While the last decade has seen more new arrivals on the hair loss market than ever before, there is always room for more. News reaches us from the USA where a team at Colombia University have just published results that promise more than just a new hair loss treatment.

 

New Hair Loss Treatment

It has been a remarkable decade for hair loss research. There are teams working on every aspect of every stage of hair growth. All of them looking for the key that will suddenly unlock a new future. A future where treating hair loss is childs-play. A simple course of treatments that will magically transport anyone to their pre hair loss state, or even better. The potential for having the hair you always dreamed of goes hand in hand with that eureka moment. If they can crack the code for hair growth why wouldn’t we be able to have the hair we want?

Today, there is a major challenge facing all of those research teams. We can quickly and reliably take hair follicles from mice and rats, and then grown them successfully in a lab. When it comes to humans, however, there seems to a new problem. Cells taken from human follicles have proved difficult to cultivate in the lab. Without that ability, there is a need to recruit human volunteers for testing. The need to test on humans is self-evident given the problems comparing rodents to humans. They produce very different outcomes.

Hair Transplants for Women

There is another key area where the ability to grow hair outside the body would bring benefits. For women, the benefits of hair transplantation are limited. Women suffering from pattern hair loss will tend to lose hair across the top of the head, in a general thinning. This presents a problem for the surgeon, who is faced with a relatively large area to try to cover. This would require a huge number of grafts, with the associated surgery, not to mention scarring. Modern techniques have reduced scarring significantly but not eradicated the problem.

It means that women are faced, if they go through with surgery, a difficult future. If the thinning continues over time the aesthetic result will diminish. In addition, the site of all the scars will become ever more visible. That progressive thinning is more likely than not and will force many women to consider a transplant inappropriate. Add this to the limited hair loss medications available to women and it is easy to conclude a new hair loss treatment is always welcome.

Hair Loss Update From The States

A team at Colombia University has published the stunning results of some recent research. They had been working on the gnarly problem of encouraging hair to grow in a laboratory. They have been using a 3D printer to produce an incredibly thin matrix on which to plant cells taken from the base of the follicle. The matrix features tiny wells into which the cells sit, before being doused with growth factors.

Incredibly, the team has seen amazing results. Hair not just growing, but growing in a predictable direction and at a healthy rate.

Their success, published in the University site here, teases the possibility of an extraordinary future. One where transplant surgeons, with the need for grafts removed, can simply implant newly grown follicles. As many as required. It would mean, for the first time in the history of hair transplantation, a woman could opt for great coverage without risk to her future appearance.

Maybe more importantly though is the impact it might have on the wider hair loss research industry. With unlimited human follicles available with which to test new products and techniques, the future could be bright. At the very least, it would significantly reduce the cost and complexity of testing.

The Hair Ambulance

The importance of the Colombia team’s results should not be underestimated. This marks a significant step forward in our ability to provide a hair transplant that is attractive to a wider clientele. But the boost it will give to hundreds of smaller labs with access to cheap, living human hair, will be huge.

Increasingly, it seems likely that the ultimate solution to hair loss will be a combination therapy using a variety of approaches. So the more variety there is in terms of research the better. These results give cause for optimism for the future of that research and its ability to continue to grow.

The Hair Ambulance brings world-leading hair loss solutions to your door. Hair loss is no longer inevitable. Use the contact form here to either arrange a home visit or book a consultation at one of our private hair loss clinics. Early intervention is a necessity. Do not delay if you are concerned about your hair loss.

 

 

 

chronic illness and hair loss

Chronic illness causes sufferers a lot of pain and unhappiness, but as if that wasn’t bad enough, did you know it can also cause hair loss?

This article on Yahoo News last month really opened our eyes to the link between chronic illness and hair loss, and how visible signs of your suffering can make the experience even harder.

Samantha’s hair loss story

When Samantha Moss broke her leg five years ago, she discovered she was suffering from a rare bone disease. Since then she has undergone several major surgeries, and after each operation, she has noticed an increase in the number of hairs on her pillow in the morning.

