The HairlossSucks Newsletter has become the most widely distributed
and most comprehensive source for up to date hair loss information
anywhere on the web.
IN THIS MONTH'S ISSUE:
June's Big News
- Hair Loss Conference - Tokyo Japan - over 170 abstracts
revealing the results of over 170 different studies related to
hair loss. Everything from Hair loss's relation to Testicular cancer, to new discoveries in hair function, growth,
and promising new treatments. HairlossSucks has all the
abstracts and all the conclusions right here for you. Don't
miss this . . .
TOKYO CONFERENCE INFORMATION CENTER
Weekly Chat has Record Attendance!
Nearly 100 visitors joined us in last Sunday's chat.
See who showed up!
Based Alt.Baldspot Back Online
resumes offering web based posting to alt.baldspot
Celebrates Record Traffic!
experiences exponential growth - reaching over 68,000 user
sessions monthly (over 1 million hits!)
HairlossSucks Your Site
Tell us what you want to see on our site, the sky is the limit
Importance of Preventing Hair Loss
Psychology and Importance of Hair Loss Prevention versus Regrowth
Hair Loss Site recognized by AAD
information on women's hair loss on the web is awarded
Loss at age 18 - one Guy's Story
editorial on the perils of losing hair at an early age,
written from firsthand experience.
Hair Loss Conference - Tokyo Japan
Don't lose hope
- hundreds of researchers are meeting to discuss their recent
findings on hair loss...
Hair Loss Symposium
New York City
hosts a conference on the science and medicine behind female
- Why it Grows, Why it Stops
Scientific American gives great new insights into the latest
discoveries related to hair loss and growth
Laser Hair Loss treatment
for hair growth stimulation? There is some evidence to
||ETG Prevents Chemotherapy
performs well in clinical study
Modrastane - New Hair Growth Stimulant?
showing amazing results in Dogs with "Alopecia X",
company plans to study further
Web casts brought to you this month by HairlossSucks & Healthology
Biology of Hair Loss
The average human scalp is covered by 100,000 hair follicles. If you've got all your hair, that may seem like a big number, but when you start to lose it, the fate of each follicle becomes more important. What decides that fate and what makes hair grow or fall out? Join our two experts as they cast some light on the issue.
Loss Myths and Facts
Has anyone ever told you that excessive shampooing causes hair loss, or do you think that hair loss only happens after you turn 50? There are a lot of popular myths out there about hair loss, and it's often hard to tell fact from fiction. Join our panelists as they set matters straight.
Lose It Too: The causes of Female-Pattern Hair Loss
Though hair loss can be embarrassing and unpleasant for anyone, our society considers hair loss in women a sort of cosmetic disaster. But it's not just social factors that set male and female baldness apart. The actual causes and symptoms of hair loss in women can be different as well. Join our guests as they explain the distinction between the two
Supplements: Can They Fight Hair Loss?
If you're trying to put an end to your hair loss, you've probably encountered an endless array of products that claim to stop or even reverse the process. A few are FDA-approved medications, but there are also many natural or herbal treatments that have not been subjected to the same rigorous tests. Do any of these actually work, and is there any harm in trying? Join our specialists as they take a close look at some of the most popular herbal remedies for hair loss.
Chat has Record Attendance
Nearly a year and a half ago, HairlossSucks sprung up from the
ruins of snake oil web sites to bring good clean information on
hair loss in the form of the first successful hair loss chat web
site on the internet. In the ensuing months, the site grew into
much more than just a chat site, and we've spent a lot of time
focusing on our Discussion Forums and Newsletters. Now,
nearly 20 months later, on
Sunday, May 27 we invited all of you back to join us for a full day
session, and boy did you respond!
Nearly 100 men
and women seeking advice, information, and fellowship with others
experiencing the same affliction we know as hair loss, showed
up for the event. We would like to acknowledge all of you, and
invite you back again next Sunday to participate in the growing
community that HairlossSucks is proud to host. Now, not
only the most successful chat site on this topic, but host to the
most successful Newsletter, and most used Discussion Forum
anywhere on the web with nearly 7,500 posts in less than a year:
We have some good news for those of
you who gave up on newsgroup reading and posting when Google
prematurely purchased and shut down the Deja web-based
newsgroups. Several months later, Google has now enabled posting
to newsgroups from the web site. The registration is
extremely fast and easy to work your way through, and is quite an
improvement upon Deja's old registration process. You can be up and posting in less than 30 seconds.
Some of the downsides include
having to wait up to 8 hours for your post to be displayed, and
the well known less-intuitive message structure that
Google has had up from the beginning.
In any case, we all welcome you
back to Alt.baldspot. You can access the newsgroup directly
by going to the following location:
|HairlossSucks now serving over
68,000 user sessions, monthly!
