Articles Tagged with: health

Garlic Treatment for Hair Loss

Garlic Treatment for Hair LossIs garlic treatment for hair loss effective? A Canadian team of researchers has set out to test just that, aiming to evaluate garlic pills and topical treatments as a method for treating alopecia areata among children and teenagers. A number of children under the age of 16 suffer with alopecia areata, a condition characterized by sudden and patchy hair loss. Kids and young teens are limited in treatment options, as many are not candidates for topical foams, prescription medications, or surgical hair restoration. Researchers hope an all-natural treatment, like garlic extract, may someday alleviate hair loss symptoms along with the fear and social anxiety they cause.

Investigating a Garlic Treatment for Hair Loss

Researchers in Canada hope to find a hair loss cure in garlic, a bulb-shaped plant known to have natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The new trial has been announced on ClinicalTrials.gov. The researchers write:

The investigators propose to conduct an open label, prospective cohort pilot study using topical garlic concentrate (GarlicRich) for treatment of children with Alopecia Areata. Study medication will be applied topically on affected area of the skin daily for 6 months. Follow up visits will occur monthly to access the efficacy and safety of the proposed treatment.

A full posting of this study can be viewed by visiting ClinicalTrials.gov.

Alternative Treatments for Hair Loss

Only time will tell if a garlic treatment for hair loss can help to reverse the signs of thinning, shedding, or patchy baldness. In the meantime, there are only a few treatment options for children and teenagers who have alopecia. Some of the more popular options include:

Improving diet. The body needs a balanced diet, as well as a comprehensive assortment of essential vitamins and minerals in order to grow, heal, and achieve peak performance. This is especially true for growing children and young teens. Take a moment to review the components of a healthy hair diet, and think of delicious ways to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into every meal.

Managing stress. Stress can be devastating on a mental, emotional, and physical level. Telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, specifically, have been found to trigger and/or worsen hair loss. Children and young teens are encouraged to learn stress management and coping skills at an early age to not only prevent hair loss, but to improve overall health and vitality as well. Mindfulness meditation, sketching, coloring, light exercise, and journaling are all proven outlets for mitigating the negative effects of stress.

Wearing hairpieces. In some cases, hairpieces are the best solution for children and teenagers who suffer with various forms of alopecia.

This news article has been published by the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Readers are welcomed to contact us online, or call our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.

 

 

Will Vegetarian Diets Cause Hair Loss?

Will Vegetarian Diets Cause Hair Loss? Does following a vegetarian diet cause hair loss? Increasingly, men and women are paying more attention to the foods they put into their bodies. Some are motivated by ethical reasons, while others simply report feeling better after eliminating beef, poultry, and fish from their diet.

Moreover, there’s a growing interest in becoming a weekday vegetarian. Those who ascribe to this new way of minimal meat claim to enjoy all the positives of a vegetarian diet, while reserving the right to indulge in a burger or a filet on the weekends.

But how do vegetarian diets affect your hair? After all, protein is a vital building block for naturally thick hair. And when it comes to foods that naturally support healthy hair growth, red meat and salmon often top the list.

Vegetarian Diets and Hair Loss

Writing for Veganhealth.org, Jack Norris RD explains, “Occassionally, women who become vegetarian or vegan report experiencing hair loss.” This could be due to a variety of reasons, one of which is increased soy.

If you are just starting a vegetarian diet, you will likely begin to consume more soy than prior to making the change. According to new research, increasing the amount of soy in your daily diet may adversely affect thyroid health. As a result, the thyroid may become overactive or underactive. Hair loss is often a side effect of both.

Another common problem with new vegetarians is an over reliance on heavily processed foods. This tends to cause a shortage in daily protein, since most Americans are used to filling that need from animal sources. However, cutting animal protein is not necessarily a bad thing.

“Think of the strongest animals on Earth,” says Michelle Carlson, NASM Elite Trainer. “The gorilla, the hippo, and the rhino…all vegetarians. A vegetarian diet can be fortified with plant based protein powders such as hemp and brown rice, and some vegetarians add eggs and milk to their diets a few times per week.”

Cut Meat. Keep Your Hair.

Are you taking up a vegetarian diet? Stay mindful of thyroid health while keeping a well balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and plant based protein. Follow these hair loss prevention tips, and contact a professional immediately upon noticing signs of excessive hair thinning or shedding.

