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Sep 01 2014

Do you know what causes hair loss?

The falling out of scalp hair causes alarm for people that experience balding. Many of these people immediately set out to choose an anti-hair loss treatment without stopping to check why the hair falls out. This aspect is of great importance to combat the problem of alopecia in an adequate manner. Therefore, we will be going over what causes hair loss.

There are countless causes of hair loss, regardless of whether the hair loss is mild or severe. Moreover, it should also be taken into account if hair loss is experienced in men or women, considering that the cause is completely different for each person and that it responds to the lifestyle that each person leads.

Diet low in nutrients

We often forget that nourishment is responsible for our organism to function well. The majority of the pathologies experienced in the human body is a result of incorrect nutrition.

In the case of hair loss, a diet rich in nutrients, particularly in proteins, is recommended, given that proteins provide the hair follicles with the necessary nutrients to function correctly.

What causes hair loss.

Excessive use of cosmetics

The use of different treatments for scalp hair, mainly those with chemical products, combined with the excessive use of hair dryers and hair straighteners, can lead to excessive loss of hair, especially in women. Therefore, it is recommended to check the type of products to apply on scalp hair as well as the methods of hair straightening.

Use of medication

In some cases, the falling out of hair is not related to an internal factor of the organism, but more to a collateral effect produced by the consumption of a medical treatment. An example of this is the application of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and some pills of extreme chemical composition.

Genetic inheritance

Genetic inheritance is another factor that leads to hair loss, especially in men. Here we see androgenetic or androgenic alopecia, which is the most common type of baldness among men. Its effect is practically irreparable if it is not controlled on time.

The presence of dihydrotestosterone

Dihydrotestosterone is the substance responsible for androgenic alopecia. Its production is stimulated by the 5-α reductase enzyme, which converts the testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a substance that reaches the hair follicles and considerably diminishes their activity.

When the dihydrotestosterone reaches the scalp, it diminishes the blood supply and scalp hair becomes weaker. In some cases, the production of this substance can be controlled via the consumption of some drugs.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that it is considered normal to lose around one hundred strands of scalp hair per day. Generally, alopecia is diagnosed when the quantity of hair strands lost per day is excessive and the new scalp hair is seen to be weaker.

However, the thin hair type that some people have should not be confused with balding problems, given that if scalp hair production is normal, there is no risk of hair loss.

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Hair Grows Stronger if it is Cut Often

Hair Grows Stronger if it is Cut Often

It is thought that if hair is cut often it grows stronger, hair will grow the same thickness whether long or short.

Aug 30 2014

10 myths that you didn’t know about hair

The so-called popular wisdom offers plenty of useful knowledge for our everyday life. However, it has also led to the circulation of information, which has come to turn into myths. So, various wrong ideas related to hair have spread, which is why we list 10 probably unknown myths about hair.

Given the great wave of rumours and home remedies to care for our hair, it is recommended to go to a specialist in order to clarify any type of doubts and to get to know which procedures really cause damage in scalp hair. Below, we will mention 10 myths about hair, which have been denied or demonstrated in a scientific manner.

About Hair

It is good to brush the hair a hundred times before going to sleep

Generally, it is recommended to brush the hair a hundred times every day before going to bed in order to stimulate the blood supply, maintain the lustre and manage the levels of grease. This is wrong, considering that this practice only leads to hair loss, the reddening of the scalp and the appearance of skin rashes.

The hair is damaged if it is brushed when wet

Although the idea is a bit radical, it has been demonstrated that hair fibres are more fragile when the hair is wet, which is why it is not advisable to brush the hair when it is wet, considering that you run the risk of losing more quantity of hair. If the person wishes to do so, it is recommended to use thick combs with separated teeth.

Natural highlights with beer and sun exposure

It has been mentioned that it is possible to obtain natural highlights if beer is applied to the hair and the hair is exposed to the sun for a certain period of time. It is true that barley produces this effect in the hair. However, exposure to sun is not recommended to have healthy hair.

