‘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.

Drug (Latisse) Used to Treat Glaucoma Actually Grows Human Hair

eyeScienceDaily reports that an existing drug – having passed FDA regulations for sale as a cosmetic product over five years ago – may have a powerful effect in regrowing hair.

Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analog/prodrug used topically (as eye drops) to control the progression of glaucoma and in the management of ocular hypertension. It reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) by increasing the outflow of aqueous fluid from the eyes. We have discussed prostaglandins and their major role in hair loss and regrowth many times, and feel that this study lends further validation to our findings.

In December 2008, the FDA also approved the drug for the cosmetic application of lengthening eyelashes, currently sold under the trade name Latisse. The manufacturer realized this application upon observing that one of the drug’s side effects (when used as Glaucoma medicine) was a thickening of the eyelashes.

While the study is just one step towards an actual, tangible, usable product with a scalp-delievery system, it likely highlights what we have covered numerous times on our site and in our eBook, Ultimate Hair Secrets – prostaglandins are a major component of hair loss and may be more key to successful hair regrowth than systematic DHT blockers.

To learn more about the truth behind hair loss, including prostaglandins, and the natural way to induce prostaglandin inhibition systemically and topically, along with balancing overall hormonal health for optimal hair regrowth, please learn more in our eBook, Ultimate Hair Secrets.

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.

Kérastase Densifique: New Breakthrough Stem Cell Hair Regrowth Product with Stemoxydine?

Kerastase DensifiqueThe Telegraph of London reports that a breakthrough hair loss product works on stem cells, describing it as the “holy grail” for those facing the prospect of going bald or finding their hair is thinning with age.

The article says that L’Oréal (the manufacturer) claims demand for the new treatment is already so high that it has seen salons taking thousands of pre-orders even though the recommended three month treatment is relatively costly.

Researchers claim that after 90 days, the liquid “Kérastase Densifique”, when applied to the roots, can promote the growth of more than 1500 new hairs.  The effectiveness claimed is based on regenerating roots by targeting areas of the scalp prone to hair loss rather than actual fibers, using a stem cell-originated technology.

As we have discussed elsewhere on the site, hair loss and/or thinning may be caused by a number of factors, including but not limited to poor diet, hormones (aging related, environmentally-impacted, and otherwise), stress, post pregnancy and over processing hair.

Currently, Kérastase Densifique is only available in Europe; however, if one orders via Amazon, importers have made it available early for use in the United States.  It can be ordered here.

So, Does It Work?

This is a relatively new product, so only time will tell.  L’Oréal has a somewhat notorious history for producing hair regrowth products that were minimally effective.  For example, Aminexil (trade name Kopexil) was a much-hyped product that proved to be generally ineffective (never heard of it?  That’s probably why…  It’s not often prescribed).

Stemoxydine (click to see Google Patent) is the active compound in Densifique.

The product was tested in the SABOURAUD center in Paris, in a double blind vs placebo study consisting of 101 men between 18 and 55 years old.

A Stemoxydine 5% solution was applied 1 time a day (6ml), at the end of the 3 months of the trial, there was an increase of 4% in hair density on the patients treated with Stemoxydine, witch represent an average of +1700 hairs.

Conclusion

It appears from early and limited in vivo studies that a small amount of hair regrowth did occur.  However, larger scale clinical testing would be needed to determine a more accurate assessment of the product’s success rate.  Still, going on what data exists, 4% of hair regrowth at the current price makes this product a tough call.  If the price tag on this one means nothing to you, then by all means, give it a try; we at HairSecrets still assert that just about anything is a better choice than Minoxidil.  If, however you want a sure value, consider less expensive products, and consider following the plan and checklist outlined in the Ultimate Hair Secrets eBook.

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.

What is Trichotillomania or “Trich”? How Does It Affect My Hair And How Is It Treated?

Woman losing hair on hairbrushTrichotillomania, or “Trich”, is the compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair, often leading to noticeable hair loss, distress, and social or functional impairment. It is classified as an impulse control disorder by the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and is often chronic and difficult to treat.

In today’s society, we have largely become overworked, and underpaid.  The income gap continues to widen, and many have lost hope for what was once possible; a long-term, stable career situation with a happy life/work balance.  Whether incidentally or coincidentally, levels of pollution and toxins in our air, water, and food supplies have reached an all-time high, and we are exposed to them daily.  Stress is at an all-time high worldwide.  Many of us use computers in our jobs, and studies show that the multitasking behavior we become addicted to through our computer use actually decreases productivity, both at work AND after work during everyday cognitive functions.

Have you ever experienced the “high” associated with checking your email repeatedly?  Not realized you checked it multiple times in a half-hour period?  Experienced a small thrill when something came through, just to be let down when it was just something work-related?  The whole situation is enough to drive just about anyone to obsessive-compulsive behavior, even if only in small ways.

Studies have shown the ability of stress to wreak havoc on the body.  In fact, a study linking the body’s emotional and physical pain systems actually proved that taking Tylenol after being told hurtful words improved one’s feelings and reduced both the emotional and physical pain associated therein.  When we internalize stress, and fail to deal with it properly, it must manifest itself in some way.  Whether it be increased inflammation within the body, or obsessive or depressive behaviors, stress is definitely bad for your health.  Trichotillomania has also been shown in research studies to have a high overlap with post traumatic stress disorder.

Treating Trichotillomania

While most children outgrow trichotillomania, many adults must undergo multifaceted treatment to improve the situation.  Treatment usually begins by raising awareness of the behavior and the science surrounding it within the individual.  Many people are unaware that they are actually making their hair loss worse by continually picking at their hair, or spreading the hair apart to check their scalp in the mirror, or simply pulling at the hair as a nervous habit.

The threshold issue that must be dealt with is stress; and a band-aid approach will typically not suffice as a long-term solution.  One must identify and solve stress with long term solutions, including Habit Reversal Training, and Hypnosis (our tests found Andrew Johnson’s mobile relaxation hypnosis app to be highly effective in this area).  Finally, when medication is required, clomipramine, an antidepressant of the tricyclic class, has been shown to be highly effective in treating trich, while SSRIs were generally low in effectiveness.

Learn more about reprogramming thoughts, eliminating fundamental root causes of stress, and priming the mind for optimal hair regrowth.

What Are Prostaglandins? How Do They Affect Hair Loss?

Portrait of attractive man with hair concernProstaglandins are lipid compounds derived enzymatically from fatty acids.  They have a variety of biochemical and physiological effects in general, including hormonal effects.  It was recently discovered that a particular prostaglandin, prostaglandin D(2) (PGD2) was highly elevated in the scalps of bald people5.  Furthermore, during normal follicle cycling in mice, PGD2 levels increase immediately preceding the regression phase of the follicle, suggesting an inhibitory effect on hair growth.  The study showed that PGD2 inhibited hair growth in explanted human hair follicles.

Unfortunately, no PGD2 inhibitors are in the FDA pipeline for hair loss anytime within the next 10+ years.  However, PGD2 can be highly modulated through a special combination of supplements in addition to synergistic nutrition and exercise changes. Download the Ultimate Hair Secrets eBook to find out how you can put this trick to work for you right now.