Contact us online to schedule a complimentary hair loss evaluation, or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

Why Women Have a Hard Time Finding Hair Loss Treatment

It’s no secret that women suffer with hair loss. Though most of us picture middle aged men when we think of baldness, the truth of the matter is that women suffer with thinning, shedding, and balding at nearly the same rate as their male counterparts. In fact, recent estimates indicate that almost 40% of the hair loss sufferers in the United States are female.

Waging an Emotional Toll

Perhaps more so than men, women are known to suffer emotionally from hair loss. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, typically in proportion to the degree to which hair is falling out. A few of the most common emotional side effects to female hair loss include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of Self Esteem
  • Loss of Self Confidence
  • Compromised Sexual Identity

But why do women suffer so much more than men? To begin, it’s important to consider how hair affects the perception of health, success, and sexual attractiveness. Expert hair loss surgeons indicate that thicker, fuller hair makes individuals appear to be better-off in each of the aforementioned respects.

Unlike women, balding men can shave their head without society perceiving them as generally unhealthy, unsuccessful, or unattractive. Women, on the other hand, face greater adversity when they begin to lose their luscious locks. In an interview with Medical News Today, Dr. Marc Glashofer explains:

Society unjustly puts an inordinate amount of pressure on [feminine] beauty[…] For women, the hair is the crown, a symbol of beauty/pride[…] If this starts to diminish, it can be devastating to a woman’s identity and self-esteem, especially when affected at an early age. 

Difficulty Finding Treatment

Experts agree that finding hair loss treatment is often more difficult for women as well. There are at least 3 reasons for this difficulty, each of which stem from the unique way in which hair loss affects women.

When men go bald, hair falls out in a predictable pattern that begins at the hairline and ends at the crown of the head— hence the name, male pattern baldness. Women, on the other hand, experience hair loss in a more spread out and diffuse manner that is not always easy to detect. Parts become wider, scalp becomes more visible, but “tell tale” signs of hair loss are overall discreet. Often times, women do not realize they are going bald until many years after it has begun.

To make matters more difficult, women tend to be more reluctant to pursue hair loss treatment compared to men. Society tells us that it is common for men to go bald, making it easier and more acceptable for men to find treatment. For females, admitting to hair loss often means ceding control over one’s beauty, femininity, and sexual prominence.

Finally, women have a more difficult time finding “hair loss drugs” compared to men. Though minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved for use by women, other drugs like Finasteride (Propecia) are not. Some physicians believe that drug companies are deterred from investing in research and development of hair loss drugs for women, fearing adverse hormonal side effects. This situation is perhaps best summarized by the American Hair Loss Association in the following statement:

While many drugs may work to some degree for some women, doctors are reluctant to prescribe them, and drug companies aren’t exactly falling over themselves to test existing or new drugs specifically for their ability to prevent and treat female pattern baldness.

Laser Hair Restoration Offers Hope

Today, the emerging field of laser hair restoration offers hope to women who suffer with hair loss. Such treatment gives females the ability to reverse the signs of thinning, shedding, or balding, without the need for surgery or hair loss medications (though laser therapy might be used in conjunction with both).

Laser hair restoration is a simple, safe, and effective treatment protocol that is rooted in over a half century of cold medical laser research and development. Since the 1960s, over 53 individual studies have demonstrated the ability of low level laser therapy (LLLT) to induce natural hair growth.

How it works. Low level laser light is believed to improve circulation and induce phototherapy within the hair follicles. This is known to nurture hair follicles, reawakening them to a functional state in which natural, thick hair can grow. At our Institute, we offer home-use laser therapy caps that are worn for just 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times each week, or as otherwise advised by our physicians.

Learn More About Laser Hair Restoration at Our Institute

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we are pleased to offer laser hair restoration with the Capillus272 laser therapy cap. The Capillus272 is the only laser cap on the market with FDA clearance for the treatment of hair loss in women (iv). To learn more, visit this page on laser hair restoration in Miami or call directly at 305-925-0222.