Combating greasy hair by washing it everyday

It is widely recommended to wash the hair every day to get rid of the grease. This is counter-productive as constant stimulation of scalp produces more grease instead of getting rid of it.

It is beneficial to shave the hair

The idea that cutting the hair completely allows for the growth of stronger hair with more density and thickness has spread among people. However, what happens is that the hair structure is thicker on the roots and finer towards the end, which is why we feel as though we had thicker hair when the hair is growing.

When one grey hair is pulled, two will grow in its place

This is completely wrong. It takes three to five months for hair to grow, regardless of whether it is pigmented or not. What happens is that when one grey hair is pulled, in the time lapse of hair growth, new strands without pigmentation appear and it appears that the amount of grey hair has increased.

Leaving the conditioner for longer time on the hair

When you use the conditioner on the hair for a longer time, the hair can absorb the nutrients in a more complete manner and have the desired appearance. This is clear, as long as the conditioner has the corresponding components.

Hair products can lead to baldness

It is thought that the excessive use of hair products can lead to baldness. This is not entirely true, given that there are various causes of alopecia. What the misuse of hair products can actually cause is the weakening of the hair and allergic reactions on the scalp.

Hair dryers damage the hair

This is true. Indiscriminate use of hair dryers ends up destroying the cuticles that protect the strands of hair, which loses its natural hydration due to exposure to heat. However, this does not mean that you cannot use the hair dryer from time to time.

It is not recommended to sleep with wet hair

The ideal thing to do is dry the hair naturally before going to sleep, given that the more time the hair stays wet, the more are the protective cuticles destroyed and the more the scalp gets irritated.

Do you have any questions about hair loss? Contact Us Today to get help from our hair specialists.

Aug 27 2014

Brief overview of trichology or the study of scalp hair

When a person goes to a specialist upon observing symptoms of hair loss, it is possible that the specialist asks for a lab study in order to achieve a precise and definitive diagnosis or to monitor the evolution of the disease. This study is called “trichogram” and belongs to the branch “trichology,” which is a part of dermatology dedicated to the study of scalp hair. Learn what the cause is.

Science has created areas of research for each aspect of human life. Therefore, we see dermatology, which studies the skin and its layers, but a more specific part of dermatology, trichology, studies all that is related to hair and scalp.

What is trichology?

As we mentioned before, trichology is a part of dermatology in charge of researching, analysing and studying the inherent aspects of the scalp and scalp hair in terms of the main characteristics of the hair, such as the colour, density, quantity and the structure in order to achieve a precise diagnosis regarding its state.

In this regard, this small scientific branch not only seeks to offer solutions to hair problems, it also aims to prevent these problems. For this reason, it uses diverse techniques and tests, such as dermatoscopy, the trichogram and the phototrichogram. The person in charge of carrying out these procedures is called a trichologist.

Trichology

Trichogram

Trichogram is a medical inquiry technique directed towards obtaining information regarding the state of scalp hair in the different phases of its evolution. Therefore, the trichogram would be of great use to learn what the real state of our scalp hair is before learning what kind of hair treatment to use.

Its main advantage lies in providing precise data regarding scalp hair, which allows us to pick a medical procedure based on the characteristics and the needs of the patient’s hair. The study requires the collection of a hair sample in two parts: the root and the hair shaft.

These samples are observed and analysed with a microscope in order to determine the state of scalp hair and thus to know why the hair falls out. There are five forms or states in which the scalp hair can be: anagen, telogen, catagen, dysplastic and dystrophic.

The results of this study provide information regarding the anagen-telogen percentages, as well as the form, colour and outline of the roots, along with the diameter and the degree of angulation of the hair shaft.

The trichogram can be used on people of any age and it allows us to investigate problems with the scalp hair and scalp which present alopecia in any of its modalities. On the other hand, this exam is very helpful for the diagnosis of other hair diseases like follicular dysplasia -whether the nutritional or the genetic type-, the decline or increase in keratin levels, demodicosis, endocrine alopecia, colour dilution alopecia, as well as pigmentary disorders of hair growth.

