Women and Propecia Side Effects – What the Research Says

A lot has been written about Propecia side effects when it comes to men. But what about women? We all know that women lose their hair as well, even though women typically experience it differently than men. Men tend to suffer from male pattern baldness at the upper temples and the crown of the head, while women tend to lose hair more uniformly across their entire scalp, in a gradual thinning. However it happens, hair loss is an issue for both males and females.

Originally created as a treatment for enlarged prostate and marketed as Proscar (generic name finasteride), Propecia is a hair-loss medication that many people turn to. And while the American Hair Loss Association lists this remedy as a medication that women can take, it should be noted that the FDA has yet to approve it for women because there’s not sufficient research. This means that the potential side effects for women are not sufficiently known either. Women are generally advised not to use the medication while pregnant or to get pregnant while using it, due to the risk posed to the developing fetus due to finasteride’s hormonal effects. But with so much unknown, how safe are women taking it?

Propecia for women
The role Propecia plays in female pattern hair loss is still controversial. The results are varying with some showing success and other failure.

Studies on Propecia Side Effects in Women

There have been a few studies focused on using Propecia for reversing hair loss in women, with different results. A yearlong study from 2000 did not find Propecia was effective for women, but did also not find any negative side effects. The study involved 137 postmenopausal women who received 1 mg Propecia daily.  More recent case studies have reached the conclusion that finasteride could be effective for female pattern hair loss if the dose was increased to between 2.5 mg and 5 mg daily.

A 2012 study designed to find the exact minimal effective dosage, used 1.25 mg daily for 28 weeks. This study concluded that while the treatment did show results, it was probably not the most efficient dosage. Patients showed increased hair density and hair loss stopped, but hair growth did not return. So while researchers have not found the optimal dosage, Propecia’s role in female pattern hair loss is still controversial.

While some women with female pattern hair loss might benefit from Propecia, a better understanding of the side-effects and ideal dosage are needed. Some of the known side effects for women that have been observed are heat flashes, increased body hair growth, and sweating—although the same effects were observed in women who received a placebo treatment, and could be related to menopause. The main concern is that Propecia can affect male fetuses, including signs of feminization and various birth defects. The drug is so potent that pregnant women are advised to not even touch crushed or broken tablets because Propecia can be absorbed through the skin.

How Does Propecia Work in Women?

Hair loss continues to be a common problem and is normally even more distressing and upsetting for women than for men. Our hair plays a huge part in our self-image and losing it prematurely and unwantedly is likely to affect our self-esteem. Women will twice as often as men become very-to-extremely upset when experiencing hair loss. This means there will always be a market for a hair loss treatment that works, and researchers are still hard at work trying to find it.

Different types of hair loss require different approaches. While male pattern baldness is primarily caused by sensitivity to testosterone, this is not the root cause of all female pattern hair loss. Women also produce a certain amount of testosterone, but only some women that suffer from hair loss display an elevated amount of the hormone.

Propecia, or finasteride, works by targeting the enzyme type II 5α-reductase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in our bodies to the more potent male hormone dihydrotestosterone, DHT, which causes hair loss. It was initially believed that finasteride would be effective in treating hair loss in women who had an elevated amount of testosterone, so called hyperandrogenism. But results from studies were inconsistent, and as mentioned above, success was not universal.

Still a Few Question Marks

In conclusion, there is no clear evidence either one way or the other, and Propecia may or may not work for you. Further research into what kind of woman is a good candidate for this medication must be conducted. Researchers also have little information on what the optimal dosage for women is. Any noticeable results may take at least 6 months, and in some cases even longer. And much like when men are using Propecia, the effects are not sustained without continued treatment.

What You Can Do Instead

Take a look at your habits. If you do not feel like risking anything and want another solution to your hair loss, start by treating the underlying problem. If it is not genetic, your hair loss could be caused by factors like stress, lack of sleep, lack of certain nutrients or an unhealthy lifestyle. Make sure you eat enough protein, since protein is the main building block of hair. Drinking enough water and exercising regularly also helps.

Check with your doctor. It could also be a thyroid disorder, hormonal imbalance or skin infection like scalp fungus. Getting a proper diagnosis is key to solving your individual issue.

