Stem Cell Study Indicates Hair Loss Could Be Preventable

A new study carried out by researchers from Helsinki and Cologne, has indicated that hair loss could be preventable. The team discovered a mechanism which could prevent hair loss.

The results, published within the Cell Metabolism journal, provide hope for a future cure. Here, we’ll look at this latest study and what this means for hair loss patients.

Understanding the latest study

The international study involved conducting experiments on mice. It discovered that if hair follicles switched their metabolic state, it could prolong their lifespan. The protein Rictor was found to be responsible for the metabolic process, identifying it as a potential solution for human hair loss.

A genetic mouse model was created to assess the way the Rictor protein functioned. In mice which lacked the protein, hair follicle regeneration was significantly delayed. Older mice with a Rictor deficiency showed a reduction in stem cell, resulting in hair loss.

Hair loss triggered by reduced metabolic flexibility

When new hair is created, the stem cells go back to their quiescent state. The researchers discovered that this requires a change in the metabolic state of the cells. The shift is controlled by the Rictor protein.

Although it has long been known that stem cells play a leading role in ageing, very little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the maintenance of the cells.

As part of the study, the introduction of a glutaminase inhibitor was found to restore the function of stem cells in mice which had a Rictor deficiency. So changing the metabolic pathways could increase the regenerative capacity of our tissues.

Could the findings help with hair loss drug treatments?

While this new research has pinpointed Rictor as a significant factor in hair loss, further research is now required. The current studies have only been carried out on mice. Now, larger, human studies need to be carried out.

In particular, the researchers need to look at how these preliminary findings could be used within stem cell biology in humans. They will be looking to see how the mechanisms identified in the study could be used in drug therapies for hair loss.

This provides some hope that a potential cure could be found for hair loss. However, as hair loss is caused by a wide range of factors, even if a drug treatment could be created, it won’t work for everyone. Changing the mechanisms of stem cells would be most effective in patients suffering with male or female pattern baldness.

Risk Factors for Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia Established in New Study

According to a new study, commercial dermatology products could increase the risk of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA). The findings, published within the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, show common products could be responsible for hair loss.

Here, we’ll look at the new study and its findings, alongside a brief overview of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia.

The latest Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia study

The latest cohort study included 451 Brazilian adults who had been diagnosed with FFA. All patients were 18 or over and were from 11 different medical centres across the country. The participants were matched with 451 nonscarring alopecia patients who received care at the same centre.

Electronic questionnaires were completed to gather information on environmental exposures, lifestyle factors and demographics. Women made up 96% of the study participants. In the FFA group, 60% had gone through the menopause compared to 44% of the control patients.

In regression models, it was revealed FFA had an association with hair straightening products and facial moisturising creams. Frequent use of clarifying shampoo and smoking were also found to have links to FFA. However, unlike previously thought, the study didn’t find any link to sunscreen use.

Building on previous hair loss research

This recent study builds on previous research which has identified links between cosmetic product use and FFA. In 2016, a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology revealed leave-on facial skin care products were associated with the condition.Researchers from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield surveyed 105 women with FFA. They also matched them to 100 control subjects of the same age and sex.

It was revealed that compared to the control group, patients with FFA used sunscreen more often. They also tended to use more facial skin care products. A link was also discovered between thyroid disease and FFA.

While this previous study identified a potential link to sunscreen use, the latest Brazilian study didn’t. What the two did identify, was that facial skincare products do have a link to the condition.

What is Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia?

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia causes hair loss, typically along the hairline. It is also referred to as scarring alopecia and it largely affects women.

The condition leads to inflammation which destroys the hair follicle. This is then replaced by permanent scarring. It has only recently been recognised as a condition and the true cause is unknown.

Mainly affecting post-menopausal women, it is thought hormones could be a contributing factor to FFA. However, this new research shows common skincare products could also be a problem.

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia is a growing problem, leading experts to believe it is our lifestyle that is causing the rise. This latest research pinpoints some of the risk factors that have been identified.

For those living with the condition, there are effective treatments to manage it. Book a consultation with a hair expert at David Fenton by calling 020 7580 8356 to see whether FFA is the cause of your hair loss.

Antihistamines Effective in Treatment of Alopecia Areata, New Study Finds

A new alopecia areata study has revealed that antihistamines could be an effective treatment option. Published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, it provides hope for those suffering with the condition which currently has no cure.

Here, we’ll look at this new study and why it is important for those living with alopecia areata.

