Tag Archives: FEMALE HAIR LOSS

Surgical Hair Restoration of the Frontal Hairline


Robert Barretto (FUE Surgery 2105 grafts-Actual Patient of Dr.Ken Williams)

Hair loss is inevitable, and many men in their 30’s and 40’s can expect to lose their frontal hair in the few years ahead. Men already experiencing a premature aging to their appearance because of the loss of the frontal hairline (FHL), readily recognize the deficit of this critical landmark as the hallmark of an older or less youthful appearance.  But help is here in the form of surgical hair restoration, where hair is taken from the back of your head and transplanted to the balding areas of the scalp.

Recreating the FHL is one of the most common surgical procedures performed. The design and restoration of the FHL is intended to reframe the face and restore a youthful appearance. The surgical goal for this part of the face is for the casual observer to view the frontal hairline ascend into the mid scalp with a cosmeticly appealing density. The FHL is considered the area of the scalp most looked at during casual conversations, or more importantly in pictures.

TWO PRIMARY RESTORATION TECHNIQUES-FUE AND STRIP

There are two techniques used by hair restoration surgeons to transplant hair from one denser region of the scalp to less dense area.  These two techniques are known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and the Strip. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these procedures and patients need to be aware of the differences. After understanding the differences in the surgical techniques, patients then need to find a competent hair surgeon  who can assist in the final decision making process.

“Surgical frontal hair restoration using the FUE technique is the most desired type of hair surgery. FUE  surgery gives a natural look and is minimally invasive.” Dr. Ken Williams

BEWARE WHO PERFORMS YOUR SURGERY

Many plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons, med spa owners, and even non-physicians such as aestheticians who own skin clinics,  advertise they perform hair surgery. The reality is there are many charlatans in the hair surgical field who have no business being in hair restoration surgery.  There are hair surgeons in private practice who have not obtained regular continuing education and training to be competent hair surgeons. Or even worse, as is documented in medical literature, these physicians purchased a hair transplant device without having any training and hire hair technicians to perform the entire hair surgery. Patients need to ask the question who actually performs the hair restoration procedure as well as the training and expertise of the physician. 

FRONTAL HAIR DESIGN BASICS

After deciding on the best hair surgeon and the ideal surgical technique for you as a patient, the next hair design decision involves determining the FHL placement. This is typically the distance from the glabella (the region of the forhead between the eyes) to the FHL.  The priority should be to recreate this height so it is age appropriate, and that it takes into consideration the progressive nature of hair loss and natural aging process.

Many patients believe they need the same placement of the FHL they once possessed during high school or college.  Although the request may be sincere, a low placement of the FHL will look unnatural, and should be avoided at all costs. The problem with too youthful of a placement of the FHL is it fails to give a natural appearance, and it requires more hair grafts. Thus, more grafts used to create a low lying FHL will deplete the donor site of follicles potentially needed at subsequent surgeries.

The second surgical decision to make is what should be the shape of the FHL look like. Some patients have a natural bell shape to their FHL while other possess a more rounded appearance. The bell curved hairline is for patients with a narrower head and where temporal hair loss is prominent. The bell shape also conserves valuable grafts because of a smaller surface area.  A round design is typically used for patients with a wider head and more stable temporal hair.

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(Illustration from HairTransplant 360- Sam Lam, M.D.)

The good news is hope is available for balding men and women with hair restorative surgery.   But according to Irvine, California hair restoration surgeon,  Dr. Ken Williams,  “The most important decision once you recognize you need surgery, is stabilization of any future hair loss with a consistent medical treatment program.”  He adds, “Laser therapy, Rogaine, a DHT inhibitor like finasteride are key components to any future hair surgery.”

For men and women suffering from hair loss, or are interested in hair restoration surgery, call Dr. Ken Williams and his staff for a personal and professional consultation. The Orange County Hair Restoration center, is conveniently located in the beautiful city of Irvine, California, adjacent to the Newport and Laguna Beach coasts. Our office number is 949-333-2999

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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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NFL Football Great Wes Welker Talks FUE Hair Surgery


Walker footballNFL great and wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, Wes Welker, went public today helping  his hair surgeon, Dr. Robert Leonard, promote public awareness of hair loss surgical restoration.

The story began almost a year ago when Walker underwent hair transplant surgery in New England with a procedure called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUE is a surgical hair procedure that is a relatively newer surgical technique compared to the traditional Strip method of hair transplantation that leaves a donor linear scar. Using this surgical technique, patients are able to use their own natural hair and transplant it to areas of baldness in men and women.

The surgical procedure is an advance surgical procedure that requires excellent hand-eye skills and much patience.

How FUE worksHOW DOES FUE WORK?

