What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is an anti-hypertensive peripheral vasodilator drug being primarily used for different patterns of baldness and hair loss in men & women. It belongs to the drug class of pyrimidine derivatives (Arteriolar smooth muscle). It is commonly known by the trade name as “Rogaine”outside of India and Mintop, Tugain, Regaine, etc. in India.

How Minoxidil was discovered and what were the earlier forms of Minoxidil?

Earlier, Minoxidil was used to treat the hypertension in the form of pills named as “Loniten.” But researchers noticed that it also helps in the hair growth. So, its use as medicine for hair growth was started. Since it led to hair growth all over the body, it could not be used in the same form. The researchers then opted for a new formulation in the form of lotion that could be directly applied to the scalp without affecting other body parts.

How minoxidil transformed from an anti-hypertensive drug to hair fall drug?

Minoxidil emanated from a research program which was held in 1960 by Upjohn chemists. They were evaluating the gastric acid effects of a compound named “DAM” (N, N- diallymelamine) from a chemical catalogue. On analyzing,

  • They panned out that DAM reduced blood pressure in dogs but not in humans.
  • They opted for DAM metabolites named DAMN-O which went into several clinical trials in patients suffering from hypertension in 1961. It resulted in the lowered blood pressure but caused some side effects including salt and water retention, even heart failure. So DAMN-O was withdrawn from the study.

Further Upjohn researchers amalgamated several DAMN-O analogues including Minoxidil keeping the factors of side effects in mind and avoiding it. Along with minoxidil, several diuretics and beta blockers were added in the study to reverse the water and salt retention. Minoxidil showed reduction in blood pressure levels with minimal side effects during clinical trials. As word from people got out that minoxidil resulted in hair re-growth, Upjohn researchers in Kalamazoo headquarters, Michigan, inundated with the volunteers for hair loss trials with a topical formulation. This trial was performed on macaques (a species prone to hair thinning) and re-growth of hair was observed. After that, Upjohn launched minoxidil as “Regaine” topical solution of 2% in UK in 1988. Minoxidil was the first drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in August 1988 for the treatment of male patterned hair loss (Androgenetic alopecia).

How Does Minoxidil works and how it reduces the hair fall?

  • Minoxidil is known as a potent vasodilator which helps to stimulate the growth of hair. Minoxidil when applied on the scalp:
    1. Is converted into an active form Minoxidil sulphite with the help of the enzyme sulfonyl transferase.
    2. It works by opening the potassium channels which facilitates the cell membrane hyper-polarization and expansion of blood vessels.
    3. Thus, oxygen becomes readily available to the hair follicles in the scalp which results in hair growth by conversion of Telogen (resting) hair into anagen (growing) hair.
    Activation of Minoxidil
  • Minoxidil also directly stimulates the hair growth through the activation of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase-1 (PGHS-1, main isoform present in the dermal papilla cells).
  • It also produces an increase in number of dermal papilla cells by activating ß-catenin activity.
    How Topical Minoxidil Works

How does Minoxidil promote hair re-growth?

Minoxidil is best known for treatment in men and women with hair loss or thinning at the top of the scalp. It promotes hair growth by:

  • Increasing the follicular size and hair shaft diameter of hair
  • Reversing hair follicle miniaturization
    How Minoxidil Causes Hair Growth

What are the different formulations of Minoxidil?

Common customized and most commonly used formulations of minoxidil are 2% and 5%. Apart from this, 10% and 15% formulations of minoxidil, with added active ingredients are also available but no scientific data is available for these formulations. The various formulations are as follows:

  • Loniten: Oral antihypertensive drug. It is not prescribed for long term treatment of hair loss.
  • 2% Topical Solution: Commonly known as Rogaine (first liquid formulation). It is no longer recommended for men but still in use by women to reverse hair loss.
  • 5% Topical Solution (Minoxidil Solution and Minoxidil Lotion): Recommended for men, newly formulated. Higher success rate than 2% solution of minoxidil.
  • 5% Aerosol Foam (Minoxidil Foam): More advanced formulation specially introduced for men suffering from contact dermatitis due to the use of minoxidil formulations. Shows success rate of approximately 85% in men.
  • Higher than 5% Formulations: Shows significantly less hair re-growth than 5% formulations, also produces more side effects.

Minoxidil 2% helps to stop hair loss and promotes hair re-growth in 30% of men, whereas 5% solution of minoxidil gives the success rate of approximately 65%.

What are the differences between formulations of Minoxidil?

  • The main difference between the various types of minoxidil formulation (2%, 5%, 10% & 15%) is the type and the volume of the solvent being used.
  • Generally, 5% formulation is considered as a standard formulation.
  • Higher concentrations include high amount of glycerin along with propylene glycol. They both act as humectants (preserves moisture) which make the product viscous, sticky and it takes more time to dry.
Brand name Company Name Formulation Composition M.R.P(Range b/w)
Rogaine Rogaine Sol. 5% & Foam 5% Minoxidil 5% ,Alcohol, 30% v/v, propylene glycol, 50% v/v $40.39 – $606.84
MINTOP Dr. Reddy’s Lab Sol. 2% & Lotion 2% Minoxidil 2% = 20 mg Rs.256
MINTOP Dr. Reddy’s Lab Sol. 10% & Foam 10% Minoxidil 10% = 100mg Rs760- Rs.886
TUGAIN Cipla Sol. 5% , Foam 5% & Gel 5% Minoxidil + Abs. Alcohol
5% + 30%
Rs.598.50 – Rs. 805
TUGAIN Cipla Sol. 10% Foam 10% Minoxidil + Abs. Alcohol
10% + 40%- 50.63%
Rs. 841- Rs. 917.50
Amexidil-5 Sun Pharmaceutical Sol. 5% Aminexil (1.5% w/v) + Minoxidil Topical (5% w/v) Rs. 510
Regaine Jannsen Pharmaceutical Sol. 2% , 5% Minoxidil 2% +Propylene glycol 208 mg/ml &
Minoxidil 5%,
Rs. 357 – Rs. 735
Disclaimer: The above indicated prices are not fixed. They may vary with respect to time.

Drug Interactions

Minoxidil is a relatively safe drug but you must tell you doctor all the drugs (and also herbal supplements, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol) which you are using as it may lead to some of the interactions as shown below.:

Drug Interactions of minoxidil
  • Amifostine: Using minoxidil within 24 hours of receiving amifostine could lower your blood pressure to unsafe levels.
  • Guanethidine: It may cause profound orthostatic hypotensive effects (It is a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down. Orthostatic hypotension can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, and maybe even faint).
  • Rituximab: It may increases the hypotensive effect of minoxidil.
  • Tretinoin: The risk or severity of adverse effects can be increased when Minoxidil is combined with Tretinoin.
  • Others: May induce profound hypotensive state.

Contraindications

  • Hypersensitivity to minoxidil or any other ingredient in the formulation
  • Other topical medications

Medical uses of Minoxidil:

Men and women have different patterns of baldness. For women, 2% minoxidil is effective while for men, 5% minoxidil is recommended.