Understanding the study

The recent study aimed to look at the effectiveness of alternative treatments for alopecia areata. It followed 148 patients who were provided with a combination of antihistamines, superficial cryotherapy, and topical corticosteroids. They also provided 24 of the patients with adjuvant antihistamine treatments.

The patients were provided these treatments for seven months. It was revealed that 100% of those treated with antihistamines saw significant hair regrowth. On the other hand, a slightly lower 79.3% of those who weren’t treated with antihistamines experienced regrowth.

While this does show antihistamines could be effective at treating alopecia areata, the researchers state more research is required. Although antihistamines appear to work, it isn’t understood how or why. In particular, the researchers need to look at the ability of antihistamines to act as an intrinsic histamine H1- receptor antagonists.

No adverse reactions were reported in the study, giving hope for patients who suffer with this incurable condition.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss which can occur suddenly, causing small patches of hair to fall out from the scalp. In severe cases, patients lose all of their hair permanently, including the hairs on their body and their eyebrows. However, for many patients, it does only impact small sections of hair and it will eventually grow back.

It is triggered by an autoimmune response. The immune system essentially starts to attack the cells of the body, including those in the hair follicles. It is not known why this happens and currently there is no cure.

Although there is no cure, there are some treatments available which can minimise and slow down the rate of hair loss.

The current alopecia areata treatments available

As alopecia areata can be difficult to predict, finding the right treatment option can require a little trial and error. Treatment doesn’t guarantee the hair will grow back, but some have proven to be very effective.

Topical agents are one treatment option available. These need to be applied directly onto the scalp, such as Minoxidil. You can purchase low-strength topical agents over the counter. However, for more severe cases, you may need a prescription for the higher dose topical agents.

Steroid injections, oral treatments and light therapy have also been used to slow down the rate of hair loss and encourage new hair growth.  To find out which treatment option is right for you, book a consultation with a hair loss specialist today.

This recent study provides hope for a future cure for alopecia areata. While it may take a while to see an actual cure for the condition, advancements in research are being made constantly. For now, patients have a number of treatment options available to help minimise the condition.

Postpartum Hair Loss: How to Treat It and When You Should Seek Help

After giving birth, the body understandably goes through some pretty big changes. As hormone levels start to regulate, many women notice a particularly worrying change in their hair.

Thinning and hair loss are surprising yet common symptoms after pregnancy. Known as postpartum hair loss, it can cause women a lot of distress, particularly if they aren’t aware of the condition. So, what exactly is postpartum hair loss and how can you treat it?

Understanding postpartum hair loss

Postpartum hair loss tends to occur within a few months of giving birth. During pregnancy, changing hormone levels cause the hair growth cycle to temporarily alter. This means you’ll typically notice your hair looks better than ever. As it stops shedding, it appears thicker and fuller than ever. However, after giving birth, hormone levels return to normal, kick-starting the hair cycle.

Now, what happens is the hairs that didn’t fall out during pregnancy, begin to shed. This can happen at an alarming rate, making hair loss and thinning more noticeable. It isn’t uncommon for women to experience noticeable bald patches when this occurs.

While it can be extremely worrying, you need to know that postpartum hair loss is only temporary. Within six months, most women will notice the hair has grown back fully. However, until it does, there are some treatments you can use to minimise the problem.

How is it treated?

There are a number of treatments you can try to eliminate postpartum hair loss. These include simple lifestyle changes, good scalp maintenance and in severe cases, medications.

What you eat can make a difference, so focus on consuming a diet high in iron and protein. Did you know that 25% of the daily protein intake goes to your hair? So, if you don’t get enough of it, it’s going to contribute towards hair loss and breakage. Similarly, when you give birth your iron levels drop.  So, consuming a diet rich in protein and iron will help to keep the hair healthier.

You should also aim to look after the scalp. Washing your hair regularly when you have new-born might not be easy, but it can minimise hair loss. Some experts also recommend using a scalp scrub once a week. This will help stimulate circulation and clear the scalp, ensuring the follicles don’t become blocked.

If lifestyle changes and scalp care don’t minimise the problem, medication may be needed. This includes topical treatments such as Minoxidil. While it isn’t always possible to prevent the condition, these are some of the best methods you can follow to reduce the issue.

Overall, postpartum hair loss is a common condition a lot of women suffer with after giving birth. While it can be devastating, the good news is it will clear up naturally over time. If your hair loss is significant or it is causing you distress, you can book a consultation with a hair loss expert. They will be able to assess the condition and determine whether treatment is required.

