Hair Restoration

Restoring Hair Growth By Treating the Thyroid

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.

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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

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?

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.

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

 

Is It Ever Too Late To Get A Hair Restoration?

Male pattern baldness starts at the hairline and advances further towards the back of the head.  The most advanced stages (Norwood 6 and 7) are often referred to as the “power donut,” where hair is only present along the lower back part of the head and the sides.  But should patients rush to choose a hair restoration specialist simply to avoid reaching a state that might be too late to fix?

Recently in July actor Jude Law performed in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night for a charity event to benefit autism.  Although his receding hairline and temples have been the subject of a lot of attention in recent years, his hair loss seemed to have progressed even further to about a Norwood 3 level.

According to Daily Mail, “he’s been embracing the balding look.” And the site also posted these photos showing a significant contrast in his appearance at present, compared to his image during his younger years.

When to get Hair Restoration

images of Jude Law from www.dailymail.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some feel that he should get a hair transplant before he loses the rest of his hair. Although it is advisable to take action during the earlier stages of pattern baldness,  it is also important to be aware that surgery is now possible even when most of the hair has fallen out.

Hair Restoration With Body Follicles

Conventional transplant procedures use hair from the head.  Grafts are extracted using strip surgery or Follicular Unit Extraction. Slits are created into the regions affected by hair loss. And the follicles are inserted into these tiny incisions. If the procedure relies on methods that only extract hair from the head, then patients within the Norwood 6-7 category would not be able to benefit.

However the use of hair follicles from other regions on the body changes this paradigm.  In fact, abundant quantities of follicles can be harvested by relying on areas such as the beard region, chest, abdomen, back and even the arms and legs. However, patients would need to have enough hair in these regions.  And the thickness of these hairs must be appropriate for use on the head.

Here is an example of a Derm Hair Clinic patient who was able to reverse his severe baldness with a total of 12,000 grafts. Most of these were extracted from the beard areas of his face.

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Doctor

Severely bald patient who underwent a series of two hair restoration surgeries with grafts extracted from the head and body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To watch this patient’s video and learn more about his procedure, click here.

Hairline Advancement With Follicular Unit Extraction 3000 uGrafts

Hairline recession changes how the face is framed.  And this profoundly affects a person’s overall appearance. This patient started noticing the signs of hair loss during his late twenties. However, after twenty years he finally decided to take action through a Follicular Unit Extraction procedure.

Some people will reach the state of severe baldness (Norwood 6 or 7) within a relatively short time frame. However, with this patient,  his hair loss stabilized even after many years had gone by.

 

Follicular Unit Extraction 3000 uGrafts

Patient showing receded hairline prior to his transplant procedure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this case, there is an abundance of head hair.  As a result, Dr. Umar was able to harvest a donor supply consisting of 3000 uGrafts. Some of these were derived from the nape area and used as detail for the outer edge of the hairline.  Nape hair is thinner than regular hair which grows on the head.  This makes it a good choice for replicating the soft outer edge of natural looking hairlines.

The temple points were also addressed in reversing the signs of hair loss in this patient.

Follicular Unit Extraction Los Angeles

Patient’s procedure had filled in his temple points and created a more youthful looking hairline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The temples need to be reconstructed to create a contour that is properly balanced with the hairline.  As these pictures show, a subtle angle was created. Prior to this, the original border ran vertically downward.

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side view of temples and hairline before and after the FUE procedure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a frontal view of the patient’s hairline before and after his FUE procedure.

FUE Hair Transplant

Patient looks considerably more youthful after his hairline and temple restoration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The patient was very happy with his results and stated that this procedure was the best investment he had ever made in himself. His appearance improved greatly due to his new hairline. He also received positive feedback from other people.

With Follicular Unit Extraction,  grafts are harvested with punches. Therefore there is no linear scar.  And great care was taken to produce extremely natural looking results. Because of these factors, his own hair dresser was surprised to learn that he had undergone a restoration surgery.

To learn more about this patient’s experience, click here to watch his video.

BHT Versus The Power Donut or Shaving Your Head Completely

You may have  seen some of our articles, blog posts and videos on BHT (body hair transplant) procedures used to reverse severe baldness.  The days of being rejected as a hair restoration candidate are now gone. With the proper technique using body follicles,  it is quite feasible for someone with practically no hair on their head to actually have real hair growth. 

