‘Gravity Theory’ May Help Explain Male Pattern Baldness

Man with neck/hair painThe effects of gravity may explain the apparently paradoxical effects of testosterone in male pattern baldness (MPB), or androgenic alopecia, according to a report in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open®, the official open-access medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The “force of downward pull caused by the gravity on the scalp skin” is the key contributor to the events leading to progressive hair loss in male pattern baldness, says Dr. Emin Tuncay Ustuner, a plastic surgeon in Ankara, Turkey.

In the scalp, DHT has classically been known to cause hair follicles to thin and become dormant over time. However, in other areas of the body, such as the underarms and genitals, DHT and other sex hormones promote thickening of hair follicles. Why would DHT affect scalp hair one way, but hair in other areas in a different way? And why does balding–and the associated increase in DHT levels–occur only on the top of the head?

The answer, Dr. Ustuner believes, is the weight of the scalp on the hair follicles. In youth, the scalp has sufficient fat tissue under the skin, and it is “capable of keeping itself well-hydrated,” buffering the pressure on hair follicles. But as we age, the skin and underlying (subcutaneous) fat cells become thinner, and the pressure on hair follicles increases. Testosterone is known to contribute to the thinning of subcutaneous fat. In women, estrogen prevents thinning of these cushioning tissues, at least until menopause.

As the cushion decreases, hair follicles must strive against higher pressure from gravity, requiring more testosterone to achieve normal growth. This “local demand” leads to a buildup of DHT levels in the scalp, but not in the bloodstream. Rising DHT levels cause further erosion of the subcutaneous fat — creating a “vicious circle,” according to Dr. Ustuner.

The hair growth cycle accelerates in response to DHT, but it’s not enough to overcome the increased pressure. Over time, the hair follicle becomes smaller and smaller, resulting in progressively increasing hair loss.

While Dr. Ustuner acknowledges that his “gravity theory” has met with resistance, we believe it has merit, and have addressed it along with much other science about the nature of hair loss.  We recommend a series of special scalp exercises, also known as “Yoga For Your Hair“, in our e-book, Ultimate Hair Secrets.  If you would like to learn the secrets of stimulating the scalp, returning blood flow, reliving pressure, and ultimately restoring your hair to good health, please download a free preview of the e-book, Ultimate Hair Secrets.

APA: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2013, October 30). ‘Gravity theory’ may explain male pattern baldness. ScienceDaily.

Min New York: Secure – Production Delays

Min New York Secure Anti-DHT Hair Gel

Min NY: “Secure” Gel

A wear-in product that we highly recommend both for its cosmetic (hair shaft expanding) and regenerative properties, Min New York: Secure Gel, (click to read our original review) is currently experiencing production delays.

The manufacturer suggests Min New York Define Shaping Pomade 3.5 oz as the closest and most similar product, with the same active ingredients.

We have also tested Min’s New York Form Styling Cream and found it to be a similar product, with the same active ingredients, but a slightly different product in terms of appearance (medium hold; hair-shaft expanding), and recommend it highly as well for an all-day protection product.

Rating: A+

Does Exercise Impact Hair Loss And Regrowth? Is Nitric Oxide a helpful supplement for both hair loss and exercise?

Bodybuilding-HairlossAt HairSecrets, we often receive questions from those suffering from hair loss (both early and late stage) regarding exercise, and its effects on hair loss and hair regrowth.

Exercise can impact androgenic hair loss by affecting hormone levels, including DHT and estrogen. The quantification of androgen responses to exercise can be classified in four combined categories: short versus long term, and anaerobic versus aerobic.

In cross-sectional analyses, aerobic exercisers have lower basal total and free testosterone compared to the sedentary. Anaerobic exercisers also have lower testosterone compared to the sedentary. Testosterone acutely increases, briefly, when comparing aerobic, anaerobic, and mixed forms of exercise.

Question

The following are selected questions from a reader of the Ultimate Hair Secrets eBook, along with answers provided to assist in his particular exercise routine, which consisted of training for boxing–a hard hitting workout, but with aerobic properties–and a question regarding the addition of Nitric Oxide, a popular workout supplement, to his supplement regime.  Body building products marketed as Nitric Oxide are actually often Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) – a salt of the amino acid arginine and alpha-ketoglutaric acid, or simply L-Arginine. Its components are intermediates in the metabolism of nitric oxides.  A particularly popular (and time-released) version of this product is available in the BSN Nitrix A.M. to P.M. Vaso-Muscular Volumizer, which provides increased strength and “pump” during a workout, without directly modulating androgenic hormones which lead to the production of DHT and hair loss.

I am a former boxer and am fighting again towards the end of the year. I’ve never taken any bodybuilding supplements before, but as I’m moving up in weight, will need to.
Is it right to think this is counterproductive to what the book might say about hair loss, as you’re introducing more testosterone into the equation?

I’m going to have to take supplements (no steroids though). I’m talking protein shakes, and nitric oxide in particular.

