Keratin is a naturally occurring protein that helps keep your hair, skin and nails healthy and strong. Your body produces keratin naturally, but there are a whole host of keratin shampoos and conditioners available that claim to strengthen hair and improve its appearance.

Now, new research from Japan has revealed that keratin microsphere gel could be an effective new treatment for hair loss. In a study conducted on mice, this novel gel has demonstrated promising results, like those of established treatments like Minoxidil.

Here we’ll explore the study’s findings, what keratin microsphere gel is, and the current hair loss treatments available.

Keratin produces similar effect to Minoxidil in study

The recent study carried out in Japan was conducted on seven-week-old male mice. After removing a section of hair on their back with depilatory cream, researchers applied various substances, including Minoxidil, keratin, and keratin microsphere gel, to the skin.

They monitored the mice over a 20-day period, taking photos to provide a clear view of the hair regrowth process. They discovered that keratin microsphere gel performed better than other solutions, with hair regrowth accelerated.

When analysing the results, they discovered that keratin microsphere gel significantly upregulated genes crucial for hair follicle development and skin regulation. The treatment also activated genes related to stem cells, which helped promote the growth of new hair and the development of hair follicles. At the same time, it reduced inflammation by lowering the levels of certain inflammation-causing substances in the body.

The researchers then extended their study to human hair follicle cells. The microspheres went through the outer layer of the skin to the deeper layers, activating important cells that help grow hair follicles.

What is keratin microsphere gel?

Unlike hair products that are ‘infused’ with keratin, microspheres have the ability to deliver therapeutics directly into the skin via the hair follicle.Keratin microspheres swell into gels upon contact with water. Their ability to work well with the body’s natural processes, alongside the promising results shown in the study, make them a potentially viable hair loss treatment.

What are the current hair loss treatment options available?

Minoxidil, a topical treatment, has been a go-to solution for many suffering with hair loss. It is applied directly to the scalp and is mostly used as a temporary solution. It is one of the few treatments to be FDA approved.

As well as Minoxidil, other options include finasteride, a pill targeting hormonal causes of hair loss, to more invasive procedures like hair transplant surgery. The introduction of keratin microsphere gel into the market could potentially revolutionise the treatment of hair loss, offering a new, non-invasive option driven by the natural power of keratin.

To determine which hair loss treatment is right for you, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist specialising in hair loss.

Imagine if a pill for hair loss could also reduce your risk of heart disease. Well, apparently it can according to recent research carried out by scientists in the United States.

They’ve found that Finasteride, a go-to drug for battling male hair loss, can also protect the heart. Here we explore the results of the recent study and what it means for you.

Understanding the latest study

Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Maryland discovered that Finasteride can significantly lower cholesterol.

The study included analysing data of 155 men aged over 50, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, spanning from 2009 to 2016. Results showed that the men taking Finasteride were walking around with cholesterol levels around 30 points lower than those who weren’t taking the drug.

This discovery flips the script on what we thought we knew about Finasteride. It’s not just a cosmetic fix for hair loss – it could also be beneficial for heart health.

What is Finasteride?

Known mostly for its role in fighting hair loss and benign prostate enlargement, Finasteride is an oral drug available through prescription. It tackles baldness by blocking the hormone that causes the hair to shed. The tablets are usually taken once a day, and it’s typically only prescribed to men over the age of 18.

Although this latest study suggests it might have potential heart health benefits, patients must be aware that there are certain side effects to be aware of. Although uncommon, they can include:

  • Loss of libido
  • Depression or lowering of mood
  • Anxiety
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculation disorders

How effective is Finasteride for hair loss?

Finasteride is highly effective at combatting hair loss and is one of the few FDA approved treatments. Many men have seen an improvement after taking the drug, with some even experiencing regrowth on their receding hairlines and thinning crowns.

There are many different types of hair loss, each with its own preferred treatment. To discover which type of treatment is best for you, schedule an appointment with a hair loss specialist today. After an initial assessment, a dermatologist can advise you on the appropriate treatment options both in terms of potential benefits and possible side effects.

The National Institute for Health, and Care Excellence (NICE) has given the green light to Ritlecitinib, making it the first medication approved to tackle severe alopecia areata.

This approval paves the way for its availability on the NHS in England, with Scotland also on the verge of deciding whether to offer it to patients. But what exactly is Ritlecitinib, and does it hold the potential to be a cure for alopecia areata?

Here we’ll explore what the drug is, how it helps combat hair loss, and whether it could be the cure patients have been waiting for.

What is Ritlecitinib and how does it help with hair loss?

Ritlecitinib isn’t your ordinary hair loss treatment. It’s a targeted therapy designed to address the root cause of alopecia areata. It works by selectively inhibiting certain enzymes involved in the immune response, reducing inflammation, and allowing hair follicles to recover and produce hair again.

Instead of merely managing symptoms or slowing progression, Ritlecitinib aims to halt the autoimmune attack on hair follicles completely. Early trials have shown promising results, with many participants experiencing significant hair regrowth.

