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HairlossSucks Newsletter - February 2001

HairlossSucks Newsletter

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bald Botanical Treatment fails Clinical Trials
Company gives it a go, but the Placebo almost outperformed it!

propecia New Thinning Hair Tool
New tool to detect and track the progression of your thinning hair
rogaine "Hair health" test deemed worthless
New study shows "bulb" tests are nothing more than a sham

transplant Salusmaster Thursday Chats!
Italian users Thursday open Chat on HLS! 
keratin.com Trials: Side Effects Reporting
Give your input on what safety rules the FDA should impose on clinical trials
derminfo.de French Hair Loss Discovery
Researchers develop all new hair covered skin from stem cells

balding Rogaine's Competition goes Public
Generic Minoxidil 5% is now on the Market... but not from Upjohn

regrowth Long Beach Hair Loss Conference
Hair Loss Researchers attend latest hair conference

thinning New Source for Hair Multiplication Coming?
Rumors Rumors Rumors...

Salons to add Hair Regrowth Centers?
Changes on the way for traditional barber shops
Video - Hair Transplanted from Head to Arm
Streaming video interview with Colin Jahoda

Hair Transplant Surgeries Increasing
New Survey
Mullet Hairstyle Increases Popularity
Don't know what a Mullet is?  You're missing out

Keratin.com Joins HLS Newsletter!
Newsletter to reach even more people

Florida Hair Loss Conference! - International Hair Loss Experts Prepare for Annual Pilgrimage. 

New botanical cream fails to perform in clinical trials for hair loss

Shares in British biotechnology company Phytopharm Plc were rocked on Thursday after one of its products under research showed disappointing data as a treatment for male baldness. The company said intermediate Phase II data did not support the efficacy of P45 cream as a treatment for the condition although it was tolerated well and had a satisfactory safety profile.   The news knocked off 162-1/2 pence or around 19 percent off the company's stock price to 700p by 1159 GMT.

The company did not categorically explain why study failed but said the outcome of the study may have been influenced by the large number of patients that failed to complete the 52-week treatment period. It also said there was a high placebo response rate.  "We have not met our primary objective of demonstrating a difference between active and placebo groups in this study, and have experienced a large placebo response which has not previously been reported in clinical trials of this condition," said Phytopharm Chief Executive Richard Dixey. Dixey said that the product was still being studied as a treatment for alopecia areata and totalis, a skin disorder that leads to hair loss.

While the results are disappointing, it is good to see that the company was responsible enough to conduct clinical trials to determine its efficacy, rather than just releasing it as another cure for hair loss with no clinical trials whatsoever to back it.  The results of these trials further verify the longstanding feeling skeptics have regarding the validity of entirely herbal based, and "natural" treatments for hair loss.   Their performance has been lackluster at best in most clinical trials, and they make up the vast majority of snake oils out there on the market today.

It's interesting to note that the placebo group performed nearly as well as the treated group.  This goes to show that the "natural solution" did no better than an inanimate substance applied to the skin did.  Further interesting to note is the way in which they explained the placebo response.  The implication was that there was an unusually high responses in placebo groups for this type of trial, which ruined the significance of results for the treated group.  Funny.. maybe they should stopped the trial and done some tests on the placebo instead...

Nevertheless, kudos to Phytopharm for having the guts to do a trial, keep a useless product off the shelves, and taking a hit to their stock price all in the name of good business.  

Hair Health Test Deemed "worthless"

Many of our users have contacted us regarding a very often spoken of "bulb test" that some dermatologists offer for an additional charge, which seeks to determine whether or not the person is losing hair due to the effects of DHT.  The process is very basic, and is said to comprise only of evaluating the bulb of a follicle which has fallen out on its own, to look for characteristic signs of miniaturization due to hormonal or auto-immune activities.  The results of this test are said to enable the patient to determine whether he or she is actually experiencing male/female pattern baldness or natural / stress related loss which will not be aesthetically detrimental in the long run.  

