Articles Tagged with: LLLT

Traction Alopecia: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Traction Alopecia- Causes, Prevention, and TreatmentTraction alopecia is a specific type of hair loss that results when tension is applied to hair for a prolonged period of time. In this way, traction alopecia differs from other types of hair loss in that it is behavioral. The progression of traction alopecia may be exacerbated by the affected individual, with areas of thinning or balding becoming more pronounced as hair is pulled, twisted, excessively styled, or otherwise abused over time.

Because traction alopecia is behavioral in nature, there are no prescription medications that can be used to treat it. Instead, preventing this condition from causing significant hair loss requires the individual to make changes in the way he or she styles, treats, and cares for their hair. Additionally, it is vital for both men and women to know the main causes of the condition so they may identify and prevent further hair loss before it becomes noticeable.

Top 5 Causes of Traction Alopecia

In general, any behavior that puts an unnecessary amount of stress or tension on the hair for a prolonged period of time may contribute to traction alopecia. Below are the 5 most common instances in which this can happen:

  1. Wearing unnecessarily tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids for a long period of time.
  2. Trichotillomania, a mental disorder characterized by incessant (and often unconscious) hair twisting, plucking, or pulling.
  3. Hairstyles that require hair to be tightly wound for a prolonged period of time.
  4. Hairpieces and weaves that must be affixed / clipped to the hair.
  5. Helmets, particularly compression-helmets like those worn while playing football, snowboarding, skiing, horseback riding, etc.

Getting Proactive: How to Prevent Traction Alopecia

Preventing traction alopecia hinges upon the ability to identify the root cause of the condition. From there, behavioral modification is necessary to ensure further hair loss will not be experienced. In some cases, it can be as simple as making a conscious effort to braid one’s hair more loosely, and to remove the braids at the end of each day to reduce tension buildup.

In other instances, however, behavioral modification can be much more difficult. When the individual unconsciously twists, pulls, or plucks their hair due to stress or anxiety, for example, a more comprehensive approach must be taken. In addition to identifying the condition, the individual must also explore the mental or emotional “triggers” that ultimately drive them to mistreat their hair. Only by disarming those underlying triggers will the individual be able to stop the condition from becoming worse.

Treating Traction Alopecia

Several hair loss treatments have been proven effective in treating traction alopecia. As noted above, however, it is critical that the individual must make an effort to identify and cease the behavior that was causing it in the first place. Otherwise, symptoms may progress and the thinning or balding may spread.

Will a Hair Loss Medication Work? Unfortunately, there are no prescription medications that will reverse the signs of traction alopecia. The condition is behavioral in nature, meaning that lifestyle changes must be made in order to treat it.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for Hair. Low Level Laser Therapy for hair is a relatively new treatment for thinning and balding hair that uses safe, FDA-cleared lasers to stimulate blood flow to dormant hair follicles. In doing so, LLLT may improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to the hair follicle, promoting natural growth again. For individuals suffering with traction alopecia, LLLT may be used in conjunction with behavioral modification to reduce the visibility of thinning / balding areas.

FUE Hair Transplant. The most effective way to restore areas that have been significantly damaged is through grafting individual hair follicles to the areas where thinning or balding is most prevalent. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) involves transplanting individual follicular units to fill-in affected areas with a precise, natural touch.

Hair Loss Consultation at the Hair Transplant Institute

If you or a loved one suspects you suffer with traction alopecia, rest assured you are not alone. Nearly two thirds of men suffer with hair loss, and an estimated 1 in 4 females experiences hair loss as well. To learn more, schedule a consultation with South Florida’s Top Hair Transplant Surgeons.

Readers are also invited to call our Institute directly at 305.925.0222 to learn more about hair loss, restoration, and transplant procedures that produce beautiful natural-looking results.

6 Ways to Prevent Female Hair Loss & Telogen Effluvium

6 Ways to Prevent Female Hair Loss & Telogen EffluviumLast week, the Miami Hair Blog explored the differences in Female Pattern Hair Loss vs. Telogen Effluvium. With 1 in 4 females suffering with signs of hair loss, an important question arises:

Can hair loss be prevented?

