Monthly Archives: January 2012

Heidi Klum & Seal Headed For Divorce?: Lupus Causes Hair Loss

On Sunday, January 22, 2012 Heidi Klum and Seal announced they are filing for divorce. The two wed on May 10, 2005 and have 3 children together.  Heidi’s statement to the press on what led to split, via her rep, was relatable and gracious.  “While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate,” the duo says in a joint statement. “We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition. We thank our family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support. And for our children’s sake, we appreciate you respecting our privacy.”

Jet magazine reported on June 10, 1996 that at age 23 Seal was diagnosed with Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE). DLE is a rare form of Lupus causing scars of the face, ears, and scalp.  A majority of people with lupus experience some hair loss whether they have a form of lupus that affects several organs or a form that mainly affects the skin. Most of the time, though, lupus is unlikely to cause complete or permanent hair loss.

Hair loss can be an early sign of lupus,before the disease is actually  diagnosed. Lupus causes widespread inflammation, almost always involving the skin, particularly, on the face and scalp“, says Irvine hair transplant surgeon Dr. Ken Williams.  He adds,  “inflammation and other systemic medical factors, can cause the hair on the scalp to gradually thin out.  Patients may even lose their hair in clumps. or eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, and body hair is also possible.

Although lupus-related hair loss can be shocking, the hair will most likely grow back once the lupus is medically treated and controlled by a specialist, such as a rheumatologist. The signs and symptoms of lupus often go into remission for long periods of time, but the disease tends to flare back up unpredictably. If a lupus flare occurs the hair loss may start again.

If your hair is falling out, consult a hair loss specialist to find out why. Unless you’re already being treated for lupus or you have other signs and symptoms of the disease, your hair loss is probably caused by something else. Among the possibilities are genetics, medications, hormonal changes, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and stress.

For more information on Lupus please visit the Lupus Foundation of America.


Saints defeat Lions, but Drew Brees is losing fight against hair loss

On Saturday, January 7, 2012 the New Orleans Saints defeated the Detroit Lions with a 45-28 NFC wild-card victory.  Drew Brees led an unstoppable offense by throwing for 466 yards, the most yards in a regulation playoff game.  “We were pulling out all the stops,” Brees said.  “We play aggressive. We’re not going to apologize for that. That gives guys in the huddle a lot of confidence. We’re not going to pull the reins back. It’s pedal to the metal.” That type of aggression has led to many victories for the New Orleans Saints, and if Brees would show that type of aggression with his hair he may have preserved his frontal hairline and overall hair density.

It is normal to shed hair everyday and the truth is we lose between 100-125 hairs on any given day.  However, some individuals may experience higher amounts of hairs being shed each day. Once a hair reaches the end of its growth cycle it will then shed from the scalp. At any given time 10% of our hair is in a “resting phase” and after 2-3 months resting, hair falls out and new hair grows in its place.

As we age, both men and women will experience some hair loss. This is a normal part of the aging process. Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) accounts for 95% of hair loss, and it often times runs in families. In men this condition is usually referred to as Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). MPB is characterized by a receding hair-line and baldness on the top of head.  Women, on the other hand, don’t go entirely bald even if their hair loss is severe. Instead, hair loss is spread out evenly over their entire scalp while maintaining the frontal hairline.

Hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Ken Williams of the Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery adds, “Drew is one of the truly amazing football players in the NFL. But if he continues to lose hair, he will look much older than his chronological age if he does not intervene at this time in his life.  His hair loss is quite noticeable and I don’t want to see him lose any more.”

Hormones play a dominant role when talking about AGA. Simply put, both men and women produce testosterone and this testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) with the aid of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. DHT miniaturizes the hair follicles causing the membranes in the scalp hair density to decrease.

Men naturally produce more testosterone than women and therefore men experience more hair loss. Both male and female AGA is very common and easily treated medicallyand surgically. For medical treatment,  minoxidil is recommended for both men and women to apply topically twice a day. For men, taking the oral medication finasteride, DHT blocker, is strongly recommended. Male and female AGA responds well to low-level laser therapy, and platelet rich plasma therapy is a therapy with a potential future as well.  For surgical treatment there is the older and more invasive linear strip method, or the latest FDA approved hair surgery called Automated FUE.