Hair Restoration

How Hair Restoration In Women Depends On the Causes

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Back in September, sites like Daily Mail and Hollywood Life featured photos of actress, Kristen Stewart in Germany, revealing profound hair loss. Significant areas of scalp showed through the area where her hair was parted. Many people found this to be quite surprising since she is only twenty three years old and probably now has to think about solutions for restoring her hair. Fans are attributing her condition to the stress from the scandal surrounding her breakup with former beau, Robert Pattison.

Another article on Daily Mail mentioned a woman who displayed noticeable hair loss by the time she was twenty four. She was mortified when a stranger pointed out her bald spot. These feelings were compounded by the fact that she was a hair model during her teen years.

What Causes Female Hair Loss?

Women Hair Restoration

Restoring hair in women will often depend on treating the causes, or physically transferring the hair follicles.

(1) Genes

In both men and women, baldness and thinning are largely determined by the genes. In females, hormones play a much larger role in affecting how the DNA for hair loss is expressed.

(2) Stress

Some people find it hard to believe how hair can be lost or restored due to neglecting or treating stress. But this depends on whether or not the stress actually elicits physiological responses in the body. When it does, neuro peptides cause more of the hairs that are in a growing state to enter a resting phase which lasts four months. Typically hair will fall out between three to four months after the stressful event.

(3) Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the opposite happens. The hormonal changes in the body will cause more hairs to stay in the growing phase for a longer period of time. After the pregnancy, massive amounts of hair are then shed.

(4) Alopecia Areata

Hair loss can also be caused by an immune disorder called alopecia areata. This is when the hair follicles are attacked by the immune system.

(5) Diabetes

Diabetes is classified as a metabolic disorder. One of its symptoms includes the growth of thinner hair

(6) Iron Deficiencies

Iron is an important mineral for many functions in the body. It is especially needed by skin and hair cells which turn over at a fast rate. Depleted levels of iron also results in hair thinning.

(7) Prescription Drugs

Birth control pills and other drugs can change the balance of hormones in the body. And this in turn will affect the hair growth cycles, leading to higher than normal rates of shedding.

Is It Possible For Women To Restore Lost Hair?

The answer to this question will truly differ on a case by case basis. Environmental causes can certainly be identified and stopped.

Rogaine may help stimulate and revitalize the affected hair follicles.

If the condition is due to alopecia areata, immunotherapy and steroids can minimize the attacks on the follicles.

If the condition is due to genetic pattern baldness, a hair restoration procedure can help redistribute the hairs. But eligibility for these surgeries will often depend on having enough donor follicles to create the desired end result. Global thinning may disqualify individuals.

To learn more about female hair loss  and restoration, click here.


How Asprin May Hurt Your Hair Restoration Efforts With Rogaine

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Rogaine is only one of two FDA approved drugs for addressing the signs of pattern baldness. It can be purchased without a prescription. And it can be used by both men and women who are interested in restoring their hair. New growth is not guaranteed. And if it does occur, it is likely to be quite wispy. However, Rogaine can be quite useful for keeping the rate of hair loss under control.

Asprin May Hurt Hair Restoration

Rogaine is FDA approved for hair restoration purposes. But it should not be taken with asprin. (image from


How Rogaine and Asprin Work In Opposition To Each Other


In a recent study by the University of British Columbia, researchers investigated the effects of taking asprin while using Rogaine. The outcome may be surprising to many.


On a general level, Rogaine is understood to work by enlarging the blood vessels. This helps to increase the supply of blood to the scalp. As this occurs, greater quantities of oxygen and other forms of nourishment can be made available to the hair follicles. If they are undergoing the process of shrinking due to DHT exposure, this type of influx can enhance the vitality of the follicles and even strengthen them.


Asprin, on the other hand has serves as an anti inflammatory agent, helping to minimize the diameter of the blood vessels. From this perspective, it is easy to see that it’s dynamics work opposite Rogaine.


However, the research conducted at the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science at the University of British Columbia sheds light on another aspect of this paradigm which has to do with enzyme activity.


The exact mechanism which explains how Rogaine works  is  still a mystery.  Besides increasing blood flow, it is also believed to stimulate an enzyme known as Cox-1 (cyclooxygenase) which in turn activates processes that form a prostaglandin for the hair known as PGE2. PGE2 promotes the health and functioning of  follicles.