Though the causal factors and symptoms may differ, there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to avert Female Pattern Hair Loss as well as Telogen Effluvium. And while these measures are effective for some, the following list is not a cure-all for every woman who suffers with hair loss. Care must be taken to examine the top signs of hair loss in women regularly, as early detection is critical in effectively restoring areas of thinning / balding hair.

Preventing Female Pattern Hair Loss & Telogen Effluvium

1. Stress Management

Stress has been shown in a number of studies to trigger the onset of hair loss, particularly Telogen Effluvium, and may even worsen symptoms over time. To hedge against stress-induced hair loss, it is recommended that women practice daily stress management. Light exercise, journaling, yoga, and meditation are just a few examples of effective stress management techniques.

2. Commit to Nutritional Wellness

Like the rest of the body, hair needs a comprehensive assortment of nutrients to grow to its full potential. Follow the Healthy Hair Diet to give your hair a fighting chance at healthy, sustainable growth.

3. Rule Out Prescription Medications

A number of prescription medications may cause hair loss. Speak with your physician about the side effects of your current medications. If documented side effects include hair loss, you may wish to speak with your physician about alternative treatments.

4. Schedule a Hair Loss Evaluation and Consultation

If you suspect you are losing your hair, one of the worst things you can do is to worry. Worrying only increases stress, and increases in stress may exacerbate the problem. Instead, seek a professional evaluation and diagnosis so you may better understand the nature of your unique condition. Schedule a hair loss evaluation to speak with a professional regarding the health and vitality of your hair, and form realistic expectations regarding treatment.

5. Consider Low Level Laser Therapy

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a popular treatment option among women because it is convenient, non-invasive, and discrete. Devices like the LaserCap™ LLLT device are designed to naturally stimulate hair growth by enhancing oxygen and nutrient delivery directly to hair follicles.

6. Advanced FUE Hair Transplant

Follicular unit transplant (FUE) procedures are another viable option for women who suffer with Female Pattern Hair Loss or Telogen Effluvium. FUE procedures harvest healthy hair follicles from the rear or side of the scalp and relocate them to the areas in which hair loss is most visible.

The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami is proud to offer the ARTAS® System for hair restoration, the world’s first and only physician-guided robotics equipment designed to perform FUE procedures with unmatched precision, consistency, and accuracy. To learn more about this exciting treatment option, readers are invited to visit this Frequently Asked Questions About ARTAS guide.

Exclusive: Researchers Find Vitamin D May Stimulate Hair Growth

Exclusive- Researchers Find Vitamin D May Stimulate Hair GrowthIn an effort to find a cure for baldness, research teams from around the world are investigating ways to reawaken dormant hair follicles. These tiny bulb-shaped structures are located just beneath the surface of the skin (pictured left), and they supply growing hair with blood, oxygen, and other life-sustaining nutrients. When hair follicles become traumatized, damaged, or otherwise inactive, the growth of new hair stops and pattern baldness begins. In this way, an individual’s head of hair (quite literally) lives and dies by the health of the follicles beneath the skin. New research suggests that vitamin D, along with the receptors in the skin that bind to the nutrient, may play a significant role in promoting healthy follicles and hair growth.

Got Milk? Researchers Say Vitamin D is “Crucial for the regeneration of hair”

Thanks in part to wildly successful 1995 “Got Milk?” advertising campaign by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, we all know that the calcium and vitamin D in milk help develop strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. The health benefits of vitamin D were studied long before that campaign, but traditional research focused primarily on vitamin D and bone development.

Now, however, new research shows vitamin D may be “crucial for the regeneration of hair,” (i). Hair transplant surgeons have also credited the receptors for vitamin D—the tiny “keyholes” in which the vitamin “keys” fit when being utilized by the body—as critical in promoting healthy hair follicle function.