Recently her hair loss reached a point where handfuls of hair were coming out in the shower, and even her husband admitted he could see thinner patches. In the absence of any helpful advice from her doctor, she resorted to cutting her hair shorter – something she had never thought she would do.

The link between chronic illness and hair loss

There are many reasons chronic illness might cause hair loss. It is well established that conditions like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium can be triggered or made worse by chronic stress – and there can be little more stressful than spending years in constant pain, always dreading that next trip to the hospital.

In Samantha’s case, as well as the bone disease, she also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disorder, which is known to have links with the hair loss condition alopecia areata.

Why couldn’t her doctor help?

As Samantha explains in the article, she suffers from more than one serious medical condition, so as far as her doctor was concerned the hair loss was the least of her problems.

However, for people with chronic illness, sometimes hair loss can feel like the last straw – no matter how terrible you feel on the inside, if you can gain some control over how you look, it can go some way to improving your state of mind.

There are plenty of options available to people with chronic illness-related hair loss – from hair loss systems to low-level laser therapy and scalp micropigmentation. If you’d like to find out more, why not contact us to arrange a consultation.

wearable hair loss technology

Wearable technology has become a major phenomenon in recent years, with fitness trackers, smartwatches and bone conduction headphones all common sights on the high street.

Now scientists think there could be more far-reaching benefits to devices like these – and the latest advance is none other than a wearable device to treat hair loss.

Laser therapy for hair loss

Hair loss affects around 80 million people in the US alone, which is a sobering fact. The good news is that the size of the market means drug companies and technology firms are constantly investing in new research in the field.

It has long been known that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can be used to stimulate hair regrowth. Using this knowledge, a team of researchers from the American Chemical Society (ACS) has developed a patch that uses LEDs to deliver low levels of energy to the skin.

Why wearable hair loss technology?

Whilst in-clinic laser treatment has been shown to be effective in patients suffering from certain hair loss conditions, there are many downsides to the therapy, including the need for several lengthy treatment sessions.

The scientists wanted to look at ways that LLLT could be developed as a home-use hair loss therapy, but the bulkiness of the equipment together with the amount of energy necessary to deliver a tangible result made that almost impossible.

A wearable device allows the user to continue their daily life whilst undergoing treatment, and results from the initial stages of clinical trials look very promising.

Devices for mices

For the first test of the device, researchers used it on mice with shaved backs. The mice wore the device for fifteen minutes a day, over a 20-day period.

After the 20 days were up, the mice wearing the device showed significant improvement in hair regrowth compared to both those receiving minoxidil injections and those left untreated – with a larger area of regrowth, longer hairs and faster growth.

So if you’re a technophile and worried you might be starting to thin on top, watch this space!

Researchers in Manchester, England, have announced a possible breakthrough in cancer hair loss. They tease the possibility that in the future we might be able to protect the hair follicle during chemotherapy. We take a closer look.

 

Cancer Hair Loss

Hair loss is a feature of chemotherapy though the reasons are poorly understood. The degree of hair loss can vary widely between patients who are receiving the same drugs at the same dose. A breakthrough in cancer hair loss is desperately needed. At present, the only solution on offer is the cooling cap, which does help for some.

It happens because the drugs used during chemotherapy are designed to attack fast-dividing cells. The cancer cells fall into that category but so does hair. So the majority of chemotherapy patients can expect to lose hair. The good news is that for most the condition is temporary. Their hair will slowly recover once treatment stops, and a wealth of options exist to help make that journey a short one.

Research Team Make Breakthrough

Despite decades of chemotherapy-induced hair loss, little had been done to understand why. As Dr. Talveen Purba, lead author on the study, said: ‘A pivotal part of our study was to get to grips with exactly how hair follicles respond to taxanes (the chemotherapy drug most commonly used).