Other similar treatments are being offered on the internet claiming to be able to identify problems with the follicle health on a NUTRIENT level.  Any well informed hair loss sufferer already knows that the basis for hair loss has nothing to do with nutrients reaching the follicle, however since so many successful snake oils tout this as a major cause of hair loss, these companies have cashed in on it and offer tests to see just how well nourished your follicles are.

Well the news is out on these companies.  Researchers at the department of health in Oakland, California sent hair samples from a healthy person to six of the nine laboratories in America which promote mineral analysis of hair as a way of diagnosing health problems. But findings from the sample varied considerably, and the laboratories gave conflicting dietary and nutritional supplement advice.

Some financial analysis of these companies revealed that consumers spend nearly $10 million a year on these tests.

The laboratories the samples were sent to perform 90% of the 225,000 hair mineral tests done annually in the US. The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) matched those of a 15-year-old study of hair analysis laboratories. The study found that the laboratories used varying testing methods on the samples, employed various reference points for mineral content and produced completely inconsistent results.

These tests aren't always just used to give a false sense of security, or unwarranted alarm in relation to hair loss.  These companies also use the results of their tests to sometimes imply contamination in the patient's water, other environmental hazards, and to make nutritional suggestions regarding the patients diet.  It is because of this that the Dept. of Health in Oakland is exposing these services as worthless, inconsistent, and unethical.

The researchers warned: "Health care choices based on these analyses may be ineffective or even detrimental to the patient's overall health." They said the results of hair analysis can be skewed by hair treatments, contamination from environmental sources and inconsistent lab techniques. They recommended that doctors should not use hair analysis to evaluate patients' exposure to environmental hazards or to assess nutritional issues. They also urged public health and consumer protection agencies to warn the public about the tests' unreliability.

Georgia public health expert Steven Steindel, and Peter Howanitz of the State University of New York, Health Science Center agreed doctors considering ordering hair analysis should wait for evidence the test works. They said health professionals who wanted to assess nutritional status or who are basing nutritional counseling or therapy on hair analysis results should reconsider their approach "unless and until the reliability of hair analysis value is established."

FDA to Establish Rules for more Accurate clinical trial reporting

A new proposal was announced by U.S. health officials which would give the public better access to information on all new or ongoing clinical trials involving Gene Therapy or Xenotransplantation (a process involving the transplantation of animal tissue into humans).  To date, most clinical trial information is revealed in post trial documentation, but the goal is to extend this into the future of Genetic research for all ailments including hair loss research.  Most of the necessary information is already being provided for this type of research as well, but the agency's goal is to help build more confidence in the public's eye with this risky new treatment methods resulting from genetic research.  

"Both of these technologies [gene therapy and xenotransplantation] hold great promise, but they may also pose a remote, but unique risk to the individuals who have volunteered to participate in these types of studies. Our proposal will ensure that the public is fully informed as we investigate these new public health opportunities and challenges," Henney says.

As part of HairlossSucks's ongoing involvement in helping find better treatments and potentially a cure, we will be announcing any new and upcoming research projects which may include genetic research.  The plan is part of a series of steps the government has taken to bolster the public's confidence in these technologies since the September 1999 death of study participant 18-year-old Jesse Gelsinger. His death was the first directly attributed to gene therapy.

The proposal also extends to making sure the FDA follows all the rules that are implemented for other government agencies performing research, who currently keeps many aspects of studies confidential.  Under the proposed rule, researchers would have to make public details about the side effects seen during these trials, including deaths. However, the names of the participants would remain confidential and companies would be able to edit out commercial secrets.

Naturally, some companies are against such public display of trial information.  They use the argument that it violates the privacy of the trial participants (I guess they missed the part about names being confidential) and (surprise?) that it compromises the companies' trade secrets.  They also feel there is a risk that too many listed side effects will unnecessarily scare people away from treatments, whereas under current laws, they can omit certain side effects which may not be prevalent enough to mention.  "Disclosing data on all adverse events in clinical trials without first investigating the causes could unnecessarily frighten patients and the public," says Carl Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade association.

