Causes Of Male Pattern Baldness
While there are many forms and causes for baldness, androgenetic alopecia is the most common, targeting nearly half of all men 50 years and older. Male pattern baldness is driven mostly by genetics, with a splash of environmental factors, like a sad diet of whiskey, burgers, and instant ramen. The cause of male pattern baldness is generally unknown, but some researchers have found androgens, a type of hormone, are involved. Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, a specific androgen formed from testosterone that turns boys into men at that awkward stage of puberty, is the major culprit. Hair grows normally under the skin in structures called hair follicles for two to six years, then falls out. For a few months, the hair follicle will go into a resting phase, then start the cycle over again. Elevated levels of androgens affect hair by cutting down the number of potential cycles that a hair follicle can go through, leading to shorter, thinner hair.
This is what the inevitable looks like. Credit: The Idle Man
Other genetic variations in men can lead to male pattern baldness. Some men with male pattern baldness have a larger number of docking sites for the Androgen Receptor or AR gene. This gene sequence codes for the production of the androgen receptor, a protein that specifically binds to androgen hormones. This combination of protein receptor-androgen normally controls for the translation of DNA into proteins that increase sex drive and ensure proper male sexual development.
Dietary Protein Is Important
Hair is made up of a form of protein , the same one found in fingernails and toenails. There are also a number of other chemical substances such as calcium, copper, zinc and iron as well as a small amount of fat in hair.Everyone, regardless of age, should eat enough protein to maintain normal hair production. Protein is found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some cheese, dried beans, tofu, grains and nuts.
Wigs Hair Pieces Or Hair Transplantation
Cosmetics such as hair sprays or hair colouring products, wigs and hair pieces can be effective to hide area with hair thinning. Hair transplantation has become more popular but not everyone is suitable for this procedure and it is expensive. Talk to your doctor to find out whether these treatments are suitable for you.
The Ministry of Health also provides a wig and hairpieces subsidy. Read more about the wigs and hair pieces subsidy to find out if you are eligible.
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Exciting Findings In Long
Their follicles also engaged in hair growth roughly three times as often. However, researchers restored their normal hair cycle by feeding the subjects corticosterone. Interestingly, when they applied various mild stressors to the controls for nine weeks, corticosterone rose and hair stopped growing. These stressors included tilting their cage, isolation, crowding, damp bedding, rapid lighting changes, and restraining. Injecting GAS6 into their skin reinitiated hair growth with no side-effects.
These exciting findings establish a foundation for exploring treatments for hair loss caused by chronic stress, adds Prof. Rui Yi, a dermatalogist at Northwestern University who is not involved in the study.
The study also reveals GAS6 increases expression of genes involved in cell division in HFSCs.
So, the authors might have uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that stimulates HFSC activation directly by promoting cell division, Prof Yi continues. In aging skin, most progenitor cells harbor DNA mutations including harmful ones that are often found in skin cancers without forming tumors.
It will be crucial to see whether forced GAS6 expression could inadvertently unleash the growth potential of these quiescent but potentially mutation-containing HFSCs, Yi concludes. Modern life for humans is inevitably stressful. But perhaps, one day, it will prove possible to combat the negative impact of chronic stress on our hair, at least by adding some GAS6.
Restarting Hair Growth From The Roots
The sheer size of the hair loss market means that other companies have begun investing in early-stage research. Their aim is to try and understand more about the molecular mechanisms that underpin human hair growth and loss, with the goal of finding an entirely new class of hair drugs.
As even completely bald individuals have 100,000 hair follicles still present all over their scalp, research efforts are ongoing to try and find yet new ways of reviving these follicles, even those that have been long dormant.
Italian biotech Giuliani has been exploring one particularly innovative way of doing this. Through studying existing drugs for other conditions that cause unwanted bodily hair growth as a side effect over the past four years, it has identified completely new pathways for stimulating hair follicles.
We have already found two or three compounds that work on these pathways and are effective at promoting human hair growth in organ culture, said Ralf Paus, a consultant scientist for Giuliani. The next step is to see whether theyre safe enough to topically administer them to volunteers, and then a clinical trial. If they really deliver hair growth, this will be a real breakthrough.