The numbers are finally in, and we
are proud to announce that HairlossSucks
has officially grown to over 68,000 user sessions and over 1
million hits monthly. This exponential growth is literally an
1,100% increase from the 6,000 user sessions we were serving
up just over 1 year ago.
What can this increased growth be attributed to? A recent Market Position report revealed that HairlossSucks is being linked to by over 550 web sites as a source of valuable information on hair loss.
Our goals of being one of the most active hair loss information
sites in the world are being realized, and more importantly,
hundreds of thousands of people are being helped every year.
This announcement is a tribute to you, our users. Thank you
for being loyal HairlossSucks visitors over the months. We
commit to you to continue to bring the most up to date information
anywhere on the web.
If you are interested in seeing
the full color graph and metrics, please Click
To see the old HairlossSucks Site,
as it looked when it first began, just Click
HairlossSucks Your Site
You know how it is... You're
surfing the web looking for something, and for the life of you,
you can't find it. You run across a fairly robust
information site on the topic, but they still don't have that one
feature, that one topic, that one "cool thing" that
really scratches your itch. It could be anything.
Take a hair loss site for
example. What is it that you look for when you come
here? Do you really feel that the hair loss sites out there
today are as useful as they could be? Or do you skip through
most of them and find yourself bored to death, or fishing for
something that's just not there?
Well the one thing we can't stand
is an ineffective site. Consequently, we want your
input. Give us ideas. You've come here before, so when
you got here, what were you looking for? What do you think
we're lacking? What could we have more of? You may think you're one in a
million (actually only about 68,000) but we can guarantee that
every single response will be read and considered seriously.
We look forward to your thoughts!
Pattern Hair Loss: Prevention rather than Regrowth
Many of you just starting to
experience the first signs of hair loss tend to become gung-ho
about dumping on the treatments. Many of your regimens are
the same regimens men who have already lost a significant amount
of hair are using to regrow entire sections of their scalp
hair. However, preventing hair loss is nowhere near as
difficult as regrowing lost hair, and its likely that you do not
need so many treatments just to maintain what you have.
Propecia, the current wonder drug, has an incredibly high success
rate (83%) of maintaining men's hair counts. Propecia use
alone has saved hundreds of thousands of men from a future of
baldness, without the help of any other treatments at all.
These men are fortunate, because they have an entire arsenal of
treatments to add if or when Propecia ever stops working for them.
male pattern hair loss
Androgen-dependent skin conditions,
such as male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia, AGA) and
acne, are among the dermatologic conditions most frequently
encountered by the specialist and the general physician. AGA
is the commonest form of human alopecia, affecting more than 50%
of men by the age of 50 years, and a smaller but still significant
proportion of women by the same age. Historically, the
clinical management of AGA has been limited to the psychologic
support of the client, and the use of cosmetics that thicken the
remaining hair, or make the scalp less conspicuous. Hair
systems (swatches, weaves, and wigs), and surgical procedures
including punch grafts, follicular unit transplantation, and flap
surgery are also widely used. In recent years however, drug
therapy has increasingly become a realistic management option, as
our understanding of the mechanisms of normal and pathologic hair
growth has pointed the way to improved treatments.
The changes that occur in the
distribution of scalp hair as AGA progresses follow a course that
has been well documented in both sexes, as have the changes in the
scalp and scalp hair that are commonly found to occur in male
pattern hair loss. The most important recent development in
our understanding is the recognition that androgens play a central
role in the development of AGA. It has been observed that
castrated men do not exhibit AGA; however, if they are given
exogenous androgens, they will reversibly show signs of hair
loss. Several recent lines of evidence implicated DHT, a
metabolite of testosterone, as the active metabolite in AGA.
The enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT
hair loss, prevention, and regrowth
Hair forms a vital element of an
individual's physical appearance, and changes in the hair,
including its loss, can have correspondingly profound effects on
interpersonal reactions and on self image. Studies that have
specifically addressed the psychosocial impact of hair loss in men
have shown that men with visible hair loss are perceived as older,
weaker, and less physically attractive than their nonbalding
counterparts. Not surprisingly, such adverse social
stereotyping of individuals with hair loss has a considerable
impact on the self image, and therefore on the quality of life, of
men with AGA. Studies confirm that the negative
self-perception of hair loss by others is reflected in the
psychologic responses of balding men to their own condition.
Using standard psychologic tests, men with AGA report experiencing
distress about their hair loss, feeling less physically
attractive, and having greater body image dissatisfaction than
their nonbalding peers.