~ Get Involved ~

The rules and procedures have not yet been made, and industry representatives will get a chance to air their concerns in upcoming meetings.  Under Federal law, the FDA must open the proposed rule for public comment before passing a final regulation.  We encourage you to email the following address and voice your opinion on this topic.  Your comments will be considered in the development of any final rule.


Competition for Rogaine - "Generic" Minoxidil is here

Press Release

Alpharma Receives Approval for Minoxidil Topical Solution USP 5% for Men 

Alpharma Inc. (NYSE: ALO - news), announced that it has received approval for Minoxidil Topical Solution USP, 5% for Men, bioequivalent to Pharmacia & Upjohn's Rogaine® Extra Strength, 5% for Men. Marketed by Alpharma's U.S. Pharmaceuticals Division (USPD), a Baltimore, Maryland based division, Minoxidil Topical Solution 5% for Men will be packaged in 60 ml bottles, available in single and twin packs. This product is indicated for men for the treatment of gradually thinning hair, or gradual hair loss on the top of the scalp, and will compete in the $125 million hair re-growth market. Minoxidil Topical Solution USP, 5% for Men will complement Alpharma's existing line of hair re-growth products, which include Minoxidil Topical Solution 2% for Men and Minoxidil Topical Solution 2% for Women.

Potential new source for Hair Multiplication?  

Streaming Video - Colin Jahoda's hair - His Wife's arm...

Many of you are aware of the researcher Colin Jahoda's big story last year regarding his successful transplantation of hair.  He managed to take hair from his own scalp and transplant it into the arm of his wife.  The surprising thing - it actually grew there.  The ramifications of such a discovery are huge.  We recently ran across a video interview with Dr. Jahoda regarding this story and thought you might enjoy viewing it.  You will need Real Player installed already.  Here is the link:


Mullets Go Big Time!

As some of you know, HairlossSucks is a major proponent of all the Mullet enthusiasts out there, and we encourage everyone to learn to appreciate the beautiful creature which is THE MULLET.  Don't know what a Mullet is?  Well, it's a hair style... That's all we will say.. check out this recent article going into far more depth and telling you more than you will ever care to know about this mysterious and curious hairstyle, and the men and women who sport it:


For more incredibly funny web sites on this whopper of a hairstyle, check out these links:


The King of the Mullet Web sites.  Click the link and choose a classification from the upper left drop down menu.
Don't Miss This.


Pharmacia Unveils new Thinning Hair Gauge

Pharmacia Unveils New System to Assess the Appearance of Thin-Looking Hair 
Patent Pending System Will Help Hair Care Experts and Stylists Monitor Thin-Looking Hair to Help Clients Head Toward the Best Options 

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE: PHA), makers of the Paul Mitchell Rogaine Professional family of hair care products, announced today at the International Beauty Show that it has a new patent pending system to help stylists assess the appearance of thin-looking hair.

The ThinTrack System, developed in conjunction with dermatologists, helps to measure hair thickness, density, and width of the mid-line part to assess the overall condition of the hair. This system focuses on changes in hair thickness and density in order to determine the extent of breakage and the appearance of thinning. When the ThinTrack System is used in conjunction with volumizing therapies, conditioning treatments, and other hair care products, it is a useful tool to track progress as well as the body and fullness of hair.

"The ability to monitor the appearance of thinning in its earliest stages can be difficult, which means that many people do not realize that their hair is changing," Marty E. Sawaya M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist and Director of Clinical Research at ARATEC (Alopecia Research and Associated Technologies) in Ocala, Florida. "Because hairstylists work with many different types of hair each day, the ThinTrack System gives them the ability to see if hair thinning is apparent and make recommendations for styling options."