Look over your medications. In some cases, sensitivity to a certain medication can contribute to and worsen hair loss. This even goes for common medications like Aleve, Motrin or antidepressants.

Take care of your hair. Avoid hairstyles that pull or tug on your hair like tight braids, cornrows or hair extensions. Do not wash your hair too often, and use a natural shampoo and conditioner – or even homemade ones. Skip the hairspray and other products with chemicals for a while.

Choose a natural supplement. Taking a supporting supplement or vitamins that you suspect you are deficient in could go a long way.

Propecia Side Effects – Why Some Hair Loss Medications are not Worth it

Hair loss medication

If you suffer from severe hair loss it’s tempting to turn to a medication that’s scientifically proven to be effective, rather than trying a more time-consuming approach to see what works best for you. It’s important to realize, however, that some of the most common hair loss treatments—like Propecia—can result in unintended side effects. Let’s take a look at some of the most common Propecia side-effects, then offer some alternatives.

What is Propecia?

Propecia is the brand name of the drug finasteride which is approved for men and women in treating hair loss. Taken in the form of a pill, finasteride’s effect on the hair was actually discovered by accident. The medication was initially used to treat enlarged prostate glands, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Scientists discovered that BPH patients who also had hair loss, found their hair growing back after taking finasteride. So researchers began refining the medication and, in 1997, Merck introduced finasteride for hair loss under the name Propecia.

How the Medication Works

To understand how Propecia works, we have to understand why we lose hair. Hair loss results from a ton of different reasons, like stress, hormonal imbalance, disease, a fungal infection, surgery, or side-effects from certain medications. Just about everyone experiences hair loss at some point in their life. In fact, as many as two-thirds of American men start noticing a thinning head of hair by the age of 35. By the time men reach 50, that number grows to 85%.

The main cause of male pattern baldness is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Some of the hormone testosterone converts into DHT in your body, which can result in a minimization and or even elimination of hair follicles. It goes without saying that fewer hair follicles results in less hair. So, if your body converts testosterone into DHT at a high rate, and you’re sensitive to this hormone, chances are you’re already seeing less hair on your scalp. But not everyone is as sensitive to the hormone’s effects, and not everyone converts testosterone into DHT at the same rate. Like a lot of things, it’s a question of genetics.

Propecia and other hair loss treatments using finasteride (like Proscar), actually work by targeting the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT in the body. If you can stop the production of this enzyme, called  5 alpha-reductase, you can slow down or prevent the body from creating excess DHT, thus protecting your hair follicles. Since the drugs address a chemical process in the body, rather than the hair follicle, they are generally very effective. But maintaining a balance of testosterone in the body is complicated—if the body has too much or too little, it can have unintended consequences.

What Propecia Side Effects Can I Expect?

When Merck originally disclosed Propecia side effects, many of them had to do with men’s sexual health. But it was later discovered that the pharmaceutical company had not told customers the whole truth. For example, negative side-effects from Propecia can sometimes persist long after you stop using the drug. In fact, more than 1,300 lawsuits have been filed accusing Merck of knowingly concealing some of the damaging effects of the drug.

Propecia side effects.
Propecia side effects include erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and ejaculatory disorder.

Propecia received renewed attention recently when President Trump’s longtime doctor, Harold N. Bornstein, revealed that the president takes it to battle male pattern baldness.

But known Propecia side effects are no small matter (even for a sitting president), including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of libido
  • Ejaculatory disorder
  • Men over the age of 55 may experience a higher risk of developing an aggressive type of prostate cancer
  • Due to the risks the drug carries for an unborn child, pregnant women should not even touch broken or crushed Propecia pills.

But that’s not all—there are other undesirable side-effects too, like swelling in the hands and feet, dizziness, headaches and skin rashes.

Of course, not everyone taking the drug will experience negative side-effects, but the fact that they can persist years after stopping the medication is concerning.

The most recent research comes from a team at Northwestern University which studied 11,909 men who took the drug. The study, published in 2017, found that even though a relatively small amount (1.4%) of participants suffered side effects such as erectile dysfunction, the problem was significant for those who did. Even more concerning, these side effects lasted for more than 3.5 years after they stopping taking the medicine. Overall, 4.5% of the men taking these medications in the study experienced short-term erectile dysfunction.

