Monday, August 23, 2010

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation

(NAAF) has one thing on its mind: hair loss. The NAAF focuses exclusively on one type of hair loss, alopecia areata, and provides various support for both sufferers of alopecia areata and those who are seeking to cure and treat the disease.

What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia Areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks hair follicles, causing hair loss. Two in a hundred people suffer from alopecia areata and it can affect anyone.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hair Loss in Children – The Most Common Causes

If you think hair loss in children is extremely rare, you’ll be surprised to learn it’s not that uncommon. Approximately three percent of all pediatric visits in the U.S. are related to children’s hair loss. Hair loss is difficult for most adults. When it comes to children, it’s heartbreaking.

The good news is that most children who suffer from hair loss can be successfully treated. The key is early and accurate diagnosis. That’s why it’s crucial to get pediatric advice from a medical professional as soon as hair loss is noticed.

There are a number of conditions that cause hair loss in children. Tinea capitis and alopecia areata are the most common.

Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp)

Tinea capitis is the single most common cause of hair loss in children and is brought on by a fungal infection. It causes patchy hair loss and broken hairs. Patches are usually round or oval but can take various shapes. Gray flakes may also be present.

It is treated with an oral antifungal medication taken for eight weeks along with Nizoral shampoo, which is used on the scalp 2-3 times per week. For treatment to succeed, this regimen must be followed precisely. Children using the treatment are not contagious.

Alopecia Areata

With alopecia areata, oval patches appear suddenly and they are completely bald and smooth. There is no inflammation, flaking, or broken hair. This condition affects one in a thousand children and twenty-five percent of these children will also have pitting and ridging of the nails.

Treatment is usually provided by a dermatologist and a large percentage of children will have all of their hair back within a year. None of the treatments currently available cure alopecia areata but they can help reverse the symptoms.

Other Conditions

Other conditions that may cause hair loss in children include trauma and telogen effluvium.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hair Loss in Children – Additional Causes and Treatments

Two most common causes of hair loss in children, tinea capitis and alopecia areata. Although those are the most likely causes, they are not the only ones. Trauma and a condition called telogen effluvium can also cause hair loss in the young.


Trauma to the hair shaft is often caused by traction, which is the result of tight braids and ponytails worn consistently. Trauma may also be caused by friction, such as when the head is constantly rubbing against a bed or wheelchair. Chemical burns are another form of trauma.

Trichotillomania is the habit of twirling and plucking the hair. It’s considered an obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is difficult to treat. It also causes trauma to the hair shaft.

If the actions that are causing trauma to the hair shaft can be eliminated, hair will usually re-grow.

Telogen effluvium

Hair follicles have long growth phases (two to six years), which are followed by brief transitional phases in which the follicle degenerates. Next, there is a resting phase (about three months) when the follicle is dormant. This is the final or telogen phase. After the telogen phase, the growth cycle starts all over. New hairs grow and push out old hair shafts.

At any given time, eighty to ninety percent of the follicles are in growth phase and five percent are in the transition phase. Ten to fifteen percent of follicles are in the telogen phase, which means 50-150 hairs are shed daily.

Children suffering from telogen effluvium have a hair growth cycle that is being interrupted, causing many or all hairs to be in the telogen (final or shedding) phase.

Telogen effluvium can be caused by high fevers, surgery under general anesthesia, an excess of vitamin A, severe stress or injuries, and use of certain prescription medications (such as accutane for acne).

While telogen effluvium is devastating and can be difficult to cope with, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. After whatever is causing the hair loss has passed or been eliminated, full and normal hair growth should begin again within six months to a year.

If your child is suffering with hair loss, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention and remember, contact The American Hair Loss Association before buying any product or service for the treatment of hair loss.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The History of Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair transplant surgery originated in Japan. In 1939, Dr. Okuda, a Japanese dermatologist developed a breakthrough process to restore hair loss caused by scalp injuries and for burn victims. He used a punch technique, which involved extracting small sections of hair-bearing skin and implanting these into even smaller holes in the areas where skin had been damaged. Once these grafts healed, they produced hair in areas that were previously bald.

Just a few years later another Japanese dermatologist, Dr. Tamura, improved upon Okuda’s method by minimizing the size of the grafts down to one to three hairs each. He was working with women and restoring hair in the pubic area. The surgery that Dr. Tamura developed is quite similar to surgeries that are still performed to this day.

Because these innovative developments in hair restoration surgery occurred around the time of World War II, they did not become accessible in the U.S. until many years later.

During the early 1950s, New York dermatologist Dr. Norman Orentreich completed the first hair transplant in the United States for a man who had male pattern baldness. Orentreich faced much criticism for the procedure that he’d developed. His technique was similar to Dr. Okuda’s, and did not render attractive or natural looking results. He did, however, establish that hair on the back and sides of a man’s scalp was not prone to balding.

Hair transplants became a more sought after cosmetic procedure by the 1960s, but because the early procedures were largely ineffective and extremely unnatural in appearance, hair transplant surgery developed a negative reputation which unfortunately plagues the field to this day. It took almost three decades for hair transplant surgeons to develop significant improvements to these early methods.