The ThinTrack System features graduated tines to measure the thickness and sparsity around the head. A magnifier in the center of the handle to detect scalp shininess and blunt cut or broken off hairs. Areas of thinning may be the result of damage or breakage from overprocessing of permanents or colorants versus natural hair aging or thinning.

"The ThinTrack System is designed for both men and women, but will be particularly useful to help detect the sometimes less obvious signs of thinning hair in women," said Dr. Sawaya.

"We have a unique and important opportunity to expand our services to help our clients with thinning hair, but first we must make them feel comfortable talking about it," said Lynn Glaze, stylist John Paul Mitchell Systems. "The ThinTracking System helps us assess thin- looking hair in our clients' and initiate a conversation about it. This can make it easier to break through feelings of embarrassment and hopelessness that affect many people with thin-looking hair." 

The ThinTrack System is currently available to John Paul Mitchell certified stylists. The system will be available to many stylists by the end of the year. Pharmacia also is giving away samples of the system to stylists at the International Hair Show this week.

About hair thinning and loss

Nearly 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States
experience thinning hair. Thinning occurs when you lose more hairs than normal. Typically, we shed 40 to 100 hairs a day. When your hair is thinning, the amount you shed begins to slowly increase.

Although it has been traditionally considered part of the male's aging process, hair thinning affects women too, although somewhat
differently. Men typically develop "bald spots" and/or a receding hairline. Women generally experience diffuse thinning over the entire head, which can be difficult to detect.

The process of thinning hair can affect both men and women as early as their 20s. In fact, hair is at its thickest when a person is 20 years old, and it gradually begins to thin after that. Additionally,
research indicates that since hair thinning is rarely discussed among women, almost 40 percent of women with hair thinning never expect it to happen.

Paul Mitchell Rogaine Professional for Women is medically proven to regrow hair for women with mild to moderate hereditary thinning. It is part of the Paul Mitchell Rogaine line of products for hair thinning and hair loss in women and men.

Salusmaster.com Weekly Chats hosted by HairlossSucks

A great resource for Italian speaking internet surfers has begun a weekly chat session on Thursday's for all its italian users and has chosen HairlossSucks to host the chat.  Evening for them is around 11am for United States users, so if you'd like to join in the discussion on Thursdays around that time, feel free to stop by!  They are a great group of people and typically have quite a turnout.

Don't worry, you don't need to speak italian to be a part of the fun - most of them speak english as well.  Hope to see you there!

[Salusmaster.com is an incredibly well designed site with a ton of great information on hair loss all in the Italian language.  Product reviews, a discussion forum, live chat and more can be found there.  Check it out sometime, even if you don't speak Italian]

French Hair Loss Discovery

French doctors are claiming a potential breakthrough for treating baldness, severe burns and skin cancer after successfully growing skin with hair follicles using stem cells taken from adult mice.

"We grew a piece of skin with hair follicles and sebaceous glands for the first time," said Dr Yann Barrandon, a cell specialist at the National Institute for Science and Medical Research and Paris's elite Ecole Normale Supérieure. Stem cells are premature cells that develop into various organs. The most spectacular are found in embryos at their very earliest days of development. Embryo stem cells can grow into almost any part of the body, a finding that raises hopes they can eventually be "programmed" into growing replacement limbs or internal organs in a laboratory.

Dr Barrandon said the five-year research effort had isolated stem cells in the hair roots of adult mice that were able to develop into the entire range of cells needed for the outer layer of skin, including the sebaceous glands and follicles for producing hair or fur. Each follicle, whether in mice, rats or humans, contained about 1,500 stem cells, which could migrate and develop into glands, hair or skin, called keratinocytes. 

"We now have the first direct proof of the ability of these cells to grow skin," Dr Barrandon said.

The researchers' next goal is to find compounds that will guide the cells towards specific tasks, such as promoting the growth of skin, which could be used for burns victims, whose grafts are often unsightly as they are shiny and hairless. Another goal would be a treatment to encourage the stem cells to promote hair growth for bald people or conversely to destroy selected cells in order to discourage hair growth.