Given that many men are strongly motivated to seek help with their AGA, the treatment objectives may variously include the prevention of further hair loss, the maintenance of existing hair, the regrowth and retention of lost hair, or any combination of the three.' In most cases, however, prevention and maintenance are the most realistic therapeutic options. In this context, it must be recognized that there is frequently a disparity between what the physician assumes are the patient's needs or requirements, and what the patient actually expects. Although there is a lack of rigorous scientific studies of men's attitudes towards regrowth of their lost hair as compared to the prevention of further hair loss, some indications are available in the literature. For example, in a study in which men with AGA completed the Hair Loss Effects Questionnaire (HLEQ), a high proportion gave responses that were directed towards a future rather than a present state: 93% worried about how much hair they would lose, 87% reported trying to estimate if they were losing more hair, and 8o% tried to imagine how they would look with more hair loss Cash" has also reported that balding men who anticipated more hair loss in the future experienced significantly greater negative events and cognitive preoccupation, and were also less satisfied with their hair and overall appearance than men who anticipated minimal future hair loss.
Some anecdotal evidence, based on market research among 2200 men with at least some degree of hair loss, strongly supports the importance of prevention rather than regrowth to the patient. Thus, when asked directly whether they were more concerned about the amount of hair they currently had (i.e. regrowth) or the rate at which they were losing it (i.e. prevention), most respondents (61%) were equally concerned about the two; of those expressing a greater concern for one or the other, two-thirds were more concerned with prevention and one-third with regrowth. Although the ideal for most of the men involved in this research would clearly be a hair treatment that produced both regrowth and prevention, slightly more respondents thought that prevention (43%) rather than regrowth (34%) was essential in a hair loss treatment.
Therefore, it seems that many men are more anxious to prevent further hair loss in the future than they are to regrow the hair they have already lost. Nonetheless, physicians may incorrectly believe that the patient will only be satisfied with overt regrowth, when in fact he would be content with retaining his remaining hair. This is an important point because secondary prevention, that is the prevention of further loss, is currently a more realistic treatment goal for the physician to offer. This is demonstrated by the drug treatments that have been or are now available.
The antihypertensive drug minoxidil was shown in the early 1980's to stimulate new hair growth, and was eventually approved as a topical treatment for AGA in men and women. Minoxidil is known to act as an opener of potassium channels, but the mechanism by which it exerts its effect on hair is unclear, as it is a vasodilator with no known antiandrogenic activity. It appears to convert vellus to terminal hairs, to normalize the hair follicular morphology, and to increase the number of follicles in mid to late anagen, the growth phase of the hair cycle Multicenter clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of minoxidil in AGA: in most patients treated with topical minoxidil 2% or 3% for 12 months, mean hair counts increased, and in some patients hair counts continued to increase for some time afterwards. 19-3
Topical minoxidil 2% nevertheless has only limited success and the individual response is highly variable. Recent clinical trials with topical minoxidil 5% have shown promising results: in one study, 54% of treated patients showed an increase in hair counts, compared to
29 % of patients on placebo.
Minoxidil has not been approved for systemic use because of potentially serious side-effects, notably cardiovascular, due to its antihypertensive action, and because extraneous hair growth has occasionally been seen even with topically applied minoxidil thought to be due to absorption and systemic action.
Furthermore, as discussed earlier, the majority of men appear to be more concerned with prevention of further hair loss than with regrowth:
Minoxidil has not shown any preventive activity, and its ability in the long term to retain new growth against a background of genetically associated hair loss has not been demonstrated.
Drug treatments: manipulating androgen metabolism to retard male pattern hair loss
The most promising treatments modulate the metabolism of androgens in the scalp. Currently, only one pharmaceutical is available to the physician for the treatment of men with AGA. Finasteride
(Propecia) is a potent, specific inhibitor of the type 2 5a-reductase that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Given orally,
Finasteride reduces DHT levels systemically and in the target tissues (i.e. scalp). In an animal model of AGA, the stump-tailed macaque, daily oral
Finasteride given over a period of 6 months significantly reduced circulating DHT levels and increased scalp hair weight. 8 Finasteride at a dosage of 1 mg/day has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of male pattern hair loss in men. Its efficacy has been demonstrated in three
double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies. Men with AGA, aged between 18 and 41 years, were given either oral
Finasteride 1 mg/day or a placebo. Assessed by scalp hair counts, self-assessment by patients using a validated questionnaire, investigator assessment using a standardized seven-point rating scale of hair growth from baseline, and an independent expert review of photographs taken every 6 months,
Finasteride treatment was evaluated as resulting in improvement. Finasteride produced a progressive increase in hair counts at 6, 12 and 24 months, while placebo treatment resulted in significant hair loss. By 24 months, 72% of patients on placebo had lost hair compared to baseline, while 83% of patients on
Finasteride had experienced no further hair loss. Similarly, at 14 months, the expert panel considered 66% of
Finasteride-treated patients greatly, moderately, or slightly improved vs. only 7% of those on placebo. There was little difference in the incidence of side-effects reported by men on
Finasteride (4.2%) vs. placebo (2.2%) which resolved after discontinuation and in many of the men who remained on drug treatment.
