Trichologists have found that hair follicles on the scalp can become trapped in a resting state where they do not grow new hair, leading to thinning. They claim to have identified a way of waking the follicles up, to help restore a fuller head of hair to people who are going bald.
The treatment may not be able to delay the balding process forever, as eventually the follicles lose the ability to make new hair, but it may stave off the wigs, comb-overs or hair transplants used by some to cover up baldness.
''Hair follicles exist in two stable states - either an active state or a dormant state,'' he said.
He said his team had found molecules that mimicked the effects of hypoxia, which could be used to ''push the empty hair follicles to make new hair''.
“About 80 percent of men will have some baldness by the time they’re 70, so it’s quite a common theme. We see a lot of it,” said St. Clair Hospital dermatologist, Dr. Brian Horvath.
A protein in the scalp called PGD2 (prostaglandin D2) may be part of the problem. Researchers did genetic studies on different parts of the scalp, and in the areas gone bare, there was a higher concentration of genes for this protein. In mouse studies, high amounts of the protein slowed hair growth as well.
The thought is if it can be blocked with a drug, hair will once again flourish.
“It’s been tested in animals, but not humans yet, so it would definitely have to go through some human trials. At least five to 10 years down the road. But it might work in women as well as men, which is something we need more treatments for,” Dr. Horvath continued.
Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) is responsible for more than 95 percent of male hair-loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), by 35 years of age, approximately two-thirds of American men will experience some form of appreciable hair loss. Here is how to cope with and potentially stop male pattern hair loss.
What's normal when losing your hair
There are many variations to male pattern hair loss, but what follows is the most common progression. When you start losing your hair, the hairline around your temples will recede. Next, the hairline in the middle will recede. A bald patch will appear at the top of your head. The hairline will continue to recede as the bald spot at the top of your head grows, until these bald spaces connect, and you no longer have hair atop your head.
When New York Times contributing editor Daniel Jones started losing his hair, he chose what he considers a "cooler alternative" — head shaving.
"Losing your hair," he tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is a little bit like a girlfriend who's sort of drifting away, and you're clinging to her as she goes off and sees other people. ... It gets worse and worse. So it's better to take some sort of pre-emptive move."
In a recent piece for The New York Times, he argues that since actors like Vin Diesel and athletes like Michael Jordan popularized the look, the downsides are almost nonexistent.
Jones, who shaved his head more than eight years ago, explains the difficulties of confronting a receding hairline or thinning crown.
Robert M. Bernstein, M.D., F.A.A.D., world-renowned pioneer of the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant techniques and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, will become the first hair transplant surgeon on the US East Coast to use the robotic ARTAS System for Hair Restoration.
Dr. Bernstein, a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York, said that he is excited to incorporate the image-guided robotic system into his FUE procedures. “The ARTAS System is a ground-breaking technology for hair transplantation that will provide significant benefits to our patients,” said Dr. Bernstein. “From the accuracy of follicular unit graft extraction to the automation of what is normally a labor and skill intensive procedure, the outcome is better hair restoration results and faster, more comfortable procedures.”
Baldness or hair loss is usually something many women worry about. Although hair loss (alopecia) can affect not just the scalp or the entire body, it can be the result of heredity, certain medications or an underlying medical condition.
Research shows that up to 13 per cent of women have some degree of hair loss before menopause, sets in and afterwards it becomes far more common one piece of research suggests that over the age of 65 as many as 75 per cent of women are affected.
Women’s pattern of hair loss is different to the typical receding hairline and crown loss in men. While most men would prefer to let their baldness run its course untreated and unhidden, most women resort to cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats or scarves. And still others choose one of the medications or surgical procedures that are available to treat hair loss.
Although hair loss may not be a life-threatening disorder, it has a great impact on a person’s self-respect, mental health, and overall quality of life. At present, there are some medicines that are used to treat hair loss. But these medicines have several undesirable side effects: for example, impotence (erectile dysfunction), abnormal ejaculation, abnormal sexual function, testicular pain and impairment of muscle growth.
A hair restoration procedure, promoted internationally by former cricketing ace Shane Warne, was put in the dock today by a hair loss victim and found wanting by a judge.
Judge Raymond Groarke held it would have been ridiculous for garage worker Jeremy Keogh to have believed that having a wig or membrane glued to his head would have the effect of causing his hair to re-grow.
He said Keogh (aged 29) of St Killian’s Crescent, Staplestown Road, Co Carlow, had succeeded however in convincing the court he had not been provided with what he thought he had purchased at Advanced Hair Studios, Dublin, in March 2009.
Judge Groarke said the terminology and words used in a contract for the “strand by strand” hair procedure were undoubtedly intentionally deceptive and misleading and by no means clear as to what a purchaser was getting when they signed the agreement.
He told barrister John P. Kehoe, counsel for Mr Keogh, that the wording of the contract left Advanced Hair Studios, of Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, open to any amount of claims.
Put your mind to it and you can probably come up with several examples of bald men who are considered sexy. First there was Yul Brynner, then Bruce Willis, now Patrick Stewart and Jason Statham.
But there are few bald women in the public eye. So when a woman goes through hair loss the psychological effects can be devastating. And yet female baldness isn’t being treated as the medical concern it really is, with many women feeling that their doctors are dismissing their problem as cosmetic and therefore not of great importance.
Hair isn’t alive, so hair products or hot irons can’t “kill” hair, although they may cause hair damage. As long as the damage caused by hair products is limited to the hair and not the growing hair follicles below the skin, hair above the skin may be lost from breakage or damage, but it will re-grow from the follicles at a rate of 1⁄2 inch per month.
Damaging hair follicles below the skin, however, can cause baldness. When inexperienced people apply chemicals such as unsafe dyes or relaxing agents to the hair and scalp, the caustic chemicals may work their way into the growing part of the hair follicle and damage or kill the hair follicle at its root. The longer powerful chemicals stay on the scalp, the deeper they may penetrate into the pores of the skin where the hair follicles are, resulting in permanent hair loss or hair that may never look “healthy.”
Applying dyes, chemicals, or hot irons (even hair rollers that are too hot) can cause the hair to become fragile and break off. Hair breakage and split ends are most common in people with long hair because the hair is around for a longer amount of time before being cut, so it’s more susceptible to damage from wind, drying, and sunlight as well as chemicals such as relaxers and hair dyes.
One of the leading pioneers in researching a stem cell treatment for hair loss, Dr. George Cotsarelis at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, just let slip that a new approach to growing new hair could be in the works: A topical cream designed to counteract the effects of a hormone-like substance, known as Prostaglandin D2, that may play a key role in baldness.
In the March 21 issue of Science Translational Medicine, Dr. Cotsarelis reported that his team discovered that Prostaglandin D2 is present in much higher levels in the bald areas of men’s scalp but not present in the hairier areas, such as on the side of the head. Dr. Cotsarelis’s team previously discovered that stem cells in hair follicles are not “dead,” as previously thought, but only dormant… and that something is preventing them from turning into the “progenitor cells” that actually produce hair.