Given the importance of this study, it is essential that it is conducted by a professional, considering that, as with any scientific procedure, a wrong result could put the patient in danger.

Scalp hair and its phases

In order to know how scalp hair works and evolves, it is necessary to remember that scalp hair completes a vital cycle, which is divided into three phases: the anagen, the catagen and the telogen.

Our head is formed by at least a hundred thousand hair follicles, which, in turn, have one to four strands of scalp hair. These follicles go through some twenty hair cycles, with the three phases mentioned before.

The anagen phase has a duration that varies between two to eight years and covers the formation process of scalp hair. After this, the follicles enter into a state of rest; this period is the catagen phase, which extends between four to six weeks, when the scalp hair starts to detach from the scalp, which is known as the telogen phase. Once two or three months have gone by, the cycle starts again.

A person with normal hair activity has 85% of their hair in the anagen phase, between 1% and 2% of the hair in the catagen phase, and a 13% of the hair in the telogen phase. Therefore, it is normal to lose between fifty to a hundred hair follicles per day. When people reach old age, the cycles become shorter, particularly on the upper part of the head, and the hair shafts lose their length, strength and density.

In androgenic alopecia, the activity period of the anagen phase shrinks excessively and important variations can be observed in the length and diameter of the hair shafts; a fundamental difference compared to the other types of alopecia.

Are You Suffering or experiencing from some form of hair loss? Contact Us Today to get help from our hair specialists.

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Do Hair Products Lead to Baldness?

Hair Products Lead to Baldness

Although the origin of this myth is unknown, it is reasonable to think that somebody who over uses chemical substances on their hair, could indeed damage their hair, and therefore could lead to their hair falling out.

Aug 22 2014

Everything you ever wanted to know about female balding

When it was believed that alopecia was only a problem that affected men, this pathology started to appear in women, each time in a more severe form. The statistics signal that an important percentage of women suffer from this disease between ages twenty and thirty, and another group suffers from it in their forties or fifties. For this reason, we will go over the basic aspects of female balding, which is known as female alopecia.

Probably the female public reacts immediately once they observe irregular quantities of hair loss. However, this reaction, which leads to the search for a rapid solution, does not prove to be efficient enough because the patient does not stop to observe the characteristics of their alopecia and selects an inadequate treatment.

The first thing that many women forget when they notice hair loss beyond the normal limits is that the cause of the loss can be highly varied and that hair loss does not necessarily need to be related to the pathology of alopecia.

Therefore, the main recommendation would be not to take the first treatment that one comes across on the way, but to go to a specialist – in this case a dermatologist – who examines the conditions in which the hair falls out and determines what type of alopecia the person is suffering from.

Once the woman has been diagnosed with alopecia, we will go over how this pathology appears in its different modalities, among which we see androgenic or androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.

Androgenic alopecia in women

Androgenic alopecia appears in women due to the same causes as those observed in men. For instance, genetic predisposition, reaching old age and the constant changes at the hormonal level, especially in the androgens, condition hair loss in a direct manner. However, at the aesthetic level, there is a notable difference in the form in which androgenic alopecia develops in men and women.

While in men, the scalp hair disappears in the crown area, in women it presents itself with the weakening of hair strands, but hair does not come to disappear completely on the parietal region, or at least not in a way as drastic as what is observed in men.

It could be that hair loss is not observed, but the weakness in the frontal line of the head is indeed observed. This sign begins to appear during menopause due to the decrease in oestrogen levels.

The treatment for androgenic alopecia in women is varied. However, it is recommended to go to a dermatologist, who will determine which one is the best alternative to combat this pathology. Generally, drugs such as minoxidil are recommended, as well as the consumption of androgens administered orally, or antiandrogens like cyproterone acetate combined with ethynil estradiol.