The team identified the specialised dividing cells at the base of the follicle as key to the process and the most vulnerable to taxanes.

The team bathed cultured human scalp hair follicles in a drug called CDK4/6. This has been an approved targeted cancer treatment in its own right. It works by suppressing the ability of the cells to divide. The theory was that by suppressing the division of the follicle cells during chemotherapy treatment they might reduce the damage.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. The follicles suffered much less damage. Importantly, they also established the drug could be used to temporarily halt the division without any toxic effects to the follicle.

Hope For The Future

Dr. Purba reminds us there is still a long way to go with their research. That lack of understanding of why outcomes vary from patient to patient is important. It signals an important blank in our knowledge. As does the reasons some drug combinations have far worse outcomes than others. Sanofi, the French pharmaceutical, is currently in court with 12,000 litigants in regards to permanent hair loss associated with their chemotherapy drug.

Dr. Purba hopes that their work will lead to externally applicable medicines. An ointment or similar that can be applied to briefly suspend cell division.

The Hair Ambulance

Hair seems to grow at a glacial rate. It is why recovery from any hair loss episode is a long process. But in biological terms, it is a greyhound. The idea that we are close to a treatment that could easily suspend that fast growth is impressive. More good work from that team in Manchester. Of course, being close to a treatment becoming available is another matter. Once that treatment is produced it will still need to go through lengthy clinical trials. Though it is likely to be fast-tracked using existing mechanisms set up to promote important drugs. We will continue to watch and report on their updates. You can read their published article from EMBO press here.

The Hair Ambulance brings world-leading hair loss solutions to your door. Hair loss is no longer inevitable. Use the contact form here to either arrange a home visit or book a consultation at one of our private hair loss clinics. Early intervention is a necessity. Do not delay if you are concerned about your hair loss.

 

 

stress and hair loss

There can be very little more disconcerting than washing your hair one morning and finding that clumps of it are coming out in your hands. If that has happened to you, don’t worry – you are far from alone.

Whilst androgenic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness) remains by far the most common form of hair loss, there are many other reasons you might be losing your hair, many of which cause much more sudden hair loss.

Nutrient deficiency and hair loss

If your diet is depleted in certain key nutrients – most commonly iron – then this can lead to hair loss. That’s why crash dieting can have such a dramatic impact on your hair.

If your concerned that your hair loss might be due to a nutrient deficiency, some other symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Memory problems
  • Shortness of breath

Stress and hair loss

Have you moved house recently? Started a new job? Experienced a bereavement or had to deal with another stressful life event? Any of these things can take a toll on your hair and stress and hair loss are often linked.

Telogen effluvium occurs when the hair follicles are shocked into hitting the ‘resting’ phase of the growth cycle earlier than they usually would – this is the phase between two cycles, so one lot of hair falls out, but the other has not yet begun.

Usually, you wouldn’t notice this, as each hair would be on its own particular cycle, but with telogen effluvium, large numbers of the hairs hit this stage at the same time, usually due to stress.

Hormones and hair loss

Hormonal changes are another major cause of sudden hair loss. Pregnancy and childbirth are the major contenders here, but menopausal hair loss is also relatively common, as is hair loss due to thyroid conditions.

If you’re concerned about thinning hair, particularly if it is recent and very noticeable, call The Hair Ambulance on 0121 312 2999 and one of our experts can offer diagnosis and treatment advice.

In a clear sign of its established presence as a hair loss treatment, NetDoctor has offered a scalp micropigmentation review.

 

NetDoctor

This highly respected health information site has provided millions of visitors with unbiased information for over two decades, but it has never offered a scalp micropigmentation review before.

It was the brainchild of health entrepreneur Rune Bech. A legend of the dotcom era he would go on to create a series of digital health businesses that were all sold in the space of 20 years.