Surprising Reason for Hair Loss Discovered

Hair loss is a common, yet devastating issue. There are all kinds of hair loss conditions you can experience in your lifetime. Now, new research has revealed an additional and surprising reason for hair loss you might want to familiarise yourself with, and it relates to oral health.

According to research carried out by the University of Granada in Spain, tooth infections can also lead to alopecia areata. Here, we’ll look at what the researchers discovered and what patients should know about this new development.

Understanding the recent research

The recent research, led by Professor Jose Antonio Gil Montoya and Professor Antonio Cutando Soriano, discovered localised hair loss could be a result of a tooth infection.

It was revealed that patients who had a tooth infection, commonly experienced patchy hair loss following the route of infection. This means hair loss can occur on the face as well as the scalp. However, it can also occur far away from the infection site. The thing with tooth infection related hair loss, is that it never appears in the same place on each patient. So, there is no specific hair loss pattern to watch out for.

The takeaway from the research is that those who suffer sudden patchy hair loss, might want to book an appointment with the dentist. There is a clear link between the two conditions, though it’s also important to remember that hair loss can have a wide variety of causes.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss caused by an auto-immune response. The body basically attacks its own cells, including the ones contained within the hair follicles. This leads to either patchy areas of hair loss, or complete hair loss in severe cases.

As well as affecting the hair on the scalp, alopecia areata can also cause the hairs of the eyebrows, arms, eyelashes and legs to fall out. It sometimes develops slowly over time and at present, there is no cure.

In most cases, the hair loss is only temporary, and it will grow back. However, in severe cases the hair loss is permanent. While there is no cure, there are treatments available which can help. These include topical agents, injections, oral treatments and light therapy.

The importance of an accurate diagnosis

Before attempting to try any treatment for hair loss, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis. There are so many different types of hair loss and each requires a different type of treatment.

So, if you have started to notice your hair is becoming thinner or failing out, book a consultation with a hair expert today. They will be able to help you diagnose the issue and determine the best course of treatment you should follow.

This latest research adds yet another potential hair loss cause onto the long list. Keeping up with dental appointments could therefore potentially help to stop this type of hair loss. However, the number of patients who are experiencing this type of hair loss is very low.

September Marks Alopecia Awareness Month

Each September, Alopecia Awareness Month aims to educate the public about hair loss and its effects on patients. It is thought approximately 90,000 people in the UK suffer with Alopecia Areata, an immune disease which sees patients experience patchy areas of hair loss. However, this isn’t the only form of hair loss you can suffer from.

Hair loss affects men, women and children worldwide. So, what exactly is it and why is September’s Alopecia Awareness Month so important?

What is Alopecia Awareness Month?

Alopecia Awareness Month runs throughout September each year. It focuses on educating about the types of hair loss, the causes and potential solutions available.

Alopecia is the medical term given to hair loss and there are different types you can suffer with. While it is often seen as a natural occurrence of getting older, hair loss can have a devastating impact on a patient’s life. Not all hair loss is natural and there are treatments out there to help.

Each year, Alopecia charities and organisations host a range of events to mark Alopecia Awareness Month. This year, Alopecia UK is creating a special video series as part of a campaign. In it, viewers will be shown headwear options they can use to disguise their hair loss.

Patients also tend to use the month to talk about their own experiences in the hope of helping others. It is a crucial annual event, spreading awareness of conditions which affect millions of people.

Understanding the different causes of hair loss

If you want to seek treatment for your hair loss, it is imperative to locate the cause. This is because there are a wide variety of hair loss treatments out there, and they are designed to work for specific conditions. So, what are the common causes to be aware of?

Age is one of the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women. As we get older, the hair strands start to narrow in width. Some of the follicles can also stop producing new hairs, resulting in an overall thinning.

Hormones can be another major contributor to hair loss conditions. In women, the menopause is renowned for causing the hair to thin and fall out. This is down to a reduction in female hormones throughout the body. Similarly, in pregnancy women often find their hair starts to fall out shortly after giving birth. This is again down to changes in hormones disrupting the hair cycle.

Other potential causes include stress, a poor diet, health conditions and medications. It can also occur as a direct result of a trauma or accident. With so many different causes of hair loss, it is vital you undergo a consultation to determine what has triggered your hair loss.

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia in Women Linked to Autoimmune Disease and Thyroid Abnormalities A

According to a new study, women with Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia are more likely to suffer autoimmune disease as well as thyroid abnormalities. The results, published within the British Journal of Dermatology, provide specialists with a better idea of how to approach patient treatment.

Here, we’ll look at what the study revealed, as well delve deeper into what Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia is.