In the 1990s, follicular unit transplantion was introduced and changed the hair transplant field forever. Finally, the old stigmas could be dismissed and hair restoration could become a viable option for hair loss sufferers.

Today, surgeons continue to improve upon hair transplant techniques. Today’s techniques produce stunning results and are increasingly embraced by hair loss sufferers.

And remember, never underestimate the importance of choosing the right hair transplant surgeon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MatriStem MicroMatrix ; Regenerative Medicine and Hair Cloning

Since that date there has been a lot of online (and offline) discussion about how accurate the press release really was.

For years, hair cloning has been looked at as the holy grail for hair loss sufferers. It is an innovation that brings promise and hope to millions of people dealing with hair loss, the promise that they can restore the hair that has been lost.

Enter ACell’s MatriStem MicroMatrix.

Spencer Kobren conducted an interview with one of the MicroMatrix researchers, Dr. Jerry Cooley the same day the press release was issued. The interview helped to clear up a lot of questions that had been looming in the minds of readers as they drank their morning cup of coffee. Namely, was hair actually cloned? The answer is, yes. In the interview Dr. Cooley stated

“By using plucked hair in a very specific manner, we have been able to get a new follicle to regenerate using the ACell, as well as you are not depleting it from the original site”

It is important for readers to know, this research is still in the very early stages. The MatriStem wound healing powder has really primarily been used for the facilitation of the healing process. When MatriStem is placed onto a wound, it is resorbed and  replaced with new native tissue where scar tissue would normally be expected.  The range of care that the MatriStem devices can be used for is quite vast, including medical applications for wound care, general surgery, gastrointestinal  surgery, urology and plastic and reconstructive surgery.

This type of medical technology brings with it hope for all types of medical ailments, and yes, it rekindles that light that hair cloning may one day be a very viable solution for men, women and children afflicted with hair loss.

For now, we just have to wait and see what comes next.

Background Information

About ACell Inc.

ACell, Inc. offers the next generation of regenerative medicine through the development and commercialization of unique extracellular matrix...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ookisa ; A Scam or a Misunderstanding?

Ookisa, LLC launched their hair care product line in 2008. A press release was issued in October 2008, titled “Ookisa(TM) Unveils Revolutionary Integrated Hair Thickening Systeme” and the first couple lines read, “OOKISA, LLC announced today the launch of the exclusive, new OOKISA Hair Thickening Systéme, an innovative and complete approach to hair health and beauty formulated specifically to increase hair volume and dimension while addressing the issue of weak, thinning hair and hair loss.”

The product line they currently offer includes a:
Fortifying Shampoo
Replenishing Conditioner
Instant Volumizing Souffle
Nighttime Follicle Renewal Serum

It appears to be the “Nighttime Follicle Renewal Serum” that boasts it’s anti-thinning properties. The description for the product states “Nighttime Follicle Renewing Serum works with the body’s natural renewal cycle. This leave-in treatment absorbs and gently cascades to the scalp; calming, soothing and healing along the way. This formula not only prevents thinning, loss and splitting.”

With that last sentence there is not doubt that Ookisa LLC is indeed marketing this to hair loss sufferers.

The ingredients in this serum are:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCl, Apigenin, Linolenic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Acetamide MEA, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Panthenol, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Sorbitol, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl, Silanetriol, Phytantriol, Sodium PCA, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Maltodextrin, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf/Stalk Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Sulfur, Hexyl Nicotinate, Vanillyl Butyl Ether, Sodium Phytate, Paeonia Albiflora Flower Extract, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Butylene Glycol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Silica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum)

There is nothing in that very long list of ingredients that has been FDA approved to regrow or stop the progression of hair loss. But lets put that aside, the claims of “preventing thinning, loss and splitting” that is.

The majority of the complaints that have been filed online through various websites and forums seem to all truly focus around one thing, the business practices of Ookisa, LLC. Many individuals who have signed up for their free trial, only later to have their credit card charged, have felt the terms and conditions of the “free trial” where not really clear and apparent at the time of sign up. As of today the terms and conditions do in fact appear on the company website free trial sign up page, but it appears in very small gray text toward the bottom left of the screen. Something that could easily be missed by most. It reads:

“Your FREE Trial of OOKISA...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scientists Identify New Hair Loss Gene ; APCDD1

A research team that includes investigators from Colombia, Rockefeller and Stanford Universities, believe they have found a gene that impacts hair growth.

The gene that was identified is APCDD1 (adenomatosis polyposis down-regulated 1).  This gene is involved in the progressive hair loss condition referred to as hereditary hypotrichosis simplex and it is a condition that usually presents itself in childhood. Hereditary hypotrichosis simplex is a rare autosomal dominant form of hair loss which is characterized by hair miniaturization, a process in which thick terminal hair is replaced with finer hair over time.

The discovery of this gene is an incredible break in the world of hair loss since male pattern baldness also presents itself in the same way with miniaturizing hair follicles. This finding may certainly have a impact on future research and treatments for androgenetic alopecia and other forms of hair loss.