These results are in line with our current understanding of the effect of DHT on hair physiology. Although, as mentioned previously, the molecular details of the mechanism by which androgens affect hair growth are not known, it is apparent that, in the androgen-sensitive scalp of genetically susceptible individuals, they cause a gradual miniaturization of the follicles and conversion of long, thick pigmented terminal hair to short, fine, unpigmented vellus hair. Prevention of the androgen-mediated miniaturization will inhibit or retard the process leading to hair loss, and in some cases result in new hair growth. Furthermore, there is demonstrable heterogeneity in 5a-reductase activity in scalp hair roots from patients with AGA, which may account for some of the variation in response to
The likelihood is that the modulation of androgen metabolism will prevent further hair loss in the majority of patients, and induce hair growth in a smaller proportion, depending on the extent of their condition and their genetic background. It is vital therefore for the prescribing physician to bear in mind that the patient may suffer anxiety over the possible progression of hair loss in the future, while being able to tolerate his present condition. For many patients, prevention of further hair loss alone will constitute acceptable management. For the physician, the important message is that the best therapeutic prospects lie in drug modalities that utilize our increased understanding of normal and pathologic hair growth. Although topical minoxidil was the first effective drug to benefit
some of these patients, targeting of type 2 5a-reductase in the scalp hair follicle using oral
Finasteride is now a realistic option for the prevention of further hair loss in the patient
with male pattern baldness.
Marcia Ramos-e-Silva, MD, PhD
International Journal of Dermatology
Hair Loss Site Recognized by AAD
|| The Women's Institute for Fine and Thinning Hair Sponsored by
Rogaine will be recognized by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) today at the 5th Annual Gold Triangle Awards in New York City. The Gold Triangle hallmarks the strides the Women's Institute has taken to increase awareness of hair loss as a public health issue.
Nearly 30 million women in the United States -- or one in four -- experience hereditary hair thinning, the most common form of hair loss. Fifty percent of women will experience some degree of hair thinning by age 50. Almost 40 percent of women with hair thinning never expect it to happen to them, according to research.
The Gold Triangle Award honors communications campaigns that further the understanding of dermatological issues and encourage healthy behavior in the care of skin, hair and nails.
"On behalf of the Institute, it is an honor to receive such a prestigious award from the AAD," said Terrence L. Stecz, President, Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare -- North America. "We would like to thank the AAD for acknowledging the importance of female hair loss and hope this award will inspire more women to seek expert advice from the Institute."
The Women's Institute provides women of all ages with a steady stream of information and advice that will help them deal with the physical, emotional, and social realities of hair thinning. The Institute is a forum where women can self-assess their propensity for hair thinning, obtain news about the latest studies and remedies, and share personal experiences with others.
Founded in February 2000, the Women's Institute is an avenue for the exchange of knowledge and information on the prevalence of women's hair thinning, its causes and treatments, styling options, and coping techniques. Since its inception, the Institute has educated millions of women on fine, thin, and thinning hair through its Web site, toll-free number, news reports, and personal appearances by advisory board members.
The Institute is directed by a wealth of experts in the fields of dermatology, psychology, and hair styling.
-- Zoe Draelos, M.D., founder of Dermatology Consulting Services in
High Point, North Carolina
-- Lorna Thomas, M.D., board-certified dermatologist with a private
practice in Detroit, Michigan
-- Peggy Elam, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and health service provider in
-- Ellen Rubin, Psy.D, practicing psychologist and clinical instructor at
the New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
-- Robert Cromeans, Artistic Director for John Paul Mitchell Systems,
San Diego, California
-- John Atchison, John Atchison Salon in New York, New York and Los Angeles, California
-- Justine Beech, Director of Color for Gavert Atelier hair salon,
Los Angeles, California
-- Jose Valdez, stylist with Eiji Salon in New York, New York
In the coming months, the Institute will add an OB/GYN to its board as 54 percent of women consider their OB/GYN as their primary care physician. This addition will open new channels of communication for women to discuss this issue.
More information about women's hair loss is available by calling the Women's Institute For Fine and Thinning Hair Sponsored by
Rogaine toll-free at 877-554-HAIR. The site can be
accessed at http://www.womensinstituteofhair.com
About hair thinning and loss in women
Hereditary hair thinning involves a miniaturization process, causing hair follicles to become smaller and reducing the time period in which they can grow. Since the hair is unable to complete the full growth cycle, the follicle produces thinner, shorter, and less pigmented hair.
Although it has been traditionally considered part of the male's aging process, hair loss affects women too, although somewhat differently. Women generally experience diffuse thinning over the entire top of the head, which can be difficult to detect. Men typically develop "bald spots" and/or a receding hairline.