"Half of humanity wants to have more hair on its head and the other half wants to have less hair on its legs," said a colleague of Dr Barrandon, Ms Ariane Rochat.

Just Released!  Official Abstract of the Study

Morphogenesis and Renewal of Hair Follicles from Adult Multipotent Stem Cells. Hideo Oshima1, Ariane Rochat1, Cécile Kedzia1, Koji Kobayashi2, and Yann Barrandon1. Cell, Vol. 104, 233–245, January, 2001

1 Department of Biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue dUlm, 75230 Paris Cedex 05, France 2 Faculty of Sciences, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba, 263, Japan

The upper region of the outer root sheath of vibrissal follicles of adult mice contains multipotent stem cells that respond to morphogenetic signals
to generate multiple hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and epidermis, i.e., all the lineages of the hairy skin. At the time when hair production ceases and when the lower region of the follicle undergoes major structural changes, the lower region contains a significant number of clonogenic keratinocytes, and can then respond to morphogenetic signals. This demonstrates that multipotent stem cells migrate to the root of the follicle to produce whisker growth. Moreover, our results indicate that the clonogenic keratinocytes are closely related, if not identical, to the multipotent stem cells, and that the regulation of whisker growth necessitates a precise control of stem cell trafficking.

Long Beach hair and Hair Loss Conference

Trevor Sorbie, Vivienne Mackinder, Patrick Cameron and Vidal Sassoon Academy Educators are among the internationally renowned masters of hair who will be sharing insights and demonstrating techniques at the International Beauty Show taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA.

Winners of the first Beauty Heroes Awards -- Ordinary People Who Do Extraordinary Things -- sponsored by the International Beauty Shows and American Salon magazine will be released at the Show. Five beauty professionals will be recognized for the contributions they've made to help cancer patients, alopecia sufferers, orphanages and others in need.

Dr. Marty Sawaya will be in attendance, as will many others.

What are the hot in trends in hair? According to industry expert Nancy Flinn Marketing Resources, key areas to watch include the expanded use of color for both men and women; products targeted to an aging population to maintain a healthier and more youthful appearance -- including treating hair thinning and loss in both men and women. Two new/emerging segments of the market for salons -- teens and multicultural. 

The place to find the newest products and styles for these trends -- and what will make news in beauty in 2001 -- is IBS at the Long Beach Convention Center.   425+ hair, nail and skin exhibitors will be present with exhibits. Beauty industry professionals including salon owners, managers, stylists, cosmetologists, estheticians, and nail technicians will also be in attendance for the event.

Salons to add Hair Regrowth centers?

The International Beauty Group, the premier trade publishing and exposition company serving the professional beauty industry, today announced the findings of a survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners about the business of haircare. 

A random telephone survey to a representative sample of owners and managers of medium to large salons concludes that the trends in hairstyling and consumer demand for expanded services are driving the business to new heights! 

SALONS: Not for Women only 

63% of the salon owners surveyed said that the incidence of men using the salon has increased. The men of the new millennium are primarily requesting the same hair, skin, nails and body treatments and services as women. However, today men prefer to visit salons to get them. 

Hair keeping and regrowth 

It's no wonder that 35% of salon owners indicated an increased demand in the treatment of hair thinning and loss considering that over 70 million men and women in the U.S. experience fine and thinning hair by age 50. Aging baby-boomers aren't going to take hair loss without putting up a fight. Rogaine(R) for men and women and Propecia(R) for men recognize the significance of this market and have spent millions of dollars to advertise. On the professional level, Paul Mitchell(R) Rogaine(R) Professional For Women encourages salon owners to open Hair Regrowth Centers in their salons to provide a comfortable environment in which to help their clients and to build a competitive edge among the salons in the area.