  • Women: Minoxidil 2% is the only drug which is FDA-approved to treat female pattern baldness. Doctors refer to the Ludwig classification for the description of female pattern of hair baldness. In women, it is used to treat hair loss due to:
    1. Androgenic alopecia
    2. Post menopause
    3. Hereditary hair loss aged 18-65 years
  • Men: Minoxidil 5% is FDA-approved for men with male pattern hair loss.
    1. Androgenic alopecia
    2. Hereditary hair loss
  • Other uses: Minoxidil 5% is FDA-approved for men with male pattern hair loss.
    1. Hair transplant
    2. Chemotherapy induced alopecia
    3. Alopecia Areata
    4. Alopecia Areata Incognita
    5. Scarring alopecia
    6. Hereditary Hypotrichosis
    7. Monilethrix
    8. Retards the ageing of human keratinocytes

How to use Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is applied to the scalp to stimulate the hair growth. The patient should follow the necessary instructions before the application of minoxidil.

Liquid/ Lotion:

How to apply Minoxidil Lotion

Foam:

How to apply Minoxidil Foam

If you are using spray, spray evenly on the bald area. Make sure that the hair are dry before application of the medicine.

Recommended Dosage of Minoxidil for Hair loss:

  • Men:
    1. 1ml of 2% or 5% solution to affected area, twice daily
    2. Half capful of 5% foam to affected area, twice daily
  • Men: Minoxidil 5% is FDA-approved for men with male pattern hair loss.
    1. 1ml of 2% solution to affected area, twice daily.
  • If a dose is missed:
    1. Skip the dose missed and use only the prescribed next dose. Do not use a double dose to make up for the missed doses.

Possible Side effects of Minoxidil

The most common side effects of minoxidil are:

  • Minoxidil induced hair fall or Telogen Effluvium: Sometimes, when the hair start getting stimulated from the telogen to the anagen phase, they fall off. This is a positive sign and the patient should not stop the medication for the fear of hair fall.
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Scaling
  • Exacerbation of Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Skin irritation or itching
  • Yellowish discoloration of hair
  • Tachycardia or irregular heartbeats (Rare)

Precautions:

  • Before Using;
    1. Non-hereditary Factors: Hormonal factors like Thyroid can also lead to hair fall. Overactive or underactive thyroid gland may cause hair to fall out. So, you must take the treatment of that from your doctor.
    2. Scalp Disorders: If you are suffering from skin disorders like scalp psoriasis, avoid using minoxidil. Scalp psoriasis can cause dry and itchy scalp along with inflammation.
    3. Shaved scalp: If you have recently shaved your scalp, avoid using minoxidil immediately. This may lead to redness or itchy scalp.
    4. Wound: If you have any open wound or cut on the scalp, avoid using minoxidil. It can cause burning sensation on the skin.
  • While Using:
    1. Do not apply on the other parts of the body.
    2. Avoid contact with the eyes.
  • After Using:
    1. Wash your hands properly.
    2. Do not apply more than the recommended dosage.
    3. Do not use any hair color after the application.
    4. Avoid going to bed immediately after the application. Use at least before 1 hour.
    5. Do not use hair dryers or do not perm your hair after the application.
    6. Avoid direct contact to sun rays.

Duration and Results of the treatment:

Duration
As hair won’t re-grow overnight, procedure will take time. It can take up to 4-6 months while in some cases; it can take more than 8-9 months. It varies from patient to patient.
Regrowth
Re-growing hair and taking care of them is just like the same as we take care of our other body parts. The more you stick to the instructed routine, better the Minoxidil results will be.
Caution
  • If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use. Keep out of reach of children.
  • If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
  • Do not use on children or babies.

 

Physiology Pharmacology
White to off-white, odorless, crystalline solid Peripheral vasodilator
Soluble in water to the extent of approximately 2 mg/mL 90% absorbed from the GI tract
Insoluble in acetone, chloroform or ethyl acetate Average plasma half-life in man is 4.2 hours.
Inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate and microcrystalline cellulose. Minoxidil does not bind to plasma proteins and does not cross the blood brain barrier

Chemically, Minoxidil is 6-(Piperidin-1-yl) pyrimidine-2, 4-diamine 3-oxide used as hair growth stimulator. In US pharmacopeia, Minoxidil is used officially under the labeled amount i.e. not less than 90% and not more than 110%.

For its determination in pharmaceutical formulations and biological samples, different methods have been proposed. Following techniques are used for the determination of dosage forms and quantitative analysis of the minoxidil with the added benefits of cost savings.

  • HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) with UV detection
  • Electrochemical detection
  • Gas chromatography (GC)
  • Radioimmunoassay (RIA)

Many scientific research or clinical studies have been conducted on minoxidil and various physical or chemical data have been collected which is as follows:

Clinical Data:

  • Common Trade name: Rogaine
  • Pregnancy category: C
  • Routes of Administration: Oral/ Topical
  • ATC code:C02DC01 & D11AX01

Legal Status:

  • UK:P (Pharmacy medicines) (for topical use, otherwise POM. Cannot be prescribed on the NHS)
  • US:OTC Rx only for by mouth form

Pharmacokinetic Data:

  • Metabolism:Primarily hepatic
  • Biological half life: 4.2 h
  • Excretion:Renal

Clinical & Physical Data:

  • Formula: C9H15N5O
  • Melting point:Melting point: 248 °C (478 °F)
  • Molar Mass: 209.251 g/mol
  • Solubility in water: <1 mg/mL(20 °C)

*POM= Prescription only medicine, OTC= Over the counter, ATC= Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification system

 

Physiology Pharmacology
White to off-white, odorless, crystalline solid Peripheral vasodilator
Soluble in water to the extent of approximately 2 mg/mL 90% absorbed from the GI tract
Insoluble in acetone, chloroform or ethyl acetate Average plasma half-life in man is 4.2 hours.
Inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate and microcrystalline cellulose. Minoxidil does not bind to plasma proteins and does not cross the blood brain barrier

Chemically, Minoxidil is 6-(Piperidin-1-yl) pyrimidine-2, 4-diamine 3-oxide used as hair growth stimulator. In US pharmacopeia, Minoxidil is used officially under the labeled amount i.e. not less than 90% and not more than 110%.

For its determination in pharmaceutical formulations and biological samples, different methods have been proposed. Following techniques are used for the determination of dosage forms and quantitative analysis of the minoxidil with the added benefits of cost savings.

  • HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) with UV detection
  • Electrochemical detection
  • Gas chromatography (GC)
  • Radioimmunoassay (RIA)

Many scientific research or clinical studies have been conducted on minoxidil and various physical or chemical data have been collected which is as follows:

Clinical Data:

  • Common Trade name: Rogaine
  • Pregnancy category: C
  • Routes of Administration: Oral/ Topical
  • ATC code:C02DC01 & D11AX01

Legal Status:

  • UK:P (Pharmacy medicines) (for topical use, otherwise POM. Cannot be prescribed on the NHS)
  • US:OTC Rx only for by mouth form

Pharmacokinetic Data:

  • Metabolism:Primarily hepatic
  • Biological half life: 4.2 h
  • Excretion:Renal

Clinical & Physical Data:

  • Formula: C9H15N5O
  • Melting point:Melting point: 248 °C (478 °F)
  • Molar Mass: 209.251 g/mol
  • Solubility in water: <1 mg/mL(20 °C)

*POM= Prescription only medicine, OTC= Over the counter, ATC= Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification system

Quick Facts

  • Did you know that approximately 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss?
  • A year- long test of the minoxidil (Rogaine) on 1833 men had actually convinced doctors regarding Rogaine’s safety and in some cases patients administered with the drug actually grew hair.

Frequently Asked Questions about Minoxidil

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, are advised to stop using minoxidil. Minoxidil can get absorbed into the skin and can cause birth defects. When women are pregnant, there is an increase in the hormone levels which makes hair look thicker. After the delivery, shedding of hair known as post partum hair loss usually occurs. Once you have finished breastfeeding, you can use minoxidil.
No, it won’t work faster. Hair will grow according to the hair growth cycle. Always use the recommended dosage of minoxidil as frequent application of it can cause side effects.
No. it is not necessary to wash your hair before the application. Make sure your hair are completely dry because there are chances that minoxidil gets evaporated or diluted on the wet hair.
Yes, you can continue but be careful while using products. Choose mild or gentle shampoo or conditioner. Do not use hair styling tools like dryers, straighteners or curlers after the application of minoxidil.
If the treatment is stopped, you will not lose your hair that grew but they can revert to their previous pattern of hair loss. So consult doctor before you stop using minoxidil.
Taking a break of one week will cause no problem. It becomes crucial after one month.
After stopping minoxidil application, you can face hair fall again after one month. It may vary from patient to patient. So consult with your doctor before stopping minoxidil.

About Author & Bibliography

Bibliography

1. Rossi A, Cantisani C, Melis L, Iorio A, Scali E, Calvieri S. Minoxidil use in dermatology, side effects and recent patents. Recent patents on inflammation & allergy drug discovery [Internet]. 2012 [cited 6 May 2002]; 2012(22409453):130-6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22409453.

2. Bryan J. How minoxidil was transformed from an antihypertensive to hair-loss drug [Internet]. Pharmaceutical Journal. 2017 [cited 20 July 2011]. Available from: http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/news/how-minoxidil-was-transformed-from-an-antihypertensive-to-hair-loss-drug/11080942.article

3. M. Parsley W. Minoxidil results: is Minoxidil a viable hair loss treatment for women? [Internet]. ishrs.org. 2015 [cited 30 April 2015]. Available from: http://www.ishrs.org/female-hair-loss/non-surgical-hair-restoration/options-rogaine.htm

4. Rumsfield J, West D, Fiedler-Weiss V. Topical minoxidil therapy for hair regrowth. Clinical pharmacy [Internet]. 1987 [cited 6 May 1987];6(5):386-92. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3311578

5. Mysore V, Dua K. Hair transplantation.11:71 1st ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Hights Medical Pub; 2016.

6. Hasanzadeh H, Nasrollahi S, Halavati N, Saberi M, Firooz A. Efficacy and safety of 5% minoxidil topical foam in male pattern hair loss treatment and patient satisfaction. Acta dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica, et Adriatica [Internet]. 2016 [cited September 2016];3(25):41-44. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27695865.

7. Katz H. Topical minoxidil: review of efficacy and safety. Cutis [Internet]. 1989 [cited 10 August 2017]; 43(1):94-8. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2644080

8. Kwack M, Kang B, Kim M, Kim J, Sung Y. Minoxidil activates β-catenin pathway in human dermal papilla cells: a possible explanation for its anagen prolongation effect. Journal of dermatological science [Internet]. 2011 [cited 10 August 2017]; 62(3):154-9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524889

9. Quan Q D, Rodney S. Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts. Clinical interventions in aging [Internet]. 2007 [cited 10 August 2017];2(2):189–199. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684510/

10. Rizwana I, Prakash K. V, Mohan G. K. Simultaneous Estimation of Minoxidil and Aminexil in Bulk and Pharmaceutical Formulations by Rp-Hplc Method. Orient J Chem 2015;31(1). Available from: http://www.orientjchem.org/?p=7630

11. Sánchez-Regaña M, Llambí-Mateos F, Salleras-Redonnet M, Iglesias Sancho M, Collgros Totosaus H, Umbert-Millet P. Simultaneous Estimation of Minoxidil and Aminexil in Bulk and Pharmaceutical Formulations by Rp-Hplc Method. Actas dermo-sifiliográficas [Internet]. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]; 104(9):738-56. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22818830

12. Michelet J, Commo S, Billoni N, Mahé Y, Bernard B. Activation of cytoprotective prostaglandin synthase-1 by minoxidil as a possible explanation for its hair growth-stimulating effect. The Journal of investigative dermatology [Internet]. 1997 [cited 10 August 2017];108(2):205-9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9008235

13. Desi Reddy R, Reddy.K L, Sowjanya. T. Recent Applications of Analytical Techniques for Quantitative Pharmaceutical Analysis: A Review. International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Bio Sciences [Internet]. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017];2(4). Available from: http://www.ijupbs.com/Uploads/26.%20RPA1300148.pdf

14. Minoxidil [Internet]. En.wikipedia.org. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minoxidil

15. Minoxidil [Internet]. PubChem. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/minoxidil

16. Minoxidil (On the skin) – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health [Internet]. PubMed Health. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0011238/?report=details

17. Drug Facts [Internet]. FDA. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/guidances/ucm078877.pd

18. Post Hair Transplant usage of Minoxidil Increases Hair Growth [Internet]. Hair Loss Resources, Articles, Products & Forums. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: http://hairloss.org/hair-loss-products/minoxidil-treatment-for-post-hair-transplant/

19. Minoxidil [Internet]. Regaine UK HCP. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://www.regaineprofessional.co.uk/minoxidil

20. TUGAIN Foam [Internet]. CiplaMed. 2017 [cited 10 August 2017]. Available from: https://ciplamed.com/content/tugain-foam

NOTE: This content of this post is written by the experienced dermotologist based on formal medical studies. It is reliable and scientifically verified and reviewed and edited by concerned doctors and health professionals to provide objective information on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. If you are a doctor or health scientist and find inaccuracies, errors or omissions, please contact us at info@akclinics.com

About Author: This post is written by Dr. Aman Dua, MBBS, MD, FISHRS having 14 year of experience in the fields of Dermatology and Hair Transplant. She is the Chief Dermatologist, Co-Founder & Managing Director At AK Clinics.