In addition to reducing the width of the blood vessels, asprin was shown to inhibit the Cox-1 enzyme, thus lowering the levels of PGE2.


Asprin and Heart Health


Besides being used to alleviate headaches and pain, asprin is also recommended for regular intake to enhance the health of the cardiovascular system. This is intended to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.


Using Rogaine For Restoring Hair


If your doctor has recommended that you take asprin for cardiovascular reasons, you may want to discuss alternate strategies if you plan to use Rogaine to address hair loss.


Rogaine comes in two strengths, 2% and 5%. Two percent can be used by men and women. The five percent version is restricted to men only.


It will be important to follow the instructions provided with the product.  About 20 mL of the solution needs to be applied to the scalp twice a day with the enclosed applicator. Excessed amounts can be rinsed from the hands. But the product is supposed to remain on the head and allowed to air dry.


Improvements often take about four months. They are commonly experienced in the form of reduced hair loss rates.  In some people, new growth may occur.


The hair restoration effects of Rogaine are perhaps the most potent when taken during the earliest stages of hair loss.


To learn more about the drug, click here.


How Genetic Research May Bring New Possibilities For Restoring Hair

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Hair loss is being tackled from many different perspectives in attempts to develop truly effective treatment options. So far, much of the focus has been placed on the role of hormones, namely the conversion of testosterone to dehydrotestosterone (DHT). Although the underlying cause is DNA, there has been much less emphasis on targeting actual genes.  But research in this area may lead to new answers in how hair can be restored non invasively.


restoring hair for a Norwood 6 patient

One of the few but nonetheless significant studies was published in 2007 a scientific journal called Nature . This research was led by George Cotsarelis of the University of Pennsylvania. Scientists have been aware that new hair follicles can be generated when the skin tries to heal itself after experiencing certain types of wounds. They’ve also found that the gene responsible for the creation of new follicles is known as WNT.

The WNT Gene and Hair Restoration in Mice

For this study, Cotsarelis and his team used mice as animal models to learn more about the WNT gene and the formation of hair follicles.

The researchers removed sections of skin from the mice. This was done in order to stimulate the stem cells to create follicles. In one group of mice, expression of the WNT gene was blocked, and hair did not grow.  In another group which also had areas of skin removed, the WNT gene was left alone and new follicles successfully grew hair.

The methods of this study have formed the basis for a new hair loss treatment brand called Follica.

Early Research on Genetics and Hair Loss

In the late 1990s, scientists identified a gene which was named, “hairless” (HR). This string of DNA code is responsible for maintaining hair growth in mammals.

This gene was first discovered as scientists tried studying a family in Pakistan who exhibited signs of an extreme form of hair loss. Hair growth was impaired in the eyelashes, the eyebrows and on the head. This was most likely due to a mutation of the HR gene.

It should be noted that this is not the same gene responsible for common forms of pattern baldness in men and women all over the world. This gene affects the structural integrity of protein receptors on the hair follicles, causing them to be more sensitive and less resilient to the effects of dehydrotestone (DHT) which travels throughout the blood stream.

The HR gene is believed to regulate hair growth, not only through its own expression, but also by controlling the expression of other genes. Dr. Angela Christiano, who led studies on these  gene, believes that HR is involved in a sequence of processes that lead to the formation of new hair.

Excitement was quite high when researchers made this discovery of the hairless gene. And at the time, it was believed that this revelation would lead to a genetic based hair restoration treatment within five years. However, this did not happen.

New research on genetics and other aspects of hair loss are continuously helping to create a more complete picture of the different pathways that lead to pattern baldness. However, many of them will also require additional forms of investigation before they lead to actual forms of hair restoration that can be made available to the general public.

If you are interested in learning more about hair cloning, click here.

How Propecia Can Help Restore Hair, But Also Reduce Alcohol Consumption

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Propecia, also known as Finasteride, is often regarded as “the first line defense” against male pattern baldness. The reasoning is due to the fact that the medication targets the main chemical pathway that drives male pattern baldness. Basically testosterone breaks down into a byproduct known as DHT (dehydrotestosterone) with the help of an enzyme known as alpha reductase.