Editorial written by an 18 year old
on the perils of experiencing hair loss at a young age. We
were so impressed with this article that we included it in our
Newsletter this month. When you have 15 free minutes of
uninterrupted time, check it out. For some of you, "I
know exactly what he's talking about!" will be on the tip of
your tongue the entire time...
Rejection from girls "...girls [in high school] tended to be suspicious of guys who might treat them with dignity, and instead opted for apes in basketball
jerseys. I'll just wait til college where the girls will be more mature and
will go out with someone who won't slap them around. Just as I started to meet girls with a modicum of self-respect, the shower drain started clogging up with my fleeing hair."
The unpleasant emergency first-time
visit to the nearest hair transplant office which sheer panic has
lead many of us to "The office was in a classy old building...but that is where the character ended.
It had all the charm of a metal detector. I was accosted by a
woman in a power suit....she outlined the progression of my hair loss with a neon yellow highlighter.
It was so bizarre that it had to be the way things were done in a new and cruel world beyond my understanding...."
The desperation which
followed "I walked away from the office on the verge of tears. I had not only been humiliated, but there appeared to be no hope for my ailing hair.
I had felt helpless many times in my life up until that point but I don't think I ever truly knew the meaning of the word until that walk home."
The ensuing decision to give in
rather than fight is recounted articulately and with an off-tone
humor that makes reading it a bittersweet experience. We know
many of our users are in the 18 to 25 age range, and despite its
length, this article, written for an online "Zine" web
site, will be well worth the time and effort to read.
Loss Conference - Tokyo Japan
The Third Intercontinental Meeting
of Hair Research Societies will be occurring June 13th - 15th in
Tokyo Japan. Researchers from all over the world will be
gathering at the Four Seasons Hotel Chinzan-So in Tokyo to present
the findings of over 170 different hair loss related research
studies and abstracts. This meeting represents the largest
triennial gathering of hair societies in the new millenium, and
provides a unique opportunity for scientists and clinicians
interested in hair biology and disorders to exchange information,
compare study results, and interact.
The keynote lecturers will be Dr.
M.J. McPhaul and Dr. I. Satokata. The scientific organizing committee, with Dr. S. Takayasu as the chair, has prepared four
workshops for the different fields and two luncheon seminars on androgenetic alopecia. The
workshops will provide the many researchers present with updated information on the hair cycle, stem cells and
morphological and molecular biological approaches. The many
abstracts submitted by the researchers planning to attend were
reviewed by a committed of 10, and separated based upon categories
of plenary, concurrent and poster presentations according to the scores they received from the ten reviewers. To encourage the participation of promising
young scientists, travel awards were set aside for twelve people.
Each speaker will present their
findings for 20 minutes, followed by open discussion.
Posters will be exhibited throughout the meeting in order to provide enough time for reading and
discussion. During the meeting, referees will score both the oral and poster presentations,
while selected papers from the plenary, concurrent and poster sessions will be awarded and
published later in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings.
This conference was funded in part
by the North American Hair Research Society, the European Hair Research Society, the
Australian Hair and Wool Research Society and numerous domestic and foreign
HairlossSucks has all the
abstracts and all the conclusions right here for you. Don't
miss this . . .
TOKYO CONFERENCE INFORMATION CENTER
First Annual Medical and Scientific Symposium
Wednesday Evening, June 6, 2001 7:00 –9:00 p.m.
16 East 60th Street (between 5th and Madison) Eastside Conference Center
It is estimated that nearly 30 million women in the United States have some form of hair loss. Yet, until recently, the subject of female hair loss has been rarely addressed. Please join the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University and the Department of Dermatology for a symposium addressing medical and scientific aspects of female hair loss.
Join Lissa Rosenthal, Director of Hair Aware: Organization for Women's Hair
Loss, Inc. as she participates in the first annual Medical and Scientific
Symposium on Female Hair Loss at Columbia University Eastside Conference
Center. The conference will educate attendees about the medical impacts that
female hair loss has on society today.
The conference will address treatment options, female hormones, and current
medical research in the field. Please join us at the:
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Department of Dermatology
The Partnership for Women’s Health
at Columbia University
Dr. David Bickers
Chairman, Department of Dermatology
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Introduction to Gender-Specific Medicine
Dr. Marianne Legato
Founder & Director, Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Overview of Female Hair Loss
Dr. Sheryl Miller
Assistant Attending Dermatologist, Weill Cornell Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Hair Loss and Hormones
Dr. Michelle Warren
Wyeth-Ayerst Professor of Women’s Health at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Partnership for Women’s Health Scholar
Treatment Options for Female Hair Loss
Dr. Monica Peacocke
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Research in Female Hair Loss
Dr. Angela M. Christiano
Associate Professor of Dermatology and Genetics & Development,
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Partnership for Women’s Health Scholar
Resources for Female Hair Loss
Executive Director, Hair Aware
Speakers Will Include
* Dr. Marianne
Legato, Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University
College of Physicians & Surgeons and Founder and Director of the Partnership
for Women's Health at Columbia University. Dr Legato will give an
introduction to gender-specific medicine.
