As another type of JAK inhibitor achieves FDA approval we ask, if using the variant for treating alopecia areata, are JAK inhibitors the cure for thinning hair?

 

Female Pattern Hair Loss

It is a problem most of us will face at some point. We have seen variations of this new type of drug making big impacts on other treatments. We ask, are JAK inhibitors the cure for thinning hair?

The characteristic advance of hair loss for women is very different to men. The hairline typically remains intact while the loss is across the top of the scalp all the way back to the crown. At the same time, age-related changes in our chemical makeup mean that the hair we do have starts to get thinner. The rate of growth also slows and it does not grow as long.  In addition, the follicle will spend more of its time in the rest phase. The combination of some or all of these will affect well over 50% of women by the time they are in their forties. The age at which it will start, the rapidity of its advance, the point at which it stops or slows, all of these will vary wildly.

It is believed that the hair follicle, over time, becomes a target for the immune system. Once a follicle has been destroyed it does not come back to life, eventually being absorbed leaving bare skin in its place.

JAK Inhibitors (JAKs)

JAKs act by interfering with the signalling system the body uses to control the immune system. The idea is that it might be possible to control that messaging and stop, or even reverse, hair loss. JAKs have already proved effective in other areas of medicine and is considered either a tool or a potential one against any immune disorder. Up to and including cancer. Earlier this month news broke that the FDA has approved a JAK treatment for use against moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. A drug set to make a difference in the lives of millions. It is the ability of the scientists to target very specifically for the pathways they want to interfere with that makes it a great new set of tools. You can read the full details of their announcement here.

No surprise against that backdrop that another piece of news about JAKs has crept under the radar. Aclaris announced an end to a successful Phase 2 trial which has shown their oral treatment for alopecia areata to be both effective and safe. The promise of any sort of medication for that condition is to be welcomed. It primarily affects young people. But researchers noticed something else during their trial. Something that might have implications for tens of millions of women.

Hair Growth Promise

It was noted during testing of a topical version that hair beyond the area of loss was seen to improve. It grew faster, thicker and longer according to the studies notes. At the time this went largely unmentioned. But fast forward to now and it seems one of the lead researchers has grabbed the bull by the horns here. She has set up a business called Rapunzel which aims to bring a topical version of this treatment to market. Topical versions of this type of medication and others for hair loss have proved effective in the past, some even achieving better results than their oral counterpart.

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We will keep our ears to the ground for news on Aclaris’ stated aim, which is to find a partner to take their JAK inhibitor project through to the next stage of trials. Which is where things start to get expensive for developers of oral medication. We wish them luck and will report back on their progress. Between here and there though, because the barriers to entry with a topical medicine are so much lower, we expect to be able to report on Rapunzel before the end of this year.

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.

About 1% of all people will suffer from this condition during their lifetime. TOWIE’s Sam Faiers talks about Trichotillomania, known as trich, and sheds some light on her own experiences.

 

TOWIE’s Sam Faiers

Sam Faiers, star of the reality show The Only Way Is Essex, has been speaking out about her own experience of suffering from trich from an early age. For Sam, the problem started when she was still in primary school and saw her pulling out her eyelashes. It is a habit she has never managed to rid herself of and means that today she has to wear false ones. Her condition was linked, by a psychologist, during a session she had as an adult, to the imprisonment of her stepdad when she was eight years old. Sam, as anyone who has seen her in the show, will testify, is not the sort of girl to take a thing like this lying down. Over the years she has tried many remedies from wearing mittens to nail-biting repellant. She did not mention whether she had ever been offered medication for anxiety but this practice has now been judged ineffective. By her own admission, nothing has ever really worked for Sam and she remains to this day a sufferer. Having mentioned it on one her YouTube videos she was interviewed by the Sun, UK tabloid. Great news for sufferers and particularly for those who know nothing about the condition but whose lives will be touched by it in the future. Because, when TOWIE’s Sam Faiers talks about trichotillomania, people listen.

All About Trichotillomania

A person is said to be suffering from trichotillomania, known colloquially as “trich,” when they experience an irresistible urge to pull out their own hair. The word itself is made up of three Greek words and translates, literally, to hair pulling madness. It manifests as someone who will, involuntarily, tug at their own hair to create bald patches on the scalp, or remove their own eyelashes, or indeed pull at hair from anywhere on their body.

It is more common in younger people, affecting more girls than boys. The actual causes are poorly understood but a number of theories have built up over time. Some believe it to be simply how someone copes with stress or anxiety because it can be triggered by a traumatic event or bad experience. Others point to a similarity with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and link to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others to the shifting hormone levels experienced during puberty.