Finasteride for hair restoration

(image from Wikipedia) Propecia is a prescribed for hair restoration. But it may be related to lower alcohol consumption as well.

Besides Propecia, the other FDA approved drug for hair loss is Rogaine which works according to less clear mechanisms which increase blood flow and the supply of nutrients to hair follicles in the scalp. This over the counter solution may actually help increase the production of a prostaglandin known as PGE2 which helps promote the growth of hair.

Side Effects of Using Propecia for Hair Restoration

Like any medication, Propecia is associated with side effects. Among these include:

  • depression
  • thoughts of suicide
  • sexual dysfunction

How Propecia May Lower the Desire for Alcohol

Side effects are usually considered undesirable. But in some rare cases, they may actually achieve beneficial results.

A recent study was conducted by Michael Irwig, an assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center. 83 subjects who reported sexual side effects due to Finasteride were analyzed. Of this total, 63 reported that they regularly drank alcohol at least once a week before the hair restoration drug was prescribed to them. 41 of these men said that they consumed less alcohol after being on Propecia

  • 20 of the subjects reported no effect on their alcohol consumption
  • 2 of the participants said that they started drinking more alcohol after starting the medication

Prior to this research, there have been similar experiments conducted on rats which showed that the animal models also consumed less alcohol. Irwig’s study was the first to test the effects of Propecia on alcohol consumption in humans.

These findings were published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research on June 13, 2013.

Can Propecia Be Used For Alcoholism In Addition to Hair Restoration?

The reported findings of this study are fascinating. However, it would be difficult at this point to conclude that Propecia itself can be taken to discourage alcohol intake. This has to do with the issue of research design.

In a true scientific experiment, subjects would need to have been chosen at random. According to Dr. Garbutt, Professor of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the hair restoration participants represent casual social drinkers as opposed to those with serious alcohol problems.

Ideally, there would need to be a control group that would represent a random selection of the population, including those who may be using alcohol abusively.

Nonetheless the findings published in the June issue of Alcoholism may provide the basis for developing a new drug which targets neurosteroidal systems in order to help lower a person’s drive for alcohol.

Hair Restoration Through Surgery

The issue of side effects is certainly a concern when it comes to taking medications for hair loss. As of yet, there are no fool proof drugs which can actually reverse male pattern baldness in the most seamless way possible. Hair loss is a condition with many different pathways with a lot of variance in how they affect individuals. Therefore, the physical transference of hair follicles can mitigate many potential complications while offering reliable and substantial improvements. Click here to learn more.

Human Follicular Growth On Mice Marks New Milestone in Hair Restoration Research

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In the latest news on hair loss research, scientists have been able to successfully grow human hair on mice. This was part of an initiative that was co-led by Angela Christiano a professor of dermatology and genetics at Columbia University. Although the study was conducted prior to 2013, it was finally published on October 21, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The premise of the study sounds similar to the one from 2012, conducted by the Tokyo University of Science, where the results were published in Online Nature Communications. In Japan, the researchers cultivated fully functioning human hair follicles. They combined epithelial stem cells with derma papillae cells to produce a seed germ. This eventually developed into a hair follicle with real growth cycles and the ability to demonstrate the pilo erection reflex. Although created from human cells, the insertion took place within the skin of a hairless rat.

However, in the more recently published study, human skin was grafted onto the backs of mice. And these regions received aggregate clusters of derma papilla insertions. The successful growth of these hairs may have potential for hair restoration. Dr. Christiano feels that this may have promising implications for women suffering from hair loss, who cannot qualify for hair restoration procedures due to having insufficient donor follicles.

The Role of Derma Papillae Cells in Regenerating Follicles

Derma Papilla cells are located at the very base of the follicle. Many people believe that they hold the key to restoring hair.

These cells carry inductive properties, with the ability to communicate to stem cells which enables them to differentiate and play more specialized roles. So exposing epithelial stem cells to derma papillae can lead to the creation of hair follicles.

Significance of 3D Aggregates of Derma Papillae

One of the challenges of developing derma papilla cultures outside the body is that they tend to lose their inductive properties. Yet, the formation of fully functioning hair follicles in rats has been quite successful, even when the DP cells were prepared in vitro prior to their insertion.