One of the biggest mysteries about hair follicles is that these tiny mini-organs follow an autonomous inbuilt clock that drives it through this cycle of growth, regression, resting, he said.
Images via A. Slynko and Shutterstock
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First Ever African American Face Transplant In 2019
The worlds first ever face transplant in an African American person took place in 2019. Later in the year, the news media widely covered his story with amazing after photos. As of 2019, only around 50 face transplants had been performed worldwide.
What is also amazing is that 68-year old Mr. Chelsea grew back a young persons hairline, with dark pigmented hair from the donor face. While this face transplant did not include a full scalp transplant, it seems like a significant portion of the donor scalp was also transferred during the procedure.
10:40 into the below video:
Now what looks really different is he has hair.
Medicines For Hereditary Hair Loss
Finasteride and minoxidil are the main medicines currently available to treat hair loss. However, they are not subsidised in New Zealand, so you need to pay for them yourselves.
Medicines that are used to treat hair loss provide different results for different people. It’s also not possible to predict who may or may not benefit from treatment.
This is a prescription-only treatment for hereditary hair loss in men. It is available as a tablet. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The hair follicles then are not affected by this hormone and will not shrink. Treatment needs to be continued for at least 6 months once started. If successful, the treatment is continued to maintain the effect.
Talk to your doctor to find out whether finasteride is suitable for you. Women should not take finasteride as a treatment for hair loss.
Hair clinics may arrange prescriptions for both local and oral treatments. Read more about finasteride.
Minoxidil topical lotion
Minoxidil is a rub-on treatment that can be bought from your local pharmacy. It can be used by both men and women. It needs to be applied twice daily to the scalp while it is dry. Minoxidil is more effective in the earlier stages of hair loss. Treatment needs to be continued for at least 6 months once started. If successful, treatment is continued to maintain the effect. Sometimes, a low-dose minoxidil tablet can also be prescribed for hair loss.
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Scientists Found New Baldness Cure That Could Trigger Regrowth In Just 4 Months
Researchers discovered that stem cells taken from fat tissues have growth hormones that can work on hair. They used those stem cells to create a new solution that triggers hair regrowth among people with male-pattern baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia or also known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness is caused by genetics, and hormonal and environmental factors. According to the researchers from Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital in South Korea, it affects about 50% of all men and a similar percentage among women over 50 years old.
The researchers recruited 29 male and nine women patients or 38 people with common baldness to participate in their study. The participants rubbed the new solution into their scalp two times a day. After 16 weeks, they found a significant increase in hair count.
Female Hereditary Hair Loss
Female hereditary hair loss is known as female pattern baldness. Its cause is not clearly understood. It can affect women in any age but occurs more commonly after menopause. It usually begins about the age of 30, becomes noticeable about the age of 40, and more noticeable after menopause. By the age of 50 at least a quarter of women experience some degree of hair thinning.
It is also thought that female hereditary hair loss is influenced by genetics and the androgen hormones, although the link is not as strong as in male hereditary hair loss.
In female hereditary hair loss, finer hairs with less colour are produced, and hairs in the resting phase fall out more easily.
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Is A Cure For Hair Loss Possible
Although there isnt currently a cure for hair loss, its possible that scientific research could lead to a cure one day.
Currently, researchers are investigating the potential use of stem cells to stimulate the growth of hair in men affected by male pattern baldness. Researchers from Yokohama National University in Japan, for example, have developed a method for generating new hair cells from stem cells in animals.
Other technologies, such as gene editing, may eventually play a major role in curing hair loss. In a 2018 study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers manipulated the gene responsible for mitochondrial function in mice, allowing them to worsen and then reverse loss of hair caused by the aging process.
While these studies are interesting, its unlikely that well see any major developments towards a hair loss cure in the next few years. Most are in the early stages of clinical testing, with a variety of steps required before carrying out a clinical trial on humans is even possible.
Even after initial trials, any potential cure will need to pass through the extensive FDA approval process before its available to the public. In total, this development and approval process can often take as long as 10 years to complete.