Using the FUE surgical technique, individual hair follicles are removed “one-by-one” from the back of the scalp, and relocated to balding areas of the scalp. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic with optional light sedation if requested. The entire procedure for a large 2000 graft case typically takes 12 hours to perform. Hair survival rates approach 90-95%, and after waiting nine to twelve months, patient experience their own hair follicles emerging on previous bald areas of the  scalp.

FUE Hair Surgeons-BUYER BEWARE!

There are only a handful of surgeons that actually perform FUE hair surgery. There is a growing concern among veteran hair transplant surgeons in the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), that new physicians entering the hair restoration field are hiring non-physicians to perform the entire hair transplant surgery. With little or no experience, physicians are allowing technicians to perform surgery.

Irvine hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Ken Williams, expresses his concerns, ” Technicians are not trained to monitor patients under sedation, give anesthesia, remove human tissue, or create the hair design.” Williams adds, “there are many surgeons who have purchased a FUE device, called NeoGraft, and are not following standard hair transplant practices. They allow technicians to perform the entire surgery and they are hurting patients.”

OC Hair Restoration Center is located in Irvine, California. The principle hair surgeon is Dr. Ken Williams, a leading FUE surgeon in the Western United States and whose hair surgical practice is primarily FUE based. He enthusiastically promotes FUE  “as a great procedure for younger men and athletes who want a shorter post-operative down time and who want to wear their hair short.  There is no donor linear scar with the procedure.”

For a consultation call (949) 333-2999 or visit our website at www.iimcs.org

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.

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.

The Difference Between Male & Female Hair Loss


male-female2-300x227Many people believe female pattern hair loss is the same disease as male pattern hair loss, and  the hair loss pattern just looks different in women. In the last decades, though, the discussion between hair restoration surgeons in the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has focused on the reality these two separate diseases or problems exists. Today many ISHRS physicians hypothesize  there are two different disease entities because their natural history (epidemiology) is so different.Many hair restoration surgery specialists think Female Androgenetic Alopecia is a misnomer and prefer the term Congenital Female Pattern Hair

PROMOTING PUBLIC AWARENESS-CARLOS PUIG

Promoting public awareness of female hair loss to the lay pubic and medical doctors is no easy matter. One particular physician, though, leading the effort is Carlos Puig , of Houston, Texas.  His tireless efforts to bring public attention to this medical condition is applauded and deeply appreciated. He is the founding member and current President of the ISHRS.  He is a world-renowned hair  restoration surgeon and probably the most knowledgeable hair specialist on female hair loss.

On a regular basis he leads an international effort to teach physicians about female hair loss and surgical restoration.  His hair restoration course, “Cowgirl Hair Loss Workshop,”  is an excellent compilation of his knowledge as well as featured hair surgeons from around the globe.   His below referenced chart comparison illustrates the differences between hair loss in men and women. We commend Dr. Puig for his efforts to bring hair surgical and medical restoration options to female hair loss suffers.

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**Chart adopted from Dr. Puig’s web site: www.hairrestorationhouston.com

HORMONE, STRESS, GENETICS ?

In some women with a genetic predisposition to hair loss, a group of hormones called androgens interferes with the growth cycle of the hair. These androgen hormones-testosterone, Androsteinedione, and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)- are dominant hormones in men, but are present in women to a much lesser degree. In some women, hair loss may be due to the action of androgens on the hair follicles.

Hair grows at one-half inch per month and the growth phase can lasts two to six years. With yet-to-be discovered physiologic signals, the hair goes into a resting phase for a period of time, then the hair follicle falls out and a new follicle starts the process all over again.

In women who are genetically susceptible, when the testosterone comes in contact with enzymes residing in the hair cell, it is converted into the more potent androgen DHT, which then binds with receptors deep within the hair follicle. Over time, DHT in the hair follicle alters the natural resting and growth phases of the hair. Some of the hair follicles eventually die, while others stop continuing healthy hair growth.

webmd_rf_photo_of_hair_loss_chartThe term ‘androgenic alopecia’ in women is often referred to “female pattern hair loss.” It is a broader term that encompasses many possible causes of hair loss in women. Androgenic alopecia is caused by factors related to the actions of hormones, e.g., ovarian cysts, use of high androgen index birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause. Just like in men, DHT and heredity plays a role in this disease.

In men, the pattern of hair loss is distinct whereas, women have a diffuse thinning of their hair. Female pattern balding affects circumferentially the whole top of the head with preservation of the frontal hairline. Men rarely have diffuse thinning and the frontal hair line is usually  loss to balding.

The science of female balding remains not entirely  understood.  Genetic codes and other factors plays a role in hair loss in women and remains a challenge to doctors and patients alike.