In any case, it is advisable to avoid common treatments like hair tonics as these can aggravate the problem. Although it does not hurt to care for the hair against the threat of alopecia, you should know that hair loss is inevitable, which is why you should not evade nor delay the search for a treatment.

Female Balding

Alopecia areata

This type of alopecia does not have an origin properly defined by researchers. Its main symptom is the loss of hair in patches. This kind of alopecia is classified within alopecia totalis (AT), when all the scalp hair on the head is lost, and alopecia universalis (AU), when the loss occurs in all the body.

Alopecia areata does not have a specific treatment, but some therapies like topical corticosteroids, ultraviolet light and steroid injections to stimulate the hair follicles and the formation of scalp hair.

Telogen effluvium

It is also known as telogen effluvium and was mentioned for the first time in 1961 by Kligman. It is a modality of temporary alopecia, which occurs following exposure to a serious disease, stressful situations, febrile seizures and childbirth. It is a natural response of the body, which is why it disappears without there being need for a therapeutic treatment. In some cases, it can last up to six months.

Use of medication or drugs

Alopecia in women can also occur due to the consumption of medication or drugs. For example, excessive doses of anticoagulants, antithyroid drugs, mercury, valproic acid and vitamin A can cause alopecia. However, this kind of alopecia disappears once the person stops using the chemical substance.

Are You Suffering from some form of female hair loss? Contact Us Today to get help from our hair specialists.

Aug 18 2014

Everything you ever wanted to know about hair shedding

It is common for people starting out on a treatment for alopecia in the hope of finding a satisfactory solution to balding, to experience a very concerning reaction early on in the process. Specifically, they suffer from hair loss in the first stage of their chosen anti-baldness treatment. This phenomenon is called hair shedding. Let’s take a look at what this involves.

Misinformation, pessimism and lack of perseverance are three key factors that can influence the results a patient sees in an anti-baldness treatment. This lack of information means that the majority of patients are completely unaware of one of the most scary reactions that can occur during the early stages of an anti-baldness treatment: shedding, a condition that accelerates hair loss due to a bodily reaction to a particular anti-baldness technique.

What is hair shedding?

Shedding is a reaction in the capillary activity of the scalp in response to the application of a hair loss treatment, characterised by an increased rate of hair loss. Specialists explain that this is normal and there is currently no way of avoiding the process, which is seen during the first three months of the treatment.

What to do if the hair loss continues for more than three months?

Three months is really just a standard period that can last for a longer or shorter time depending on the characteristics of the patient, and the treatment they have chosen. In some cases, patients experience shedding for more than three months, something that causes them to feel somewhat alarmed and insecure.

However, they forget that this stage is caused by the body’s initial rejection of the treatment, which can be caused by exposure to stressful situations, irregular administration of pharmaceutical drugs, a bad reaction by the scalp for genetic reasons, and so on.

Whatever the case, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist specialised in capillary treatments in order to supervise the management and application of the chosen treatment. This way, the doctor can advise on what is the best way to proceed, and resolve any irregular situation that occurs.

Hair Shedding

Hair follicles during hair shedding

Patients often ask about the condition of the hair follicles while the shedding effect is active. During this time, the hair follicles are not destroyed as most patients believe, but instead enter into a rest phase. So it is important to remember that during shedding, the follicles move from a growth phase to a rest phase.

This means the follicles are not destroyed, but simply become temporarily inactive. Consequently, when they return to the growth phase, the scalp is noticeably stronger and the effects of the treatment become evident. Indeed, the medicine is administered specifically to help the follicles take advantage of this rest stage, so they can receive the all the stimuli necessary to produce new and better quality hair.

Why does hair shedding happen?

Shedding happens because, at the start of a treatment, the follicles that are in the growth phase move to the rest phase, and consequently the hair starts to detach itself from the scalp. Afterwards, a process occurs whereby the administered nutrients become absorbed and reactivate the cycle, so hair is produced once more.