Natural Alternatives

So you can see why we prefer natural alternatives to chemical drugs containing finasteride. Because a healthy head of hair shouldn’t require risking your sex life. In fact, Nutrafol was created as a natural choice for hair health after one of the founders experienced severe side effects from chemical drugs himself. Nutrafol can help both men and women and contains only natural ingredients and vitamins that work synergistically to promote healthy hair growth from within.

If you’re not sure your hair loss is due to DHT and male pattern baldness, try eliminating other risk factors before taking supplements or medication. Common reasons for hair loss are stress and lack of sleep. You could also lack certain vitamins or nutrients, so make sure you eat a varied diet with sufficient protein and vegetables. Also, make sure you don’t suffer from a scalp infection, and, as always, take care of your mental health as well. A positive attitude will help you deal with stress no matter what.

Platelet-Rich Plasma – the New Hair Growth Therapy for Women

A new hair regrowth treatment utilizing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has universally reported high success rates among practitioners and may be especially promising for women who want to avoid the side effects of other medicinal approaches. Let’s take you through the basics so you can explore if PRP might be right for you.

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

PRP is one of several new hair treatments being marketed to women. Although more men than women experience visible hair loss, needless to say, it’s also a significant problem for women, worsened by the fact that few pharmaceutical options are developed for women. Doctors have long used PRP to treat athletes’ injuries and it has been used by dentists too, but men and women are now turning to PRP for hair loss as well.

Blood consists of plasma, platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves extracting blood from the patient and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate its components. After harvesting the platelet-rich layer, rich in various growth factors, a practitioner then adds various nutrients before injecting the prepared treatment back into the scalp. This is done in one-inch intervals across the whole head. Don’t worry, you’ll get a local anesthetic to control the ouch!

The treatment works by activating dormant hair follicles, thereby stimulating new growth. In a New York Times article on the treatment, graphic artist Lina Telford said she noticed a difference two months after her first PRP treatment. Telford used to shave her head and wear wigs, but now has high hopes of getting her own hair back. Joseph Greco, the Florida practitioner who treated Telford, charged $1,400 for an hour-long session. He said that he has seen results in 80% of his patients, half of whom are women. The procedure requires a follow-up visit every six months, but for Telford, it’s worth it.

Platelet rich plasma
Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves extraction of blood from the patient, then injecting it into the scalp.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Dr. Greco, said there are minimal side effects from PRP. Most of his patients fly in and out the same day, as the procedure does not require any downtime. PRP is still a new treatment, however, and more research is needed. Also, the procedure’s long-term effectiveness requires more studies, along with questions about the best mixtures of platelets and nutrients.

Why PRP Works for Women

Since hair loss often has to do with hormones, some women have, understandably, been reluctant to use treatments for men, as they can have an impact on male sex hormones (e.g  dihydroxytestosterone). In fact, the FDA has yet to approve the common male hair treatment Propecia for use in women. That’s why PRP appears to be a great alternative for women with severe hair loss who don’t want to take meds. Dr. Carlos Wesley in Manhattan believes PRP may work better for women than men because women with genetic hair loss have more inflammatory cells around the follicles which PRP helps address. Meanwhile, traditional hair loss treatments like Rogaine have also begun to develop treatments specifically targeted to women and they recently introduced a female mousse, which avoids the drip that occurs with the traditional liquid topical.

Healthy Living and Natural Supplements

If you don’t have thousands of dollars for PRP but still want to proactively support your hair, there are many natural hair supplements on the market. Recognize that hair thinning and loss can also occur due to a lack or imbalance of certain vitamins or nutrients, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember to eat a balanced diet, including lots of different colored vegetables and healthy fats. Be sure to get a full night’s sleep and drink enough water, too. Working out also does wonders for your metabolism and mental and physical wellbeing, thus helping maintain your hair health.

Unable To Take Supplements Due To Other Medications? Nutrafol Can Still Help!

Like many of you, we read actress Sarah Hyland’s heartbreaking testimony about her struggle with hair loss years after her kidney transplant. Like Sarah, many of the people who go through this process suffer from the crippling side effect of hair loss. What’s more—due to the medications they take to stay healthy, these men and women are unable to use traditional hair supplements to counteract the issue for fear of negative reactions with their medications.