* Dr. Monica Peacocke, Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University
College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. Peacocke who will speak on treatment
options for female hair loss.
* Dr. Angela Christiano, Associate Professor of Dermatology and of Genetics &
Development at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr.
Christiano will talk about research in female hair loss and will introduce
Lissa Rosenthal, who will discuss resources available women with hair loss.
Photo and interview opportunities will be available with all of the speakers. The symposium is sponsored by the Columbia University College of
Physicians & Surgeons Department of Dermatology and the Partnership for Women's Health at
- Why it Grows, Why it Stops
One of our loyal users known as "Trey" was
kind enough to allow us to post this information on an article found in the
latest issue of Scientific American (June 2001). We strongly suggest you
pick up a copy yourself so that you can review the entire thing
uninterrupted. The "clippings" below should give some peeks into
the latest discoveries and insights in the medical community regarding the
understanding of hair loss and hair growth. Enjoy ...
The best news to me was that it played up on the fact that the follicles never die as once believed, but
rather shrink and stay in the dormant stage. Also it's interesting to see the research that is being done on these various stages and how all of this
ties in to the original formation of the follicles in an embryo. Also the tone of the article is positive regarding future treatments and the
attitudes of those who are currently researching this (as you will see).
For those of you who are new to hair loss research some of this might sound like Greek, but many of you will understand exactly what is
being said here. These quotes are taken from various parts of the article, and I divided
the quotes into three main categories (Follicles Don't Die; Research Highlights; The
The (MPB) Follicle Doesn't Die:
"The good biological news is that in the most common types of thinning, hair follicles don't die. In classic male- and female-pattern hair loss
(androgenetic alopecia), for instance, follicles become miniaturized and their growing phase abbreviated; they then produce extremely short, fine
hairs. 'Even guys who are bald still have little hairs on the top of their head,' explains Bruce. A Morgan of Harvard's Cutaneous Biology Research
Center." (MS) p. 76
"Hair thinning generally happens not because follicles disappear, but because the ratio of follicles in the growing and non-growing phases shifts
unfavorably. Also, many follicles in balding people shrink progressively, ultimately producing only small, colorless hairs." p. 74
"Baldness often arises not because follicles die but because they shrink and malfunction. Drugs that manipulate Wnts or other regulatory
proteins might one day protect threatened follicles and prod shrunken ones into producing
hair normally again." p. 72
"Last year Ronald G. Crystal of Weill Medical College of Cornell University found that when hair follicles in adult mice are induced to make the
protein during the resting, telogen stage, the follicles shift prematurely into the
hair-producing, anagen stage. Thus, sonic hedgehog can stimulate dormant follicles to begin producing hair." p. 79
"As researchers become more sophisticated in their knowledge of the molecular interactions underlying hair growth, they can begin animal
testing of compounds that might restore order to deranged regulatory pathways and
revive dormant follicles." p. 79
"To trace the molecular controls over any given process, scientists first need to know the basic outlines of the process itself. By 1995
microscopists and others had developed a good sketch of the incredible steps that lead to the formation of hair follicles in the developing
embryo. They had also described the hair cycle -- the periodic phases during which
follicles produce or stop producing hair; follicles undergo this cycle repeatedly in a lifetime." p. 72
"Anagen follows telogen. Early on some of the stem cells from the bulge divide and travel down along the basement membrane to become matrix
or outer root sheath cells. Once formed, the matrix cells proliferate and ultimately
give rise to the hair cells and the inner root sheath, repeating the steps that occur during the embryonic development. This repetition implies that
the events of anagen are probably controlled by a number of the same signaling molecules that operate during development." p. 74
"As is true during follicle development in the embryo, during the anagen signals from the dermal papilla instruct the matrix cells to divide and
subsequently differentiate into hair cells. For this reason, scientists have become very interested in uncovering the nature of the signals issued
by the dermal papilla during development and cycling. They don't have the answer yet, but in the past few years Elaine Fuchs and her
colleagues at the University of Chicago have discovered that the dermal papilla's signals
probably convey their directives largely by activating still other signaling molecules -- members of the Wnt family of proteins. Wnt proteins have long
been recognized as key regulators of varied developmental processes in mammals and other organisms." p.
