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Wedding in Two Months and Still Balding!

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

wedding hair loss baldingA patient sent us an email regarding his hair loss condition. He has male patterned baldness and it is still progressing. He already met with a dermatologist and had several studies done prior to the email and was even using Chronostim for approximately 3 months. Now that he’s used up the bottles of Chronostim, he has noticed no change is his hair loss situation. He wants to have a full head of hair and does not want to take hair loss medication for the rest of his life. Before we forget, his wedding is in 2 months.

Chronostim has not been clinically proven to correct or prevent male patterned baldness or any other form of hair loss. It should not be considered a replacement option for medications that have been both proven effective and FDA approved safe for consumption like Propecia (finasteride) DHT blocker.

We highly suggest that all patients experiencing any form of hair loss to be seen by a good hair transplant surgeon and have a miniaturization study done. If the condition is in fact male patterned baldness or androgenetic alopecia, finasteride should be a part of your everyday hair loss treatment plan.

Hair restoration surgery can restore the areas damaged by hair loss by transplanting healthy permanent hair from the donor. In this situation, however, neither of the aforementioned will make enough of a visible difference for the day of your wedding. These procedures take time to show their fullest effect. There are cosmetic options available like Toppik that can cover the balding or thinning areas of your hair through the use of microfibers. If anything, you can use that product for the wedding day while you either consider a hair transplant surgery or at least try using Propecia (finasteride) so that you may see true results a few months after your wedding.

Biotin Hair Loss Supplement

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Hair loss supplement Biotin is vitamin H (B7) with the chemical formula C10H15N2O3S (you don’t have to memorize it!). It is a water-soluble B-vitamin complex. B-vitamins or Biotin is necessary for healthy cell growth, the metabolism of fats and amino acids, and the production of fatty acids. It plays a role in the acid cycle or the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. It’s often recommended for use in strengthening hair and nails. It can be found in many cosmetic and health products for hair and nails as well.

Now that we understand Biotin a little bit better, now we can say whether we recommend it or not. Since Biotin is only a vitamin supplement, consumption of this product by healthy individuals will not result in a decrease of hair loss. In fact, intestinal bacteria are produced to consume any excess vitamins in your intestinal tract. Lack of vitamins and minerals may cause hair loss in people with mal-absorption but normal individuals need not worry.

Which Finasteride Works Best for Hair Loss?

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Finasteride is the ingredient commonly found in Propecia, a medication used for the treatment of hair loss in men suffering from male pattern baldness. Finasteride is not only used for hair loss. Hair loss prevention is actually the residual side effect of finasteride. The original use of this drug is for prostate enlargement treatment.
Finasteride has been sold under different names and each for a specific cause. Names include Proscar, Propecia, Fincar, Finpecia, Finax, Finast, Finara, Finalo, Prosteride, Gefina, and Finasterid IVAX. Propecia is a 1mg tablet used for hair loss prevention and recommended for hair restoration use by many hair transplant surgeons. It is also the only FDA approved drug for the treatment of hair loss.
Proscar is the original 5mg version of finasteride normally associated with prostate enlargement treatment use. As a cost saving technique, many people purchase 5mg Proscar and cut the tablets into 1.25mg tablets. 1.25mg is a safe dosage but 1mg is more than enough for the treatment of hair loss.

Hair Shedding Caused by Propecia

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

We received a distressed email from a young patient who wrote saying he took Propecia after consulting with a doctor but it aggravated my situation and it catalyzed the hair fall instead. I was suggested that the hair fall will be temporary. I was scared so I discontinued the medicine.  He was also concerned if malnutrition may have also caused the patchy hair fall and the possible sexual side effects associated with Propecia medication.

When it comes down to hair loss, the first thing that needs to be verified is a family history of hair loss.  The reason for this is because most hair loss is genetically linked.  In this case, we can use this information to help prevent and reverse hair loss.

Vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss but generally if a person maintains a balanced diet they should be okay.  If vitamin deficiency is the issue, vitamin supplements can help correct that.

Finasteride (Propecia) has been clinically tested and proven effective for the treatment and prevention of hair loss and has been FDA approved.  You may experience some level of hair shedding during the first few weeks or months but hair growth should become evident within or after 6 months of treatment.  Sexual side effects have only been reported in only 1 out of 100 patients tested but the effects are usually temporary.  If Propecia medication impedes your libido too much, it is safe to either discontinue usage or reduce the prescription amount.

At this point, we highly suggest starting to establish a good relationship with a good hair transplant surgeon and consider getting a proper evaluation of your hair loss.  If male pattern baldness or typical male hair loss is the final diagnosis, we recommend starting a medication regimen and maybe even considering a hair transplant in the near future if need be.

Hair Loss Products

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

hair loss productWhat is the best hair loss product?  We are hearing many things about new hair loss products every day.  Many contain active ingredients that may help hair, some don’t have anything for hair loss treatment and some may be harmful for your hair.  Here is what one of my patients asked me and I answered in the blog about one of the hair loss product.

The patient has been experiencing male pattern baldness for some years now.  He used Rogaine, it worked at first but now no longer respond to it.  Propecia is tried too, but had to stop it for the side effects.  Patient is saving money to be able to get a good quality hair transplant and meanwhile is wondering whether or not hair loss products can help him keep his own hair.  In this case he is using Revivogen.

I generally research about all incoming questions by reviewing the websites for the hair product.  For similar patients, I really like to know what kinds of side effects you experienced with finasteride (Propecia), because finasteride is an effective hair loss medication, although it has been blamed unfairly for many side effects. I put most my Los Angeles and Orange County Hair Restoration Clinics patients on finasteride when they have significant miniaturization. Finasteride can help prevent further hair loss. Some of your hair loss might be irreversible by medication and you may need hair restoration surgery, but at least you can stop further hair loss by the time that you can restore your hair surgically. Revivogen is a hair loss product with some natural compounds that mainly inhibit 5-Alpha-Reductase. 5-Alpha-Reductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydroxytestostrone (DHT). Prevention of DHT production can slow down hair loss in male pattern baldness.

Saw Palmetto Extract is a good component of this hair loss product, which is a DHT blocker and is used systemically for prevention of both hair loss and prostate enlargement. The efficacy of its topical product is not studied as extensively in large human experiments. Other components include a variety of fatty acids like: Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA), Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA), Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid without strong human research on their absorption from skin level as well as their efficacy on human hair growth. Other components such as Azaleic acid, Vitamin B, Zinc, Beta-Sitosterol and Procyanidin Oligomers have shown some effects on the DHT production in labs, but the extensive studies to compare their effect with more researched medical treatments for hair loss is lacking.

One problem is the absorption of the active ingredients, which is not studied extensively. I personally have not heard anything about any serious side effects of Revivogen, but I would rather have more information about long term studies, which are published in peer reviewed medical journals, before I can recommend the product to my patients. There are many hair loss products out there, which are safe, but you do not have a life time to go around and try them all to find out whether they have any effect on your hair or not.

A good hair specialist that you can trust can help you tremendously. Patient believe that since they are not spending much money on hair loss product and hair loss products are more affordable than hair transplant, but they don’t realize that most time they may not get any result from some hair loss products. Your hair loss doctor should be able to document the level of your current hair loss and miniaturization of hair and can come up with a master plan, which includes medication treatment, surgery and even cosmetic alterations that can make your hair look better. Side effects of the medications that you tried before need to be re-evaluated closely by your doctor.

You want to make sure that the side effects of finasteride are for real and don’t take away this powerful, FDA approved hair loss treatment. If you have no alternatives, your doctor may have some suggestions for your individual condition to preserve whatever hair you have with a hair loss product with minimal side effects.