Researchers report that creating a vitamin D supplement to prevent hair loss is tricky, however. For one, too much vitamin D may cause calcium accumulation in the blood. In turn, calcium accumulation may cause weakness or problems with the kidneys. For this reason, researchers are “really aiming to manipulate vitamin D or vitamin D receptors only in the skin,” explains Dr. Oda of the VA Medical Center in San Francisco. This would help individuals better utilize the vitamin D in their system, rather than introduce more vitamin D at the risk of developing other health issues.

And while a vitamin D supplement that cures baldness may seem futuristic and fanciful, there are technologies available today that are designed to promote natural hair growth by stimulating hair follicles.

Enter: Low level laser therapy (LLLT) for hair.

Promoting Follicle Health and Hair Growth with LLLT

LLLT stands for low level laser treatment, and it is a relatively new and exciting technology for the medical world. LLLT uses safe, FDA certified lasers to stimulate cellular respiration by way of phototherapy. In turn, this increases the cell’s ability to produce energy. But how do laser-light exposure, enhanced cellular respiration, and increased energy production help to reverse hair loss?

According to new research, an improvement in cellular respiration leads a series of biochemical reactions that stimulate the delivery of oxygen and nutrients directly to the hair follicle (vi). Most important is the ability of the patient to receive comprehensive LLLT exposure on a regular basis—usually 3 times per week for about 20 minutes per session.

The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami is pleased to offer the LaserCap™ LLLT device for thinning hair. To learn more about LLLT for thinning hair, please join Dr. Nusbaum as he explains the effectiveness of the treatment and the LaserCap™ device in the video below:

Learn More About the LaserCap™

To learn more about hair restoration or low level laser hair therapy with the LaserCap™, please schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami.  Readers are also invited to call our front desk at 305.925.0222 to speak directly with a friendly member of our office.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we understand that hair loss can impact your personal, social, and professional life.  We’re committed to making a difference in the lives and well-being of our patients, and we look forward to exceeding your expectations with only the best technologies and most effective procedures.

 

Sources for this article include:

(i) Wang, Shirley S. “The Search for a Baldness Cure.” 12 September 2012.

(ii) Brosseau, L.; Welch, V.; Wells, G. A.; De Bie, R.; Gam, A.; Harman, K.; Morin, M.; Shea, B. et al. (2005). Brosseau, Lucie. ed. “Low level laser therapy (Classes I, II and III) for treating rheumatoid arthritis”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4): CD002049. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002049.pub2. PMID 16235295.

(iii) Jamtvedt, G.; Dahm, K. T.; Christie, A.; Moe, R. H.; Haavardsholm, E.; Holm, I.; Hagen, K. B. (2007). “Physical Therapy Interventions for Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee: an Overview of Systematic Reviews”. Physical Therapy 88 (1): 123–136. doi:10.2522/ptj.20070043. PMID 17986496.

(iv) Chow, R.; Johnson, M.; Lopes-Martins, R.; Bjordal, J. (Nov 2009). “Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials.”. Lancet 374 (9705): 1897–1908. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61522-1. PMID 19913903.

(v) Hamblin, Michael R. “Mechanisms of Low Level Light Therapy.” (2008): n. pag. Web. 17 Sept. 2012.

(vi) Hamblin, Michael R. “Low Level Laser Light Therapy.” (2012). n. pag. Web. 17 Sep. 2012. Click Here to Read This Article.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss

Hypothyroidism and Hair LossThe length, thickness, and color of your hair is often a good indication of the health of the rest of your body. This is particularly true in the case of hormones, as the quality of your hair may be representative of overall hormonal balance.  By the same token, hair loss might be an indication that a hormonal imbalance exists. Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and thyroid are a few of the hormones that may have a profound impact on the appearance of your hair. Of these three hormones, thyroid is a common cause for hair loss among individuals who have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. To better understand why, we must first examine how these three major hormones interact with one another during the hair growth cycle.