But it all started with NetDoctor. Rune Bech saw the opportunity, in 1998, to set up a website to provide answers to medical questions. He established a network of health professionals and medical journalists provide advice across the full spectrum of health concerns. It is endorsed by the medical community and recommended by health authorities. In short, it has become Europe’s largest independent health and wellbeing site.

Scalp Micropigmentation Review

The review is in their traditional style, unerringly factual and as complete as it is unbiased. Starting with an in-depth look at the conditions that can be addressed. For female clients that can include treating hair loss as well as camouflaging scars, burns and some skin conditions.

There are also some insights on what can be expected during treatment including how much discomfort can be expected. There is reassuring information on the pigments used, which are metal-free and non-toxic.

They go on to cover after-care and what to expect in the mid and long term. Importantly, there is also advice on how to perform due diligence when choosing your provider. You can see the review in full by clicking here.

The Hair Ambulance

The NetDoctor review is a stamp of authority for this treatment. The first clinic in the world opened its doors in Birmingham, England, less than 15 years ago. It is a testament to the ability of SMP to achieve what no other treatment can offer. A simple, fuss-free solution that lasts.

The advice around due diligence cannot be overlooked. Like any great technique, it can look effortlessly simple to achieve. That could not be further from the truth. It took 5 years of research on needles, pigments, and technique before those clinic doors opened for the first client. So while that exponential growth has seen clinics opening around the world at breakneck speed, many fail.

The Hair Ambulance brings world-leading hair loss solutions to your door. Hair loss is no longer inevitable. Use the contact form here to either arrange a home visit or book a consultation at one of our private hair loss clinics. Early intervention is a necessity. Do not delay if you are concerned about your hair loss.

 

gut health and hair loss

It has long been known that certain hair loss conditions can be linked to both physical and emotional wellbeing – hormonal imbalances, extreme weight loss or gain and stress have all been known to play a part.

But did you know that gut health could also be a factor in hair loss? Well, that’s the theory put forward by a group of Chinese scientists, anyway.

Connection between your gut health and hair loss

The scientists – from the University of Hong Kong – are about to embark on a new clinical study into the efficacy of faecal microbiota transplant for hair loss, among other medical conditions.

Yes, you did read that right – faecal microbiota transplantation is essentially a poo transplant. Flora from the gut of a healthy person is transplanted into the patient, via the medium of faeces.

What types of hair loss can be treated?

The study has not yet begun, so any benefit of the procedure is purely hypothetical at the moment and, unfortunately, the hypothesis does not specify which particular hair loss conditions could be treated this way.

However, the list of conditions that the scientists claim could potentially benefit from faecal microbiota transplant includes a number of autoimmune diseases, so it could be inferred that alopecia areata – which is known to be linked to autoimmune problems – is the best fit.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a relatively rare hair loss condition where hair is lost suddenly in patches across the scalp. The hair loss does usually resolve itself within six months to a year but has been known to be permanent.

In a more extreme form of the condition – Alopecia Universalis – all hair is lost from the head and body.

How could faecal transplant help?

The theory is that gut health is essential to our wellbeing and that stress on the gut can lead to problems elsewhere in the body.

Recent studies have shown a link between the onset of alopecia areata and gut stress, and a 2017 study into faecal microbiota transplant showed positive results for a patient with both Crohn’s disease and Alopecia Universalis, so there is definitely some supporting evidence to suggest that this could work.

The year-long study is due to be completed in October 2024. For more advice on the latest developments in hair loss, call 0121 312 2999.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is on the rise. With many women uncomfortable with a regular dose of hormones as the treatment we ask, when it comes to PCOS can homeopathy help?

 

PCOS

PCOS, until relatively recently, was known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome. It was incredibly rare and most medical students could expect to complete their studies without ever meeting a sufferer. No doubt, this was due in part to it being misdiagnosed. But there is equally no doubt that incidences are increasing. Today, a doctor can expect to see many PCOS sufferers every year. So, we ask PCOS can homeopathy help?

