Monthly Archive for April 2006
April 28 2006, 4:02 pm PT | Posted in: Other
Try Hare Club for Men, where you can get a nice hare to show off to you friends. The Hare Club for Men package includes 10 Gummi Bunnies and a fun collectible sticker in the fancy box shown below. About 300 calories for the whole box and zero grams of fat, it works for the diet conscious person. Our society exploits the balding process as illustrated here in this cartoon. Some of my readers are too intense so this entry will better prepare you for the more serious entries below.
Oh yes, this candy is legit and although I can’t find any mention of it online, I do know from the box that it is a seasonal Easter candy made by a company called Galerie out of Kentucky. I thought people would get a kick out of it… Ha!
Click the photo to enlarge.
April 28 2006, 3:32 pm PT | Posted in: Diseases + Hair Transplantation
I just had a patient who, in our routine testing, had a lab test that was HIV positive (he was very surprised). He is over 50, recently married and his wife of three years was tested for HIV prior to her marriage, but he was not. He and she came into the office quite calm. They had just returned from getting the news from their family doctor who wanted to repeat the test considering the patient’s history would not support a high risk status. When he came in, we spoke calmly about it and we ran tests from our lab on both the patient and his wife. Within 2 days, the tests from my office came back negative, as did his family doctor’s repeat test. What a hell he must have gone through!
I have dealt with many men who were HIV positive and who wanted a hair transplant. They knew that they were positive to the test, were already under treatments, and had good control of the disease. I took them on as patients just as I would anybody else. I routinely screen for HIV, although I am not hard on this rule. I have had 5 patients with positive tests when these men did not suspect that they were positive to the virus. The shock of my interviews with these patients is memorable and I spent a great deal of time working with them, arranging a repeat test, being sure that the tests are not false positives and advising them as any good, concerned human being would do. This was the first time (1 out of 6) that the test came back negative on re-running the tests. Four of the six patients eventually had hair transplants with me including the patient who tested a false positive this week.
I remember one patient who had advanced HIV, not controlled by medications very well. He was healthy enough to have a hair transplant and did after I worked through this decision with his doctor. I remember him well for two reasons: (1) He felt that he was going to die and wanted to meet his maker looking good with a full head of hair, (2) I accidentally cut my hand with the scalpel that I used on him. Yes, accidents can happen, and this was certainly one that I’ll never forget. Over the next six months, I tested myself for HIV monthly and have done so yearly, every time being negative (that was 10 years ago). I learned that the risk to a person who cuts his hand with a surgical knife that was previously exposed to HIV blood is less than 1% in contracting the disease, but had it been a needle with a drop of blood in it, the story would have been different. In fact, most healthcare workers who got HIV from a hospital accident got it through a needle that originally contained blood. About a year after the incident, this patient’s mother came by my office to inform me that her son had passed away. She smiled as she told me, ” He was happy in the last days of his life, and when he looked in the mirror, he liked the new look he got from the transplant.” She went on to tell me that her son wanted to lie in an open casket at his funeral and he wanted to have his own natural hair at that time. He wanted his friends to remember him that way. I realize that this story may seem a little morbid to some readers, but I wanted to share this very humbling experience where I helped someone achieve one of their final goals in life, even it the goals were outside the goals I normally see.
April 28 2006, 2:32 pm PT | Posted in: Hair Transplantation + Post-Operative
It’s been just over 8 weeks since you performed my 3000+ grafts hair transplant. I’m noticing some of the little guys are still falling out. There are no scabs, only small hairs that continue to tumble to their death into my bathroom sink. Am I not being aggresive enough when I shampoo, or do each of these little guys tumble to the ground on their own schedule?
I noticed a few grafts growing immediately from day 1, and these guys are actually pretty long already! Others, though, fell out early and are now pushing their way toward the light. I imagine the ones still shedding will subsequently start their growth later, and that’s probably why the 8-month total wait, huh?
You are on schedule for your hairs to be doing what they are doing. It is not unusual to lose grafted hair as the old transplanted hairs shed. Sometimes the stubble of the transplanted hairs stay around for a few months, then they sooner or later fall out to their “death” (not really an appropriate statement, as they have been dead since a week after the transplant). The hairs from the transplant that did not grow immediately and fell out, do not reflect the hair growth center cells which are alive and getting prepared to start their anagen cycle. FYI, at the end of the cycle, a hair “bud” situated at the base of the “rest” root (phase 2) develops and will push out the hair in the involution to become a new hair as it ‘grows up’.