Understanding Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, & Thyroid

Testosterone: Testosterone is widely recognized as the male hormone, however it is present in females as well. The hormone is primarily produced by the reproductive organs of both men and women—in the testes and ovaries, respectfully. Smaller amounts of testosterone are also produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes. In males, the primary role of testosterone is to fuel the development of reproductive tissues. In both sexes, testosterone also plays a critical role in the development of bones, muscle mass, and of course, hair.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is formed when testosterone is synthesized by a very unique enzyme, 5α-reductase. DHT also influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, like physical appearance. Unlike testosterone, DHT may cause the hair follicle to shrink (and in some causes disappear). This leads to thinning, shedding, or loss of hair.

Thyroid: Thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland, one of the body’s largest endocrine glands. Thyroid hormone serves as a “regulator” of sorts, controlling a number of vital body functions. These include metabolism, involuntary muscle contractions, and the production of cellular energy. When a thyroid condition exists, the body has a difficult time producing the correct amount of thyroid hormone. As a result, the body becomes unable to effectively regulate other body functions, including hair growth.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Common causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency, lack of proper gland function, or even stress.

When it comes to hypothyroidism and hair loss, there are 4 important things to know and understand:

1. Overactive Thyroid May Increase Synthesis of DHT

As noted above, DHT is a synthesized version of the hormone testosterone. Unlike testosterone, however, DHT disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair and may eventually cause total loss of the hair follicle. For some individuals, a thyroid disorder may perpetuate hair loss by exacerbating the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

2. Thyroid Medication May Cause Hair Loss

Thyroid disorders come in two main varieties: Hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. A common treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine sodium, a prescription medication that is available under many brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Prolonged hair loss is a side effect of this medication for many individuals, specifically for patients taking Synthroid.

3. Additional Thyroid Medications Might Be Necessary to Prevent Hair Loss

If you take thyroid medication and exhibit signs of hair loss, you may need additional prescription medications to effectively treat both conditions. Patients must understand that any prescription drug may cause short term or long term side effects however, and they must always consult a physician prior to starting, switching, or ending a prescription medication regimen.

4. Drug-Free Hair Loss Treatments Are an Effective Option

If you suffer with hair loss that is the result of a thyroid condition, or is the side effect of the thyroid medication you take to treat your condition, you may want to explore other drug-free hair loss treatments. These may include:

  • Hair Transplant Surgery: Hair transplant procedures are now conducted with greater precision and effectiveness than ever before. The Hair Transplant Institute’s very own is co-creator of Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT), a new transplant process by which individual follicular units are extracted from the donor area and transplanted with minimal scarring. More traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedures are also available.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT treatment for thinning hair uses state-of-the-art lasers to stimulate hair growth at the follicle. Click here to watch Dr. Nusbaum explain this exciting new technology in this introductory video segment to laser hair therapy with the LaserCap™ device.

Schedule an Evaluation with the Hair Transplant Institute

Our friendly staff includes South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, microscopists, technicians, and registered nurses.  We understand the agony and frustration that accompanies hair loss, and we are committed to helping you develop a customized plan that will create natural results.

To learn more about Miami hair transplant procedures at the Hair Transplant Institute, please contact us online or call us directly at 1.877.443.9070.

Foods for Healthy Hair

Foods For Healthy HairThe nutrients in the foods we eat have a profound impact on the way we look and feel. When it comes to our scalp, there are a variety of nutrients that help to create and maintain healthy hair. These include macro nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are easy to find in the items at the local grocery store, farmer’s market, or vitamin shop. These foods for healthy hair set the stage for natural hair growth by promoting circulation, nutrient delivery, and follicular stimulation. In this article, we focus on the nutrients that fuel healthy hair growth, texture, and thickness. For specific foods, we invite you to reference our Healthy Hair Diet guide. There, you will find the top 5 all-natural foods for healthier hair.