They may be short on hair, but the men's market is long on profit. They visit the salon as much and more frequently than women based on 70% of the respondents. The added bonus for salons is the impact that the men's market has on retail sales. A recent Yankelovich study* directed to the general public of salon patrons suggests that an impressive 41% of men purchase retail products at their salon. 

The color of money 

According to salon owners, 78% have seen the demand for haircolor service increase from clients who want fun-and fashion-oriented color. Today a personal fashion statement isn't complete without the right haircolor. Long gone are the days when haircolor was only used to cover gray hair. Whether it's color to achieve a new look or to enhance the beauty of natural hair, haircolor is hot! 

Hair Transplant Surgeries Increasing

A recent survey released by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) reports that 21 percent of all new cosmetic surgery procedures are being done on men, rather than the typically female dominated percentages have shown in the past.  The most frequent elective surgical procedures undergone by men are rhinoplasty (a 58 percent increase since 1997), blepharoplasty, hair transplants, facelifts and laser resurfacing.  Surprisingly, more men than women were reported to see their physicians for skin cancer reconstruction. 

The AAFPRS surveyed its members to find out what patients are truly seeking and thinking when it comes to plastic surgery. "Plastic surgery isn't for just the 'Hollywood types' anymore," says Kridel. "In fact, these results show that ordinary men and women alike are accepting plastic surgery as way to improve their appearance, and in turn, enhance their self-esteem." 

Keratin.com adds users to HairlossSucks Newsletter! 

This month Keratin.com has joined forces with HairlossSucks.com in making our monthly newsletter available to all its users.  People from all over the world can now subscribe to this unique information source from yet another world class information site on hair loss.  Keratin joins an ever increasing network of HairlossSucks newsletter distributers including www.derminfo.de who distributes the newsletter in German.

Welcome Keratin.com!

[Keratin.com is a site unique in providing information on over 50 different hair loss conditions including pattern baldness, Telogen Effluvium and Alopecia Areata. Keratin.com has an active discussion board attracting regular readers and posters as well as new information seekers] 

Florida Hair Loss Conference - The latest in Techniques and Research 

ORLANDO, Fla.—The world’s foremost experts will gather in Orlando, Fla., February 21 – 24, to push hair loss to its limits as they continue to search for treatment options until a cure is discovered. Hair loss affects more than 60 million people in the United States and tens of millions of others worldwide. Every aspect of hair loss will be investigated at the seventh annual Live Surgery Workshop. 

This four-day event unites leading authorities on hair loss to share the newest techniques, medical breakthroughs and instrumentation. More than 20 surgeries will accompany research studies and presentations. Special considerations will include corrective surgery, beard and mustache transplantation, eyebrow transplantation on a female patient and hair transplantation in combination with hair systems. Characteristics of hair and hair loss among women and various ethnic groups will be covered through research, presentations and on-site surgery. 

Headlining the new technology at this year’s Workshop is a new Erbium laser modified for hair transplantation. The Medilas E, made by Dorneir MedTech, may offer benefits over the carbon dioxide lasers that have been used for creating recipient sites in hair restoration. A new anesthesia machine called The Wand, which controls the speed and amount of anesthetic administered to a patient, will be featured throughout the Workshop. In previous trials, The Wand has limited patient discomfort and has lowered the amount of anesthesia used. Other technological advancements that will be evaluated at this year’s Workshop include automated graft cutters and automated graft implanters. Additional lasers for use in hair removal, treatment of wrinkles and vein treatment may also be on hand for the Workshop. 

The research faculty, lead by Dr. Marty Sawaya, will present a scientific symposium on the latest topical and oral treatments for hair loss, including Propecia, the current research on follicular regeneration and the possibility of cloning the hair follicle. 

Attendance at this symposium has become a necessity for leading hair transplant surgeons from around the globe in order to stay on the cutting edge of hair restoration. A video news release is scheduled for February 21 on the Live Surgery Workshop.



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