"Fuchs began her search for the molecules that dictate the conversion of
matrix cells to hair cells by trying to identify the molecules in the nucleus that switch on the hair keratin genes. In 1995 her group discovered
that a regulatory protein called lymphocyte enhancer factor 1 (LEF1) participated in activating the hair keratin genes. It was also present
during hair follicle formation in the embryo, where it appeared in the earliest clusters of ectoderm cells as well as in the cells destined to form
the dermal papilla." p. 75
"...without LEF1, mice fail to make a furry coat. And when Fuchs's team
engineered mice that produced excess LEF1 in the skin, the animals produced more hair follicles than normal." p. 75 (you've all read that online
article, I'm sure -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_221000/221359.stm -- Trey)
"LEF1 cannot activate genes on its own; rather it must first couple with a second protein, beta-catenin. The only mechanism known to trigger
this coupling was the activation of the signaling cascade that begins with the binding of a Wnt molecule to the cell surface.
Beta-catenin normally helps to form junctions with neighboring cells. In the absence of Wnt signaling,
an enzyme inside the cells marks any unused beta catenin for destruction. Wnts instruct cells to handcuff that enzyme. With the enzyme out of
commission, beta-catenin becomes free to accumulate and to pair with LEF1 or one of its relatives." p. 75
"Those experiments implied that Wnt is the mesoderm-issued signal that instructs the overlying ectoderm to begin forming an appendage and is
likewise the ectodermal signal that tells the underlying mesoderm to form the dermal papilla. What is more, much later in development, after
follicles have formed, Wnt appears to be the message that directs matrix cells above the dermal papilla to differentiate into hair cells." p. 76
"As adults, these rodents [mentioned earlier -- Trey] acquired an unusually lush coat by forming new follicles between the ones that were laid down
during the embryonic development... As the furry rodents aged, they acquired benign lumps that resembled a common human scalp tumor called
pilomatricoma. Fuchs's laboratory subsequently demonstrated that in humans these tumors
arise when a mutation in the beta-catenin gene prevents the protein's breakdown." p. 77
"Wnts are major regulators of follicle development and cycling but...simply delivering Wnts by constant application would not be feasible as a human
therapy, because of the tumor risk. The trick to correcting hair maladies, Fuchs contends, may be to deliver Wnts in a pattern that mimics nature
better or to manipulate other steps in the Wnt signaling cascade." p. 78
[If other tests go well...] "...human scalp skin can be transplanted onto mice incapable of rejecting it to determine whether human and mouse
follicles respond comparably to the agents. And if those results are good, investigators may attempt human trials of the most promising drug
candidates." p. 79
"'We don't have a product yet that's going to be 'wow!' for over 50 percent of people she [Marty Sawaya] notes. I do think dutasteride will be that
product if the company goes forward.'...GlaxoSmithKline may choose to pursue it first as a prostate drug, as happened with finasteride." p. 77 (MS)
"Scientists are on the prowl for new drugs all the time....Michael Detmar discovered earlier this year that abundant amounts of a growth factor that
increases the blood supply make mice grow hair faster and thicker. Now...the hunt is on for small molecules that will either mimic or activate
the factor." p. 77 (MS)
"A fundamental understanding of hair biology may someday let physicians replace a defective gene in hair follicles through gene therapy or grow
hairs in a petri dish for use in graft surgery. 'The complexity of the question is like understanding how a limb forms. It's ambitious. But we
are discovering a lot and discovering a lot quickly,' muses Kurt S. Stenn, chief scientific officer of Juvenir Biosciences, a company recently spun off
from Johnson & Johnson to focus predominantly on hair research. 'This is a wonderful time to be working in hair biology. So many breakthroughs
are coming.'" p. 77 (MS)
"No one can predict how soon dermatologists and pharmaceutical companies will be able to produce new therapies built on the discoveries
emerging from basic research into hair follicle development and cycling. But that
research is progressing remarkably fast. If the pace continues, Fuchs predicts, much of the information that is needed to understand the complex
controls on hair manufacture will probably be in hand within the next five years." p. 79
Fuchs is the fourth scientist that I'm aware of who has mentioned a five year time frame (Gho [HM], Christiano [gene therapy], and Daly [stem cell]
being the other three). Let's hope at least ONE of them is right. Also Kurt
Stenn, mentioned above, was the man in charge of that site that we found that's looking for the MPB
gene(s) http://www.thethinker.com/baldgene/. By the way, I thought this page was somewhere on
HairlossSucks. I looked for it and can't find it any more. BTW, I think that link
and any other link to these researchers should be on all of the hair loss sites -- the more volunteers the better.
An estimated 60 million Americans suffer through various stages of hair-loss. Many people turn to gels, lotions, pills and even surgery to correct the problem, but there may be a new help on the hair loss horizon.
Dermatologists have begun using a laser brush to restore hair growth to people losing their hair. The brush uses a low level cold beam to stimulate hair follicles and increase blood flow. Patient Michael Caplan turned to the laser brush after he noticed that more of his hair was in the bathroom sink instead of on his head. "I started losing my hair when was 40 and then Dr. Steinberg suggested that I try the comb," Caplan said. "What have I got to lose?"