Understanding the study

Phenotypic data was included from a total of 711 women in this latest study. Participants were of Eurasian ancestry, had an average age of 66 and had been diagnosed with Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia.

The average duration of hair loss on the scalp was seven years. Around 73.2% of the women had experienced frontotemporal hairline recession after the menopause. A slightly higher 77.3% had perifollicular erythema and 26% experienced hyperkeratosis. Additionally, 90.6% of participants had suffered eyebrow loss and 44.5% experienced eyelash loss.

It was revealed that 20.7% of the women reported having an autoimmune disease. The most common, at 12.9%, was autoimmune thyroid disease. Other autoimmune issues reported included celiac disease at 1.5% and 1.2% pernicious anaemia. Interestingly, it also revealed that 71.2% of the women had taken an oral contraceptive pill for over six months.

So, a clear link between autoimmune diseases and Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia was identified in the research. However, the study did have its limitations so further research is required to determine the extent of the link and whether treating the autoimmune condition will ultimately treat Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia.

What is Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia?

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFP) affects the front of the hairline in women. Usually, the condition comes on suddenly, although it can progress gradually in some patients.

When diagnosing the condition, hair loss in the eyebrows is a tell-tale sign. As the condition progresses, it isn’t uncommon to experience hair loss on the limbs of the body, as well as pubic hair loss.

The majority of women who develop FFP are post-menopausal women over the age of 50. Although rare, the condition can also develop in men, as well as pre-menopausal women.

How is FFP treated?

Patients who are diagnosed with FFP have limited treatment options. If the follicles of the hair have been damaged, the hair isn’t going to grow back.

Initially, oral corticosteroids tend to be prescribed to slow down the progression of the condition. Other drugs that have helped to slow FFP include Hydroxychloroquine and Finasteride. However, these are short term treatments that generally aren’t safe for long-term use.

Treatments tend to focus on stabilising the condition, rather than eliminating it completely. It is also important to ensure you receive an FFP diagnosis. There are lots of different types of hair loss and each requires a different treatment.

Overall, the latest research linking FFP to autoimmune conditions is useful for patients and specialists. Seeking treatment for autoimmune issues could prevent FFP from both developing and progressing. If you suspect you are suffering with FFP, book a consultation with a hair loss expert to identify the best course of treatment currently available.

COVID and Hair Loss Explained 

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant healthcare crisis we have faced in a generation and our understanding of the virus is constantly expanding. The virus is known to affect the respiratory system, but it also has a few surprising effects on the body you might not be aware of.

Some people are claiming the COVID outbreak has caused or accelerated their hair loss. So, can the virus really impact hair loss? Below, we’ll look at the link between the virus and hair loss and what could be causing the issue.

Is hair loss a side effect of the virus?

There have been several reports of patients suffering hair loss after they have beaten the virus. The American Actress, Alyssa Milano, has recently revealed she is experiencing clumps of hair loss as a result of COVID-19. Classing herself as a ‘long-hauler’, she has warned her fans to wear masks to protect others experiencing the same devastating effects.

Long-haulers are patients who have recovered from COVID-19, but they still experience symptoms months after. But can it really lead to hair loss? It certainly isn’t one of the main symptoms of the virus, although it has been listed as an issue on the COVID-19 Symptom Study app. It has over 400,000 users and hair loss has been mentioned as a side effect by numerous patients.

So, while it may not officially be a symptom, researchers are looking into the connection between Coronavirus and hair loss.

Why could Coronavirus cause hair loss?

The main reason some patients could be experiencing hair loss as a result of COVID-19, is because of the stress placed on the body. You’ll often see hair loss is a symptom of many chronic illnesses.

The virus is known to be particularly hard on the body. The stress caused while fighting the illness can lead to the hair shifting into its resting phase earlier than it usually would. Then, after a time the hair will shift to its shedding stage, resulting in a lot more hair being shed at one time.

This type of hair loss is officially known as telogen effluvium. The positive thing about it is that it is typically only temporary. Once the stress of the illness has passed, the hair will start to recover and regrow. It will usually take six to twelve months for the hair to get back to normal without any form of treatment.

What treatments are available?

While hair loss relating to COVID-19 is only temporary, it can understandably be distressing for patients. If you want the hair to grow back quicker, or to reduce the amount of hair shed, there are treatments available.

A hair specialist can prescribe temporary hair loss treatments such as topical Minoxidil. This will help to slow down the rate of hair loss, as well as encourage new hair growth. However, before starting any form of treatment, it’s important to establish the true cause.