Patience and perseverance

The key to getting through the shedding stage successfully is to have patience and to apply the treatment regularly. Many patients completely lose faith when they first see the hair loss and forget that, as explained above, it is a completely natural process.

While those who — despite not being happy with this negative reaction — continue their treatment in a disciplined way, end up with some fantastic results, and are left with a strong scalp and an effective solution for alopecia.

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Is Baldness is Maternally Inherited?

Baldness is Maternally Inherited

Scientists from around the world have always thought that specific changes in the genetic ‘construction manual’ of the androgen receptor may result in premature balding from your mother. However it is known that baldness can indeed be inherited from either parent.

Aug 14 2014

What is the relationship between hair and keratin?

Many natural products are used in the creation of hair treatments. Moreover, while some are certainly more effective than others, it is useful to understand in what ways they can help to obtain healthier hair. Here, we are going to look at the relationship between hair and keratin and the benefits that using keratin can have on our hair.

Keratin, a protein that is mainly composed of sulphur, is present in nature and in the human body. In human beings, it can be found in the nails, the hair and the skin. While in animals, it is found in the horns, the feathers and the hoofs. In fact, its name is comes from the Greek keros, which means horns.

Types of keratin

There are two types of keratin in the human body: soft keratin, present in the skin; and hard keratin, found in the nails and hair. The first is known scientifically as keratin beta, and the second as keratin alpha.

Keratin alpha contains cysteine ​​in its amino acids, which in turn create disulphide bridges. This is a key component in strengthening nails and human hair, just as in the horns of animals.

Meanwhile, keratin beta contains no cysteine in its amino acids and so does not have disulphide bridges. This makes it a much more complicated component to obtain and retain in the body.

What is the relationship between hair and keratin?

Composition

Sulphur is one of the principle minerals that form this protein. It is estimated that it makes up between 2% and 4% of soft keratin, while in the hard keratins, it may constitute between 15% and 18%.

However, this is not the only material found in keratin. There is also a significant amount of hydrogen in the form of a helix, which contributes to increasing the resistance and hardness of the sulphur.

The hydrogen layers are structured into a helix and are combined with other layers to form micro fibrils, which then bind to larger molecules called fibrils. These are responsible for the hair’s development, along with its growth and resistance.

The fibrils are synthesized in the hair follicles and form the hair’s growth network. As mentioned earlier, hair possesses keratin alpha, which can be transformed to keratin beta through the application of heat and humidity. When this happens, the hair can extend its length as a result of the elasticity of the keratins and the hydrogen bonds in the helices breaking away to form a new structure, meaning that it maintains the same characteristics.

Structure

To get an idea about how keratin looks graphically, you must imagine a series of networked strands that come together to form a thread, which itself joins with others until it forms a large string. To keep the protein’s amino acids attached, a portion of the hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic forces are needed.

The role keratin plays in the hair is to protect each of the strands; to do so it takes the form of scales. This protection keeps the hair strong and resistant, while also regulating the shine and the intensity of colour.

Some 95% of our hair is made up of this protein, which disappears over time. That is why hair looks less strong , and balding appears, in later life.

Properties and care

Keratin makes the hair impermeable, thanks to its protective layer formed by Keratinocytes. Equally, it is responsible for the hair’s elasticity. This is why people who have keratin hair treatments often end up with longer hair. However, if you try to lengthen the hair too much, the keratin will not be able to resist and will eventually break off.

With regard to caring for this protein, there are a number of external factors that will inevitably have an adverse effect, such as exposure to the sun or excessive humidity. However, the use of certain chemicals, hair dryers, irons and other hair care items can further damage the protective layer of keratin.

To recover the keratin levels in your hair, it is recommended you use specialist products that contain the protein, more than anything to give extra shine, strength and flexibility to the hair, as well as to prevent alopecia.

Are You Suffering from a form of hair loss? Contact Us Today to get help from our hair specialists.

