Category Archives: NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS

Confidence Is Having the Look and Hair on Your Scalp-New Rogaine face Bill Rancic


rogain01MensHealth.com interviewed Bill Rancic about being the new ambassador for Rogaine, and how your appearance can make or break your career.

You’ve checked your resume six times. You know why you’re a good fit for the position. But are you armed with confidence? Bill Rancic, the very first candidate Donald Trump hired eight years ago on The Apprentice , has gone on as a successful entrepreneur, reality TV star, and motivational speaker. His main theme is making an impression goes beyond what you look like on paper. “Confidence is critical,” the 41-year old says. “When you’re confident enough to be yourself, that’s when you’ll get the job.”

Wear confidence—literally 
Is your interview outfit something you feel comfortable and powerful in? Or is it the same suit you wore when you were fresh out of school and about 70 trips to Wendy’s thinner? “Whether you want to admit it or not, people begin to judge you the minute you walk in the door,” says Rancic, who has a hands-on role in the hiring process of his various ventures. “When I’m interviewing someone, I want to make sure that he thought enough to take care of himself—to dress appropriately and to groom himself properly. If he wasn’t willing to do that for the interview, how will he act when he’s working for me?”

Make good grooming a habit
When you sit across from the boss at a table, he’ll be looking at you from the neck up, so make sure you’re feeling assured. Rancic’s secret weapon? Rogaine. “When you lose your hair, it has an impact on confidence and your overall self-esteem whether it affects your career or your love life,” he says. He’s been a Rogaine consumer for years and admits he was shocked with his hair loss comparing before and after photos.

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One in four men suffer from hereditary hair loss, so Rancic knows he’s not alone. In his latest role as Rogaine’s “Growth Coach,” he’ll offer advice to men through social media outlets on how to take control of hair loss. Whether you’re hitting the gym to keep your belly in check or loading up on anti-aging products to delay wrinkles, tackle the issue head on instead of running from it. “No one even needs to know what you’re doing,” he says, adding that he’s not the least bit embarrassed to use Men’s Rogaine Unscented Foam. “It’s like a styling mousse. You use it once in the morning and once at night, and it becomes a habit like brushing your teeth.”

Be open to change
In his transient life—he and his wife, Giuliana of E! News, live in Chicago and LA to suit both of their careers.  “Since getting married, it (life) has changed significantly,” he says, laughing. “Oh my God, I was not a good dresser. I’d wear flip-flops and jeans. I guess that’s not cool.” Giuliani helped him with the little things—like introducing him to pocket squares for a simple way to upgrade a smart outfit and wearing proper footwear. (She’s right—flip-flops away from the beach really aren’t cool.) And Giuliana isn’t the only one who thinks change is a good thing. She also has him hooked on after-shave balm (“It tightens up my skin.”), blow-drying his hair (“My hair used to be really flat. It takes like two extra minutes.”), and anti-aging serum. Rancic doesn’t look like a guy who spends too much time grooming—he just looks good.

“I shouldn’t be saying this,” he says. “My buddies in Chicago are going to read this and I’m going to lose my ‘Man Card.’” See that full head of hair, though? Man card is intact.

The Costs, Pros & Cons To Hair Loss Treatments


Hair-Loss-in-menAndrogenetic alopecia (AGA), or male pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss. It’s inherited from either one or both parents and is caused by the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which shuts down hair follicle growth. Men with this pattern baldness tend to have the classic “horseshoe” appearance of the scalp; women usually have thinning hair concentrated on the center part or diffuse loss on their entire scalp.

There are many causes for hair loss such as medical illness (diabetes, lupus, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism), medications (antidepressant, beta-blocker, and cholesterol reducer), physical/emotional stress, chemical dyes, and even wearing tight braids/ponytails (Traction Alopecia),and over-styling of the hair.

Here are a few pros and cons of FDA approved hair loss treatments:

Finasteride-DHT Inhibitor

According to clinical studies, this medication, sold as Propecia, was most successful with patients. It’s primarily prescribed for men because it can cause serious birth defects in women.  Women of child bearing years may be prescribed Propecia, but special precautions must be implemented to prevent pregnancy because of teratogenic side effects in male infants. The cost is around $60 to 80 per month depending on the pharmacy.

imagesPros: In clinical trials in which men with pattern baldness took 1 milligram per day for two years, new hair grew in 66 percent of patients. In 83 percent, hair loss was stopped.

images copyCons: Side effects are infrequent but may include decreased libido, impotence and depression. These symptoms typically disappear if the medicine is stopped. Patients should commit to it for at least six (6) months of therapy before evaluating treatment effectiveness. If the patient stops taking the medication   any hair gained or maintained through the therapy will be lost.