What Are Your Choices When Faced With Severe Baldness

When you first start to go bald, there are still quite a few hair styling options available to help make your hair loss look less obvious.  But without any intervention, mild baldness will eventually turn into severe baldness.  This is when most of the hair is gone except for a ring around the back and sides of the head. Hair restoration doctors call this a Norwood 6 or a 7. But others refer to this look as a power donut.

With advanced baldness a person’s options include the following:

  • Shaving the entire head. The idea behind shaving the whole head is that it looks more clean and sleek, as opposed to leaving the ring of remaining hair.  Bruce Willis is  often used as the role model who wears this look well.
  • Doing nothing. In 2008, GQ published an article which entertained the notion of bringing back the power donut.  The authors argued that shaving your entire head makes it look obvious that you are trying to make the best of your hair loss.  Furthermore, they  used examples of famous men  such as Ron Howard and Winston Churchill as examples where the power donut  carries distinction and dignity.
  • Wearing a hairpiece. Although wearing a hair piece offers a way to conceal baldness, many individuals feel inauthentic about this option.  However, others are quite comfortable with their toupee.
  • Getting a hair transplant. A BHT hair restoration is now added to the list of options for those with severe baldness.  Of course, this can only be possible if you have copious hair growth on other areas of your body, such as the beard region.

Example of a Body Hair Transplant (BHT) Procedure

Not everyone is comfortable with the leaving their baldness as is.  Nor do they completely resonate with shaving their head completely, no matter how tough, masculine or cool men like Vin Diesel or Bruce Willis make it seem.

Our clinic developed the uGraft surgical system to safely and successfully harvest body hair follicles.  It is no longer far fetched for someone with severe baldness to benefit from a hair transplant surgery.

Here is an example of a patient who relied on a comb over to help disguise his severe baldness.  But this was no longer necessary after his body hair to head procedure.

BHT Versus Shaving Your Head Completely

Patient before and after his BHT procedure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To watch his video, click here.

Evaluating Your Options For Hair Loss

According to the Washington Post, Americans spend approximately three and a half billion dollars a year on hair loss products and procedures. Losing one’s hair can feel emotionally stressful. And therefore, many people have a strong sense of urgency when it comes to finding ways to solve this issue.

However, there are so many purported solutions! Here is a look at some common options that are available. Some, of course, are more sensible than others.

Currently Available Medical Based Treatments For Baldness

 FDA approved drugs

Of the countless products available to help treat hair loss, only two are FDA approved: Rogaine (Minoxidil) and Propecia (Finasteride).

Rogaine helps stimulate blood flow to the follicles, increasing their supply of oxygen and nutrients. Propecia blocks the action of an enzyme which breaks down testosterone into DHT (dehydrotestosterone). DHT is what causes the follicles to miniaturize. Hair loss then occurs as a result

Both medications can serve as useful means for controlling the progression of baldness. Although hair will regrow in some people, not everyone will experience this effect

hair restoration procedures

Hair transplant surgeries involve transferring healthy, growing hair follicles from one area of the body to another. These grafts may come from the head or the body.

Follicular Unit Extraction Surgeon in Los Angeles

Hair transplant procedures can be chosen to help repair the results from previous surgeries. The conventions of natural hair growth patterns need to be adhered to.

The results of these procedures depend on the expertise of the doctor. Well executed surgeries can result in excellent fullness and natural looking outcomes.  On the other extreme, bad hair transplants may culminate in poor growth and misplaced grafts.

What about laser combs?

Many people have probably heard about laser combs which have received FDA approval.  However, they are approved for safety, not effectiveness.

Hair growth has occurred in some people as a result of their laser hair removal procedures. It may be possible that this energy helped stimulate the activity of the hair follicles. Result remain unpredictable on an individual basis, however.

Non-FDA Approved Solutions For Hair Loss

The fight against baldness has been a timeless endeavor. There is even a book written about this subject called, Hair! Mankind’s Historic Quest To End Baldness by Gersh Kuntzman.

The search for hair loss remedies has led to numerous treatment claims. Examples include:

  • tinctures
  • shampoos
  • vitamin and mineral supplements

There are even more outrageous products made from exotic ingredients like hippo fat and urine from young horses.

