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!

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.

Dealing with Cancer and Hair Loss, Part 3

Cancer and Hair Loss

Cancer and Hair Loss are traumatic experiences that combined makes a tough battle. This is the third part in a series of three where Anne Sarte tells about her journey.

Dealing with Cancer and Hair Loss Part 3

The barber who had shaved the last vestiges of my pre-cancer hair had already left for the evening and I was trying to get accustomed to walking around the house bald. So this is how it feels, I thought. I wish I could say I felt all my hair standing on end, but I had no hair! The sensation came from the pores on my scalp that became ultra-sensitive to the air around me.

When I lay on my pillow that night, the top of my head felt really cold. I used to always have the airconditioner on every time I went to sleep, but that night, I could feel the cold seep through my scalp. I thought I had a fever so I got a beanie and put it over my head the rest of the night. Sleep was elusive that first night because the beanie kept slipping off my head as I turned on my pillow.

Everything, including the scarves I used to cover my head during the daytime, had a hard time staying on. My scalp seemed to take on a slippery feel much like a crystal ball. During the one time that I wore a wig when I went out, I felt my scalp was on fire because the wig was so hot! That was the last time I wore that nasty headpiece and finally decided to go au naturel.

I really cannot understand how Dwayne Johnson, Andre Agassi, or Michael Jordan – who are on the list of the hottest bald men of all time – can go around in public without any problem, while people who go bald because of cancer cause others to feel so uncomfortable. And for most people with this disease, cancer and hair loss go together, so there is not much to do about it.

This double standard had to stop and I thought of doing something about it. I got my smartphone and took a couple of selfies when no one was looking and surprised everyone on Facebook the next day with my clean-shaven pate. Before that time, only my family and a couple of friends knew that I was diagnosed with cancer so when the rest of the world got in on my secret, I received a mixture of reactions from everyone on my list.

To this day, I remain extremely grateful to family and friends who, despite their initial surprise, poured out their love, support and prayers. They sent me messages on my Facebook wall and in my inbox. Some sent me books to read and lots of food to eat. While many were generous in their encouragement and support, some became stoic and did not know what to say. It seemed as if my coming out bald in a public space was an affront to them and someone even told me to take my photo down.

Cancer and Hair Loss
Some cancer patients wear wigs or scarves, while some feel more comfortable going natural.

It is true that challenges bring out the best or worst in people, and life events show you who your real family and friends are. That period was the moment of truth – when I started to see the true colors of the people around me and it was both enlightening and liberating at the same time. Before my illness – and before you could see it on me – I was slim and fit, on top of my game, and was doing the rounds of international real estate and financial services.

When I fell ill and was undergoing chemo sessions, I became weak and very sickly because my immune system had buckled down. I had lost a breast and all my hair, yes, but I was, and still am, the same person inside.

I don’t think anyone’s self-worth should be defined by how one looks, or may appear to look like, at a particular time. After all, beauty, like time, is fleeting but the true essence of a person is found deep within.

In my battle against cancer, I learned seven important lessons that I always go back to until this day:

  1. The greatest investment you can make in your life is the time you spend with your loved ones, for you do not have forever to be with them.
  1. The second great investment that we always neglect is our health – we work so hard for money and comforts when we are young, but we spend so much to get our health back when we grow old.
  1. The people who stick by you in good times and in bad are the only people you really need in your life – the rest are just like driftwood, waiting to be washed over again to another shore.
  1. We learn to value people or things only when we lose them. I appreciated my body more when I lost my health. I learned the value of my hair when I felt cold and bare. I realized that every function of my body that I took for granted before was important to my well-being. I became aware of the full worth of every single day that I was alive, and was thankful for each moment with my loved ones.
  1. Do not give anyone permission to pull you down. Each one of us leads unique lives, and no one should ever be allowed to mess with yours.
  1. My hair mirrored my life. Setbacks were temporary. I learned that even as it went through the entire catagen phase of slowing down and breaking at the roots, it had to go through the telogen process of being wiped out much like a purging of the bad things in my life. It was an inconvenient necessity but it made me look forward to experiencing a rebirth and moving on to its anagen stage when everything starts anew.

