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!

Are Your Hair Products Making You go Bald? We Asked Some Experts! (part II)

Male baldness process

Nutrafol had a chat with Colin Sanders, a cosmetics tester and consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the topical pharmaceutical industry. Colin has come across a wide variety of products during his career. So we asked him the following: Are the majority of haircare products are safe to use? Is it possible that a harmful gel or wax could slip through the nets of the testers? And, can you go bald if you use them?

“It is very unlikely indeed”, says Sanders. “Affecting hair growth positively or negatively is a tough challenge. And even hard line pharmaceuticals like Minoxidil [an anti-hair loss drug] don’t have dramatic effects”, Sanders continues.

Hair products and the damage on your hair

Since the early nineties, all cosmetic products have had to pass a written assessment by a suitably-qualified person. So it would be quite unlikely for something harmful to slip through. The only way a product currently available on the market could damage your hair is if you used a dye to continually recolour your hair. This may make you more likely to develop an allergic reaction to the chemicals used in them and damage your scalp.

“But, even then”, Sanders stresses, “the risk would still be pretty low. I’m a chemist and I don’t find chemicals particularly scary in general. Hair products represent a pretty low level of exposure to chemicals compared to other things that we eat and breathe.”

There are other factors that determine if you are going to suffer from hair loss. And whilst gels, waxes and hairsprays may not be helping the issue, they certainly aren’t causing it. So what should men be concerned about if they want to hold onto a full head of hair? Nutrafol asked Vanessa Bailey, a consultant trichologist at The Hair Clinic in Westminster.

The male balding process

The male balding process is determined by factors such as genes, hormones, poor health and poor diets“, explains Vanessa Bailey.
“However, there is a chance that dermatitis could develop if irritants are routinely massaged into the scalp”, she continues. And this can be detrimental to hair growth. “That is why you should just apply these products to the hair. Never the scalp”, she went on to tell us.
Gels and hairsprays are the worst offenders, Bailey points out. But there is still no need to completely steer away from these products. Simply look for lower-alcohol products and adhere to regular hair shampooing. And it helps to choose a supplement that is designed to provide you with the building blocks for healthy hair. Your best first line of defense, as always, is to consult with a medical professional. Ideally, one who specializes in hair issues, like a dermatologist, a hair restoration specialist or a trichologist.

Going bald
The maleness is determined by different factors including genes, hormones, poor health and poor diets.

How often should a man wash the product out of his hair to avoid going bald?

Ideally, hair products should be washed out after twenty four hours, advises Bailey. “I always recommend that you should shampoo daily. If these products are left in longer than that, a build-up on the scalp is likely. And this build-up may cause an itchy, inflamed and scaly scalp.
I once came across a patient who ruined his hair with excessive use of hair gel. He applied the product on his hair every day. And he did not shampoo his hair for a period of three weeks. The lengths were so damaged by the time he finally shampooed his hair, that they needed to be cut off”. “However”, she continues, “this was only cosmetic damage, of course – and didn’t mean that he became more susceptible to baldness”.

This is How You Can Tell Whether You Will Go Bald

There is a saying that you inherit your hair from your mother’s side of the family, more precisely, if your mother’s father is bald, the chances are that you will also experience hair loss.

But nowadays, it is known that your father’s genes play an equally big part in deciding the hairiness of your head. “Hair-loss genes can be inherited from either your mother’s or father’s side of the family, or a combination of the two,” said Dr. Alan J. Bauman, who is a hair restoration physician, in a recent interview.

There are about 200 genes that affect your hair growth or lack thereof, which means it is impossible to predict what combination these genes will organize in. Siblings with the same parents can inherit different combinations.

Today we do not need to look at old photos of ancestors and guess what our hair will look like in the future. Now, there are scientific methods of deciding this. It can be as easy as a DBA swab from inside your cheek, and the doctors can tell how sensitive you are to dihydrotestosterone, DHT.

DHT is the main culprit in hair loss. The DNA test can also predict how effective hair loss medications like Propecia will be on you. But what exactly is it that makes you go bald?

What Causes Someone to Go Bald?

Most commonly, hair loss is caused by a genetic sensitivity to the male hormone DHT. Testosterone is converted into DHT by an enzyme reaction in the body and is normally up to 10%. It is an essential male hormone that gives males male characteristics. However, when a person has a heightened susceptibility to the effects of DHT, the problems start.

Bald
There are many reasons people go bald, and nowadays you can find out what the likelihood is through a DNA test.