Minoxidil

This topical product is manufactured in strengths of 2% (the only version approved for women) and 5%, which also comes in a foam. Sold under the brand name Rogaine or generically, versions sell for as little as $10 per month. Minoxidil works best on patients whose hair loss is recent.

imagesPros: In a study cited in the journal ACP Medicine, even the 2 percent solution was shown to produce visible hair growth in about one-third of patients and fine-hair growth in another third.

images copyCons: In the same study, minoxidil was ineffective in one-third of patients. Results might not be visible for 4 to 12 months, and like Finasteride (Propecia) any benefits are lost when you stop applying the product. Side effects include dry, itchy, or irritated scalp and increased facial hair.

Hair Transplant Surgery & Costs

If you want to regain a natural youthful hairline and medical therapy does not work,  or your hair loss is too advance, you will most likely require hair restoration surgery.  Modern hair surgery uses your own natural hair grafts which are moved from the back of the scalp, to the top or front part of your head. There are two surgery techniques used in hair surgery- FUE and Strip. The average cost per graft for the  STRIP technique is $4-8,  and $ 8- 12 for FUE.  The average hair transplant requires 1500 to 2,000 grafts for mild hair loss. Depending on the severity of the hair loss, multiple procedures may be required with over 6000 to 8000 grafts harvested necessary to achieve the proper cosmetic outcome.

imagesPros: If you find a skilled and experienced hair transplant surgeon, and the transplant is successful, you will end up with a youthful appearance of your hair.

images copyCons: Rarely does a surgical hair transplant fail in the hands of an experienced hair surgeon. Make sure the surgeon is an active member of the ISHRS and that they actually perform the hair surgery. Some doctors lack the training and skills to perform FUE surgery. So what these doctors do is to hire hair technicians do perform the surgery, and shake your hand and leave the operating room. Not ethical or legal behavior.

pic-patient-testimonial-6mo-postHair transplant surgeon at OC Hair Restoration of Irvine, California , Dr. Ken Williams, specializes in FUE hair restoration technique. He also not only helps patients struggling with hair loss, but he also speaks to his patients from personal experience. Dr Williams is an advocate for a daily treatment program to treat hair loss.

Williams states, “Daily treatment is key.  The use of a DHT blocker, like Propecia, and topical application of minoxidil will stop further loss and maintain current hair density.” He adds, “I use Rogaine 5% foam in the morning when I am in a hurry to get to work because it acts like a muse and holds the hair in place in the morning. For the evening dose,  I use the liquid Minoxidil from Costco because it is four ($4) dollars a bottle. I take a DHT inhibitor once a day, and I use the Laser Cap (low-level laser therapy) every other day. I have an aggressive approach to a daily treatment program because I had FUE hair restoration surgery, and I don’t want to be bald ever again.”

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PRP Female Hair Loss Study-Enrolling Patients


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PRP Female Hair Loss Study-Enrolling Patients

Dr Ken L. Williams of the Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery-OC Hair Restoration is enrolling female patients suffering from hair loss in a medical research study. The study is designed to evaluate the effect(s) of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy on women with Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). The medical study is university based and privately financially supported by the International Society Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) and medical partners.

WHAT IS FPHL?

The term, FPHL, has emerged as the preferred medical term for hair loss in women. As opposed to the primary male hair loss diagnosis-Androgenetic Alopecia, FPHL is caused by multiple etiologies, and treatment options are considered more complicated. Hair loss in women negatively impacts women more than men with impaired social function, decrease self-esteem, and loss of confidence. In many cases, a accurate clinical diagnosis can be made and the hair loss condition treated medically or surgically.

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INCLUSION CRITERIA

The eligibility criteria are: 1) Female gender, 2) At least 18 years old, and 3) Ludwig II FPHL diagnosed by history, physical examination, and either biopsy or strong family history of female pattern hair loss as defined by two or more female relatives known to have a familiar Ludwig pattern of hair loss, without known disease.