There are different types of hair loss so yours may not necessarily be caused by the coronavirus. Determining the cause will help you to seek the most effective treatment option.

Dr David Fenton comments on the haircare industry in MoneyWeek

The haircare market is big business, generating $500 billion a year in global sales. Alongside haircare products, there is also the contribution of the drug and biotech sectors that are searching for treatments that could slow down hair loss – or, the holy grail, cure baldness for good.

In the past, age-related hair loss might have been seen as inevitable, but now pharmaceutical companies are working hard to find a medical solution and hair loss expert Dr David Fenton recently spoke to MoneyWeek, Britain’s bestselling financial magazine, about potential new developments.

Currently, the two main treatments for hair loss are Minoxidil (also known as rogaine) and Finasteride (propecia). As David comments, these products can “significantly slow down the rate of hair loss” but once you stop taking them then hair loss “will immediately resume”. They also come with some potential side effects because they affect hormone production and they are limited in their ability to regrow hair that has already been lost.

As a results, David often sees patients that decide not to start treatment after they have consulted with him. He believes that patients would be more “particularly open to a one-off treatment, as well as one that doesn’t involve hormones” and, if such a treatment was found, boosting the hair loss sector even further.

New hair loss treatments

David explained to MoneyWeek that the two drugs he was most enthusiastic for are Dutasteride, originally developed by
GlaxoSmithKline, and Clascoterone, developed by Cassiopea and Intrepid Therapeutics, particularly the latter.

Clascoterone was originally designed as an acne treatment but has now been repurposed as a hair loss drug after studies showed that it increased hair density. With no impact on hormone levels, side effects are minimal. The drug entered late-stage trials at the end of last year.

If you would like more advice on the hair loss treatment options that are available, call on 020 7580 8356 to arrange a consultation.

How Severe is My Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a common condition in men, often caused by genetics and known as Androgenetic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness. Over half of men will develop it at some time in their lives. In order to treat the problem, it’s important to understand how advanced the hair loss is.

There are differing levels of severity of Male Pattern Baldness. In order to aid with diagnosis, The Norwood Scale was introduced. Here, you’ll discover more about the Norwood Scale and how it is used to determine the severity of hair loss in men.

What is the Norwood Scale?

The Norwood Scale is used to measure the different stages of male pattern baldness. It was actually introduced back in the 1950s, but it was significantly improved in the 1970s. It covers seven different stages of baldness, allowing doctors and specialists to assess the severity of the condition. More about each stage can be found below.

Norwood Scale for MPB

Stage 1 – The first stage is known as the control stage. Patients still have a full head of hair with very little signs of a receding hairline or hair thinning.

Stage 2 – In stage two, the hair will be slightly receding, usually around the temple area.

Stage 3 – Hair loss starts to become more noticeable by stage three. It will be more noticeable at the side of the head and the hairline could represent an M, V or U shape. If there is also hair loss on the top of the head at this stage, it is often referred to as stage three vertex.

Stage 4 – At this stage, the hair loss will be significant. When seen from above, the hairline may resemble more of a U shape due to further receding of the hairline. The bald spot on the top of the head, if there is one, will also appear larger.

Stage 5 – In stage five, the hair loss pattern will be similar to that in stage four, only more severe. There is a strip of hair between the bald spot on the crown of the head and the hairline. However, the hair will be noticeably thinner.

Stage 6 – Patients in stage six will mostly be bald on both the top and front of the head. There isn’t any strip of hair between the bald spot and the receding hairline. Hair may still be present on the sides of the head.

Stage 7 – In the final stage, the hair loss will start to impact the side of the head. The hair will also be very thin and new hair grows back thinner and weaker.

How is Female Pattern Baldness assessed?

Women can also be affected by Androgenetic Alopecia, although women typically experience a different pattern of hair loss and the Ludwig Scale was devised to classify female hair loss.

The Ludwig Scale uses three different ‘types’ to diagnose the severity of hair loss:

Ludwig Scale for Female Pattern Baldness

Type I – in this stage the hair loss is considered mild and the frontal hairline typically isn’t affected so it can often be difficult to notice that hair loss is happening. Thinning usually occurs on the top and front of the head.

Type II – this stage is more moderate hair loss and women can become aware of more shedding and thinning of the hair with an overall decrease in volume. The central parting may begin to widen.

Type III – this is the most extreme stage of female hair loss and the thinning across the scalp has become so pronounced that the scalp is highly visible.

These guides can be used to assess the degree of hair which has already been lost, the potential for further hair loss in the future and the best course of treatment to be advised.