Sarah—we hear you. This is a huge problem that so many face. While you may not be able to take our supplements, Nutrafol can still help you—and others like you—in different ways.

As the thought leaders in the hair category, Nutrafol wants to be your partner in helping you navigate this difficult process. With our unique resources, specifically our dedicated team of integrated dermatologists, naturopathic physicians and on-demand hair coaches who work with individual men and women daily on an on-demand basis, we’ve developed an educated team dedicated to overall health and wellness layered with a systematic understanding of hair thinning and its plethora of causes. Our mission is to empower customers with knowledge and information of which they were not previously aware, allowing them to take control, change their routine and ultimately support and maintain their hair.

At Nutrafol, we’ve implemented numerous test modalities that are helping us guide our customers on a tailored regimen and are heavily investing in research and innovation as it relates to one’s hair. This allows us to better understand the root causes of why one might experience poor hair health. We’ve also introduced the Hair Mineral Analysis Test, an ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy) test, in August of 2017, to help our customers better understand their individual stressors that impact hair health.  To date, we have guided hundreds of customers towards a personalized hair regimen that includes lifestyle and diet modifications.

In short, we are more than a supplement—we are a brand that is here to help you navigate this difficult journey. Our experts are at your disposal, offering their expertise and unique knowledge as the foremost experts in this arena. While this is a difficult issue, it is not one that you have to face alone. To speak to a Nutrafol expert and to learn more about your options for healthy living, contact support@nutrafol.com.

 

Photo credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

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 bad ingredients harmful to both you and the environment, such as sulfates? But just what are sulfates, and what other bad ingredients in shampoos should you avoid? Instead of harmful shampoo brands to avoid, we’ve made a list of 15 common not-so-nice shampoo ingredients to should 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 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.

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.

Harmful shampoo
Do you know all of your shampoo ingredients? Some of the ingredients in your favorite shampoo can be harmful to you.

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 from the worst shampoos 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.

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 growth! Nutrafol’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!

Hair Loss and Cancer – Chemotherapy Does Not Need to Lead to Hair Loss Anymore

Hair Loss and cancer – as if the dreaded disease isn’t bad enough it usually comes with the added burden of hair loss. So when the news hit the world of a new device that helps cancer patients keep their hair during chemotherapy, cancer patients everywhere felt there might be a small amount of relief to everything they already have to deal with.

DigniCap is the name of the device that is supposed to revolutionize hair loss during chemotherapy. It is a scalp cooling system that offers patients the possibility of keeping all or most of their hair during chemotherapy. According to DigniCap, the cooling system was approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. in December 2015.

Modern medicine has come a long way when it comes to handling the side effects of chemotherapy, making many aspects of the treatment manageable for the patients. But hair loss has been one of the side effects that for a long time was unavoidable. Many patients going through chemotherapy has said that they do not like the fact that hair loss makes it so obvious to others that they are are sick.

Dr. Saranya Chumsri, an oncologist specializing in breast cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, a clinic that now offers their patients DigniCap, said in an interview for the local paper that many patients do not want to be reminded they have cancer.

“Even though they, most of the time, feel really well, the fact that they don’t have hair reminds them every single day that they have cancer and are on chemotherapy. With the DigniCap system, just the fact they can keep their hair makes a whole world of difference,” said Dr Chumsri.

 

How Dignicap Works When Dealing with Cancer and Hair Loss

The DigniCap scalp cooling system is a tight-fitting silicone cooling cap. The cap is placed directly on the head of the person. And an outer cap is placed on the first silicone cap, and insulates and secures it.

The cap is connected to a cooler, where liquid coolant circulates throughout the silicone cap, delivering cooling to all areas of the scalp. Before the patients put on the cap, they wet their hair, and sometimes, when the treatment is done, they can actually find ice crystals in their hair. The temperature of the scalp is lowered and the scalp is kept cold, and because of that, less chemotherapy makes it to the scalp.

These are the factors that reduce the risk of hair loss. What determines how long the patients will be attached to the DigniCap, is the treatment that they are getting. But it usually last from four to seven hours.