UNIVERSITY SPONSORED HAIR LOSS STUDY

The study has been approved by the Office of Human Research Protections at the University of Houston to evaluate the effect of PRP upon the growth of the hair follicle. It is financially supported by a small grant from the ISHRS and is designed by Baylor University hair surgeon and principal investigator, Dr. Carlos Puig. In addition to Drs. Puig and Williams, also participating in the multisite study are Dr. Robert Reese from Edina, Minnesota; and Dr. Matt Leavitt of Maitland, Florida.

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HAIR LOSS INDUSTRY PARTNERS

This female hair loss study is supported by Cytomedix, the manufacturer of the Autologel  system that creates the wound healing and hair stimulating properties from PRP. The research is a multi-site study consisting of hair loss specialists located in the northeast, south, and western regions of the United States. The study is prospective, double blinded, and placebo controlled to increase scientific validity and reduce physician bias. The official title of the research is Pilot Study On The Effect of Autologel Platelet Rich Plasma Injections On Hair Growth In Patients With Female Pattern Hair Loss.

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COST TO PATIENT

There is no cost to eligible patients and no reimbursement is available for enrolling in the study. If the study demonstrates a significant difference between the placebo and study group, all patients in the placebo group will receive without charge PRP therapy to induce hair growth.

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CONTACT INFORMATION

If you are interested in participating in this medical study, and if you have been under the care of a dermatologist or hair loss specialist, you may be eligible to participate in this hair loss study. Your contact is Jackie Kusinsky at Jackie@iimcs.org or call (949) 333-2999.

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Testosterone Replacement Therapy Linked to Hair Loss


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A recent study released in the May issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed the compliance rate for taking Testosterone Replacement therapy (TRT) is low in hypogonadal males. The study showed that by six (6) months of therapy only 35 % of male patients had continued on their medication. At twelve (12) months, the adherence rate had dropped to 15.4%. So what did we learn from this study ? Men are bad when it comes to taking medication.

Those numbers don’t surprise physicians who engage in hair loss and hair restoration procedures and treatments. Patients who fail to take physician prescribed medications, such as DHT blockers and TRT is a common problem.  Patients that have purchased and used illegal anabolic substances from nutrition sports stores are even more difficult to treat.  These patients often times present, unknowingly, with clinical findings of Anabolic Steroid abuse. Hair loss patients using anabolic steroids can also present with side effects including fatigued, erectile dysfunction,  poor libido, and low sex drive.

For the average medical doctor, the suspicion of underlying illegal anabolic steroid (AS) use as a cause for the patient’s subjective complaints often goes undetected. In patients who are no longer cycling on AS,  the development of  Anabolic Steroid Induced Hypogonadism (ASIH) is common unless the patient goes on another cycle of AS.

bald bb6Doctors often miss the correct diagnosis because they fail to ask the right questions, or patients are too embarrassed to offer this medical information during their office visit. The situation is only made worse because of inadequate training and knowledge of physicians in treating patients with ASIH from anabolic steroid use.

Most practicing physicians don’t understand  anabolic steroid use or the use of testosterone because physicians are taught early in medical school and residency to avoid these trouble causing and drug abusing patients. It is critical that patients be given direct instructions by healthcare providers about the serious side effects of steroid use.

Only a handful of physicians are engaged in evaluating the endocrine functions of their patients, and an even lesser amount of physicians have any idea of the side effects associated with steroid or non-physician prescribed testosterone. These side effects include hair loss, testicular atrophy, gynecomastia, lipid and liver abnormalities, and an increase in red blood cells called polycythemia.

Hair loss occurs for men and women who use testosterone or anabolic steroids because of the increase chemical conversion in the body of Testosterone to another hormone called, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). During the metabolism or breakdown of  Testosterone, a equivalent increase in conversion to DHT occurs. This hormone has been known for over three(3) to four (4) decades to cause hair loss.

So what should a hair loss patient do when they have taken non-physician prescribed steroids?  Hair Restoration surgeon, Dr. Ken Williams of the Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery, states, “ Being honest with your doctor and obtaining medical care by a physician who is familiar with treating hair loss patients with hypogonadal symptoms is paramount.”