Reviewed by: This post is reviewed by Dr Kapil Dua, MBBS, MS, Dipl. American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS), Member, FUE Advancement Committee, ISHRS, USA to improve readability and authority of the written content.


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What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition of the skin that can happen in various parts of the body including the scalp. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder characterized by raised reddish scaly lesions over the involved region. It can vary from mild disease with few lesions to severe disease involving the entire body. One of the common areas affected is the scalp. Scalp psoriasis can occur alone or with involvement of other areas of the body.


The first and most important thing to understand about scalp psoriasis is that it is not contagious – as a matter of fact, there are studies that show that this condition is caused due to issues related with the immune system. The immune system is overactive and releases various signals that causes the skin cells to grow very fast resulting in the development of psoriatic patches. However, genetic factors also play a role and studies have shown that scalp psoriasis run in families.

What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

There are certain symptoms that could help you detect scalp psoriasis, and these include:
• Scaly patches that are bumpy to touch and red in colour
• Scales that are silvery white in colour
• Flaking that is quite similar to dandruff
• Dryness on scalp that is often accompanied by itching
• Isolated patches are seen in psoriasis unlike diffuse scaling which is seen in dandruff
• Sometimes the reddish lesions extend onto the forehead and back of neck

Usually hair loss is not seen in scalp psoriasis but sometimes, there tend to be some itching and picking at the bumps. The stress that is caused to the hair follicles is what leads to the hair loss. However, in most cases, the hair loss is not permanent and the hair does grow back, once the scalp psoriasis has been taken care of.

Scalp psoriasis is usually confused with seborrhoeic dermatitis but a trained trichology physician can easily pick up the diagnosis. Careful evaluation of rest of the body is done to look for any other areas of involvement. The treatment for scalp psoriasis involves topical medications and medicated shampoos.

Scalp lotions containing steroids and salicylic acid are the first line of treatment of scalp psoriasis. Shampoos containing steroid, salicylic acid or coal tar either alone or in combination are given as adjuvants to be used thrice a week. Regular use of emollients is also advised to reduce dryness. If there is involvement of other areas of the body, oral medicines can be considered depending on the extent of involvement.

Medications used to Treat Psoriasis: Some of the other medications that can be tried are:
• Topical retinoids like Tazarotene,
• Topical immunomodulators like tacrolimus
• Topical vit D analogues like Calcipotriene


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While hair loss can take place in men as well as women, the character of both is different. Conditions that can cause hair loss in men, might not affect women the same way. This is why, in order to treat hair loss in women effectively, it is important to judge it properly first. In this article, we will look at one particular type of hair loss in women, commonly known as androgenetic alopecia in women.

Let’s first gain a clear understanding of what androgenetic alopecia in women actually is:

In men, when there is male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, there are only certain spots where the hair loss is prominent. There are also sites on the head, which are stable and will always provide a source of donor hair. In these areas, the hair follicles are not affected by DHT or dihydrotestosterone, which is what causes for the hair follicles to shrink on other parts of the head. In most cases, the men will start losing their hair from the front part of their head, while the hair on the sides and back will remain somewhat intact.

However, in women who are suffering from pattern baldness, the so called donor areas it is unstable. The hair thins all over the head, and while there might be no obvious bald patches, the scalp will become very visible. In women, such a condition is often caused due to low oestrogen levels. Unlike men, women do not lose as much hair in the front part of the head as men. However, in them, the hair shafts start to become thinner by the day, and while the hair might not be losing in length; there is a very visible loss of hair volume.

It is because of reasons such as these that a hair transplant is much easier in men, as it is in women. In men, there are normally clear divisions between the donor areas and the recipient sites. However, with women, since there are no obvious bald spots, covering the same up is complicated. In most cases, women require a creation of volume on the top of the scalp, which is most often, difficult to achieve.

Now let’s take a look at how androgenetic alopecia in women actually works:

When a woman is said to be effected with androgenetic alopecia, it means that follicles have become sensitive to the androgens or hormones that are already existent inside the body. Inside each follicle there are androgen receptors and the androgens relay the message to the receptors that they should produce lesser hair. What this results in is that since the growing cycles are reduced, the remaining hair becomes thinner and loses volume as well. So, even there is no loss of follicles, hair production will come to an eventual stop.

Here is why pattern hair loss happens in women:

There is an enzyme which is known as 5 alpha-reductase – this enzyme exists within the hair follicle. When the hormone (normally testosterone, but also oestrogen in certain cases) attaches itself to the androgen receptor, the enzyme converts the hormone into DHT and it is this DHT that slowly destroys the production of new hair. This is why, any procedure or medication that prohibits the creation of DHT would be considered a legitimate method of tackling hair loss.

Some of the most prominent causes of androgenetic alopecia in women are:

The word androgenetic means that there is an underlying genetic reason for the condition. Some of the other reasons that could lead to this condition include irregularities in the menstrual cycle, acne, hirsutism and even a high level of testosterone, which could happen naturally in the body.

There are certain birth control pills that are known to accelerate hair loss, and then there are some birth control pills, which play havoc once you stop taking them. This is why it is crucial that you talk to your doctor, before starting or stopping any such medicines. However, it is pregnancy that is the most common cause of pattern hair loss in women. The stress that the body goes through, right before and after menopause also leads to the condition.

Moving onto how the condition can be handled and in certain cases, even treated:

Since there are numerous causes that could lead to pattern hair loss in women, most doctors will not suggest a hair transplant or restoration procedure immediately. In most cases, they will recommend medications that will stimulate hair growth, and if those do not work, they will move onto anti-androgens or DHT inhibitors. At times, the doctor might prescribe a combination of anti-androgens and growth stimulants, because it might help handle two issues at the same time.

However, it is important that the exact cause of the hair loss be determined, because the precise course of treatment can be decided only after that.

There are certain blood tests that might be prescribed in order to determine the exact cause of the hair loss:

Some of the most commonly prescribed tests include:

  • Complete blood count to determine haemoglobin/haematocrit levels
  • Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) as well as iron and serum ferritin
  • DHEA and DHEA Sulphate
  • Follicle Stimulating (FSH) and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Thyroid tests, such as T-3 and T-4
  • Androstenedione, Prolactin and Leutinizing Hormone
  • Total and free testosterone

Here are some of the most commonly used treatments, meant for women suffering from pattern hair loss:

  • Growth stimulants – In order to ensure that there is growth of new hair, most doctors will prescribe growth stimulants. If the hair loss has been caused due to imbalances in thyroid or due to pregnancy, the stimulants should take care of the same.
  • Anti-androgens and androgen blockers – Androgen blockers will ensure that over activity of the same does not play truant with your hair growth.
  • Anti-inflammatories – It is important that the scalp is always relaxed, because only then will there be proper hair growth. If there is any inflammation, such medicines will take care of the same.
  • Combining all three – In severe cases, the doctor might prescribe a combination of all three.