Noodles Cause Hair Loss Among Japanese Men [Study]

Can instant noodles be causing Japanese men to lose their hair? According to researcher and writer, Ogawa Chieko, that might just be the case. It is thought that a diet of mostly noodles and broth might deprive the body of essential vitamins and nutrients for healthy hair. This type of hair loss is not to be confused with androgenic alopecia, the type of pattern baldness men and women inherit from their mother or father. Instead, this type of thinning or shedding is more similar to the temporary hair loss known to result from poor dietary choices, heightened levels of stress, or even heavy alcohol consumption.

Read more about stress-induced Telogen effluvium (hair loss).

Can Noodles Make You Bald?

If you are experiencing shedding or balding, it is not likely to be the result of an all-noodle diet.

Confusing Correlation with Causation

The Japanese study described above is a good example of how correlation is often mistaken for causation. In other words, one variable (x) is mistakenly thought to cause a specific outcome (y). So, while diet does have an affect on hair health, it is impossible to say that diet alone is responsible for hair loss. Other factors can play a causal role in shedding and balding, like genetics, daily stress, and fluctuations in hormonal balance.

To illustrate, consider that Japan ranks 60th in a recent Bloomberg assessment of the world’s most stressful countries (i). With this context, it becomes easier to see how one cannot attribute hair loss among Japanese men exclusively to a noodle-rich diet. Take a closer look at each individual, and personal details like genes and family medical history make it even more difficult to prove the “noodles cause hair loss” argument.

Eating for Healthy Hair

Nevertheless, the Japanese study offers a wakeup call to men and women who are not taking care of their bodies. Everyone should be proactive in eating a well-rounded diet, and not just for healthy hair. An overwhelming amount of research offers nearly irrefutable evidence that a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, colorful vegetables, and various fruits can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

Never make any changes to diet or exercise regimen without first consulting with a physician. To learn more about nutrition and hair loss, visit these articles on the Miami Hair Blog:

Foods for Healthier Hair. From salmon to chickpeas and lentils, this article explores the most delicious all-natural foods proven to help grow fuller, stronger hair.

Macro Nutrients for Healthy Hair. Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. This article provides a more general overview of the “building blocks” of naturally strong hair.

Vitamin D and Hair Loss. Can ample amounts of vitamin D help to prevent hair loss? Visit this article to learn more about the study that has researchers saying vitamin D is “crucial for the regeneration of hair.”

Hair Loss Consultation Miami

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we understand that hair loss is much more than a physical medical condition. Hair loss can have a profoundly negative impact on social and professional life, causing immense levels of stress, anxiety, and even depression. We hold every patient’s pursuit of a fuller, natural head of hair in the highest regard, and we invite you to learn more about Miami’s most advanced hair loss treatment center.

For more information, contact us online or call our clinic directly at 877-443-9070.

Sources

(i) http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/best-and-worst//most-stressed-out-countries

Is Baldness Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer?

Is Baldness Linked with Aggressive Prostate Cancer?Men who exhibit signs of balding may want to consider having a prostate exam sooner, rather than later. According to a new study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology in late 2014, men who showed certain signs of baldness were more likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

In the study, researchers point to two specific signs of baldness that men around age 45 should watch: Thinning frontal hairlines, and balding crowns. Based on the research, men who exhibited these signs of hair loss were up to 40% more like to develop prostate cancer compared to men of the same age who still had a full head of hair.

Diagnosis with the Norwood Classification

The Norwood Scale is a common method of diagnosing male pattern baldness. The scale maps the typical progression of hair loss in men, beginning with the slightest signs of thinning at the temporal regions (see Stage 1 below). In this study, the men who experienced a 40% greater risk of prostate cancer were classified as a Stage 3 or higher, using the chart above.

Is there cause for concern? According to one physician, the findings are probably not coincidental. However, more studies are needed to get a better idea of exactly how balding and prostate cancer might be linked. “The evidence is too provisional,” says Dr. Michael Cook, a senior study author and a National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigator. “We think that certain factors, such as genetics and male hormones, may underlie both [conditions]” (i).

Hair Loss Evaluation

For more information on hair loss evaluations in Miami, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami at 305-925-0222.

Sources

(i) http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonfortenbury/2014/09/16/a-specific-form-of-baldness-linked-to-aggressive-prostate-cancer/

Hair loss and Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Are They Related?

