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.

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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.”

Live Hair Surgery Workshop in England


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Dr_Bessam_FarjoBessam Farjo, MB ChB is hosting the ISHRS Regional Live Surgery Workshop in Manchester, England.  This workshop will focus on patient selection and frontal hairline design.  Dr. Farjo is the past president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (2007-08), past president and co-founder of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS), fellow, board governor & medical director of the Institute of Trichologists, fellow of the International College of Surgeons.

Course Faculty:

OC Hair Restoration Center physician, Dr. Ken Williams, will be attending this conference.  “I am excited to meet with the my colleagues who I consider my friends and the  best hair restoration physicians in the world. We all benefit from sharing our  surgical techniques and insight.  These surgeons have helped shape the hair restoration field into what it is today…. developing consistent outcomes and reliable standards in hair restoration surgery.”

Check back next week for an update on the latest information and techniques in the hair restoration surgery field.

The Many Colors of Rachel McAdams


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.

Register to Attend FUE Palooza 2013


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Attention Hair Restoration Physicians

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The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery and Dr. James Harris are pleased to announce 2013 FUE-Palooza to be held in Denver, Colorado, USA, this August 3-4, 2013.

This is a one-of-a-kind hands-on experience to learn about and try various mechanized tools used for follicular unit extraction (FUE). Compare and contrast popular devices and decide for yourself which tool or tools suit you the best.

This workshop sold out last year. This course is anticipated to be in high demand, so if you are interested, we encourage you to register early.

Faculty and devices to be covered:

The program and registration form can be found at: www.fue-palooza.org