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HairlossSucks Newsletter - December 2000

HairlossSucks Newsletter

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Incredible Transplant Photo-Biography Head Licking Cow's to Grow new Hair?
New HairlossSucks Multimedia Center! Better Nutrition - Hair Loss Article
Update on Hair Loss Gene Study Bristol Myers Hair Loss Study Update
Human Genome Project Update Scientists Discover Hair Growth regulator
Crinagen Adds New Ingredient  Howard Stern Hair Growth Update 

Most Comprehensive Transplant Photo biography on the Web

Mike Cartwright has made his personal story available to HairlossSucks.com in a 7 month account of his life before hair loss, after hair loss, and the dramatic decision to take the route of the hair transplant surgery. A month by month account complete with clickable photos and his own personal thoughts as he progresses through each stage of the process, as well as a first hand account of the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of experiencing a hair transplant (which few of us know about) are fully accounted for in this story. If you've ever thought about getting a transplant, or wondered what it is like, what to expect, and all the little details you would otherwise never be aware of, you should not miss this story. You can see the whole thing here:


New HairlossSucks Multimedia Center!

HairlossSucks formally releases its new streaming video multimedia center. In conjunction with Healthology.com, HairlossSucks has now made available streaming video and audio archives of an extensive number of resources related to hair loss. Interviews with noted surgeons and researchers such as Dr. Marty Sawaya are just part of what you will find there. There are also discussions on hair loss in women, and last but not least, live hair transplant surgeries which you can watch from the comfort of your own home. 

You can see this incredible new resource at: http://HairlossSucks.healthology.com/hairloss

On top of several high quality streaming videos, there are also question and answer documents with experts in the hair loss industry, Hair Transplant FAQ's, and informative documents on hair loss in its many forms.

You will want to bookmark this section of our site as we will continue to release new archives to it, as well as new videos, interviews, and features on a regular basis.

Update on the Merck Hair Loss Gene Study

Back in September HairlossSucks broke the news on a new study funded by Merck pharmaceuticals, makers of Propecia, which was to use something known as micro arrays to do an analysis and comparison of tissue experiencing alopecia and tissue not experiencing alopecia (hair loss).

They are looking for participants for this study who live in the New York area, which will only include a very tiny piece of scalp tissue from an alopecia affected portion of the scalp. If you are in the New York Area and are interested in being a part of this study, please fill out the form below:

Name: Email:
Phone: In NY area? Yes No
Address Line 1

Address Line 2

Preferred Method(s) of Contact?
US Mail

We promised updates to you, and recently got in contact with the actual head of the study,  Dr. Animesh Sinha. He and his team were kind enough to give us a more in-depth look at what exactly this study is going to entail. 

Project Title: Gene Expression Profiling in Human Skin Diseases, Including Studies in Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, and the Follicular Degeneration Syndrome
Principal Investigator: Animesh A. Sinha, MD, PhD (Immunology) ; Board Certified in Dermatology
Sponsors: Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Merck, Inc.; L'Oreal, Inc.
Description of project: We are undertaking a pilot study whose specific aims are to gain a better understanding of the genetic basis of hair loss at the molecular level.  For this work we are utilizing high density DNA micro arrays, or so-called "gene chips," which represent a technological intersection between biology and computers. This newly emerging technology should prove extremely powerful in profiling complex diseases in terms of gene expression and discovery of novel disease-related genes. We are analyzing tissue samples from patients with androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, and the follicular degeneration syndrome to further elucidate mechanisms of disease induction, progression, response to treatment, and to uncover new targets for prevention and therapy.

Studies like this *HAVE* been done in the past privately, but have not yielded conclusive results, and consequently were not published to the general public. Major hair loss researchers have expressed concern to HairlossSucks that this endeavour may be a waste of valuable time and money, but the Sinha team is of the opinion that several similar studies with slight variations are needed in order to get a better understanding of the situation, even if many of them are inconclusive.

We had some questions of our own regarding this study.  Hadley King, one of the team members was kind enough to answer them:

HairlossSucks:  Some mention of Propecia users being part of the study had been made in the past, is this study just for Propecia users?

Hadley:  According to our Merck protocol, the idea is this: We are looking for males between the ages of 18-41 who have mild to moderate hair loss and are otherwise healthy. They should not be on Propecia or Rogaine for at least one month prior to their entry into the study. If a patient is presently on Propecia or Rogaine, we would ask him to discontinue the medication for one month, and then enter into the study. We then ask the patient to come into the clinic, at which time we would like to take 2 small biopsies from an area of the scalp that has been affected by hair loss, and 2 small biopsies from an area of the scalp that has not been affected by hair loss. Then we would give the patient a 6 month supply of Propecia. The patient would  return to the clinic after 6 months, having completed the course of Propecia, for assessment and repeat biopsies. At this time, the patient could be asked to continue the Propecia for another 6 months. All participation is completely voluntary, and there is an informed consent form.