Is Early Balding a Sign of Lou Gehrig's Disease? A new study has early hair loss sufferers looking in the mirror with added caution. According to a new study of more than a half million men who ranged in age from mid 40s to early 80s, signs of early balding or hair loss might be tied with the onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

For men, the new study provides a much needed wake-up call to be proactive in monitoring their own scalp for signs of early balding, as well as seek the guidance of a certified medical professional should signs of hair loss be detected. As for researchers, the team behind the new study says their findings might provide valuable insight for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, a relatively mysterious neurodegenerative condition that adversely affects an estimated 30,000 Americans (i).

Exploring the Link Between Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Hair Loss

The link between Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and hair loss was discovered after researchers performed a longitudinal study that compared the hair lines of men at two distinct stages in life: Mid-forties (age 45), and early sixties (age 61).

The study began with researchers asking men to describe the state of their hair at age 45. After polling more than 500,000 men, researchers found that men exhibited hair loss in the following proportions:

  • 44% of men reported no balding at age 45.
  • 42% of men reported moderate balding at age 45.
  • 14% reported extensive balding at age 45.

Sixteen years later, researchers examined the same group of participants for signs of ALS. The results were as follows:

  • 11 of those who reported extensive balding at age 45 had developed ALS.
  • 13 of those who reported no balding at age 45 had developed ALS.
  • As a result of these findings, researchers were able to determine that individuals who experience early signs of balding are up to 3 times more likely to develop ALS.

Researchers are quick to warn that there is no need to panic, however.

“This doesn’t mean that bald people should worry,” explains Elinor Fondell, the author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health (ii).

Despite the correlation, it’s important to note that at least 13 individuals who were surveyed had “no balding” at age 45 yet developed ALS by age 61. In light of these outliers, researchers believe a thorough series of follow-up studies are needed to more conclusively determine how hair loss might be related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, if at all.

How to Detect Male Hair Loss

Hair loss affects an estimated 20 million or more American men. While researchers need more time to determine how hair loss and Lou Gehrig’s disease are related, there is compelling evidence suggesting that hair loss might lead to hypertension and other cardiovascular system issues.

To detect hair loss, men as early as 20 years of age can do the following:

  1. Monitor for signs of hair accumulation in the shower (along the rim of the tub, drain, and personal hygiene products)
  2. Examine hair accumulation on combs and hairbrushes. Some accumulation is normal, however extensive accumulation could be a sign of thinning, shedding, or pattern baldness.
  3. Check your pillow for hairs in the morning.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the Norwood Classification to better understand what each stage of male pattern baldness looks like.

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) “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed 23 August 2013.

(ii) “Early Balding Might be Linked with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Live Science. Accessed 23 August 2013.

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month 2013

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month 2013It’s estimated that hair loss affects 2/3rds of all men and millions more women. According to the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), approximately 25% of Americans feel insecure and self-conscious when losing hair, and 95% feel “bothered.”  And when it comes to restoring those luscious locks, 73% of hair loss sufferers say they would trade a valuable personal possession for more hair.

Hair loss can have a profoundly negative effect on social, personal, and professional life. Men and women do not have to suffer with a compromised self-image, however.

This August, the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami joins the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in raising awareness for hair loss. An annual campaign, Hair Loss Awareness Month aims to help men and women better understand the causes for this widespread condition, as well as effective treatments for restoring the scalp to its natural, beautiful, and youthful appearance.

Get Involved This August

There are many ways to get involved with Hair Loss Awareness Month. The Miami Hair Blog is a good place to start, as our archives feature valuable resources on hair loss, transplant techniques, hair restoration technologies, and much more. Below are just a few ways you can use our Institute’s resources to learn more about this serious condition, share important materials, and ultimately help hair loss sufferers overcome the negative side of losing hair.

Learn what causes pattern baldness.

There are several factors known to contribute to loss of hair among men and women. Some individuals seem to be hard-wired for hair loss, a specific type of pattern baldness known as androgenetic alopecia. Others experience hair loss in the aftermath of a serious and stressful life event, a phenomenon known as Telogen Effluvium. Still others experience thinning or shedding due to traction alopecia, a type of hair loss that occurs when hair is styled, flattened, or held in a restricted position for a prolonged period of time.

Understanding the cause of hair loss is essential in determining an effective course of treatment. Learn more by reading our About Hair Loss section.