Williams adds,  “It is vital to have a comprehensive physical and endocrine evaluation. Baseline blood tests such as a PSA, Testosterone, CBC, and DHT are critical.  Routine office visits in time will eventually reestablish normal hormone levels, libido, and stabilize hair loss.

Patients with a history of steroid use and who suffer from hair loss can call Dr. Williams at his office at 949-333-2999 for a medical consultation and evaluation.

Using Fat Cells to Cure Hair Loss


Yale researchers have discovered the source of signals that trigger hair growth, an insight that may lead to new treatments for baldness. Researchers have identified stem cells within the skin’s fatty layer and showen that molecular signals from these cells were necessary to spur hair growth in mice, according to the data published in the Sept. 2 issue of the medical journal Cell.

“If we can get these fat cells in the skin to talk to the dormant stem cells at the base of hair follicles, we might be able to get hair to grow again,” said Valerie Horsley, assistant professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and senior author of the paper.

Men with male pattern baldness still have stem cells in follicle roots but these stem cells have lost the ability to jump-start hair regeneration. Scientists have known that these follicle stem cells need signals from within the skin to grow hair, but the source of those signals has been unclear.

Horsley’s team observed that when hair dies, the layer of fat in the scalp which comprises most of the skin’s thickness shrinks. When hair growth begins, the fat layer expands in a process called adipogenesis. Researchers found that a type of stem cell involved in the creation of new fat cells, adipose precursor cells, was required for hair regeneration in mice. They also found these cells produce molecules called PDGF (platelet derived growth factors), which are necessary to produce hair growth.

Horsley’s lab is trying to find other signals produced by adipose precursor stem cells that may play a role in regulating hair growth. She also wants to know whether these same signals are required for human hair growth. Other authors from Yale are lead author Eric Festa, Jackie Fretz, Ryan Berry, Barbara Schmidt, Matthew Rodeheffer and Mark Horowitz.

The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program.

New Finasteride and Dutasteride Medical Study


coverNewly released study on effects of DHT blockers

For over three decades, hair restoration surgeons have known that the Dihydortestosterone (DHT) molecule  has caused miniaturization of the hair follicle in both men and women. For over two decades we have known about specific blockers of these hormones, but only recently has the medical community come to understand the potential side effects of these powerful blockers.

A recent study  from Mayo Clinic and Tulane University School of Medicine physicians, was just released in the June 2013 issue of  Sexual Medicine Reviews. The article’s intended to review and summarize findings from all published medical and scientific literature detailing adverse events associated with Dihydrotestosterone blockers.

The results of the study validated current knowledge that DHT blockers are associated with a slightly increased rate of decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, gynecomastia, depression, and/or anxiety. This manuscript confirms previously known information and its findings do not change existing scientific and medical knowledge.

imagesThe controversy of DHT blocker use causing chronic sexual dysfunction began in 2012.  It was medical researcher, Dr. Michael S. Irwig, from George Washington University, who published a paper in the esteemed medical research periodical, Journal of Sexual Medicine, announcing certain chronic and long-term adverse sexual symptoms from DHT blockers.

The controversy surfaced because the study was not designed as a double blinded and traditional objective scientific study. Irwig’s study introduced researcher bias by recruiting patients from an internet forum site and a previous study he performed on the same subject material. Many medical doctors denounced this study citing inaccurate results because it could not be used to draw definite conclusions, and it lacked the high standards traditionally established in scientific publications.

Although, the majority of Irwig’s patients met the definition of sexual dysfunction by the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale, Irwig’s methodology in establishing a cause for his subjects sexual dysfunction has been scrutinized for simple issues such as a lack of baseline serum hormone levels of testosterone and DHT.

Irwig’s study today remains one of the very few studies defining possible long-term effects from DHT blockers. Dr. Ken Williams, an Irvine, California  hair restoration surgeon concludes, “This most newest research study reflects the need for ongoing and  further research, specifically aimed at finding prevalence rates and persistence of sexual side effects to establish a cause and effect relationships from DHT inhibitors.”