Dr. Janee Steinburg began using the brush on her patients and said that it can be used to augment other methods. "I'm not fully endorsing this as a way to grow a whole new head of hair," Steinburg said. "I would find it difficult to believe that something would be almost too good to be true, but I think as an adjunct to other treatment modalities and perhaps even to just hold on to what you have, it may be a great way to go."
Lexington International, the company that makes the comb, said that people who use the comb for five minutes, twice a week should see results in three months or less. Company spokesman David Michaels said that similar low level lasers have been used in Europe for years.
"This type of laser has been used around the world for approximately 30 years especially in Europe, Japan and Australia; to date there has been no reported side effects," Michaels said. Dr. Alan Bauman said that he is unsure if the comb will work. "I am skeptical," Bauman said. "I'm a scientist and I just don't adopt things and insert them into my practice unless I feel confident that they're going to work."
The company claims that the The Food and Drug Administration
has approved the brush for cosmetic use.
(Not to be confused with approval for hair growth)
David Michaels of Lexington International tells us
that they are planning to work with the FDA
on conducting medical trials in the future.
The brush runs $645. It should be noted that this
is nearly $300 off its original price.
If you are interested in receiving
more information on the laser brush, please email us at info@HairlossSucks.com
|ETG Prevents Chemotherapy Induced Hair Loss
Current Technology Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: CRTCF) today announced that Dr. Tim Meakin has presented preliminary results in Auckland, New Zealand, from a single center pilot clinical trial to assess the efficacy of the ETG (Electrotrichogenesis) device in the prevention or reduction of hair loss in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
Dr. Meakin reported that thirteen women completed the study. Twelve of the thirteen had the same amount of hair or an increase in the amount of hair at the conclusion of their chemotherapy regimen when compared to baseline. All of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer, treated with CMF chemotherapy over approximately 24 weeks, and received concurrent ETG treatments.
CMF is a combination of the chemotherapy agents Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and Fluorouracil (5FU). This combination is a chemotherapy regime frequently prescribed in New Zealand, the United States and many other countries. Alopecia (hair loss) as a result of cancer chemotherapy is a major source of negative changes to self-concept and body image and one of the side effects to chemotherapy people fear most.
Therefore, in addition to assessing hair quantity, quality of life was assessed in this clinical study. All of the women reported that ETG treatments to prevent or reduce chemotherapy induced hair loss, assisted them maintain their sense of well being, and self-esteem.
A full report on the pilot clinical study has been submitted to the medical literature for publication.
Current Technology Corporation is the developer of ETG (Electrotrichogenesis), a patented electrotherapeutic device that provides a clinically proven medical treatment for hair loss, in suitable candidates both male and female. ETG treatments are presently available in several countries around the world.
Plans to Further Develop Hair Growth Stimulant
Bioenvision Forms Animal Healthcare Division to
Further Develop Dramatic Hair Recovery Treatment
Bioenvision Inc., (OTC BB:BIOV) today announced the formation of a separate wholly-owned division for the development and distribution of
Modrastane, a drug meant for treatment of Cushing's disease in
dogs and horses which also demonstrated an ability to induce hair
growth in dogs with "Alopecia X", a condition that
causes hair loss in dogs which has been compared to the Male
Pattern Baldness seen in humans.
The Company's efforts to date have focused on the treatment of human disease, mainly cancer, but ongoing studies in the veterinary field have shown efficacy in several animal disorders and Bioenvision wishes to take advantage of this lucrative market. The product has received a veterinary license in the UK and Bioenvision is hopeful of an early meeting with the FDA to seek an animal license to market and promote the drug in the USA.
The results of a trial of Modrastane in alopecia X were presented recently at the American Association of Veterinary Diseases in Norfolk, Virginia. Eleven dogs with alopecia X were given 10 mg/kg Modrastane once per day for three months. In 9 of the 11 dogs there was progressive hair regrowth and fading of the skin hyperpigmentation within two months of starting therapy. A further dog showed hair re-growth on continued treatment after the trial period.
Bioenvision President & CEO Chris Wood commented, "The finding that Modrastane also treats alopecia X is exciting and has convinced us to go into the veterinary market. The division hopes to commence sales in the fourth quarter of 2001 and compete in a market place with the animal health divisions of Pfizer (PFE), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), and Eli Lilly (LLY). Each of these companies has annual animal healthcare sales well in excess of $500 million."
Bioenvision is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company primarily engaged in the development of products and technologies for the treatment of cancer. It has acquired development, manufacturing and marketing rights to four platform technologies from which a range of products have been derived and from which it anticipates developing additional products in the future.