Platelet-Rich Plasma Hair Restoration – Here’s How It Works

Hair restoration

Science took a big step forward in its battle against hair loss when doctors started using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments to jump-start hair growth. This promising new treatment—which uses your own blood—is a great alternative for people worried about the negative side-effects of other hair-loss treatments (but it’s not for everyone).

How Does a Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment Work?

It turns out PRP helps stimulate dormant hair follicles to regrow hair where beneficial platelets from your own blood are harvested and then injected into your scalp. But don’t worry; you get anesthesia!  Here’s how it works. Our blood is made of two main components: red blood cells, and plasma. The plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which are rich in growth factors. Growth factors play the role of messengers, signaling the cells to function and reducing early signals for cell death (apoptosis). Injecting these growth factors into the scalp helps stimulate the activity of the hair follicles and promotes new hair growth.

PRP has been used to treat a range of health issues, including arthritis, sports injuries, and other signs of aging. You may have stumbled upon articles about a facial treatment called the vampire facial which utilizes PRP to combat wrinkles.

Used in hair restoration only for the past few years, PRP is a great option for some but it’s not a cure-all for everybody. Of course, there are many reasons for thinning hair, so it’s understandable that there are also many different solutions. PRP isn’t a substitute for a hair transplant, in which healthy, active hair follicles are physically redistributed around your scalp. PRP will not help grow hair where the follicles have already been damaged or lost. It’s best for the prevention of thinning of hair and best when used early on while hair density is still high.

Natural supplements for hair loss
Choose supplements that are plant-based, as they carry a lower risk of toxicity.

Platelet-Rich Plasma or Supplements?

If you’re among the two-thirds of men who suffer hair loss but you’re not ready to undergo a treatment like PRP yet, don’t despair. There are other hair support options that don’t require anesthesia.

Consider taking a supplement to give you better bioavailability for a range of nutrients that will help keep your hair healthy. Proper absorption is not just about getting more nutrients, it’s about getting the right balance. In some cases, taking too much of a particular nutrient or mineral can be toxic. Plant-based supplements typically carry a lower risk of toxicity than their synthetic or animal-sourced counterparts. For example, the risk of toxicity from plant-based iron supplements is less than that of animal-sourced iron supplements.

Nutrafol contains a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients—in the right balance—for your hair health. Nutrafol’s research team determined the best therapeutic plants that would target multiple triggers and ingredients that work well together. Our supplements contain highly-prized botanicals for reducing stress and neutralizing free radicals, both of which interrupt optimal hair growth.

 

15 Harmful Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

harmful shampoo ingredients

Did you know that your shampoo can contain ingredients harmful to both you and the environment? Chief among them: Sulfates. But what exactly are sulfates, and what other problematic shampoo ingredients should you avoid? Instead of harmful shampoo brands to avoid, we’ve made a list of 15 common and not-so-nice shampoo ingredients to watch out for — and why. What are the main ingredients of shampoo to skip? Read on to find out.

 1. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) 

What are sulfates? Sulfates are very strong detergents that work through a chemical reaction, in which they bind with the sebum on our scalp and with water. When you rinse out the shampoo, sulfates take all the oils and residue with them. But while cleansing, they can also damage the hair, make it brittle, and increase frizz.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) 

This sulfate creates a lathering foam some people love, but it can compromise follicles when left on the scalp and it has other toxic effects on the human body. Yikes! Anyone with color-treated hair or dry hair should definitely avoid SLS, as it can fade your color and strip your strands of natural oils.

Get Hair, Health & Science News

3. Parabens

Parabens are also known to be harmful. They are used as a preservative to prevent bacteria from growing in cosmetics and shampoos. Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells.

4. Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride is another name for salt. Sodium chloride in shampoo and conditioner is mainly there to make the consistency thicker. Salt can make an already sensitive scalp dry and itchy, which can eventually cause hair loss.

5. Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)

PEG is a thickening agent derived from petroleum that is often contaminated with byproducts. There has not been sufficient research done to conclude that PEGs themselves are as toxic as shampoo ingredients, but common byproducts in PEGs can be harmful.

6+7. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)

DEA and TEA are also emulsifiers and foam agents that reduce surface tension so water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients can blend together. In 1998, researchers found a link between the topical application of DEA and cancer in animals, but the effects on humans are unclear. The European Commission has banned DEA in cosmetics.

8. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and has been proven to be absorbed through the skin in animal testing. Manufacturers often add it to products directly as a preservative, but it can also be released over time through a chemical process from other types of preservatives. If you’re wondering what to look for, a common one in shampoos is quaternium-15. They can also be found in chemicals used for Brazilian blowouts at hair salons.

9. Alcohol

Most alcohols have a drying effect, and the higher up in the ingredient list it appears, the more of it the product contains. Some alcohols that are not as bad for dry hair begin with a “C” or an “S,” like Cetearyl alcohol and Stearyl alcohol. They can actually help your hair retain moisture. The ones that are bad if you already have dry hair usually have a “prop” in their name, like Isopropyl alcohol or propanol.

10. Synthetic Fragrances

Products that have “fragrance” on their label can contain thousands of hidden chemicals. Some ingredients in fragranced cosmetic products can disrupt the reproductive system and cause cancer or asthma. They can also irritate the skin and scalp, which can lead to hair loss.

11. Synthetic Colors

Most shampoos and conditioners are dyed with a synthetic color to make them look nice. These colors come from petroleum or coal-tar sources, all of which come with harmful health effects. Synthetic colors will normally go by FD&C or D&C combined with a number.

12. Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a type of silicone that is used in a ton of hair products and contributes to product buildup that makes your hair feel greasy. Since it acts as a protecting cover on the surface of the hair, it stops moisture and nutrients from coming in and instead collects dirt and residue. It can clog the pores on the scalp and cause skin irritation.

13. Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine is another foam booster. Although it’s derived from coconut oil, it can have negative effects. This surfactant is used in hair products along with dimethylaminopropylamine, which can cause skin irritation, allergies, rosacea, and eczema.

14. Triclosan

Triclosan was banned from being used in antibacterial soaps in 2016 but is still allowed in toothpaste, shampoos, and deodorants. It’s a chemical antibacterial agent known to cause hormone disruptions, which can lead to cancer and affect fetal development, among other things.

15. Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl palmitate is the ester of retinol combined with palmitic acid. It’s a known skin irritant that can cause peeling, scaling, redness, and itching. Side effects of retinyl palmitate may include cancer, reproductive problems, and organ toxicity.

Harmless Shampoo Ingredients

While there are many bad ingredients in shampoos and harmful shampoo brands, plenty of shampoos use only natural, non-toxic, and organic ingredients, and you can even make your own homemade hair treatments using things from your kitchen. If you are suffering from hair loss or unhealthy hair growth and think chemicals such as the ones mentioned above may to blame, try switching to a natural alternative. You can also try taking natural supplements that contain plant-derived ingredients that work synergistically to help your natural hair growth

NEXT: Listen to the Hair Loss Dossier podcast on why “Shampoo Leads to False Promises” 

Going Bald? Fear Not, Scientists are Developing a New Cure for Baldness

new research and possible cure for for male baldness

There are definitely some people out there who can pull off “the bald look”, but if we are going to be really honest – most of us would prefer to have the choice between a lush mane and shaving it all off. Today between 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States experience complete or partial loss of hair, a condition that can cause feelings such as embarrassment, low self esteem and even stress.

Throughout history, hair has always played an important roll in a person’s self-image, but also the image they present to others. For men, a healthy head of hair has been equated with vigor and virility; for women it has represented femininity and beauty. Losing hair can greatly alter those impressions.

But due to a number of researchers who believe in the magic of stem cells, there is increasing hope that the regrowth of human hair will soon be possible – all thanks to a few optimistic researchers, and some laboratory mice.

Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong, professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California, is the senior investigator of a study published in August 2017, by the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He and his team of researchers were researching a way in which hair follicles can be grown from skin cells reproduced in-vitro in the lab. In the study, the researchers outlined a step-by-step sequence of events in the production of hair follicles from skin. They were able to generate hair by uncovering the major molecular events that are needed for the growth of the skin. The discovery was made possible by testing the sequence on mice.

New research for male baldness
A team of researchers are discovering a way in which hair follicles can be grown from skin cells.

Many aging individuals do not grow hair well because cells lose their regenerative ability over time. With these new findings, the researchers were able to make adult mouse cells produce hair again, Dr. Chuong states in a press release.

The researchers at the lab cannot confirm when exactly human trials can begin, but they are optimistic that their findings can soon treat conditions such as alopecia and baldness. The procedure would use the patient’s own steam cells in order to grow skin that has hair follicles. This first step would happen in a lab, and afterwards the skin would be transplanted onto the bald areas of the scalp.

Lay the Groundwork for Healthier Hair by Taking a Supplement

The new stem cell research is very exciting, but this is not a procedure that will become an option for people with thinning hair today. By taking a supplement that works from within, strengthening the health of both your body and your hair, you can lay the groundwork today for future healthy hair growthNutrafol’s supplement is especially designed to provide the essential nutrients for growing hair as well as target the potential triggers of thinning hair. With thorough research, its team of doctors has been digging deeper to find the root causes of compromised hair health and uncover the underlying factors of hair thinning.

Nutrafol has been shown to raise levels of the body’s natural antioxidant defenses, combat aging, increase factors that support the follicles and boost the immune system. With this, the damaged follicles are given a chance to heal from within.

Balance is Key When It Comes to Healthy Hair

Each follicle has its own independent biological clock that ticks and signals the follicle to grow hair, lose hair or lay dormant. However, when it is out of balance, under attack, or its environment is altered, the process of hair production is disrupted.

New science proves how a multitude of internal and external triggers create an imbalance in the body’s immune system and metabolic pathways, making supplements a good future investment for your hair.

Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong and his researchers are, like the doctors at Nutrafol, working hard to understand and combat hair loss. Take charge of your own hair health today by taking a supplement that provides essential nutrients to your hair and your body!

What You Need to Know When Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss

Becoming a mother can be very rewarding and simultaneously very challenging. Your body is going through a whirlwind of changes, and in the middle of all this you do not expect your hair to start falling out in clumps. But for some women it does.

This is referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium. This excessive hair shedding occurs most often between two and four months after giving birth, and according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association, between 40 and 50 percent of women are affected.

But what is the reason for this postpartum hair loss? We asked Dr. Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Greves has been working with a lot of these cases and is familiar with postpartum hair loss.

“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” she says.

postpartum hair loss
Shedding hair as a post-baby reaction is something that cannot be prevented but it is however a condition that is a temporary one.

“The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle,” she continues, adding that breastfeeding might also be a contributing factor to excessive hair shedding.

“When breastfeeding, the prolactin levels are increased. That hormone, that is responsible for breast milk production, has been associated with hair loss as well”, Dr Greves explains.

Shedding hair as a postpartum reaction cannot be prevented but is however a  a temporary condition. While it does correct itself after some time, it certainly does not hurt to take extra care of your hair during this period. The following remedies are ones that you can easily do at home.

 