At this stage of your recovery, I would not worry much about aggressive shampooing, just do what you generally do and that should be fine. You must wait out the 8 month period to see 80-90% of your growth.
April 28 2006, 1:30 pm PT | Posted in: Drugs (Cause Hair Loss) + Female Hair Loss
Hello! I am a 24 year old female who is experiencing hair loss from isotretinoin, and was wondering what I can possibly do to help my hair stop falling out. I’ve been of the medication for a month now, and my hair started falling out about 2 months ago. I’ve now lost about half of my hair, and I’m really worried because it hasn’t slowed! My dermatoligist said there’s nothing that can be done except wait it out. I also know how freakish it’s going to look when it starts coming back in. I had long, blond, thick hair and now it’s so thin and starting to be noticeable. I tried Rogaine- used 4 bottles in 3 weeks and it didn’t seem to help. I just bought Nioxin shampoo/conditioner to try- I am desperate! Is there anything I can do- vitamins I can take, treatments, shampoo- that will help? Thank you so much!
Oh, I was on a very high dose, over 3 mg/kg of body weight; I figure that’s why I’m having this side effect.
Unfortunately, some people do experience temporary hair loss from isotretinoin. Taking a multi-vitamin may help. I agree with your dermatologist that there is not much that you can do right now and that you must wait it out. However, you might want to have blood work done to rule out other causes of hair loss for women like hypothyroidism, anemia, crash diet, contraceptive pills, and dermatitis.
April 28 2006, 12:36 pm PT | Posted in: Hair Loss Causes
I am 23 and for the past three years I have experienced an itchy scalp and hair loss. About a year ago I went to the doctor and he said to use anti-dandruff shampoo. However this has done nothing to cure the itchiness of the scalp, which seems to be associated with hairloss, with both becoming more intense over the last six months. It seems to be rapid thinning across the crown and top midline where prior it was a slow receeding hairline. My question is why the sudden change from a slow receeding hairline to rapid hairloss and why the itchiness that is associated with the hairloss, knowing that my scalp is not red or inflamed. Sometimes it feels like a crawling sensation across the scalp.Also, I am thinking of taking propecia to slow the hair loss. Is this wise? What should I know before starting?
Dry scalp tends to cause an itchy scalp. The more you scratch or think about your scalp, the more you will scratch your scalp. Excessive scratching can cause hair loss if it pulls the hair as you scratch (called trichotillomania). I am not certain if there is a true relationship between itchy scalp and hair loss. I believe taking Propecia would help with Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), but as I have said many times on this blog, you need to have a diagnosis first. Propecia could either regrow hair, stop the hair loss, or slow down the process of hair loss in someone with real male genetic hair loss.
April 28 2006, 11:32 am PT | Posted in: Hair Products
I am 22 and my hairline is slightly receding and Im really worried I will end up completely bald. As far as I know there is no history of baldness in my family and everyone in my family seems to have healthy heads of hair. I have been using rogaine for about 6 months and I had found tiny hairs growing back but have seen a product advertised called Nutrifolica - the web site says its great but I cannot seem to find many user reviews. Have you any idea if this product will actually work? Should I stop using rogaine? I have heard some bad things about rogaine and don’t want it backfiring on me! If I do use Nutrifolica instead of rogaine do you think these tiny hairs will fall out? I really want my hairline back to the way it used to be and want some help.
The claims for Nutrifolica state: “While DHT is the primary cause of hair loss several other factors contribute to hair loss such as: poor circulation of the scalp, clogged hair follicles, excessive sebaceous oil and nutrient deficient hair follicles. Nutrifolica is designed to counteract these hair loss causes with 100% pure herbal extracts that have no side effects.”
These claims have no ounce of credibility to them because poor circulation, clogged hair follicles, and excessive sebaceous oils do not cause hair loss. I sound like a broken record — if you are male and want to know what is wrong with you, get a doctor to diagnose it by mapping out your scalp for miniaturization and if you are female, have a doctor do the proper testing for medical diseases that cause hair loss.
We all want to go back to where our hairline used to be!
April 28 2006, 10:33 am PT | Posted in: Drugs
I had used propecia about three years ago but I stop using it because it caused gynomastia. At that time I expierence thick and full regrowth in three months with no shedding or scalp discomfort.