Michelle Williams’ New Hair Cut: How To Grow Your Hair Out


rs_300x300-130410110511-600.MichelleWilliams.mh.041013While promoting her new movie, Oz the Great and Powerful, Michelle Williams admitted she was going to grow out her infamous pixie cut locks, “I think I’m ready. It’s on its way slowly but surely.  Her hairstylist, Chris McMillan, explained how he keeps Michelle looking gorgeous while she grows out her hair. “It’s getting long,” he said. “It’s growing out. We’re just cutting the underneath. It’s called an undercut haircut. That underneath hair is kept short and the top is growing longer so you can really see the extreme difference between the two. That is one way of growing a short pixie haircut out,” McMillan said. “You cut the underneath layers and keep the top longer.”

It is easy to get frustrated and discourage when attempting to grow out your hair.  Our society tends to be driven by instant gratification and growing out your hair can take months or even years…. enter hair extensions.  The problem with hair extensions though, is they cause even more damage and prolong the growing out process.  Many women even experience traction alopecia caused by the excess weight and pulling of the extensions.

The first thing you need to know is what influences healthy hair growth. There are many factors which influence healthy hair growth; these encompass a whole range of medical, emotional and lifestyle conditions which can prevent the body from effectively absorbing the essential nutrients it needs to support healthy hair.

  • Tppic131AGE– With aging nearly everyone has some hair loss with aging. The rate of hair growth begins to slow as we age. Hair strands become smaller and have less pigment. So the thick, coarse hair of a young adult eventually becomes thin, fine, light-colored hair. Many hair follicles stop producing new hairs.
  • STRESS– Believe it or not, the cliché about stress leading to hair problems is actually true. In extreme stress, the adrenal gland goes into overdrive, and the resultant increase in adrenaline sometimes leads to a consequent increase in the production of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which, without enough estrogen to counterbalance it, can lead to hair not being as healthy as it should be. For some people being stressed can seriously affect the condition of their hair and it can turn into a vicious circle: Stress affects the hair cycle and the impact of this can cause more stress for the sufferer. It can be difficult to pinpoint a specific stress episode as the reason hair becomes unhealthy but it is often acute and chronic stress that will bring on conditions such as telogen effuvium (hair shedding).
  • MEDICATION– In some instances medicine may have side effects which impact on healthy hair growth; they include cholesterol lowering agents, ulcer healing agents, anti-diabetic drugs, blood pressure medication and birth control pills.
  • POOR DIET– A diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy hair and hair growth. A diet low in protein is often the reason someone will experience hair loss, as a poor diet affects new growth. The hair follicle is a nonessential tissue and, therefore, one of the last tissues to receive nutritional substances, therefore any long-term deficiencies may lead to premature hair loss.
  • HORMONAL CHANGES– Hormonal changes associated with menopause can affect the healthy hair growth cycle. While this menopausal side effect is relatively rare, it has been known to occur in some cases. Other hormonal changes in the body– notably thyroid issues and hormonal responses to changes in the autoimmune system have been known to affect hair thinning and loss in some women. Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can experience problems with their hair due to a hormone imbalance and increased sensitivity to the male hormones we all have.
  • POST PREGNANCY– While a beautiful and natural process, it is nonetheless a stressful process on the body. Consequently, it’s common for post-partum hair thinning or even bald patches to occur as the bodies’ hormone levels normalize. This is usually a temporary condition, however, and should reverse itself soon. If hair health is still an issue a few months after the pregnancy is over, chances are that the hair condition is attributed to something other than the pregnancy.
  • SMOKING– Smoking affects healthy hair growth. Cigarette smoking has been shown to cause poor circulation, which can affect the amount of blood flow available to the hair follicles of the scalp.
  • OVER-STYLING– Aerosol sprays, hair dyes, hair irons, and curlers might seem to be essential to hair beauty in the short term, but do keep in mind that excessive use of any of these items may result in damaging hair in the long run. Women who find their healthy hair is being affected may also want to consider what they’re putting into their hair and scalp on a daily basis and consider other nutritional supplements and cosmetic methods.

Now that we have identified the problem, lets talk about the solutions.  “There are non-prescription products available over the counter to help stimulate healthy hair growth,” says  Dr Ken Williams, a hair restoration physician at OC Hair Restoration Center in Irvine, CA., ” I like to recommend a nutritional supplement  called Viviscal, and always my favorite is Rogaine 5% foam to the scalp twice a day.”  For his patients that wish to be more pro-active with treatment Dr Williams offers Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Low Level Laser Therapy to stimulate healthy hair growth.