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While the basis of beautiful hair lies somewhere in the genetic makeup of each individual, there are several things you can do to make sure that you have a beautiful mane. For instance, insuring that you have eliminated all bad hair related habits, such as brushing wet hair with a fine toothed comb or using hot irons on a daily basis, should help with the health of your hair.
Similarly, the health of your hair has to originate from within your body, which means that what you eat will also have an effect on how your hair looks. There are certain foods that are great for your body, in particular your hair. In this article, we will look at such foods:

Protein:

Hair is essentially made of protein, which means that the body needs to have enough protein to keep making new hair. If there is not enough protein in your diet, then chances are that your hair will become dry and weak, ensuring that hair will break off really soon and easily. As a matter of fact, there are studies that have shown that people, who have very little protein in their diet, are more prone to facing hair loss in the long run. Your diet needs to have a minimal of 20% protein, to have healthy hair. This protein will ensure that your hair shaft has adequate strength.

Minerals:

There are several minerals, which are great sources of nutrition for the hair:

minerals for healthy hair

Iron:

Iron is perhaps the most important mineral for healthy hair, and when there is a deficiency of this mineral, the body suffers from anaemia. While a lot of people might not know, deficiency of iron can lead to massive hair loss. It is iron that carries oxygen to all parts of the body, including the hair follicles. When there is not enough iron in the body, the oxygen does not reach the hair, making them dull and weak.Anaemia hinders the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles, which in turn affects the growth of hair, and can also lead to loss of hair.

Potassium and magnesium:

Potassium is yet another essential mineral which is important for the transfer of nutrients to the roots and follicles of hair. Potassium allows for the proper transfer of nutrition through the cell membranes. Bananas are a great source of potassium and should be included in the diet regularly.
Similarly, magnesium too is essential for hair growth and will allow for better flow of nutrients through the length of the hair. Foods rich in magnesium include:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains and pulses
  • Fruits
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts

Selenium and zinc:

When you have dandruff in your hair, you will wash your hair regularly with a shampoo that has selenium in it. This goes to show how important selenium is for a healthy scalp and nourished hair. You will be able to include selenium in your diet, if you consume:

Similarly, it is zinc that helps build the hair proteins, and enables the hair to remain in good condition. Zinc actually stimulates better growth of hair, by enhancing immunity. If there is not enough zinc in your diet, you will notice that your hair is falling more than normal and the scalp is dry as well as flaky.

Vitamins:

Now that we have discussed minerals and proteins, it is time to move onto vitamins.

Vitamin A:

In order for the body to produce sebum, vitamin A is required. It is this sebum that offers natural hydration to the scalp, and allows it to remain healthy and conditioned. If there is a lack of sebum, you might notice that your hair has become dry and the scalp has become itchy. Essential for proper hair growth as well as for a healthy scalp, vitamin A or beta carotene is often found in yellow and green vegetables, broccoli, apricots and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B:

In order to ensure that your hair remains healthy and there are no split ends, you need to make sure that you have sufficient vitamin B in your diet. If there is not enough vitamin B in your body, you will notice that your hair has become greasy and your hair is also turning grey. In order to ensure that your body has sufficient vitamin B, include whole grains, beans, lentils, fresh vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin C:

If you eat vitamin C in addition to foods that are rich in iron, you can be sure that the latter will be absorbed better. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, will also assist in the better production of collagen, which in turn makes the capillaries supplying nutrients to the hair shafts, stronger. In addition, it promotes the faster repair of tissues as well as cells, all the while improving the immune system of the body.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E provides essential protection against the sun, which is an important step in ensuring proper hair growth. In addition, it also increases the uptake of oxygen and also helps improve blood circulation. You should consume:

    • Nuts
    • Dark green vegetables
    • Avocados
    • Legumes and whole grains
    • Rice bran

It is also important that you include essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and biotin in your diet. These will ensure that your hair does not age prematurely, remains of a good texture and grows long, with minimal chances of breakage and split ends. Food rich in essential fatty acids include vegetable oils, nuts, oil seeds, whole grains and legumes. Oily fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardine and trout are also good sources of the same.

Below is a table depicting some of the important nutrients for hair and their rich sources.

table for important nutrients for hair


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In continuation from our previous article, we will continue to look at other aspects of frontal fibrosing alopecia. Given that we have already looked at what the condition is, the history, the clinical features, the epidemiology as well as the pathogenesis, we will now continue to look at the differential diagnosis, how it presents itself and how it can be treated or contained.

Let’s first start with the differential diagnosis for frontal fibrosing alopecia:

In order to treat frontal fibrosing alopecia properly, it is important that it is diagnosed properly and there has to be complete assurance that it is FFA and not any other condition that presents in a similar manner.

It is important to ensure that the condition is frontal fibrosing alopecia and must not be confused with:

    • A high frontal hairline or high forehead, which is quite common in women.
    • Androgenetic alopecia, or more specifically, in the frontotemporal type of androgenetic alopecia, there is lesser inflammation at the edge of hair and there is also no clear band like pattern.It also occurs as bitemporal recession than frontal recession unlike FFA.Also,androgenetic alopecia in women rarely affects the front part of the hairline.
    • Ophiasis, type of alopecia areata. Alopecia areata tends to affect the eyebrows too, but should not be confused with FFA. It is a smooth hairless patch without any scarring or inflammation unlike FFA.
    • Traction alopecia can occur at the same site, but it does not mean that it should be confused with FFA. Proper history and presence of broken hair at varying length is more in favour of traction alopecia.
    • Senile alopecia does not present the same kind of distribution, but there is loss of hair in the eyebrows.
    • Other types of cicatricial alopecia, including folliculitis decalvans, pseudopelade and keloid acne. There is a progressive course of hair loss in FFA, but it might not be seen in others. There is also lesser inflammation, when it comes to FAA.

The doctor should be able to have a clear and proper understanding of whether the condition is FAA or not, before starting a course of treatment. Since there are so many overlapping features, there is always the chance of confusion, which could lead to wrong treatment as well. This is all the more reason why a differential diagnosis is crucial

Coming back to some of the basics, let’s take a look at what frontal fibrosing alopecia looks like:

      • The loss of hair is similar to a head band occurring over the frontal area, and the continuation of the loss is in a similar pattern.
      • The hair loss is not sudden, it will happen gradually.
      • In certain cases, there is thinning in the eyebrows as well.
      • In a majority of the cases, the condition starts in women who have crossed their menopause.

While there is no clear indication as to what causes frontal fibrosing alopecia, there are a few likely causes:

There are many studies that have shown that FFA could be a result of the immune system of the body attacking the hair follicles and this is what leads to the inflammation as well. And in turn, the inflammation damages the hair follicles further. Since most women who suffer the condition are post their menopause, there is also a consideration that there could hormones in play. There are little chances of hair growing back; however there are methods of disguising and treating the same to limit the loss.