According to WebMD there are four types of PCOS. Insulin-resistant, inflammatory, hidden-cause, and pill-induced. The last is the most common and is bought on by lifestyle factors like smoking and poor diet.

Symptoms can vary but usually feature irregular periods. Many will be shown to have cysts on their ovaries. Around 50% of sufferers tend towards obesity. This can have a knock-on effect on fertility. Some can experience acne or even hair growing on the chin or body. Others will experience male pattern hair loss.

Diagnosing PCOS

Here lies the problem. That long list of symptoms might all have other causes. Often women will find themselves being treated for only one of them. Or separately receiving different treatments for several symptoms. A dermatologist looking at a patient with acne might not ask whether their periods are regular.

Homeopathy and PCOS

Taking a holistic approach to health is a trademark of homeopathy. Rather than spending all their time studying the ovaries and hormone levels, a homeopath will take a different approach.

Consideration is given to a patients’ diet and lifestyle, which is often at the root of the problem. Or at least for the severity of the condition. Avoiding particular foods and some tips on finding better ways to relax are important. Then, of course, there is the ancient library of herbs and unctions. There is a long list credited with being able to influence our hormone levels in one direction or another. It is a complex business though and one where a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. The hazards associated with self-medicating shouldn’t be underestimated.

The Hair Ambulance

PCOS can be a miserable experience, one for which there is no cure. Even if you are willing to put yourself through the trauma of surgery there is a 90% recurrence rate.  So the value of homeopathy is worthy of consideration.

The health warning, in regards to self-medicating on the basis of a Google search and a little reading, is a real one. Better to find your way to an expert, ideally one with a medical background, in whose advice you can have confidence. If you want to learn more about PCOS, visit the page on WebMD by clicking here.

The Hair Ambulance brings world-leading hair loss solutions to your door. Hair loss is no longer inevitable. Use the contact form here to either arrange a home visit or book a consultation at one of our private hair loss clinics. Early intervention is a necessity. Do not delay if you are concerned about your hair loss.

 

Concert Pharmaceuticals have been working on their alopecia areata treatment for some time. They reported the best ever trial results for a hair loss treatment from their phase 2 trial. We look closer.

 

Alopecia Areata Hair Loss Treatment

Alopecia areata (AA), the condition that sees sufferers lose patches of scalp hair in random circular areas, has no cure. Current treatments are borrowed from other disease areas. They include oral, topical or injected corticosteroids. This can mean a sufferer, often young, might have to endure dozens of injections that can be painful. Concert Pharmaceuticals have been working on a hair loss treatment to address this.

Concert had already successfully put their AA treatment, called CTP-543, through Phase 1 trials. During which safety was assessed and confirmed. Phase 2 involves the search for optimum dosage and efficacy.

The double-blind placebo-controlled study looked at 3 dosage levels of the oral drug. 4mg, 8mg and 12mg. The drug was taken twice a day and date reported after 24 weeks.

Phase 2 Trial Results

As might have been expected, the 4mg dose did not fare as well as the higher dosage. In fact, it did not achieve results that showed an improvement compared to the placebo.

But at the higher dosage levels, the picture looked very different. The study had set a primary endpoint for success at achieving a ‘severity of alopecia tool’ (SALT) score of 50%. That would mean that the severity of the condition had been improved by 50% and mark a meaningful achievement.  This endpoint was achieved by the 8mg dose in 58% of the patients. Importantly, the improvement they saw had not levelled out after 6 months and the patients’ condition continued to improve.

Results from the 12mg dosage delivered an even better return with a remarkable 78% achieving the endpoint.

Future Plans

Concert intends to take CTP-453 to Phase 3 trials in 2020. This would see them combine tests for efficacy and safety on a large scale study involving hundreds of patients. They will have been encouraged by the FDA designating alopecia areata as one of eight disease areas to receive special assistance.