There is no evidence which supports the effectiveness of these items. However, people will often give them a chance because they are cheaper than hair transplants and FDA approved drugs.

Hair Pieces

Hair pieces used to be called rugs. Today’s versions are more sophisticated “hair replacement systems.” They are applied at specialty salons.

Celebrities sometimes rely on hair pieces, which can look undetectable at a distance from behind the camera. However, the average person (around 70%, according to The American Hair Loss Association) is usually not satisfied with the experience of wearing one.

Hair Concealers

Hair concealers are cosmetic products made of fibers. These products are sprayed onto the bald scalp, helping to hide the exposed areas of skin.

Will Hair Cloning Be Available Anytime Soon?

Hair cloning (creating new follicles in a cultured environment and injecting them into the scalp) is still in its beginning stages. There are still many details that need to be ironed out, so to speak. For example, researchers have yet to figure out how to create natural growth patterns through the process of hair cloning.  To learn more about this subject area, click here.

Doctors Are Recognizing the Link Between Hair Loss and Psychological Issues

According to a recent study at the Charite Unicersitatsmedizin in Berlin, researchers found a very strong correlation between hair loss and poor psychological health.  However, this probably comes as no surprise to many people. Yet  it is always helpful to  learn about the validity of certain beliefs and notions through formal research studies which rely on data and analysis.

Many men feel helpless and devastated when they lose their hair.  The study described this as an “enormous emotional burden.” Possible manifestations include:

  • a diminished sense of confidence and self esteem
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • possible mental disorders

The study pointed out an interesting phenomenon. In some individuals, male pattern baldness can result from a psychological disorder known as Trichtillomania. This is characterized by an “irresistible urge” to pull out one’s hair.

Another type of mental disorder that can result from losing hair includes body dysmorphic disorder. With this condition, patients develop fears due to distorted perceptions in how they look.

Changes In Society’s Perception of Male Attractiveness

Many people realize that that hair loss in men can be stressful. But the results of the Chirite Universitatsmedizin study points to a larger picture that involves an increased sense of value placed on how men look.

Back in the 1930′s a sociologist named William Waller conducted a study on what women wanted from a marriage partner.  At this time, the top priorities included financial stability and even the potential for upward economic mobility.

Now that there is greater equality in the workforce between men and women, priorities have shifted. Since more women have the ability to provide for a family,  other traits have taken importance. This includes attractiveness, friendship and emotional closeness.

According to another  expert, Ashley Mears,  the modern man has become more concerned with their body image. She cites an increased number of magazine advertisements targeted at men, starting around the 1980s.

The issue of body  image in men doesn’t just involve having a full head of hair.  In fact, early this year in January, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published research findings which show that more men are struggling with eating disorders such as bulemia and anorexia. In fact, males comprise 10-15% of patients who are diagnosed with these disorders.  The media has coined a new term, Manorexia to describe this.

There are many options that men  can utilize feel better about how they look. These include:

(1) cosmetic procedures like hair tranplants

(2) positive lifestyle choices (including appropriate dietary options and exercise)

(3) professional counseling

(4) self help books and information

(5) personal endeavors to focus

Concerns about attractiveness has been stereotyped as a female issue. So many men hide their feelings and are reluctant to seek help. But attempts to find outlets and solutions for personal healing should never be ignored.

Here at Derm Clinic we  have seen many rewarding examples of patients who regained their confidence and self esteem after their hair restoration. Here is a patient with diffuse thinning.  His strip procedure caused many of his follicles to go into shock, resulting in more hair loss.

Hair Loss Surgeon in Los Angeles

Patient with diffuse thinning before and after his Advanced FUE hair transplant by uGraft

 

 

He discusses the effect that his hair loss had on his educational and professional goals. Click here to view his video.

However, we encourage patients to also strive for positive inner growth. The relationship you have with yourself should always be a priority. While we cannot ignore the effect that personal attractiveness has in our society, individuals should work to find a balance between a healthy self concept and how their appearance contributes as a secondary role to this.

Dr. Umar Receives the Real Self 100 Award For Excellence In Patient Education Through Social Media

This spring, Dr. Umar was a recipient of the Real Self 100 Award. He was one of a hundred doctors who received this honor as being among the top 2% of physician members of the site.  The award was given to medical specialists who consistently display the highest standards in patient education by regularly interacting with patients who have specific  questions about cosmetic procedures.