However, if the patient is not interested in taking Propecia because he has had a bad experience with it in the past, or for any other reason, he can still donate biopsy samples from bald and non-bald areas of the scalp. This will allow us to compare gene expression between the bald scalp and the non-bald scalp, we just won't be able to do the second part, where we assess how the gene expression has been affected by Propecia, but that is ok, both parts are important.

HairlossSucks:  For those people who are not located in New York, would it be possible for them to have a registered dermatologist take the skin sample and have it mailed to you all, or would you rather see them in person?

Hadley:  We have not yet established a system for remote biopsy sites, but we hope to do so in the near future. For now, the problem is that the tissue must be placed immediately in liquid nitrogen and kept in there until it is processed, in order to prevent degradation of the RNA.

HairlossSucks:  How many people are you looking for, and how long will you be having open enrollment?

Hadley:  For the initial phase of the Propecia study, we are looking for approximately 10 men. So far we have only enrolled one. There is no limit on the number we will accept for biopsies only.

HairlossSucks:  Another web site owner recently announced that you were about to have all the participants you needed because he had gotten a well known hair transplant company to provide them.  Is this true?

Hadley:  No, we definitely still need study participants. They did mention a doctor at a Hair Transplant company to Dr. Sinha, but Dr. Sinha has not yet even spoken to him. And even if this doctor does become involved, subjects will still need to be recruited.

Human Genome - It's all on the Web Now!

As a follow-up to our continued tracking of the breakthroughs being made with the newly available Human Genome information, we would like you to know that the entire completed map of the Human Genome has been placed on the web. For those budding geniuses out there who can take this information and discover amazing things for hair loss, please consider it the most informative, new, and complicated playground you've ever had to play with. You can see it by going here:

Just click one of the 25 images at the top and you will see all the information related to that specific group. 



Crinagen Adds New Ingredient

The folks at Crinagen have added a new ingredient to their treatment which we wanted to let you know about. The new version of Crinagen has all of the components of the previous version with the addition of one new compound called proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins is a grape seed extract. The proanthocyanidins component will impart additional anti-inflammatory properties to Crinagen (and to your scalp). The inflammatory process has been shown to be much higher among men who are experiencing hair loss, and has also been proven to be very detrimental to the success of any hair loss treatment, and of course, a major factor in the speed at which men NOT treating their hair loss actually lose their hair.

This is why anyone treating their hair loss who still feels periodic itching, or has flaking or inflammation on the scalp, should do something about it if they want their treatment to have optimal conditions for success. There is no added fragrance in the new Crinagen. It has only the natural fragrances of the herbs. The color is a very pale brown. The vitamin B6 in it is pyridoxal-5-phosphate, which is white, and the saw palmetto is the lightest extract they could find. Also, the bottle comes with a medium-mist sprayer tip which, with proper cleaning, should never clog.

If Crinagen is a treatment that is new to you, you may read about it on our Crinagen information page found at:



Can a Cow's Tongue grow new Hair?

Yes, you heard right. A man has devised a way he feels will grow hair by having a cow lick balding men's heads.  The following link will take you to a multimedia presentation of the CNN television story on this rather peculiar method for hair regrowth.  Just a word of warning to those of you out there who are desperately seeking things that work - take this with a grain of salt.

When you click the link, you will be taken to a screen which asks you to select your method of viewing.  Most people will want to choose Windows Media player because most computers will already have this installed.  For those of you with Real Audio/Real Video, or other, you may select that option.  If you are on a modem, select speed of 28.8.  If you are on Cable or DSL, select 80.  Enjoy!

If you need to download one of the viewers, just click the "HELP" link you see.


Better Nutrition - Hair Loss Article

The November edition of "Better Nutrition" magazine features a write up about the fight of hair loss for men. It talks about approved products on the market, such as Propecia and Rogaine and talks about a lot of the things covered in the HairlossSucks Discussion Forum, such as what vitamins can assist with the fight, what extracts might be beneficial, what topicals, etc. 

Please note that things such as vitamins, extracts, and the like are  typically not to be considered treatments for hair loss in and of themselves. Each of them can have properties which can, in a minute way, assist with seeing success on your regimen. It is always best however, to make sure you are using clinically proven treatments for your hair loss as your main arsenal, and are relying on these for your success. Vitamins, good diet, and healthy living can help you in many many ways. Nevertheless, this article is a very interesting one. If you'd like to read it online, just go to



Therapeutics / Bristol Myers-Squibb Hair Loss Study Update

As many of you already know, we announced a study looking for participants last month which was advertised by Therapeutics, Inc. here in San Diego, California, but is being conducted across the country by Bristol Myers Squibb.

The original article on this study can be found here:  http://www.HairlossSucks.com/therastudy.htm

Until this time the only real information we had about the mystery topical was that it claimed to be among the family of "Potassium Channel Openers" which Minoxidil is currently known for. The conductors of the study claimed that it was 1,000 times more potent than Minoxidil however, and showed good results in animal models.