Still, its interesting science, as well as an important step towards potentially developing a real, permanent cure for male pattern baldness.
Living With Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata may affect your sense of well-being. There are many things you can do to cope with the effects of this disease, including:
- Learn as much as you can about the disease, and talk with others who are dealing with it.
- Visit a mental health professional if you experience higher levels of stress, depression, or anxiety.
Protect bare skin and stay comfortable.
- Use sunscreens for any bare areas.
- Wear wigs, hairpieces, hats, or scarves to protect your scalp from the sun and to keep your head warm.
- Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun and dust if you have lost hair from your eyebrows or eyelashes.
Consider cosmetic solutions.
- Wear a wig, hairpiece, or bandana to cover up hair loss. Some people choose to shave their heads to mask patchy hair loss.
- Use fake eyelashes or apply stick-on eyebrows if you lose hair from your eyelashes or eyebrows.
Take care of your health.
- Visit your primary care doctor regularly. People with alopecia areata have a higher risk of certain other diseases, and early diagnosis is important.
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Can Stem Cells Cure Baldness
One promising area of research into a cure for baldness is stem cells. These are a type of cell that has the ability to transform into other kinds of cells in your body, in order to repair damage to tissue.
A research group in Japan is aiming to develop a hair follicle regeneration technology. Their method involves cultivating stem cells around hair follicles to make them increase in size, thus reversing the miniaturisation of hair follicles that leads to MPB.
In addition, scientists from UC San Francisco discovered that regulatory T cells , a type of immune cell that is linked to controlling inflammation, have a close relationship with the stem cells in hair follicles. If the Tregs arent working properly then that can disrupt the growth cycle and prevent the growth of new hairs. The study was focused on hair loss due to alopecia areata, but its thought the findings could have implications for MPB treatment too.
Meanwhile, a Californian research programme has been successful in growing hair on mice using human induced pluripotent stem cells. These are adult cells that are genetically reprogrammed to act like cells found in a developing foetus. The head researcher, Alexey Terskikh, has founded a company that hopes to license the technology for commercial use.
Turning Back The Clock On Hairs Lifespan
Study authors explain the hormone regulates dormancy and activity of hair follicle stem cells in mice. In the absence of systemic corticosterone, the little cavities where each hair grows enter substantially more rounds of the regeneration cycle throughout life.
When corticosterone levels are elevated, hair follicles stay in an extended rest phase and fail to regenerate, says Hsu. Conversely, if corticosterone is depleted, hair follicle stem cells become activated and new hair growth occurs.
An analysis discovered corticosterone suppresses production of GAS6. In the absence of the hormone, it boosts proliferation of hair follicles.
Restoring the expression of GAS6 could overcome stress-induced inhibition of hair follicle stem cells and might encourage regeneration of growth, Hsu notes. It might therefore be possible to exploit the ability of HFSCs to promote hair-follicle regeneration by modulating the corticosteroneGAS6 axis.
Throughout a persons lifespan, hair cycles through three stages, growth , degeneration , and rest . During anagen, a follicle continuously pushes out a hair shaft. In catagen, growth stops and the lower portion shrinks, but the hair remains in place. During telogen, it remains dormant.
Under severe stress, many hair follicles enter this phase prematurely and the hair quickly falls out, leading to baldness. This lifespan is much shorter in the corticosterone-free mice than controls less than 20 days compared with two to three months.
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Treatments For Hair Loss In Men
Male pattern baldness is caused primarily by a genetic sensitivity to DHT. As such, there are two theoretical ways to treat it:
Change your DNA so that youre no longer sensitive to DHT.
Reduce the level of DHT in your body to prevent hair loss.
Although technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 have garnered headlines recently, were still a long, long way away from gene editing technology. As such, changing your DNA so that youre resistant to male pattern baldness isnt yet an option, and likely wont be for quite some time.
Luckily, the second is. Through medications like finasteride , its possible to significantly reduce the amount of DHT thats present in your body, allowing you to effectively treat hair loss from male pattern baldness.