Pre-treatment Diagnosis for frontal fibrosing alopecia:

Before starting on any course of treatment for frontal fibrosing alopecia, it is important to understand that the condition is not a reversible one, and the progression is a slow one. Since the condition still does not have a clear course of treatment that has been proven truly effective, the course of ‘treatment’ charted out by each doctor will vary.

The course of treatment is also decided by way of – scalp biopsy, the type of inflammation, the exact location of the inflammation and manner in which the scalp changes over a pre-decided period of time. All this needs to be taken into consideration, before deciding the suitable therapy and medications. Certain topical steroids have proven effective in arresting the speed at which the condition progresses.

Treatment of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

The treatment needs to be given in the manner of application of the above mentioned topical steroids or in the form of infiltrations.

        • One of the preferred first lines of therapy is triamcinolone injections, which are given over the lesions
        • A combination of Minoxidil and Finasteride has also proven to be effective in certain cases.
        • Short course treatments of oral steroids or retinoids can also be tried.
        • Studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine worked in courses that were spread over six and twelve months; and there was a visible improvement. As a matter of fact, improvements were seen within the first six months.

However, the studies did prove that hydroxychloroquine was the most effective of the spectrum of medications, even though there were certain people who had reactions, such as retinopathy and gastric issues.


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Hair loss is of various types, and in order to treat any one of them, it is important to understand which type it is first. Frontal fibrosing alopecia is one of the types of scarring or cicatricial alopecia.A rare condition affecting mostly women in the menopausal or post-menopausal age group, it can lead to them losing a few inches of their hairline.
In most cases of frontal fibrosing alopecia or FFA, the scalp will seem normal, although there might be paleness. In many cases, there is also scarring on the scalp, which does not fade away with time. The condition presents itself in the form of a band, which is not wide, but does develop atrophy over time.

An in-depth introduction to frontal fibrosing alopecia:

This is a type of primary cicatricial alopecia, in which the hair loss occurs in a pattern along the front part of the hairline. In many cases, the progression is so rapid and extensive that there is a loss of eyebrows too. The condition is often considered to be a variation oflichen planus of the scalp and there can be associated lichen planus lesions on the skin and mucous membrane in some of these patients. While the exact cause of the condition is still unknown, it has been observed that it affects women who are above fifty five years of age.

Studies have shown that one possible reason for FFA could be a disturbance in the response of the immune system of the body to the hair follicles. Yet another study has shown the possibility that the hair loss could be caused due to fluctuations in the hormonal system of the body.

 

Let’s now move to the history and epidemiology of frontal fibrosing alopecia:

While the condition might have existed for several years, as a clinical entity, the condition received recognition only in the early 1990s. As a matter of fact, it was in 1994 that the condition was first described by Dr. Steven Kossards, in great detail. His initial studies described the condition in six women, who were in the later part of their lives. Several studies followed and many cases have been further reported.
If one were to look at this condition histologically, then, the condition is often characterised by a dense infiltration of lymphocytic bodies. These are most prominent around specific regions of the hair follicles, namely the isthmus, the infundibulum and the bulge. There is inflammation that leads to the irreparable destruction of the hair follicles,with loss of the sebaceous glands and what remains are scar tissues due to fibrosis.
Studies showed that most of the women who were affected were in the post menopausal age group or approaching their menopause.There have been rare cases of the condition being reported in women who are below 40 years of age and in men.

 

Moving onto the pathogenesis of frontal fibrosing alopecia

The histopathology of FFA is similar to lichen planopilaris and the manner in which it presents is also similar. While in most cases, the FFA develops in women who already are presenting characteristics of androgenetic alopecia, it can appear otherwise as well. The onset of this condition can also happen, well past the ages that have already been discussed. Given that both conditions tend to respond to a course of Minoxidil, there is still doubt whether the hormones involved in both conditions are similar. However, there is a general consensus that regional factors might be involved. Environmental factors like certain toxins can also act as a trigger for this condition.

Now that we have looked at the pathogenesis of frontal fibrosing alopecia, let’s move onto the actual pathology and investigations:

The characteristic pattern of alopecia and the age group can help the doctor to clinch the diagnosis. However to confirm the same, and also in rare presentations, a scalp biopsy is advised.
Histopathology is similar to lichen planopilaris characterised by the presence of lymphocytic infiltratearound the isthmus as well as the infundibular regions. There is follicular hyperkeratosis and in the later stages, hair follicles may be replaced by fibrous tracts.

Finally, let’s take a look at the clinical features of frontal fibrosing alopecia:

• There is a band like alopecia, which is most obviously visible in the front part of the scalp. The band can spread and affect even the eyebrows.
• In certain cases, there is a slight itch, but in most cases, there are no such indications.
• The scalp portions that have been affected will seem shiny and pale due to atrophy and scarring of the underlying tissues.
• There could be thinning of the eyebrows due to loss of eyebrow hair. There could be thinning of hair on other parts of the body like as well.

In the next article, we will continue to look at other aspects of frontal fibrosing alopecia, including differential diagnosis and treatments.


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There are numerous reasons that could lead to hair loss, however, the best method of curing the same would be by firstly understanding the underlying cause. One reason that has led to serious hair loss related problems include thyroid playing truant. In order to treat hair loss caused by thyroid, it is essential that we understand what thyroid is and why it is that it creates such situations.

What is thyroid?

The thyroid gland is perhaps one of the largest glands in the body’s endocrinal system and sits in the neck. The main functions include regulation of metabolism of the body and also helps in the synthesis of various proteins.

When there is an imbalance in the hormones, there are bound to be visible changes in the body, and one of them happens to be hair loss. While hair loss and growth of new hair is an ongoing process, hormonal imbalances can lead to serious issues in the hair growth cycle.

hair loss thyroid

How are thyroid and hair loss connected?

When there is an imbalance in the thyroid gland, there can be mainly two conditions – hypothyroidism (a drastic decrease in the activity of the gland) or hyperthyroidism (a drastic increase in the activity of the gland). And it has been shown that either one of these conditions can lead to hair loss. As a matter of fact, when there is hair loss due to either one of these conditions, it will be spread over the entire scalp, and not limited. In most cases, regrowth does happen with proper treatment, but the same could take a long time.

Each hair goes through a cycle – when it grows, when it rests and when it falls off, giving place to a new hair. At any given point of time, each hair on your head is going through one of these phases, but when there are changes in your thyroid gland, the entire cycle is thrown off balance. It is this situation that leads to the hair loss, thinning of hair, and in the most extreme cases, baldness.

While many people might not be aware of this, the thyroid gland is essential for the proper growth of hair, and any changes in the same will lead to changes in the manner in which hair grows. If not detected and treated in time, the condition can worsen quite quickly. As a matter of fact, if there is an excess of thyroid, the hair on the head can become quite thin, all over the scalp and if there is deficiency, the hair becomes coarse and sparse all over the body.

