such side effects far exceeds that of a normal swimming pool.

Will chlorine change the color of my hair?

No. According to chemist and biologist Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D., chlorine does not change the color of one’s hair. Although prolonged pool-time might give hair a greenish tint, the discoloration is actually due to the oxidized metals in the water, like copper (ii). However, color treatments and chlorine might make it easier for hair to turn green.

As mentioned above, one of the primary side effects of chlorine exposure is that it causes dryness and irritation. When paired with hair treatments and dyes, hair can become extremely dry, porous, and brittle. Once porous, hair is primed to absorb more copper and other chemicals that cause discoloration.

Can I reduce the damage chlorine does to my hair?

Yes. Many people are surprised to know that chlorine damage can be significantly reduced simply by wetting hair with fresh water prior to getting in the pool. Strands of hair have the amazing ability to absorb moisture, much like a sponge. By thoroughly rinsing hair with fresh water prior to entering the pool, you make it more difficult for hair to absorb chlorinated water while swimming (iii).

Is chorine-related hair loss/damage reversible?

Yes. The most common way that chlorine damages hair is by making it dry and porous, which may lead to discoloration. To reverse the damage, be sure to thoroughly wash and rinse hair after each swim session. Use ample amounts of shampoo to remove all chemical traces, and finish your post-swim wash with a protein-enriched conditioner that will replenish the hair’s natural moisture. For those who have color-treated hair, special shampoos and conditioners are available to minimize discoloration.

Chlorine and Hair Loss: Schedule an Evaluation Today

Along with chlorine damage, there are a variety of other factors that can contribute to hair loss. Stress, genetics, and other lifestyle choices might each play a causal role. If you experience hair loss this summer, contact our Institute to learn more about surgical and non-surgical restoration techniques that will have you looking your very best, fast.

The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami is home to South Florida’s top hair transplant surgeons. For more information on our clinic, staff, and hair loss treatments, please call 877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) “The Facts About Chlorine.” New York State Department of Health. Accessed 22 July 2013.

(ii) “Why Does the Pool Turn Blond Hair Green?” About.com. Accessed 22 July 2013.

(iii) “How to Keep Hair from Wrecking Hair, Skin and Swimsuit.” ABC News. Accessed 22 July 2013.

 

Fgf9 Protein Might Hold Cure for Baldness, Study Finds

Fgf9 Protein Might Hold Cure for Baldness, Study FindsResearchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made a surprising discovery that has the potential to make hair loss worries a thing of the past. The news is particularly exciting for some 500 million men and nearly 20 million women who suffer with thinning, shedding, or balding, as it may hold the key to permanently reversing the signs of hair loss.

Men and women who suffer with hair loss will have to wait for this new study to produce an effective cure, however. The research is based solely on trials conducted with laboratory mice, and extensive follow-up research and clinical trials are needed before hair transplant surgeons can hope to offer such a treatment to patients.

Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 (Fgf9) and Hair Follicle Growth

While studying the wound healing process in laboratory mice, researchers at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania found that a specific type of immune system cell could be the key to curing baldness. The cell, called gamma-delta (γδ), produces a vital protein during the healing process. That protein, fibroblast growth factor 9 (Fgf9), also appears to fuel the growth of hair follicles.

It is important to note, however, that the human immune system differs from that of mice. Specifically, humans are markedly deficient in gamma-delta cells. This fact has led researchers to speculate that lack of gamma-delta cells is the reason why humans might experience difficulty regenerating hair in areas where a wound has healed.

George Cotsarelis, M.D., served on the University of Pennsylvania research team that conducted this groundbreaking study. As lead author, Dr. Cotsarelis made the following statement in a press release issued by the Perelman School of Medicine:

“The findings help explain why humans don’t regenerate their hair after wounding. The study also points us to a way to treat wounds and grow hair,” (i).

Testing the Hypothesis: How Fgf9 Stimulates Hair Follicle Growth

Researchers tested the exciting new link between the protein Fgf9 and hair follicle growth by dividing laboratory mice into 2 groups: A control group, and a test group.

For the control group, researchers simply monitored the occurrence of hair growth during and after the wound healing process. For the test group, however, researchers reduced the expression of the Fgf9 protein. Test group mice exhibited a marked decline in hair growth, leading researchers to attribute the deficiency to a lack of Fgf9 protein.

As a follow up, researchers decided to test the opposite. When enhancing the expression of Fgf9, mice in the test group exhibited approximately 2-3 times the hair growth as those in the control group (ii). As a result, researchers have good reason to believe that Fgf9 plays a critical role in the development of new, healthy, fully functional hair follicles.

This health report has been produced by the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. For additional information on our Institute, including hair loss evaluation and consultation services, readers are invited to contact our office directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) “New Hope for Baldness Cure.” Medical Daily. Accessed 11 June 2013.

(ii) See above.

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