Things To Do When Dealing with Thinning Hair

    • Use a Volumizing Shampoo
      Volumizing shampoos tend to contain something called dimethicone, which is a silicone-based polymer that coats and seals the hair. While this does not stop hair from shedding, it will give your hair the illusion of looking fuller to compensate for the temporary thinning.
    • Condition Light
      When conditioning your hair, make sure to only condition the roots. If you condition the strands further out as well, it will weigh the hair down, making it easier to break and fall off.
    • Stimulate Your Scalp
      Use massage to increase the blood flow to your scalp, but also invest in a scalp treatment that will help you clear all the dead skin cells around the hair follicles. This will make the hair follicles stay open, which will promote hair growth.
    • Choose Softer Hairstyles
      Do not pull your hair back too tightly, as the traction can lead to hair loss. Try putting a scarf over your hair instead of ponytailing it.
    • Invest In a Supplement
      Biotin seems to be the natural choice for many people looking for a supplement to help with their hair. But why not try a hair supplement that contains biotin AND other natural ingredients? Nutrafol’s supplement contains enzymes naturally found in the body which help nurture healthy hair growth. It is designed to provide essential nutrients for growing healthy hair and targets the potential triggers of thinning hair. Note: Nursing mothers should wait until they’ve stopped breastfeeding to begin taking Nutrafol.

So if you are currently experiencing postpartum hair loss, are not nursing, and are in the process of growing your hair back, Nutrafol may be a great addition to help your hair remain healthy and strong as it begins to naturally regrow.

Natural Remedies for Hair Regrowth – According to Science This is What Really Works

Male hair is fraught with mythology and misconception. So when it comes to hair regrowth, what is true and what is fiction? Nutrafol took a closer look at some natural remedies for your hair and would like to let you in on what really works, based on science.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

A study was conducted on the effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair loss in men. Patients received 400mg of pumpkin seed oil for 24 weeks. “Hair count increases of 40 percent were observed in treated men at 24 weeks, whereas increases of 10 percent were observed in placebo-treated men,” the study stated. The researcher came to the conclusion that pumpkin seed oil reduces levels of 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main cause of androgenetic alopecia.

Saw Palmetto

On the subject of DHT, herbal extract saw palmetto has been shown to reduce levels by around 38 percent. And a recent study published in 2017 compared the effects of saw palmetto and finasteride (more well known under the name of Propecia). It showed that saw palmetto had a positive impact on hair growth as it contains components that prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT. DHT is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that contributes to hair thinning by shrinking hair follicles.

A Diet Low in Fast Digesting Carbs and Low in Sugar

Fast digesting carbs lead to an increase in blood sugar. This causes your body to release insulin. If you have a high level of insulin, you would most likely have low levels of globulin. Globulin, or SHBG is what binds to DHT and renders it ineffective. So basically, sugar equals more insulin equals less SHBG equals more DHT equals more hair loss.

Biotin

Biotin is crucial for the formation of keratin which is the key component of hair and nails. Deficiency is rare but if you have a deficiency it is important to up your biotin intake. It has been shown to improve blood sugar regulation, which may have a positive effect on hair loss.

Scalp massage

In this small trial, standardized scalp massages were administered 4 minutes a day for 24 weeks. Researchers observed an increase in hair thickness as well as an increase in the expression of hair cycle related genes. They also saw a decrease in a gene associated with hair loss.

Scalp massage is great to prevent hair loss and increase hair thickness
Scalp massage is a natural remedy that increases hair thickness.

Derma Roller Microneedling

A derma roller may be one of the effective natural hair loss treatments – especially when it comes to hair regrowth. If you don’t know what it is, a derma roller basically looks like a small paint roller but with a surface full of little needles. You use it by rolling it over your skin, or areas of hair loss on your scalp.
This 2013 study demonstrated that derma roller microneedling is far more effective for hair regrowth than minoxidil alone. After 12 weeks, subjects treated with a derma roller saw dramatic regrowth. In addition, when you roll over the part where the skin is damaged, growth factors and stem cells rush to the site of the trauma. So this does not only repair the damage but can awaken dormant hair follicles.

A Plant Based Supplement Like Nutrafol

Nutrafol has identified plants with powerful therapeutic effects. It is known for using botanical ingredients that help address triggers like stress levels and free radicals that interrupt optimal hair growth. The supplement increases the production of signaling molecules thanks to the phytonutrients. In addition, these are the molecules that normally stimulate the follicles to enter into the growth phase of the hair cycle.

If you are curious about using natural remedies for hair loss then maybe this will help you understand more about their effectiveness based on science. The trick is finding the right one that works for you and your hair.