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Trich is a truly challenging condition. One with no easily identifiable cause nor cure. It mostly presents as a problem which sees the sufferer pulling at scalp hair. This can result in bald patches that are patchy and irregularly shaped. Whether its patches of a bare scalp or, as in Sam’s case, the absence of eyelashes, though it can just as easily be missing eyebrows, there is a direct knock-on effect to self-esteem and confidence. Having mentioned it to her followers on her YouTube channel she was interviewed by UK tabloid the Sun about her experience with trich. Which is great news for raising awareness and understanding of the condition. To see her interview in the Sun for yourself click 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.

 

Solutions for scarring alopecia

Solutions for scarring alopecia can be thin on the ground. There is a range of triggers that can bring on this challenging condition so we take a closer look.

 

Scarring Alopecia

Cicatricial alopecia, to give it its proper name, is a loss of hair that can be brought on by a range of disorders. Each of these disorders is a relatively rare occurrence, what they have in common is the devastating effect they can have on the sufferers’ scalp. These disorders have some pretty exotic-sounding names; Lichen planopilaris, dissecting cellulitis, tufted folliculitis, folliculitis decalvans, alopecia mucinosa… to name a few. That complexity gives the first clue as to why solutions for scarring alopecia can be tough to pin down.

Because there are different underlying conditions leading to the same end result, the journey can vary. For some, the hair loss is gradual and with no other symptoms, which means it can go unnoticed for a long period. Others will have that hair loss accompanied by severe itching and or burning along with pain that is progressive.

If the term “scarring” in the name conjures up terrible imagined images, in fact all too often the scarring is invisible. Taking place beneath the surface of the skin the inflammation destroys the follicle out of sight. That is not to say there are never visible signs. Many will experience redness or scaly skin. Others might see increased or decreased levels of pigmentation that might be accompanied by pustules, which always gives an illness a medieval aspect.

Causes and Diagnosis

The causes of those rare disorders themselves are poorly understood. They are most common in adults but otherwise can affect anyone, usually people who are in otherwise perfect health.

Diagnosing scarring alopecia invariably requires a scalp biopsy. This can confirm the type, location, and severity of the inflammation. Diagnosis remains challenging and is best performed by a dermatologist with a specialty in the area.

Solutions For Scarring Alopecia

There is a list of anti-inflammatory oral and topical medicines that might be used. The strategy for treatment will vary according to the identified underlying condition.

The condition can be prolonged. Once it has abated consideration can be given to medicines like minoxidil, the FDA approved hair loss treatment, as well as surgical options like transplantation or scalp reduction. For some, where the hair loss is too advanced. this will not be an option.

There will always be a segment of scarring alopecia sufferers for whom treatment options are limited. The problem is that the inflammation can attack the follicle and can destroy it, leaving no prospect of recovery.

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Like any hair loss condition, early intervention provides the best chance of a good outcome. Cicatricial, scarring, alopecia, can be among the most challenging to treat but that does not mean it is a hopeless battle. Aesthetic considerations, in regards to treatment, are the same as for any other form of hair loss, though you will typically need to wait for the disease to run its course. To find information leaflets on several types of scarring alopecia please visit the website of the charity Alopecia UK 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.

Cruel Intentions star Selma Blair’s hair loss came as a shock when she posted the image to nearly 2M followers as she shares details of her journey through multiple sclerosis.

 

Blair Receives Tragic Diagnosis

Selma Blair was at the peak of her powers as an actress when she received some devastating news. It came in the shape of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Diagnosed with this cruel degenerative disease less than a year ago the effects of her illness are already visible. Part of the cruelty in a diagnosis of MS is the long list of potential symptoms, along with a lack of clarity on exactly what to expect. What is certain is that it will involve significant life-changing deterioration. It can affect the brain and spinal cord, leading to issues with vision, coordination, and balance. The degree and severity of symptoms vary greatly and as of today, there is no cure.

Selma Posts Amazing Hair Loss Picture

Selma Blair has been seen, recently, in public walking with the aid of a cane, and on another occasion using a walking chair. The picture she has posted sees her sitting cross-legged beside a swimming pool in a red bikini. What makes it amazing is that she wears no makeup and she reveals for the first time her recently shaved head.  Hair loss has been among the symptoms, the result of her treatment affecting her immune system. There can be no doubt she remains, at nearly 50, a remarkably beautiful woman. One who is showing enormous grace while sharing her story with 1.8M Instagram followers.

That picture is the latest in a long line of images and posts and she plots her path through life since the diagnosis. In an interview with People magazine a few months ago she spoke about spasmodic symptoms that see her lose control over her face and voice. As she puts it ‘I am very happy to be able to put out what being in the middle of an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis is like’.