Dignicap and hair loss
More and more clinics are integrating Dignicap as part of the post-cancer treatment.

Still Unattainable for Most People

Even though DigniCap is revolutionizing the battle of cancer and hair loss, it is still a tool that is mainly for those who can afford it. Using DigniCap is not cheap. In fact, it costs about $400 for each treatment.

Other problems that have been reported are that some of the patients get a headache from the cap, and that the strap on the cap can give some patients irritations on the chin. Nonetheless, more and more clinics are integrating DigniCap as part of their post-cancer treatment, making it a great development when it comes to cancer and hair loss.

William Cronin, the Chief Executive Officer of Dignitana Inc, the company that produces DigniCap, says in an article that he is honored to make a real difference for cancer patients who fear losing their hair to chemotherapy.

“As more and more centers like the Mayo Clinic integrate new innovations like the DigniCap system into their cancer care regimens, we move closer and closer to the day when that fear is a thing of the past,” he comments.

 

New Research Shows How Stem Cells Can be Used Against Hair Loss

New Research on stem cells and hair loss.

Hair loss is a major issue for a lot of people. It can have a profound impact on our mental well being and our mental health directly affects our physical health. Millions of men and women suffer from hair loss in the US, and there is still no foolproof way to combat it. Hair supplements, a changed diet, hair transplantation or topical medications are a few methods, but new research from the UCLA shows that stem cells may hold an important answer to the problem.

What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are different from other cells since they can develop into different kinds of cells in the body. They work as a part of the body’s repair system, by assisting where they are needed. After a stem cell divides, the new cells can either turn into other stem cells, or into a certain type of cell – a blood cell or a brain cell for example. Thanks to this ability, they offer a unique potential for developing treatments against different diseases.

How Hair Loss Works

To understand hair loss, you have to understand the hair growth cycle. This cycle consists of four stages: the anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen. They correspond to the growing phase; the transitional phase when the growing stops; the resting phase when the hair follicle is dormant; and the shedding phase in which dead hair will fall out.

The phases are not the same for everyone. If you have a shorter growing phase and a longer shedding phase, naturally you will experience hair thinning. However, there are natural ways to stimulate your hair growthsuch as a scalp massage, hair masks, a more varied diet and natural supplements.

Can Stem Cells be Used Against Hair Loss?
New Research Shows How Stem Cells Can be Used Against Hair Loss

What the New Study Says

The study was published in Nature Cell Biology in August of 2017It specifically looked into the relationship between stem cells and hair growth. Hair follicle stem cells, HFSC, are cells inside our hair follicles. Normally, these are dormant, but when the hair reaches its growth phase, the anagen phase, they wake up and start producing new hair. That is, if they work as they should. If something interrupts the hair growth cycle, the hair follicle will produce less hair than what is shed during the same period.

Here comes the interesting part – the metabolic process of the HFSC’s turn glucose in the body into something called puryvate. This is a kind of acid that is also available as a supplement, as it is believed to contributing to weight loss and fighting high cholesterol. The body will either send this compound to the mitochondria of the stem cell, where it harvests energy – or it will convert it into yet another compound – lactate. The group of researchers behind he study were trying to see if they could decrease the amount of puryvate that went to the mitochondria, and instead increase the amount that turned into lactate. The theory was that lactate would boost hair growth.

The team performed the tests on mice, by altering their genetics. In the mice whose cells were altered to not produce any lactate, the HFSC remained dormant and did not produce any hair. In the mice whose cells produced more lactate than normal levels, the HFSC increased in activity and produced more hair. Patents for drugs that will cause stem cells to increase the production of lactate have been filed, however, the drugs have not yet been been tested on humans.

When it comes to healthy hair growth we recommend going for a natural solution that provides your hair with all the essential nutrients it needs.

Hair Texture: What’s Your Hair Type?

Many people think that “hair texture” is simply how their hair feels. Maybe it feels dry or oily—or maybe it feels so good that you want to run your hands through it all day long. But the truth is that “dry”, or “greasy” is not technically hair texture, it simply describes the state of your hair. Hair texture and hair type for that matter is something you’re born with.