For my physical body to heal, I also had to heal myself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I had to forgive myself and others for past mistakes, let go of the negativities in life, and surrender myself to the one true God who created me.


Text by Anne Sarte

This was the last part in a series of three.

Photo credits: cea + via Flickr

liz west via Flickr

 

The Essential Protein – The Link Between Keratin And Hair Growth

Keratin and Hair Growth

Some may not know that keratin and hair growth are closely linked, but keratin happens to be one of the most essential components in having strong and healthy hair. For people that have problems with brittle hair or hair loss, taking supplements or eating protein-rich food may help ensure your hair is sufficiently supported, helping your body produce more Keratin and healthier hair growth.

What Is Keratin?

Keratin is a protein that is formed by the combination of eighteen different amino acids. It plays an important role in hair growth, hair regeneration, and overall hair health. Keratin is produced through the multiplication and differentiation of cells, which are present beneath the scalp skin layer.

Some of these keratinocytes move out to the edge of the hair follicles in order to make up the outer and inner root sheaths of the hair, which are the protective layers around the hair follicle. The remaining  become elongated in shape to give rise to the hair shaft. During this process, the keratinocytes will be filled with a lot of keratin fibers. When they have produced enough keratin fibers they die and leave the system.

Why Keratin And Hair Growth Are Connected

Every hair on your head consists of 90% keratin. It gives your hair strength and elasticity and because it is made up of long chains, it allows the hairs to turn, bend and fold without breaking. Keratin is not just elastic in nature but also insoluble in water. This increases its strength even more and is why the hair can withstand both extremely high and low temperatures. If you have enough keratin in your hair, the hot summer rays and striking cold winds of the winter are less harmful to your hair.

This is why hair products meant to protect your strands from the heat of styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers or coloring tools contain keratin. Applying keratin externally acts as a protective barrier for the hair and protects it from the harmful effects of these radiations.

Keratin and Hair Growth
Keratin is a protein that makes up 90% of every hair. It helps in keeping the hair strong and shiny.

Be Careful In Hot Sun or Cold Weather

Although hair can tolerate environmental stressors if it is supplied with sufficient keratin, consistent exposure to them at extreme levels can damage the bonding between the keratin strings, which are majorly responsible for maintaining the shape of every hair. Once the long strings of keratin get damaged and broken, keratin loses its non water-soluble property and it’s washed away. Because of this reason, many hair care products contain keratin as a potent ingredient to prevent keratin deficiency within the hair follicles.

Keratin also plays its role in making the hair shinier, suppler, and thicker in volume. In case of dry hair, keratin-containing hair oils and shampoos are recommended since external keratin therapy provides maximum protection against loss of moisture from the hair. If you want some extra keratin from the inside, some natural hair health supplements contain a bioactive type of keratin.

What Can You Eat To Get More Keratin?

Keratin is not found in any food, but if you eat food that is rich in protein and specific vitamins, it can help your body produce more of the hair-important protein. It’s not only great for your hair, but also for your skin and nails. Here are some examples of food that can help your body produce more keratin and healthier hair growth.

Sulfurous Foods
Sulfur-rich amino acids make up proteins like keratin. You find them in foods with a lot of protein, meaning meat, beans and eggs, and also some vegetables like onions, kale and asparagus.

Protein-rich foods
Even more protein – so red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, yogurt and dairy products. Vegetarian options for high protein foods are beans, nuts, quinoa and nut butters such as peanut or almond butter.

Biotin-rich foods
Biotin helps metabolize the amino acids that produce keratin. You can find it in foods like nuts, beans, whole grains, mushrooms and cauliflower. Also, many hair supplements have biotin high up on their list of ingredients. Just remember that biotin is water-soluble, so it can be lost when cooking food in water.