Answer

In actuality, your situation is perfect for the program outlined in the book. Protein and nitric oxide supplements are non-androgenic in nature, and nitric oxide is actually an excellent synergist to the two stacks outlined in the book, as it is a major component of hair and shown to improve hair regrowth (see http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01347957 for a clinical study on the subject).

As to testosterone, in short, long term training (the kind you are doing) is a good thing, whereas short spikes from otherwise completely sedentary activity are bad (tending to spike DHT and hormones involved in the hair loss process).  Refer to Chapter 5: Exercise Secrets, and the subsection, “Androgenic Impact of Exercise” for a full rundown of how to best optimize your workout for hair regrowth.

For more on how exercise impacts hair loss, including answers to the right and wrong ways to structure your exercise routines, refer to the Ultimate Hair Secrets eBook, which breaks down the results of eleven controlled clinical studies, combined them into outlines for ideal routines for keeping fit while maintaining proper hormone levels for hair regrowth, and covers the complete ins and outs of troubleshooting your current workout routine for ultimately minimizing production of follicle-binding DHT, which damages hair follicles and causes hair loss.

Product Review: Min New York “Secure” Anti-DHT Styling Gel

Min New York Secure Anti-DHT Hair Gel

Min NY: “Secure” Gel

Min New York is a little-known brand that produces quite possibly some of the highest quality hair health styling products in the world. In particular, the product we tested extensively was the “Secure” Anti-DHT Firm Gel.

Min’s Secure Gel’s compounded ingredients include Biotin, Zinc Sulfate, Saw Palmetto, Procapil, and Copper Peptide Y3. Let’s break these down.

  • Biotin is a base nutrient that is found in hair and a deficiency can be responsible for hair loss.  However, biotin deficiency is rare.  In this case, it’s a good “core” nutrient to have in place, and may work wonders for a few, but generally this falls into the category of “hair vitamins”.  An exception is those who eat a lot of eggs; avidin is a protein found in egg whites which binds to biotin, causing malabsorption within the body.  If you eat a lot of eggs, be sure to cook the whites thoroughly, otherwise the risk of biotin deficiency may actually become a problem.
  • Zinc Sulfate has been shown in many studies to stop hair loss and regrow hair, particularly in individuals post-surgury or who experienced deficiency in zinc. However, many of these studies refer to systemic application of zinc (ingestion) rather than a topical application.  That said, a topical application of zinc is a good thing, because if zinc is going to help you, it will, but if you ingest too much zinc and aren’t already deficient, you may actually become zinc-toxic, and/or upset your body’s balance of zinc (as well as copper and other minerals that tend to bind and interface with zinc).  All in all, a helpful ingredient for some, non-helpful for others, generally harmful for no one.
  •  Saw Palmetto extract has long been promoted as an anti-DHT, prostate and hair health product.  In reality, numerous medical trials have shown that saw palmetto, even in standardized form, has borderline effectiveness in reducing symptoms of prostatitis, and no long-term trials have been conducted on its efficacy in the area of hair loss as a nutritional supplement.  However, in studies of saw palmetto as a topical treatment for hair growth, definite positive growth results were found over a 50 week period, both in reduction of inflammation and increase of hair thickness.  While conventional wisdom might point to the original thinking of saw palmetto as a DHT-binding, inhibitory agent, if we think outside the box a bit, we remember that saw palmetto is a plant, possessing powerful and complex phytonutrient and isoflavone compounds; it is likely that these contribute to saw palmetto’s effectiveness as a topical agent for anti-inflammatory and anti-DHT effect.
  • Procapil® is a combination of vitaminated biotinyl tripeptide-1 with apigenin and oleanolic acid.  This unique combination, also possessing bioflavanoids, has powerful anti inflammatory properties that aid in reversing and preventing the damage caused by DHT within the scalp.
  • Azelaic Acid – said to be a potential inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase in human skin.  A reduction of this enzyme may reduce the amount DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body and therefore, have a similar effect to finasteride.
  • Copper Peptide Y3 – this element peptide works to introduce copper ions into the hair follicle area, inhibiting DHT production in the scalp and activating the natural repair process that rebuilds and renews hair. Copper, along with the previously mentioned zinc and biotin, is vital to having healthy hair and scalp.

Our studies showed that Min’s Secure Gel was very effective in reducing inflammation, and was very effective as a styling product as well.  We recommend it as a standalone product, or as a base styling product, to be used first, followed by your other styling products.  This particular Min product is non-oily, which is ideal for individuals with hair loss; rather than making the hair clump together and further exposing the scalp, it dries fully, adding weight and volume to the hair, and expands the hair shaft, creating the appearance of fuller hair immediately, before its active ingredients actually even begin to do their work.

Rating:  A+

We highly recommend Min New York’s Secure Anti-DHT Gel as a core everyday styling product for optimal hair health and appearance.