There are three different hair textures and four different hair types. Each hair type can be divided into three subtypes: A, B or C. Once you understand the different hair types and hair textures—you’ll understand what your hair is naturally capable of when it comes to things like having body or holding a curl. Plus, once you know your hair type, you’ll learn how to take better care for your hair.

So, let’s talk about the different types of hair. We’ll go through each hair type below. And,  if you’d also like to learn about what hair structure is, you can read more about that here.

What is Hair Texture?

Hair texture describes the circumference of your hair. There are three different hair texture types—fine, medium and thick. Each hair texture type has its own traits that set it apart from other hair textures and influence the care or treatment it may need.

  • Fine hair is the most fragile hair texture. Each individual hair is thin and only has two hair layers; cortex and cuticle. If you have this hair type, you might find it hard to keep your hair in a style, or it might get oily easily. And, as you probably know, too much product will weigh this hair texture down, making it break easily.
  • Medium hair is what most people have, and is thicker than fine hair. The individual hairs have the same two hair layers that fine hair has, but may also have the third one – the medulla. Medium hair can keep hairstyles better, looks thicker and is more resistant to breaking.
  • Thick or coarse hair has all three hair layers; cortex, cuticle, and medulla. Thick hair gives the impression of a fuller head of hair, and it can hold a hairstyle well. If you have thick hair texture, your hair is more tolerant to heat, styling products, hair dye and breakage than fine or medium hair. But this also means that your hair takes longer to dry and can get frizzy in humid weather.

It’s easier to visualize the different hair texture types if you look at a hair texture chart. With a hair texture chart, you can more easily see how the fine hair type compares to the medium hair type or thick hair type. Unfortunately, the creators of the hair texture chart might themselves not know the difference between hair texture and hair type. Keep reading for a better idea of the different types of hair.

Hair texture and thickness
Your hair texture is something you are born with. The texture of your hair can be fine, medium or thick.

So, What are the Different Hair Types?

Your hair type simply means whether you have straight or curly hair. But, understanding the different hair types isn’t quite that easy because there are several subcategories within the different types of hair.

  • Type 1: Straight hair. Straight hair is often fine hair. It can easily get oily and shiny since the lack of curls in the hair means that the oil from the scalp goes all the way down the hair shaft faster than in curly hair. Type 1A hair is very straight and fine. Most common in Asian people. Type 1B hair is thicker – it is still very straight, but has medium texture so it has more volume. Hair that is type 1C is very thick and coarse, but still straight and shiny so it can be hard to make curls last.
  • Type 2 hair is naturally wavy, with more curl than some types of hair but less than others. It is usually thicker than the first category. Type 2A hair is wavy and can be fine and thin or a little coarser. It normally has s-shaped waves and is easy to style. Type 2B hair is wavy and medium thick. It can be frizzier. Type 2C hair is wavy, thick and coarse. It can get very frizzy and hard to style
  • Type 3 hair is definitely curly. These types of curls go straight when the hair is wet and then go back to being curly as it dries. It is easy to style and has clear springy curls. Type 3A hair is shiny and thick with defined curls. It can also get frizzy. Type 3B hair can also have a combination of hair textures and has tighter curls. Lists over hair types often skip type 3C hair, but it is a hair with very tight curls or kinks.
  • Type 4 hair is very curly or kinky hair. It is often very coarse, but in actuality, it is also sensitive and easily damaged. If type 4 hair is healthy, it should have some shine and elasticity to it. Type 4A hair is soft, with tight and well-defined curls. Hair that is type 4B is also soft and fragile, with very tight and less defined curls. Type 4C has such tight curls that it may not even look curly.

What To Do About Dry Hair

Obviously, each of us is born with a unique hair texture and hair type. You can’t change your type of hair to a different hair type. However, the way your type of hair looks is something you can alter. You might curl, straighten, braid or perm your hair, for example. You can also alter your hair care routine.  Dry, dull or frizzy hair can be helped with various home treatments, like hair masks or products. If your hair is constantly very dry, there may be health factors to look consider, as your overall health affects what your hair looks and feels like. If this is the case, a hair supplement can help you because it contains the important vitamins and minerals your body needs. It will also specifically provide you with the vitamins essential to healthy hair growth.