Aug 09 2014

Discover the advantages and disadvantages of the FUT and FUE techniques

Among the many techniques used to combat alopecia, hair transplantation has become one of the most effective, according to both the patients and specialists who have experience of it. There are two techniques for preforming this treatment: the FUE technique and the FUT technique. Many people have a tough time deciding which of these procedures to use to treat their baldness, so we will go over the advantages and disadvantages of each of them in turn, in order to select the method that best suits the needs of the patient.

The FUT and FUE techniques both offer a solution to the problem of baldness by means of a hair transplant. However, each have their own particular characteristics that can benefit or harm the patient depending on the type of alopecia they suffer from.

The FUT Technique

This is the main method of performing hair transplants, due to it being the first technique developed by dermatologists for grafting hair to the scalp. The name is short for Follicular Unit Transplant, but it is also known as FUSS (Follicular Unit Strip Surgery).

The technique involves extracting a strip of follicular units from the donor site of the scalp, located close to the nape, and then grafting them in those areas affected by alopecia, known as the receptor sites. The process leaves a lineal scar that will not be more than two millimetres wide.

Discover the advantages and disadvantages of the FUT and FUE techniques

Advantages

It is the most economical method. Due to this process being, to a certain extent, more straightforward than the FUE technique, the cost of is far more economical in comparison. In fact a FUE treatment can end up costing up to 50% more than a FUT treatment.

Less time in surgery. Although the length of a session depends on the type of alopecia, the FUT technique is much faster, since the specialist must make the cuts in strips rather than individually extracting each follicular unit.

Longer lasting grafts. Since extracting grafts in the FUT technique involves removing tissue from the scalp, its adhesion to the skin in the receptor site is both more reliable and more durable; whereas the amount of capillary tissue removed is lower with the FUE technique.

Disadvantages

Scars. If the patient has a poor scarring process, the FUT technique will probably also leave marks on the scalp. The scar left by this technique is lineal and corresponds to the suture the surgeon makes once he has extracted the strip of follicular units.

A longer recovery period. Postoperative care is more extensive than with the FUE technique. For example, it is recommended to remove the stitches ten days after surgery, not to exercise for three months after the process, a course of painkillers and antibiotics will be administered, and in some cases, patients have said they struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position.

The FUE Technique

This is the most recent hair transplant technique, and has been received very well by both patients and specialists. The name stands for Follicular Unit Extraction.

It consists of extracting follicular units directly from the scalp with a special piece of equipment called a micropunch, in such a way that no cuts or sutures are required. After extracting the follicles, they are grafted to the receptor site.

Discover the advantages and disadvantages of the FUT and FUE techniques

Advantages

Scar free. This is the main advantage of the FUT technique. The way in which the follicular units are extracted means that only tiny marks are left, which can only be seen with a microscope.

A short recovery period. As the extraction does not require a large surgical procedure, the recovery process is very short and comfortable for the patient.

Full control over the units to be extracted. With this technique, the patient can determine the exact number of follicular units they wish to implant in the balding areas. This way they can have greater control over the cost, and avoid any unnecessary loss of hair.

The possibility of having various sessions. Thanks to the extraction and grafting procedures being very simple, it is possible to take various sessions until the alopecia is under full control.

Disadvantages

More expensive. Wile the specialists have tried to reduce the costs of this process, it remains more costly than the FUT technique as, while the surgery is less serious, it is a far more painstaking and meticulous process.

A longer operating period. The sessions can last many hours because the extraction of the follicular units is preformed individually.

Grafts last less time. The follicular units may last less time, as they are extracted with little capillary tissue so the adhesion to the scalp is temporary.

Although these two techniques both give good results, the patient should analyse certain aspects such as the number of follicular units they will need, the type of haircut they wear (it is not convenient to have scars if the patient wears his hair short), the time the patient can spend in surgery, and the amount of money they are willing to invest.

Are You Suffering from any of these types of hair loss? Contact Us Today to get help from our hair specialists.

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