Dr. Umar received a letter of recognition from Tom Seery, who is the CEO and founder of Real Self. Additionally, he was also awarded a plaque as well as the opportunity to be part of a digital collage of recipients which was showcased in New York City’s Time Square.

Dr. Umar Receives the Real Self 100 Award

Real Self 100 Award recipients were honored in Times Square

Background on Real Self

Real Self started back in 2006 by Tom Seery who is the CEO and founder of the social media community site.  At the time, his wife posed an interesting question. She asked why it was possible to find very detailed and thorough reviews about books and cars, but not for expensive cosmetic treatments.

RealSelf.com developed as a way to meet this demand. Regular people who are interested in aesthetic medical  procedures are able to sign up as members and ask questions. Doctors use their expertise to provide answers. And  patients are able to receive and compare a variety of feedback from actual physicians. Members can also rate and provide testimonials about specific procedures.

The  site has grown in popularity and currently receives over three million visitors a month.

The Intersection of  Social Media and Cosmetic Procedures

As many people realize,  social media has made it possible for the voice of the consumer to be heard and benefit others. The ability to ask questions and present feedback serves as a beneficial and reliable way for others to make informed decisions.

The ability to share information transparently serves to educate patients in an interactive fashion. And it also offers a level of protection from false and misleading claims.

Social media is certainly changing the way we receive and share information. And Real Self demonstrates the positive impact this has on those who are interested in improving their appearance through medical procedures.

Dr. Umar’s Commitment To Patient Education

As a recipient of the Real Self 100 Award, Dr. Umar and his fellow honorees have demonstrated a strong commitment to patient education beyond the regular obligations of their medical practices.

Whether its helping patients with skincare or hair restoration, Dr. Umar strongly believes in helping patients understand how treatments. This empowers individuals to make decisions with their own  personal sense of conviction instead of just accepting opinions and information at face value. The ability to make smart decisions allows patients to receive the ideal results that enable them to be happy in the long term.

Jason Alexander’s Hair Restoration With A Toupee

Most men shudder at the thought of wearing a hair piece only to have others find out about it.  But Jason Alexander  (also known as Seinfeld’s George Constanza) candidly talked about changing his look on Twitter. Back in July  2011, he wrote:  I am experimenting with some interesting hair systems. Don’t be shocked if you suddenly see pics of me with more hair than usual,” A few months later he made a few headlines as the media noticed him stepping out with a fuller head of hair.

The actor shared the fact that his hair restoration is due to a “semi-permanent hair piece.” He says that it can stay on for weeks unless he chooses to remove it.  All this happened about two years ago. And since then, he has not gone back.

Many people wondered why he would choose to have hair after he made his mark as television’s notoriously funny bald guy, which earned him both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.  The actor cited professional reasons and asserted that its “not a big deal” for him.

In fact, it is probably not a big deal because everyone already knows he is bald and he has even portrayed George Constanza experimenting with the look of a toupee.

Jason Alexander is a rare individual who can get away with wearing a hair piece and have everyone know about it. As someone who gained enormous popularity due to his quirky on screen antics,  wearing an obvious hairpiece shouldn’t seem like a tremendous shock to others.

It’s could be that  the actor/director no longer wants to be perceived as George Constanza and would like to move onto new projects.  This year, he debuted a new musical that he directed called, “When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish.”  He is also starring in a musical called Two by Two.  And he has also guest starred on a puppet episode of  NBC’s show, Community. A writer for Glamour thought his new look makes him look like he has aged backwards.

Options for Severe Baldness Including Hair Restoration Procedures

Shaving one’s head is the most common recommendation for severe baldness.  Jason Alexander’s decision to reverse his signature look is a clearly an indication that not all Norwood 7’s want to embrace the look of having no hair.

Even at this stage, the hope of having a full head of hair is not completely lost.  For those who do not want to achieve hair restoration without a toupee,  body hair transplant is certainly a viable option. Here is an example of patient who had this done. His results were achieved with 12,000 uGrafts of head hair combined with beard hair. The middle pictures reflect his results after adding 8,000 grafts. And the last set of pictures are his results after adding 4,000 more.

Hair Restoration Los Angeles

Severely bald patient successfully reversed his hair loss with two uGraft surgeries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about his experience, click here to read more.