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It is very sad to see this brave woman, mother to a young boy, have her life reduced in this way. But that picture is amazing, and her story continues to be amazing too. If you want to see more Selma Blair’s hair loss images please click here to visit her Instagram account. For more information on MS please click here to visit the site of the MS Trust.

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.

Hair Transplant surgery could be revolutionised through the use of a new technique developed by a team in California that might put unlimited transplant grafts on the horizon.

 

Patchy History

Hair transplant surgery has improved beyond recognition, no doubt about it. The early days saw horrendous, ax wound style scars where the donor’s hairs had been taken along with a fair proportion of the patients’ scalp. The relocated hairs would die in their hundreds and thousands leaving a sparse recovering of a bald patch.

Developments in equipment and technique improved care pre and post surgery, and an increased understanding of the processes have all combined. Now the donor sites are small follicular unit sized punctures and the survival rate for the follicles significantly higher. The direction was another issue, as the relocated hairs were prone to sprouting at unusual angles to one another.

The real limitation of transplantation has always been the need to harvest follicles from the patient. This can only be done from a relatively small area of the head, creating a natural limit. Along with the fact that natural hair density is beyond what can be achieved by a surgeon which means the results can be underwhelming.

Hair Transplant Hope

A team working at the Irving Medical Center, at Columbia University, have bought together some leading-edge technology with their own research results to create something special. Using a 3D printer, they have made a mould which mimics the skin on the scalp. It comes complete with microscopic wells, patterned like the follicles on the scalp. They then fill those wells with growth-factors and neonatal skin cells before adding hair follicles which had been generously donated by volunteers working at the lab.

It took three weeks for the team to grow what has been called some of the most robust hairs ever grown outside the human body. The team dream of being able to take a relatively small number of hairs from their patient and being able to grow them into any required amount using their system. A veritable “hair farm” as Dr. Christiano, lead researcher on the project, described it.

If they realise their ambitions they will enable transplant patients to have functioning hair cells implanted in any volume they desire. Lowering hairlines would become a possibility, as would a return to hair density beyond that enjoyed during youth.

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It should be pointed out that this future remains some way off. Experiments to date have only been performed on animals. There is still work to be done in optimising the treatment for humans. That work will need to be complete before they can even think about moving towards lengthy trials.

Their work has implications for hair loss beyond hair transplant surgery. Their mould and the hairs it can grow could be used to test new hair loss cures. So however long it takes, we will continue to monitor their progress closely. You can see the details of the Irving team’s published study 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.

 

 

Many of us will spend more time swimming on our holidays than during the rest of the year combined. We offer our essential simple tips for your hair protection while swimming this summer.

 

What Are The Dangers?

It all depends on what type of swimming you are doing. Some, like scuba diving, could carry no threat at all. Apart maybe from the issues with pulling that some tight hairstyles pose. There is not much danger to your hair when it is inside a watertight diving suit. But taking it seriously is a must for hair protection while swimming, especially on holiday.

The principal danger from swimming on holiday comes from the chlorine in pools. Your hair will absorb this harsh chemical, added to balance the ph level of the water which would otherwise turn alkali and go green. Ironically, some hair products can react with the chlorine to turn your hair green. If absorbed into the hair, chlorine can make it brittle and prone to breakage, as well as leaving it dry and lifeless.

Another threat is seawater, Where the salt, like the chlorine in pools, will be absorbed to the detriment of the condition of your hair. Unlike pools, there are other minerals in seawater which are actually good for the hair and scalp.

There are other problems associated with swimming, damage from those terrible tangles for one. But prolonged exposure to the sun is another. It can affect colour, even if you don’t use products, and damage the cuticle which sheaths the strand. The outcome is hair that looks less healthy, is dry and brittle, prone to breakage and discoloured.

Essential Protection Tips For Hair

Top of our list is a simple change we can all make. Just wet your hair before you go in, using water from a tap or bottle. This will saturate your hair, meaning less of the water from the sea or pool will end up there.

Another sensible precaution is to pop your hair into a style that exposes less of it. This will not save your hair from getting wet but it will reduce the flow of water through the hair save it from a lot of the tangling. It will also keep much of your hair out of harms way as far as the sun is concerned.

Using a protectant is key. Coconut oil is an effective and natural option. It will provide a barrier between your hair and its environment. There are products available which will do the same job, some of which will also provide protection against UV rays.

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It is one of the simple pleasures many of us look forward to as an essential part of the summer holiday. Soaking in the pool. Playing in the waves. Sliding down a 50M pipe at a water park. However, it makes it into your holiday it is almost certainly going to feature. Making these simple changes to your swimming routine will help keep your hair in perfect condition.