Recently, Dr. Proctor of www.drproctor.com did some research and notified us of a couple patents owned by Bristol Myers which seem to fit the description almost perfectly. Up to this point even the research centers gathering participants were not given any information as to the specifics on the compound, however having contacted the San Diego chapter, we did get verification that this does indeed sound like the compound being used. Below is the patent information:


The (R)-enantiomer of 4-[[(cyanoimino)[(1,2,2-trimethylpropyl)amino]methyl]amino]benzonitrile as well as the corresponding (S)-enantiomer are useful for promoting hair growth such as in male pattern baldness.

Inventors: Atwal; Karnail S. (Newtown, PA)
Assignee: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (Princeton, NJ)
Appl. No.: 119884
Filed: July 21, 1998



Potassium channel openers such as minoxidil (Upjohn), pinacidil (Lilly) and diazoxide (Shiseido and Schering-Plough) are known for their hair gro wth stimulating activity. Thus, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,596,812 and 4,139,619 disclose use of minoxidil in the treatment of male pattern baldness, alopecia areata and balding in females. U.S. Pat. No. 4,057,636 discloses pinacidil. DE 3,827,467A discloses combinations of minoxidil and hydrocortisone or retinoids.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,011,837 to Atwal et al discloses aryl cyanoguanidines which possess potassium channel activating activity and are useful therapy for hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders, for various central nervous system disorders, kidney and urinary problems as well as for the promotion of hair growth, for example in the treatment of male pattern baldness (alopecia). These aryl cyanoguanidines have the structure ##STR1## and its possible tautomers ##STR2## including pharmaceutically acceptable salts, wherein ...."

Once again if you're interested in participating in this study, and fit the requirements outlined on the below page, please feel free to fill in the form at the bottom of it, and submit.


German Scientists Discover Hair Growth Regulator

Hair growth may soon be under control 

Max- Planck Immunology Institute - Scientists have discovered the genetic basis of hair formation and are paving the way for new preparations for treating unwanted hair growth.

Researchers have succeeded in identifying the method of operation of an important mechanism for hair formation. This protein switch regulates the activity of numerous genes, which carry the information of the protein-structure of the hair, the Keratin. Keratin is a mechanically resistant protein material that gives hair its basic structure and density. After identifying the existence of the protein switches, they began research on figuring out exactly how they work. This research has now led to new ways for slowing down unwanted hair growth.

The question of how the immune system functions on a molecular level is what the scientists working with Professor Thomas Boehm focused on. The discovery of the protein switch for hair formation was accidental. Its origins came out of an investigation of a genetic defect in mice which are affected by a hereditary immune weakness that causes hair loss. "We asked ourselves at that time, which gene is actually defective in these naked mice, because this gene must be responsible for growing the hair as well", says Boehm. 

Hair grows from hair follicles in cycles of growth and resting phases. At the end of each cycle hair is lost and is replaced by a new hair in the next cycle. The controlling of this cycle is influenced by many factors. Until now, many different treatments have been, and are still used. In the newest treatments, people try to cure hair loss by influencing the hormones in the body, but this often leads to side effects.

Experiments by the Freiburger researchers show that all this is not necessary when the protein switch is stimulated. Instead of an oral drug only a local topical treatment of the hair follicle with a cream or a special shampoo is required. This clearly reduces possible side effects. The Freiburger scientists have made a considerable step forward with their research of hair growth.

It's important to note that while this study is mostly related to regulating unwanted hair growth, it has added to an understanding of how the hair works that we did not previously have. On this level, this is an important discovery for men and women and children suffering hair loss.

With its goals of regulating the hair growth cycle a clear success, researchers at the Max-Planck institute are now thinking about establishing their own company. They also believe that this success can lead to many unexpected applications for other medical problems in humans. 

Howard Stern Hair Growth Challenge:  Update

Last month a challenge was made on the Howard Stern Radio show by Dr. Michael Mangan that he could regrow Scott the Engineer's hair in 30 days on a bet for $5,000 with Howard.

We received an update from the Stimcell folks, and here is some of what they had to say: 

"Responding to your inquiry's on the Stimcell product "Hair For Tomorrow " and its progress on and off the Howard Stern Show. We are pleased to say that since the Show we have had an enormous response from people ordering the product and people in the hair industry wanting to work in conjunction with Stimcell.

The contest with the Howard Stern Show has been postponed until the new year.  It is unfortunate that we could not have had our contest completed before Christmas, but due to the fact that Howard recently resigned his contract caused delays in our return. We however are quite pleased with the international response we have been given from the airing of the radio show.

We are now being privately funded for a clinical study that will consist of 50 patients."

Please stay tuned and HairlossSucks will keep you up to date on any further developments which might give this incredibly expensive and unproven treatment some validity. Until then, do yourselves a favor and don't spend the money on it.



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