DHT is necessary for the growth of hair on the body, but too much of it will have the opposite effect on the hair on the head. It is believed that the DHT causes hair follicles on the scalp to shrink until they stop producing hair. This is a major cause of pattern hair loss in both males and females.

However, there are tons of other reasons you lose your hair. Factors like stress, sleep deprivation, depression or trauma can have a severe impact on your hair growth. That is because extended periods of stress will heighten your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This will cause the hair follicles to stop producing hair and shed. This can also happen after giving birth.

What You Can Do

No one wants to go bald, but unfortunately, it is a reality for most men. However, there are things you can do to slow the process. A hair transplant operation is an option for those with serious problems. You can also take medications like Propecia or Rogaine. As always, consult with your doctor before starting a medication as it may come with unwanted side-effects.

To avoid going bald in the long run, you can lead a healthy lifestyle and eat foods that support hair growth. Some examples are fatty fish like salmon, protein rich food like yogurt and meat, dark greens like spinach and colorful fruits and vegetables. Remember that sufficient water also plays an important role. All the cells in your body need hydration to stay healthy.

Wind down and do not stress. Stress has a negative impact on your whole body, but it also affects your hair growth. If you have time, do a scalp massage at home with an essential oil. Massaging your scalp will increase the circulation and blood flow, promoting healthy hair growth and cell rejuvenation.

You can also take a natural supplement, that will provide you with the essential vitamins and minerals you need to keep your hair happy. Nutrafol supplements contain several naturally derived ingredients that work synergistically to aid your natural hair growth.

Make an active decision to not go bald – there are too many ways to avoid it.

Hair Loss Causes: Could Your Hairstyle be to Blame?

Hair Loss

There are many different causes of hair loss, and also many misconceptions about them. How we wear our hair most often is based on what is most convenient or what looks good. This seemingly trivial task is something that we do not pay much attention to on a daily basis, and we only get to focus our attention on it when things start to change, like if we see the first signs of thinning or shedding hair.

We often attribute hair loss to internal factors such as our genes and the quality of our health but to many, it may come as a surprise to know that the choice of hairstyle can actually contribute to hair loss.

Baldness, another hair loss cause, scientifically referred to as alopecia, refers to partial or complete loss of hair on the scalp and in other areas of the body. This condition comes in many forms but the kind that is caused by wearing certain hairstyles is called traction alopecia, which is hair loss that results from styles that require the hair to be tugged or pulled, either gently or tightly for extended or frequent periods of time.

Hairstyles That Cause Traction Alopecia

Ponytails

The easiest way to keep hair from your face is to gather it toward the back or top of the head and hold it together with a tie. Although this hairstyle may be the most convenient to maintain, wearing the hair pulled backward or upward too tightly has its disadvantages. Its association with traction alopecia has been observed as early as in 1907. Women in Greenland were found to have receding hairlines due to prolonged wearing of tight ponytails.

Braids

Evidence of hair braiding or plaiting in history is shown on many archaeological findings, for example the statuette Venus of Willendorf that was dug up in a 1908 excavation near Willendorf, Austria, that was estimated to have been made between 28,000-25,000 BCE.

Through the years, interlacing strands of hair into braids has evolved from being a means to communicate a person’s status in society into a social art form among cultures that use the time to braid to socialize and teach their children.

Today, braids are used by both women and men with long hair and are popular among African-Americans. A total of 326 African-American women participated in a 2011 study. The study measured risk factors contributing to a common condition among them called central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) – hair loss that usually starts at the crown of the head and spreads out to the periphery. The study concluded that there is a higher risk of CCCA caused by hairstyles causing traction or pulling.

Cornrows

While they may seem similar, braids and cornrows have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Braids use three or more strands weaving and overlapping and are tied at the end by a rubber band or clip. They are easier and faster to do and are usually let loose after a short period of time.

Cornrows, on the other hand, are tighter plaits that are woven very closely to the scalp. Because they take more time and effort to create, people with cornrows often wear them for considerable periods of time. This makes maintenance more challenging as the hair gets washed less frequently to maintain its form, which can lead to bacterial infection and eventual hair loss.

Hair Loss Causes
Tightly woven cornrows pulls on your scalp and can cause traction alopecia.

Dreadlocks

Commonly referred to as dreads, this become a permanent hairstyle by those who choose to wear it because of the time it takes to create. Dreads are teased, knotted and left to grow for weeks at a time. As hair grows and sheds through time, it gets tangled into more knots and results in a matted look. Dreads are washed less often – usually every three to seven days. Those who wear them sometimes use a bandana or scarf to absorb oil when they sleep.