In most cases, where there is hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, chances are that it is an autoimmune condition, and if there is one autoimmune condition present in the body, there is always the possibility of another one emerging soon after. Studies have shown that alopecia areata arises in such people, more than others and can lead to hair loss in certain areas. Yet another condition that is often associated with autoimmune thyroid diseases and can manifest itself in the form of hair loss is polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What are the symptoms of thyroid diseases?

As is the case with any disease, the manner in which it presents itself, might vary in a subtle way, from person to person. However, some of the most common symptoms of thyroid diseases include:

  • Drastic changes in weight – there can either be a sudden gain in weight or sudden loss of weight
  • Dryness in the skin as well as hair
  • Loss of hair, from head or even other parts of the body
  • Pigmentation over face and body
  • Nail changes
  • Mood swings or even sudden changes in mood, ranging from irritation, nervousness or anxiety
  • Sleeping too much or suffering from insomnia (lack of sleep)
  • Weakness in muscles or pain in the same
  • An inability to tolerate extreme temperatures
  • Impairment in cognition, including trouble focusing or concentrating on things or even remembering
  • In women, there could be the problem of abnormal menstruation

Which are the common tests and investigative methods to detect thyroid problems?

Some of the most commonly conducted tests to detect whether the person is suffering from thyroid disorders include:

  • Serum TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
  • T3,T4 levels, free T3, free T4
  • Thyroid stimulating antibodies
  • TRH

How are thyroid diseases treated?

If you have been losing hair because of thyroid related problems, you should meet a doctor immediately, because many a times, quick diagnosis and treatment could lead to faster recovery. Once the hormones are back to normal, your hair too should return to being healthy.

Determining the precise dosage might take a little time, and during this time period, things could go slightly bad for your hair. At such a time, you could ask your doctor to prescribe certain growth stimulants, which will help keep a tab on the hair loss.

If the body has a disease, it will take time to treat the same, and if you are suffering from hair loss because of a thyroid imbalance, you will have to be prepared for the same. It is best that you give the treatment the time to take effect and in the meantime, you could read up on the condition you are suffering from. If someone tells you about miracle cures, do not fall for them. It is also important that you take sufficient care in washing and combing your hair, and at times like these, it is best that you stay away from over styling the same.


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The “hair” industry is abuzz with a lot of new and somewhat unproven treatments. While going through the internet, I have come across the use of placental extracts which are being tried by some people although I do not have any personal experience with this type of treatment.

When a woman becomes pregnant, she develops a brand new organ, the placenta, which is present only till the time her baby is inside her womb. It’s main function is supply nutrition to the feotus in mother’s womb. And once the baby is out in the world, the job of the placenta is done, which is why it is pulled out of the body and disposed off. However, since the placenta is packed with nutrients, several animals actually eat the placenta after their little ones are born.

There is new research which shows that certain placentas are exceptionally good for your hair too! The particular animal placenta in question here happens to be that of sheep. While there are obvious benefits to using sheep placenta, the usage of the same is still not accepted worldwide. However, the fact of the matter is that it is a rich source of protein, which can assist in the rebuilding of your hair as well as restructuring it. Using it regularly could actually make your hair a lot shinier and certainly much more manageable. And given that you need to apply it to your hair and not consume it, using it should not be much of a problem.

Once a lamb is born, the placenta of the sheep is used to create this protein treatment, and this means that there is no harm done to the lamb or to the sheep. This all natural product is a rich source of protein and can work wonders for hair that is dry, damaged or frizzy and difficult to maintain. Hair is mainly made of keratin, which is a kind of protein, and while it is easy enough to include protein in the daily diet, quite often the same is not enough. In such conditions, using sheep hair placenta would be the best bet.

Sheep hair placenta is actually a special protein treatment that has been designed to treat, nurture and nourish hair that has been damaged due to colouring, bleaching or other chemical treatments. Most people who have used the product have testified that they have been able to see results from the very first time. They have said that their hair has felt smooth, silky and more manageable.

Let us now look at why hair placenta is being used:

  • To fill in the gaps that appear due to damage in the hair caused by chemical or heat based treatments.
  • To increase the tensile strength of hair, which means that it will not break easily. And when hair does not break easily, a better volume is easy to observe.
  • Regular usage of sheep placenta is known to increase the shine in hair, all the while making them more manageable.
  • While hair does become silkier, it is also easy to notice a drastic reduction in frizz.
  • There is also a smoothening of hair cuticles, which further strengthens hair.
  • In comparison to other protein treatments, sheep placenta is more cost effective.

This treatment is ideal for people who have hair that is fragile and extremely brittle. Excessive usage of hair irons, curling tongs and regular colouring also lead to damaged hair.

Moving onto the types of sheep placenta treatments that are available:

There are mainly two types of treatment available at the moment – wash off and leave in.

Wash off placenta treatment – There are two ways of using this treatment – the first one is by shampooing and conditioning hair in a normal manner. Once you have towelled your hair properly, you can apply the protein treatment and cover your hair with a cap. It is best that the treatment is left in hair for forty to sixty minutes and then hair can be rinsed with normal water.

The second manner of using wash off treatments is to apply the same to dry hair and leave it in for the entire day or overnight. Then simply wash the treatment with a moisturising shampoo and conditioner.

Leave-in placenta treatment – This kind of treatment works in somewhat the same manner as any other leave in conditioner. Once the hair has been washed and conditioned, you can apply the leave-in placenta; however, such treatments are not meant to be used on a daily basis.

These days, there are pills available, which contain extracts of sheep placenta, and these are certainly a better choice for people who are not comfortable with the idea of applying animal placenta on their heads.

However, there are still studies being conducted into the possible side effects of using sheep placenta on a regular basis. There were certain studies that showed that young girls, who used such products on a prolonged basis, were developing breasts earlier than what would be considered natural. In addition, there was also abnormal hair growth in the pubic areas of several girls. The moment the treatments were stopped, so did the abnormalities.

For people struggling with constant bad hair days and those who are beyond puberty, this might be the answer. It is advisable that you talk to your doctor or trusted salon owner before starting on a course of sheep placenta. In case, there are any side effects, it is best that you stop the treatment immediately.


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In the previous article, we looked at what hair porosity is all about and how you can gauge whether your hair has low porosity or not. We also looked at how low porosity of hair can cause trouble for your entire head of hair.
In this article, we will continue to look at the same topic, but here we will look into what can be done to correct the condition and how the porosity can be improved.
From the moment you start working towards the improvement of your hair porosity, you will notice that hair that had seemed dull and lifeless for so many days, will start looking and feeling healthy. Ensuring better hair porosity will become all the more important, when your hair does not respond to treatments and breaks off easily. When your hair has the right level of porosity, it will feel healthy, shiny and thick.