Christiano and her team took note that the derma papillae in rats tend to form clusters which helped them retain their inductive abilities. They developed a method to create capsules of these cells before introducing them to the epithelial stem tissue. In other words, the DP cells were artificially clustered together in tiny spheres as opposed to flat, two dimensional layers on a petri dish.

This strategy proved to be effective, as (white) hair successfully grew on the human skin that was grafted onto the mice.

Whereas the Tokyo study showed that follicles induced from human DP cells could survive in the skin of rats, this research from Columbia University showed that created follicles of human cells could also survive and thrive in human tissue.

With further developments, formal treatments based on these findings would certainly offer new hope to women who are in need of hair restoration.

For more information on hair cloning, click here to read more.

hair cloning treatment for women

Researchers hope that cloning follicles can offer new forms of help for women who suffer from hair loss


If You Are Losing Hair, Should You Take Iron Supplements?

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Many medical experts feel that iron plays an important role in the health of the follicles. Some research findings support this concept. But overall, there is no hard and conclusive evidence.

However, back in May of 2006, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published an article, titled, “The Diagnosis and Treatment of Iron Deficiency and Its Potential Relationship To Hair Loss.” This was written by dermatologists at the Cleveland Clinic who discussed their observations in addressing iron deficiencies in hair loss patients. According to the team members, Leonid Benjamin Trost, MD; Wilma Fowler Bergfeld, MD; and Ellen Calogeras, RD, MPH, treatments seemed to be enhanced when implementing interventions for restoring proper levels of iron. And likewise, hair loss is actually exacerbated when the patient has lower levels of this mineral.

Although it is not a widespread and universal practice, the clinic screens hair loss patients for iron deficiencies and recommends appropriate supplementation. Depleted levels are addressed regardless of the presence of anemia. They noticed that this helps to optimize the ability to regrow hair and slow or stop shedding.

What Causes Iron Deficiencies

Iron deficiencies and anemia don’t always go hand in hand. There are basically three ways this mineral can become depleted from the body.

(1) Bleeding

Loss of blood can occur from factors like:

– heavy menstruation

– pregnancy

– ulcers, stomach inflammations and even colon cancer

(2) Severe physical injuries

(3) Lowered ability to absorb iron may be due to:

– medications which lower stomach acids

– chronic diarrhea

– partial or total removal of digestive organs such as the stomach or small intestine

– achlorhydria – a condition where no stomach acid is produced

How to Test for Iron Levels

In order to determine whether a patient has low iron levels, doctors measure the levels of a protein called ferritin. Ferritin is a protein in the blood which helps store iron in the body. According to hair clinics who screen for iron deficiencies, normal levels have been defined as 10-15ng/mL. But in order to improve hair loss, 50-70ng/mL are needed.

Supplementing the Body To Treat Hair Loss

Iron supplements are widely available over the counter. And they can be helpful from the perspective of enhancing the health of the entire body, which in turn benefits the follicles. Patients may consider eating a well rounded diet consisting of foods rich in iron. Examples include:

  • spinach
  • prunes
  • muscles
  • beans
  • tofu
  • lentils
  • potato
nutrition for hair loss

(Creative Commons) Foods rich in iron can become part of a well rounded treatment plan for hair loss

However, a focus on iron is not a cure for baldness. Individuals who are losing hair should never try to treat themselves for deficiencies to encourage new growth. Some nutrients like vitamin C can easily be flushed out of the body when amounts are too high. This is not the case with iron. It is rather difficult for the body to dispose of excess amounts.

Too much iron (much like vitamin D) can be harmful. Gastrointestinal disturbances and constipation may result.

Therefore, iron supplementation should be done under the guidance of a physician as part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.

To learn more about foods that can help prevent or slow the rate of hair loss, click here.




Restoring Hair Growth By Treating the Thyroid

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Having the genes for pattern baldness is the most common hair loss culprit. However, in some cases, medical conditions may cause hair to fall out, independently of DNA. Imbalances in thyroid hormone levels are the most common. In these situations, hair restoration can be achieved through medical treatment.