Like cornrows, dreads bring a higher risk of hair thinning and hair loss because of increased tension. They also bring a higher risk infection from clogged pores due to oil build-up. Traction alopecia may appear to be non-cicatricial or without scars in the initial stages. However, a delayed tension and traction can cause the hair follicles to be permanently damaged.

 

Buns

 If you are wearing a bun, you might want to go easy on its tightness. Buns worn by ballerinas or librarians are usually pulled back very hard. This is not limited for women as some long-haired men nowadays opt to wear a man bun as a trend. When worn regularly, the scalp can appear to be red and itchy with multiple hairs breaking off. This is a result of constant tugging at the roots – all clinical signs of traction alopecia.

Weaves

An artificial way to make short or medium hair appear longer or thicker. This is achieved  through the use of hair extensions that are either woven, glued or taped. These are anchored either to the hair or scalp. Although they may provide a temporary boost to your confidence, they can make you a candidate for permanent alopecia. This is because it strains the hair, damages the scalp, and causes scarring.

Avoid the Common Hair Loss Causes

Hairstyles are worn to be functional and fashionable. But care should be exercised in making sure that they do not cause damage to our hair and scalp.

To avoid temporary or permanent alopecia, hairstyles should:

Be worn loosely and alternately in short periods of time to avoid the damage that constant tension and traction brings.

Allow the hair to be shampooed and washed regularly to avoid sebum build-up and infection. Also, avoid regular use of chemicals or heat that can dry or damage hair.

Text by Anne Sarte

Photo credits: Raíssa Ruschel via Flickr

Rod Waddington via Flickr

Do Bald Men Make Better Bed Partners?

bald men

If we could spot a virile man in a room by targeting the crosshairs on bald men, we would have it made – but apparently, it’s not that easy.

The association between baldness and virility has always been a popular topic but it probably is only because there are so many men who, despite being short of hair, are not short of brains, money, fame, or power – qualities that make them attractive to most women.

NBA legend Michael Jordan, veteran actor Bruce Willis, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lead the pack of GQ’s 100 Most Powerful Bald Men in the World. Throw in Russian President Vladimir Putin, NBA player-turned-analyst Shaquille O’Neal, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive, and wrestling great Hulk Hogan to the list and the atmosphere is already oozing with testosterone.

The link between testosterone and bald men

Testosterone is a hormone produced mainly in the testicles and partially in the adrenal glands of men. Women also produce this hormone at lower levels – approximately a tenth to a twentieth of what men produce – in the ovaries and adrenal glands.

The level of testosterone in men’s bodies determines overall well-being as it is responsible for certain body functions such as keeping bones and muscles strong, making red blood cells, giving energy, making sperm and maintaining sex drive. Low levels of this hormone, which naturally occur in aging men, can lead to just the opposite: a decrease in strength and size of bones and muscles, sleep problems, inability to concentrate, low sperm count and declining libido.

Testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which attaches itself to receptors in the scalp’s follicles. DHT is notorious for shrinking hair follicles, which can lead to thinning and even a total loss of hair.

The American Hair Loss Association reports that men’s testosterone levels drop by 10% for each decade after thirty, while women’s hormone levels decrease as they near menopause, and drop sharply during and after menopause.

Although hormone levels rise and fall on certain periods in one’s life, the amount of DHT in the body is not the culprit that makes one bald. Some people are more likely to develop alopecia – the medical term for losing one’s hair in certain or all areas of the body – because of a heightened sensitivity of their hair follicles to bind with the DHT that’s circulating in the blood.

This all boils down to the kind of genes one inherits. People with normal or high DHT levels may not be candidates for alopecia if they are not genetically predisposed to the condition. Some may experience it despite having low levels in their system if their body chemistry demonstrates an over-sensitivity to certain hormones.

Baldness isn’t synonymous to virility

The fact that testosterone dictates a man’s size, strength, and endurance doesn’t necessarily mean that all bald men are Olympians in bed, or have more partners.

The Medical Journal of Australia documents a 1994-1997 study that measured if bald men were really more virile than their hairy, or “well-thatched” counterparts. The results, gathered from 2,205 men below the age of 70 years, measured baldness (ranging from nil, receding only, vertex only, and fully bald), the history of ejaculations between the ages of 20-49, and the total number of sex partners.

John Burton, who led the research, concluded that there was no significant evidence that linked baldness and virility. In fact, bald men were significantly less likely to have more than four female sexual partners.

So if you see men sporting the “hair today, gone tomorrow” look, don’t keep your hopes up. They may be in the GQ list, but so are Dr. Phil, Pope Francis, and the Dalai Lama.