Let us first look at how an imbalance in porosity can cause trouble for your hair:

Porous hair might look like it is very dry, however, the fact is that it can still absorb a large amount of water. Studies have shown that hair can absorb almost 30 percent of its actual weight and if your hair is overly porous, it can absorb ten to twenty percent more! While many people might think that more the moisture absorption, the better it is, but the fact is far from it. If hair is absorbing that much moisture, it will lose the same with just as much ease. Let’s go back to the example of a sponge – a sponge can absorb large amount of water in one go, but the moment you wring it, all the water will be lost too.
When your hair absorbs too much water, the actual structure of the hair is compromised and makes it weak. The excess moisture stretches the hair by more than 30 percent, which is what makes it weak and prone to breakage. If the process continues over an elongated period of time, there can be irreversible damage to the first two layers of the hair. This is why you should not leave your hair wet for too long. Allow it to dry naturally or use a hair dryer with settings that are on the lower side.
If your hair is not absorbing as much moisture, it could possibly be because of the cuticles are raised and there is damage to the scales as well. When the cuticles are in a raised condition, the moisture is able to escape much more easily, which is why hair becomes dry. So, the easiest way of controlling hair porosity is to repair the cuticles.
When the hair absorbs moisture, quite obviously, it becomes longer and your hair feels heavier. However, it is important to remember that like any sponge, when there is constant absorption and removal of water, hair too will start to become saturated. Eventually, your hair too will start to wilt and lose the original structure. This is when you will need to take corrective measures for your hair.

Now, let’s look at methods by which the hair porosity can be improved:

  • Perhaps the best way to treat low hair porosity is to increase the amount of protein, both in hair as well as in your diet. The easiest way would be treat your hair to regular protein treatments. Hair is essentially made up of keratin, which is actually a type of protein and when there are gaps in the hair, protein can fill the same up, quite easily. Protein is able to bind with the gaps in the hair and offer the same a chance to heal on its own. When you use protein regularly, the hair will be able to hold the right amount of moisture and make its way to becoming healthier.

However, you need to take care of the amount of protein you use, because too much protein and you will end up with hair that is dry and ready to break. Just because protein is good for your hair does not mean that you should overdo the same. The protein treatments should be spaced over time and should be done with proper gaps. Alternately, you could follow up each protein treatment with proper moisturising or use hair reconstruction products. Such deep conditioning will assist greatly with the improvement of porosity of the hair.

  • If you have hair that is coloured or are planning to do so, it would be best that you follow up each protein treatment with a conditioner that is meant exclusively for coloured hair. It is also important your hair conditioner is one that suits your actual hair type. The conditioner will allow the hair cuticles to close and retain the moisture within. In addition, the conditioner will also help with the maintenance of the pH levels of your hair.
  • Yet another method of bringing hair porosity to normal would be to use hair glazes, at least once in a month. This should be done after you have completed your protein treatment, and you can decide whether you want a coloured glaze or a clear one. If you have coloured your hair, you can use a hair glaze that matches the same and this will also allow you to enhance the current hair colour. Glazes will not only protect your hair but also help with the recovery process.
  • It is also important to clarify your hair once in a while, and you could simply purchase a clarifying shampoo for your local stores. It is also easy to make a clarifying rinse at home – combine a small amount of apple cider vinegar with some tap water and use that as the second last rinse. Once you have shampooed and conditioned your hair, use this concoction and finally rinse with normal water.

When your hair is back to being properly porous, you will notice how healthy and shiny it looks and feels!


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Hair loss is a problem that has plagued men and women from all over the world, for centuries and continues to do so. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why, globally, there are so many studies and researches being conducted about the same. This article will look at some of the newest techniques that are coming to the forefront in the world of helping people with hair loss.

    Stem cell therapy for hair loss

Recent studies has shown that stem cells can play a crucial role in stimulating hair growth and platelet rich plasma or PRP therapy, wherein platelets are harvesting from your own blood and injected into the body, is just one part of the process.

Stem cells might be tiny, but are extremely powerful and have the ability to divide and transform into a variety of other cells. All cells in our body are programmed to be born and then die eventually, however, stem cells act as the natural healers that work from within the body. This is why stem cells can help with the repair and rejuvenation of the body, even in adults.

Mesenchymal stem cells are quite potent and can be differentiated into numerous other cell types including fat cells, cartilage and bone cells. The papilla of the hair follicle is mainly made of connective tissue as well as a capillary loop and this is where mesenchymal stem cells come into play. The MS cells can help with the repair and regeneration of the hair follicle papilla.

    Hair cloning

Still in the initial stages of research, hair cloning holds a lot of scope for the future and might be the one way ticket out of baldness. As of now, the ongoing research is about how new hair can be grown outside the body, using tissue culture.

Studies have shown that in cases where there is complete baldness, there are no follicles on the scalp, which means that there is no scope for regeneration. However, recent studies have shown that there is a presence of follicles, because there is a presence of stem cells on the scalp too.

The basic tenet behind hair cloning is that since there are stem cells in the scalp, these can be extracted and then used in areas, where there is no hair growth or balding has occurred. The process has to be completed mostly out of the body, because the multiplication of the stem cells has to be manually and then the same are injected into the scalp, allowing for the generation of new hair.

    Robotics

Robotics has taken over in several fields and hair transplantation and restoration is one where it is slowly making its presence felt. There are numerous robotic devices, which are helping doctors complete transplant and restoration processes easier and more precise. These devices allow for better removal of donor grafts and certainly reduce the time spent on harvesting the same.

There are several benefits to using robotics for such procedures and some of them include:

  • The robots are fitted with specially designed algorithms, allowing for the optimal selection of hair and the eventual harvesting.
  • The harvesting procedure is minimally invasive, which means that the donor area will continue to look normal and the healing is faster.
  • There is almost a certainty that the grafts which are harvested will be in prime condition. The speed of extraction is faster with robotics and the procedure is completed within a shorter time period.

Most importantly, the robots will take a major part of the pressure away from the surgeon, allowing them to offer near perfection in the complete procedure.

    Hairline advancement or hairline lowering

For many men all over the world, the biggest problem is when there forehead starts becoming larger, which literally means that they are losing more hair than they would like. It is for such men, and in certain cases women as well, that procedures such as hairline lowering or advancement comes into play.

Very simply put, with hairline advancement procedure, you will be able to shrink your forehead and give a visual impression of having a lot more hair than might be actually present. However, there are several variables that have to be kept in mind, including scalp laxity and hairline height.

The surgeon will demarcate the new hairline and ensure that it looks natural. The incisions are made carefully and in a manner that when the new hair grows in, it will cover the scars. For the procedure, the scalp is separated from the skull and pulled back almost till the back of the neck. The scalp is then pulled forward and sutured in place.

    Tissue expansion

This is one of the newer procedures in town and is used to reduce the expanse of the area that is bald. The process is done by putting a tissue expander, right beneath the skin. Over a period of time, when the balloon starts to expand, so does the skin of the scalp. This allows the scalp to become a little loose, and the balloon is removed. After this, the excess skin on the scalp is removed, leading to an obvious reduction of the bald area.

The most suitable candidates for this procedure would be those with the need for a drastic hairline improvement. This procedure is being used for people who have had altered hairlines, because of trauma suffered during accidents or fires.


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