Understand the Signs and Progression of Baldness

Male hair loss progresses in a somewhat typical pattern depicted by the Norwood Classification. Physicians use the Norwood Classification to determine the extent to which a man has begun to lose his hair. It is also used to predict how hair loss will progress, providing the insight needed for surgeons to effectively plan and perform a transplant that is natural in appearance. Learn more about the Norwood Classification for male pattern baldness.

Female hair loss also occurs in a somewhat predictable pattern, however it differs drastically from male pattern baldness. Physicians use a different method of classification for women, known as the Ludwig Classification. Visit this article on diagnosing female hair with the Ludwig Classification loss to learn more.

Know when hair loss is a sign of a larger health issue.

One of the most important reasons to spread awareness for hair loss is because it could be a sign of a serious health condition. There are a number of studies that correlate hair loss with serious illness, making it critical that patients consult a physician when noticing signs of thinning, shedding, or balding.

Prescription Medications. In some cases, hair loss is the side effect of a prescription drug. If you experience hair loss, speak to your physician about alternatives to your current medication. Please Note: Always consult a physician prior to making changes to your prescription medication regimen.

Heart Disease. Recently, the University of Tokyo released findings that indicate bald men are at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. The research was the culmination of studying some 37,000 men and indicated that chances of heart condition also increase with the severity of hair loss. Visit this article to read more on how bald men are at high risk for heart disease.

Share this article.

Finally, share this article to become actively involved in spreading awareness for health, hair loss, and effective treatment. Together, we can raise awareness for the serious health risks associated with this condition, as well as methods of diagnosis and effective treatment.

Take action.

If you or a loved one has noticed thinning, shedding, or balding hair, contact our Institute to schedule a hair loss evaluation. Our team proudly represents South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, and we stand committed to providing only the most advanced methodology and technologies to help men and women realize their dreams of a fuller, natural head of hair.

Readers are also invited to call toll free 877-443-9070.

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.

Losing Hair? You Could Have Hypertension

Losing Hair? You Could Have HypertensionHair transplant surgeons often encourage patients to monitor their hair for signs of thinning, shedding, and loss. Keeping tabs on hair health is about more than preserving appearance, however. An ever-growing body of research indicates that hair health is intricately tied to overall mental, physical, and emotional wellness. From stress-related shedding to loss caused by overzealous styling, there are a number of well-documented ways in which lifestyle can negatively (or positively) affect hair health.

Most recently, researchers have identified a new connection between hair and heart health. A Japanese team of scientists has found a convincing correlation between hair loss and hypertension, a condition more commonly referred to as high blood pressure. The findings are the result of a study of nearly 38,000 men and women in which participants who suffered with hair loss, specifically pattern baldness, were about 32% more likely to also exhibit signs of hypertension (i).

Hair Loss & Health: Why Consulting a Physician is a Big Deal

Researchers say their findings are important for at least two reasons. First, the study provides a serious word of caution to young men and women who first begin to lose their hair. With such a strong correlation between hair loss and hypertension, individuals who experience hair loss are wise to consult a physician about their physical health. Hypertension causes blood pressure to rise, which also causes the heart to work harder to circulate blood. Over time, this can make a patient more prone to heart attack and stroke. Hypertension is also associated with arterial diseases, kidney disease, and shorter life expectancy. In addition to consulting a physician about these conditions, individuals who experience hair loss may also wish to have blood analysis conducted to assess hormonal health.

Second, researchers say this study, along with others, helps to spread awareness for the way in which hair can be an external barometer for internal health. Lead researcher Dr. Erling Thom explains (ii):

“Through our research with Nourkrin and female hair loss, we have discovered that there are many health issues for men and women that can actually be identified at an early stage through looking for hair loss and thinning hair […]”

In this way, monitoring one’s hair for signs of thinning or shedding can ultimately provide an early alert that a larger health issue exists. In turn, patients who understand the risks associated with hair loss are more likely to consult a physician when it occurs, prompting early diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Erling elaborates:

“Losing hair is one of these very early signs [that your body is under stress from a disease], which up till now has not been treated with the respect it deserves, as a precursor to a more serious condition.”

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) “Hair Loss Could Be a Sign of Hypertension.” Maidenhead Online. Accessed 1 June 2013.

(ii) See above.

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