If you want to learn more about how to protect you and your family from the sun during this holiday click here. This connects you to the American Cancer Society’s website and the details on their Sun-Safe Summer advice.

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.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has become a highly regarded supplement to combat a whole range of ailments. We explain how to apply it and why ACV works in the fight against hair loss.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV as it is often called, has developed a reputation that might be thought a little exaggerated. There are certainly no studies supporting the widely held belief that it can aid weight loss, for example.  There is absolutely no study that remotely confirms the claims around fighting off cancer.

ACV can, however, most definitely do a job in keeping our scalp and hair healthy. Always the first step towards giving you the best chance in your fight against hair loss. It is natural and can be added to the regular routine of even the busiest among us. It is also quite possibly already in your kitchen at home, ready to be added immediately.

ACV In The Fight Against Hair Loss

The undoubted benefits of ACV, when used on the scalp and hair, lie in its properties. It comes with vitamins while at the same time helping to balance the pH level of the scalp. It will also help remove and dead skin which may be inhibiting healthy growth.

To add ACV to your routine, you will need to first make your mixture. Use just 3 or 4 tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water, stir well and decant into a spray bottle for use. Apply by simply spraying and massaging in. Leave it in place for 10 or 15 minutes before shampooing off.

There you have it, a simple, natural addition to your regular washing routine. One that should give complete confidence that your hair and scalp are in tip-top condition, ready for what the world has to throw at them.

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The wilder claims made for ACV will have undoubtedly had a negative effect on many, who will have decided to simply disregard it. Medical sites offer plenty of warnings about what might go wrong when taken internally. It was singled out as “quirky” in an NHS warning document published a decade ago. See it here.

In terms of the benefits it can deliver, that might just be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Those benefits are real, though mostly for the hair and scalp as described 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.

Here are two tried and trusted herbal remedies for battling hair loss, natural treatments you can easily add to your routine, including one which you can pick up for free and make at home.

 

Ancient Remedies

There are so many examples of remedies that have been around forever and are still with us. Handed down through countless generations many have had their efficacy authenticated by science and made their way into modern medicines. The Science Daily website produced a great example of how the molecular basis for one ancient African remedy was proven by scientists, see it here. Recently an unlikely Chinese medicine, bear bile, which has been prescribed for heart conditions in China for over a thousand years, is now synthetically produced and shown to be a powerful drug with remarkable properties and a valuable insight into the coronary processes it affects. In the West we are surrounded, still, by the plants and herbs our ancestors respected, collected and used. Here we take a closer look at a few common herbs that, in the case of nettles, can be collected, maybe on your way back from work today, so you too can use these natural hair loss remedies at home.

Using Stinging Nettles At Home

A great example of an abundant herb that has been used for its medicinal properties since time immemorial. Nutrient-rich it contains vitamins A, C, D and K along with sulphur, phosphorous, iron, potassium and calcium. That abundance of minerals and vitamins, along with the highest chlorophyll content of any plant, give it a range of beneficial properties. Midwives recommend it to pregnant clients and young mums, where it can relieve cramps. It is also recommended for haemorrhoids due to its astringent properties. The anti-inflammatory properties and adrenal-supporting nutrients make it a tool in the fight against hayfever.

You will need to make the tincture, simple process. Place 4oz of leaves in a pint jar with a pint of your preferred 90 proof alcohol (vodka, gin, etc). You can use glycerin though it will not last the 2 years the alcohol-based version is good for. Give the mixture a good stir then leave the jar in a cool dark place for 2/3 weeks, shaking it daily. After 2/3 weeks strain the liquid into a bowl, pressing leaves with a spoon to extract the liquid, then decant into a dark bottle.

The taste is too strong for many to put a few drops under the tongue each day, many prefer to dilute in a few ounces of water to take.

Birch, Among Natural Remedies For Hair Loss

Adding a few drops of Birch essential oil to your normal shampoo is a great way to make a difference to your regular routine. Its main ingredients are Salicylic acid, Methyl Salicylate, and Betulenol.

It helps with blood flow to the follicles, essential for any hair loss sufferer if they want to have the best chance of keeping what they have.

Birch comes with natural antiseptic properties and protects against a range of fungal and bacterial infections including dandruff. You will find it in the ingredients list of many shampoos but it is a simple task to add your own. It can help retain the natural colour of hair and is credited with helping to protect against premature greying.

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Birch and stinging nettles are just two great examples of treatments that have been with us for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Effective and cheap, in the case of the nettle tincture almost free, that deliver against a range of problems, up to and including hair loss.

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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