Two Types of Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid dysfunction usually takes one of two forms:

(1) hypothyroidism – an under active thyroid

(2) hyperthyroidism – an over active thyroid

The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and located in the throat region. It produces several types of hormones. The most common one is T4, also known as Thyoxin. This hormone is primarily responsible for the body’s  temperature and metabolism. It also regulates processes related to growth and development.

How Thyroid Hormone Affects Your Hair Follicles

Hair restoration efforts may involve treating thyroid conditions. The follicles on your head are either growing new hair or in a resting phase. When thyroid hormones are imbalanced in the bloodstream, more follicles will be in resting mode. And this will cause profound hair loss, baldness or thinning.


Attempts to restore hair should address the causes such as pattern baldness or even thyroid disorders












When thyroid hormone levels are higher than usual, hair will grow in much finer and wispier. When there is a deficiency of this hormone, hair loss can occur on the scalp and even body regions.

In many cases hair can also become dry in texture.

Do You Have a Thyroid Condition?

Hair restoration should always start with understanding the causes. Therefore, working with a doctor can offer this type of insight. He or she will be able to give you a blood test to  determine whether or not you have a thyroid hormone imbalance.

Besides hair issues, there are other symptoms that characterize this condition. These include:

  • lethargy or oversleeping
  • sudden weight loss or gain
  • insomnia
  • intolerance of temperature extremes
  • drastic mood shifts (e.g. nervousness and anxiety)
  • cognitive difficulties in recalling information and concentrating
  • skin dryness
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • irregular menstruation

Restoring normal hair growth can be as simple as taking medication such as levothyroxine. This will help create a balanced level of thyroid hormones in the blood. Improvements will not be instant, but can be observed after the first month or treatment in most cases.

If you are also interested in learning more about genetic and environmental causes of hair loss, click here to learn more.


Research on Vitamin D for Hair Restoration

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Vitamin D for Hair Restoration

Researchers are looking closely into the biochemical pathways associated with male pattern baldness

Researchers are currently studying the chemical pathways of hair loss in efforts to develop treatments. One of these studies includes Vitamin D. There are numerous receptors for this vitamin on the hair follicles. Vitamin D is believed to activate these receptors, which spurs the process of hair growth. This is analogous to a lock and a key. Therefore, researchers are actively investigating the role of this nutrient on hair growth and possible restoration.

A study called, Vitamin D3 Analogs Stimulate Hair Growth in Nude Mice was published in a journal of medicine called,  Endocrinology Vitamin D is believed to affect the expression of DNA.

The researchers of this study blocked a molecule called MED. MED is a compound that will interfere with the Vitamin D receptor and prevent new hair growth. By preventing the compound from reaching the receptor, the mice grew hair.

Researchers discovered another molecule which could activate certain vitamin D receptors on the body. This compound is called LEF1. It can activate these receptors, even if the vitamin is not present.  Although the data of this study suggests that the receptors were stimulated by LEF1, they have yet to demonstrate the next step of hair growth.

Researchers are now able to turn stem cells into hair follicles. Studies were done on rats which compared two groups undergoing the final stages of this transformation. One group received the vitamin. The other did not. A greater number of the stem cells made the transition to becoming hair follicles, compared to the other group.  And many of the follicles from the vitamin D group actually grew hair.

When vitamin D was added during the final stages of this transformation, this seemed to facilitate the process, compared to the stem cells that did not receive the vitamin.

Is Hair Restoration Possible Through Vitamin D Supplementation?

Findings like these seem to suggest that we need more vitamin D in our diets. While this is certainly the case for many people, a nutritional treatment program would need to be very specific to the physiological needs of the individual. Too much vitamin D, for example can lead to kidney problems.

Although a lot of attention is being placed on the potential of vitamin D for hair loss, the only reliable solution for reversing the signs of baldness is hair transplantation.

Although Dr. Umar specializes in this surgery,  he  has discussed the nutritional elements that contribute to the health of the hair follicles to help prevent or delay the process of loss.  Click here to watch his video on this topic.

Will Prostaglandin Drugs Replace Hair Restoration Surgery?

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The demand for an effective baldness cure  is quite strong. Last year in spring of 2012, the media reported a new research study which suggested that a particular protein known as PGD2 is responsible for hair loss. Therefore, a drug that can block this protein within the appropriate biochemical pathway may actually offer promise for reversing baldness. But will this actually replace the need for hair restoration surgery?