I decided to try it again recently and the gynomastia did not reoccur. now I have been expirencing some shedding and a slight scalp discomfort on my first week of use. Is shedding a good sign or would this be an indication that I am a poor candidate for propecia. I have also been expirencing an increase in body tempreture 24 hour a day. my face is flush or red since starting on propecia.
You should go back to the doctor who prescribed you Propecia and address these concerns. The shedding you are talking about is something that I have heard before and the thought is that you may be experiencing accelerated hair cycling, a precursor to increased growth which may be following in a few months. Hang in with the hair loss, because it should be temporary (see: cycling).
I have not heard of facial flushing or hyperthermia (increase in body temperature) with Propecia use. You may have an underlying medical condition that may be coincidental to Propecia use.
April 28 2006, 9:32 am PT | Posted in: Female Hair Loss
I just turned 25 and I have been dealing with hair loss for the past 7 years. I have been to many doctors for help, but it seems that no one has the answer. I have been tested 3 times for my thyroid and tested once for my female hormones, and everything came back fine. I have been using rogaine for about 1 year now but my hair is still falling out. I have had two children and during both pregancies the hair loss would completely stop, but within a few weeks after giving birth the hair loss would come back even worse then before. I have been told that my hair loss is do to child birth and it will go away in 6-12 months, well here it is years later and it still has not stopped. I don’t know that else to do or where else to go, can you please help me?
Thanks for you time.
Clearly the hormone changes with your pregnancy stops the hair loss. This is good. Your history indicates that after the pregnancy, you return to the hair loss problems you have always had. Not much to add and I would expect more of the same. What does your dermatologist say about your problem?
April 28 2006, 8:34 am PT | Posted in: Age + Drugs
I just turned 21 and I am losing my hair. I wasn’t born with a very good hair line and I would like to improve what I already have. Also I need to prevent it from falling out more. I tried using propecia but I couldn’t keep up taking all of the pills, I am really forgetful. Something like that would never work for me. I have a digital camera and would like to send pictures to see what your opinion is regarding my hair.
Sounds like: if you can’t remember to take the single pill each morning, the drug won’t be of a benefit to you. At 21, from what you are saying here, you might not have genetic balding. Maybe you are evolving with a mature male hairline, which is usually about 2/3 inch higher than your child hairline. You need a diagnosis as I have said many times here. You can also send photos to the address on the contact page. Please reference this post when you send the photos.
April 27 2006, 3:33 pm PT | Posted in: Hair Products
Why do hair loss products say “do not use if you have no family history of hair loss”? By using these products if you don’t have a history of hair loss cause one to start losing hair? Please answer this question instead of telling me to get a miniaturization done or to use Propecia.
I do not know the reason why they have the warning label you mention, nor do I even know what product you are referring to. If you are concerned, you can call or write the manufacturer and find out. Or perhaps you can try the product and test your hypothesis.
I often advise people who are concerned or worried about their hair loss to at least get a screening for miniaturization of their scalp hair, because you need to know WHAT you have BEFORE you treat it. Blindly buying hair growth products would be a waste of your money if you don’t know the cause of your hair loss or the degree of hair loss that is actually present. Likewise, blindly taking any of these products may leave you ‘not knowing’ if they are actually working. The same is true for taking Propecia or minoxidil when you do have androgenic hair loss because it could mean that you would also be throwing your money away if it does not work on you. This is why I recommend that miniaturization tests are done to grade the hair loss (if you have it) and then measure it (as it responds or does not respond to whatever you are treating it with) over the time that the treatment is being used. If it seems like I do make this recommendation too often on this blog site, well, that’s just what good medicine and good science is about and this is ‘my’ personal blog site and the way I like to run it. I try like hell to focus on objective things and I am not emotional about products that ‘claim’ but can not ‘prove’ value. This is why this site has become very successful in just a year.
For the record, the decision to take Propecia or any drug should be a decision made between the patient and his doctor. If I seem to advocate the efficacy of Propecia, it is due to the fact that it is the only FDA approved and well studied medication that has been shown to grow hair or slow down androgenic hair loss with any reasonable predictability. I am not a spokesperson for Propecia (nor do I have any financial interest in the success of Propecia). As a medical doctor, I base my medical opinion on safe and ethical medications and I require that all claims and issues of safety and effectiveness meet FDA approved guidelines.