Macro Nutrients for Healthy Hair

Protein.  Hair is mostly composed of natural proteins, so it’s of little surprise that the first macro nutrient for healthy hair is lean protein. Eating a diet rich in protein may help to keep your hair looking and feeling its absolute best. Moreover, some sources of protein offer additional nutrients for healthy hair. For example, salmon is a lean protein and contains Omega-3 fatty acids, B-12 vitamins, and iron that help to fortify hair and regulate its growth.

Gluten Free Carbohydrates.  Gluten is a protein found in most grains, oats, and barleys. An estimated 1 in 133 Americans has some sort of allergy to gluten that may adversely affect their ability to digest other nutrients. For example, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the cilia of the small intestine to become agitated and swollen when gluten is digested. This drastically inhibits the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream.

Going “gluten free” is easy, and some of the most delicious carbohydrates will still be on the menu. Corn, cornmeal, lentils, rice, and potatoes are just a few examples of the best gluten-free carbohydrates that will keep you full without the risk of agitating your digestive system.

Vitamins that Make Hair Grow

Vitamin E.  Vitamin E is among the best nutrients for healthy hair. In some studies, this vitamin has been show to promote healthy blood circulation. Improved blood flow means enhanced nutrient delivery, especially to the scalp. In this way, vitamin E can help hair grow by promoting oxygen and nutrient delivery directly to the hair follicle.

Vitamin C.  Like vitamin E, vitamin C promotes health circulation and is one of the best nutrients for healthy hair. Moreover, vitamin C is a powerful all-natural antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. The sun is one of the most powerful sources of free radicals, making our hair particularly prone to free radical damage. Maintaining a diet rich in vitamin C will help ward off free radicals from the sun as well as other environmental stressors, helping to maintain healthy hair long into the future.

Biotin.  Biotin is an essential vitamin for healthy hair, but not necessarily because it spurs growth. Instead, biotin helps to keep hair from becoming thin and frail. By improving the overall health of the hair, biotin helps to maintain a regular growth cycle with less risk of thinning, shedding, or loss.

Minerals for Hair

Zinc.  Zinc promotes healthy hair by helping the body to balance hormone production and other cellular activities. Zinc also helps the body absorb vitamins, making this nutrient a must for healthy hair. Researchers also believe that zinc may help to curb the production of DHT, a synthesized version of testosterone that damages hair follicles and leads to shedding, thinning, and loss of hair.

Magnesium.  Magnesium promotes healthy hair by helping to regulate a number of chemical processes in the body, including heart rate and muscle function. This mineral is critical for healthy hair growth, yet most individuals exhibit magnesium deficiency. To maintain a diet rich in magnesium, look for foods like fish (halibut), cashews, soybeans, almonds, and green vegetables like spinach.

Iron.  Low iron levels may put an individual at risk for hair loss, but getting more iron is easy. Among the best sources of iron are whole eggs, liver, dried fruits, salmon, and legumes. Iron supplements are available as well, however one should always opt for natural food sources as they contain nutrients that are more easily ingested and utilized by the body.

Learn More About Hair Loss and Treatment Options

Making changes to diet and exercise regimen may not be enough to restore hair to its natural, youthful state. A number of other factors may impact the rate at which hair becomes thinner, begins to shed, or falls out entirely. Genetics, hormones, and prescription medications may each be causal factors. Readers are invited to visit the following free informational resources to learn more:

Hair Loss

Hair loss affects millions of men and women in the United States alone. Losing one’s hair does more than impact physical appearance. It may have a profound affect on professional, social, and personal relationships. Visit this section of our website to learn more about the cause, progression, and treatment of hair loss.

Hair Restoration

Never before have hair restoration technologies and procedures been more advanced and effective. From low level laser treatment (LLLT) to advanced follicular unit transplantation (FUT), a variety of options exist for effectively restoring the natural appearance of hair. Visit this section of Miamihair.com to learn more.

Hair Loss Evaluation

Are you a candidate for a hair loss procedure? Our clinic is home to the finest technicians, registered nurses, and hair transplant surgeons in Florida. Request an appointment online, or call our clinic directly at 1-877-443-9070.