The Hair Ambulance

It is estimated that 650,000 Americans are suffering from AA at any one time. Given the fairly unpleasant existing treatment plans a new drug is desperately needed. We sincerely hope that Concert, with the help of the FDA, can push this through to a product sooner rather than later. You can see the full press release for yourself, published on BioSpace, by clicking here.

The Hair Ambulance brings world-leading hair loss solutions to your door. Hair loss is no longer inevitable. Use the contact form here to either arrange a home visit or book a consultation at one of our private hair loss clinics. Early intervention is a necessity. Do not delay if you are concerned about your hair loss.

For its 56th publication of their annual swimwear edition fans are in for a special treat. Who would have expected Sports Illustrated to embrace female hair loss?

 

Sports Illustrated Swimwear Edition

This annual version of the famous magazine has a history stretching back over half a century. In its time it has broken several barriers, including introducing its readership to Tyre Banks as its first black contributor. Now, for the 2020 edition, it has seriously stretched its targets following last years discussion on diversity amid the controversy surrounding the Me Too movement. We have already been treated to profiles of candidates who are 30 years older than the norm, and women who are plus size. We even have one who suffers from an aggressive form of female hair loss.

Since 1964 Sports Illustrated has published a special edition. Originally, the idea was to find something to fill in the dull winter months. Fashion reporter, Julie Campbell, was sent to find a model, put her in swimwear, and produce a 5-page spread to include a cover shot.

The model chosen was Babette March and the impact on her career was profound. It instantly turned Campbell into a power broker in the modelling world. She would be credited with creating ‘supermodels’ by printing the names, usually nameless, next to their images. It also gave Sports Illustrated a publishing institution.

A Conscientious Agenda

From the start, Campbell set out with a conscientious agenda by promoting ‘bigger and healthier’ Californian women. Though it would take until 1997 for the first black woman to grace its pages. Tyra Banks would break that particular barrier, reappearing alongside model Camilla Krostek and USA footballing captain, Alex Morgan in the most recent, 2019, version.

They have sometimes courted controversy. The 1978 version featured a model in a fishnet bathing suit resulted in hundreds of cancellations on those strait-laced times.

This year’s edition also featured a range of ages and body types, a nod in the direction of the Me Too movement which was discussed in the copy.

Embracing Hair Loss

For the 2020 edition, they are taking a whole new approach to diversity. The format is to profile a list of finalists before choosing the woman, or women, that will actually feature.

So far we have been introduced to a 55-year-old woman as well as some plus size women. But our attention was drawn and held by the announcement of Christie Valdiserri as a candidate. The reason being that Christie suffers from aggressive alopecia. As she says ‘Three years ago, almost to the day – I found a bald patch on the top of my head. In the centre of my part. The next month I found another patch, and then my showers were spent watching chunks and chunks of hair clog my drain with tears running down my face.’

Its emotional testimony. Not least because, as a successful model, she must have felt she was watching her career go down that drain.

The Hair Ambulance

The swimsuit edition has its critics, for entirely understandable feminist reasons. That it objectifies women for male consumption. At the same time, we can recognise and applaud this years’ approach. It has marked a clear departure from only ever considering women of outstanding beauty. We are not saying that Christie, in her swimwear, looks anything less than stunningly beautiful.  But her inclusion in the list is not based on that. Rather it is because of a perceived imperfection from a public that does not understand or appreciate the condition.

You can read all about Christie in her profile in Sports Illustrated by clicking here.  While her Instagram account chronicles her story in great detail, you can see that here.

The Hair Ambulance brings world-leading hair loss solutions to your door. Hair loss is no longer inevitable. Use the contact form here to either arrange a home visit or book a consultation at one of our private hair loss clinics. Early intervention is a necessity. Do not delay if you are concerned about your hair loss.

Get in touch

The Hair Ambulance is our mobile service where you can be seen by one of our experts but if you prefer you can attend one of our private hair loss clinics. Fill in the contact form and one of our team will be in touch to find out how best we can help.

Alternatively, call us on the number below or drop us a line.

0121 312 2999

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