Background on the Research Study

The research study was performed by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 25,000 genes were analyzed. And only one of them coded for an enzyme responsible for producing PGD2.  Tissue was taken from bald areas and compared to samples from regions of the head with hair. And this protein was found in higher quantities within the regions affected by hair loss.

The researchers took hair follicles and placed them in a petri dish. They exposed these structures to PGD2. As a result, hair growth was actually inhibited as the follicles miniaturized.

Therefore if a drug were to block this protein, then perhaps the opposite effect may take place, where hair loss could be prevented or even reversed.

Understanding A Broader Picture of Prostaglandins 

While this research study illustrates one particular dynamic of prostaglandins and hair growth, there is a larger perspective to consider.  According to Dr. Umar, there are numerous types of prostaglandins in the body. And some of them actually promote hair growth. Here are two examples:

(1) Latisse is a drug used to grow longer eyelashes. It’s active ingredient is a synthetic prostaglandin (bimatoprost) that mimicks PGF2. This works to prolong the hair growth phase, so that the longer lashes can develop.

(2) Rogaine is believed to prevent hair loss (and even promote growth) due to the prostaglandin PGE2

Hair Restoration Through the Development of New Drugs?

Many hope that the Perelman study can provide the basis for the development of new drugs to treat baldness.  Based on the findings, it would seem that a drug would need to block  PGD2.

However, Dr. Umar also points out that steroids and antianflammatory drugs (non steroidal) also block PGD2. But hair growth did not occur consistently.

In all likelihood, multiple prostaglandins are involved in growing hair and inhibiting it. So the solution to stopping or even reversing baldness is more complicated in reality.

Dr. Umar believes that  prostaglandins may be considered as part of a comprehensive hair restoration treatment plan.

To read more about the possible use of prostaglandins to grow hair, click here.


The demand for effective hair restoration options is quite strong. However, a comprehensive treatment approach may be the best option


Does Nature or Nurture Determine the Need For A Hair Restoration?

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Genes account for most cases of profound hair loss. However, environmental factors can affect how they are expressed. While there are many men who are interested in treatment for baldness with hair restoration, there are also those who are interested in preventative measures.

A recent study was conducted, called The Relative Contribution of Endogenous and Exogenous Factors to Male Alopecia: A Study of 66 Genetically Identical Males.  Bahman Guyuron MD is one of the co authors of this research.

Essentially, sixty six identical male twins were observed. Their genetics are identical, therefore, any differences in the amount of hair they had would be due to environmental factors.  It should be noted that these findings should be considered as preliminary at this point. They would need to undergo peer review prior to being formally published.

Consider Preventative Measures Before Hair Restoration For the Top, Crown and Back of the Head

DNA basically accounted for hair loss in the front.  Therefore, measures like hair transplant surgery are the most reliable way to address this issue.

FUE hair restoration - before and after

Hairline and temple recession are predominantly affected by genetics

In the subjects who were observed, the hairline and temple areas were pretty much the same for both twins. However, differences were seen in other regions.

The lifestyle habits of the twins were also compared. These  included:

  • heavy drinking
  • smoking
  • being sedentary for much of the day
  • sun exposure (as evident through regular outdoor exercise)

It seemed that the twins who engaged in these habits exhibited more hair loss compared to their siblings.

Researchers also looked at the body mass index. Weight gain is often associated with low testosterone. Therefore, reduced levels of DHT would be present in the bloodstream.

This study points out that genetic expression can certainly be influenced by external factors. The health of the hair follicles certainly depends on the health of the overall individual.

And although spending time exercising outdoors is considered to be a healthy practice, it also increases a person’s exposure to UV rays. UV radiation will cause oxygen molecules on the skin to lose electrons. This creates free radicals which can damage the hair follicles.

Being mindful of these factors can enable you to slow down the rate of hair loss. However, a hair restoration may be considered if considerable baldness has resulted from the effect of genes, and the progression has reached a stable point.

Dr. Umar has also discussed the subject of genes, environmental factors and hair loss in his interview with American Health Journal.  Click here to watch this video segment.