What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is more than just hair loss; it’s a complex autoimmune condition that can affect anyone at any age. It leads to patchy hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes other parts of the body, significantly affecting self-esteem and quality of life.

The condition is notoriously difficult to predict and manage, with hair loss and regrowth occurring in cycles that can be emotionally taxing for those affected. There is no cure for the condition, with current treatments focused on managing the symptoms, rather than the underlying cause.

Is Ritlecitinib a cure for Alopecia Areata?

Could Ritlecitinib be a cure for alopecia areata? While the drug represents a monumental step forward in treating severe alopecia areata, calling it a cure might be premature.

Ritlecitinib offers a significant breakthrough in managing the condition, with the potential to restore hair growth in severe cases. However, like many treatments for autoimmune diseases, it may require ongoing use to maintain results and manage the condition effectively.

The true impact of Ritlecitinib will become clearer as it becomes more widely available and used in the broader population. Its approval is a milestone in the journey towards finding a cure for alopecia areata, providing a new tool in the arsenal against this challenging condition.

For those living with severe alopecia areata, the approval of Ritlecitinib could be life changing. However, it may not work for everyone.

If you’re wondering whether this treatment could be right for you, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist that specialises in hair loss conditions. After an initial assessment, they will guide you through the best treatment options to fit your individual needs.

Ozempic, a medication initially approved for managing diabetes, has recently come under scrutiny by the FDA due to reported side effects, including hair loss.

The drug, which is commonly used as a weight loss solution, particularly among celebrities, is now being investigated for its potential adverse effects.

Here we’ll explore the risks associated with Ozempic, including its controversial link to hair loss.

Understanding the Dangers of Taking Ozempic

Originally designed to treat Diabetes, Ozempic is also known to be effective at treating obesity. The fact it is so effective at shedding excess pounds has helped the drug garner widespread attention. However, like any medication it does have a range of side effects.

Patients have reported severe digestive complications, such as bowel obstructions and pancreatitis. There’s also a worrying trend of increased suicidal thoughts among users, in addition to the distressing occurrence of hair loss.

For this reason, the FDA is now investigating the dangers of taking Ozempic and other similar drugs. It’s crucial for patients to be aware of the potential risks before they consider using it as a go-to weight loss solution.

Misuse of Ozempic Could Trigger Permanent Hair Loss

Hair loss is increasingly becoming a significant side effect reported by users of Ozempic. While it primarily manifests as telogen effluvium – a temporary form of hair loss, in some cases it is triggering androgenetic alopecia.

This is a more chronic type of hair loss that causes a specific pattern of hair loss. The condition can be particularly upsetting, impacting not just your physical appearance, but also emotional well-being.

While it is rare for Ozempic to cause permanent hair loss, temporary hair loss is a common side effect.

How Rapid Weight Loss Triggers Hair Loss

The hair loss linked to Ozempic may not be a direct effect of the drug itself, but a result of the rapid weight loss it induces.

Rapid weight loss can shock the body, triggering more hair than usual to enter the resting phase. Eventually, the hair will move to the shedding phase, causing noticeable thinning and patches of hair loss. Extreme dieting can also have the same effect.

If you are experiencing hair loss, or if you’re taking Ozempic and have concerns about potential hair loss, it is crucial to seek professional advice. Scheduling an appointment with a hair loss specialist can provide you with the necessary guidance and support to address these concerns effectively.

Remember, while medications like Ozempic can help with conditions like Diabetes and obesity, they should be used with caution and under the supervision of healthcare professionals.

A recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has revealed a concerning link between smoking and hair loss in men. The research indicates that male smokers, particularly those who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day, are significantly more prone to developing androgenetic alopecia.

Here, we’ll explore the results of the study and how smoking and other lifestyle factors contribute to hair loss.

Understanding the Latest Study

The recent research was a meta-analysis of eight different studies, taking a comprehensive look at the relationship between smoking and hair loss. Its findings suggest that smoking not only increases the risk of developing androgenetic alopecia, but also impacts its severity.

Those who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day were found to be more at risk of developing male pattern baldness than those who smoke less. While genetics play a pivotal role in androgenetic alopecia, lifestyle choices like smoking can speed up its development or worsen the condition.

Speaking of the findings, one of the researchers’ states: “Patients with male pattern baldness need to be educated about the negative effects of smoking, given the fact that it can have a profound negative psychological impact.”

The Link Between Smoking and Hair Loss

Smoking can impact hair loss in several ways. Firstly, it can constrict blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. This deprivation of essential nutrients and oxygen can weaken hair strands and inhibit new hair growth.

Secondly, the chemicals in tobacco smoke can cause oxidative stress, causing damage to the hair follicles. It can also disrupt hormonal balance, which is crucial for maintaining healthy hair growth cycles.

Given these factors, it becomes evident why smokers may experience more pronounced hair loss. The toxins from cigarettes infiltrate the body systems, impacting not only the lungs, but also skin and hair health.

Other Lifestyle Factors that Contribute to Hair Loss

Besides smoking, various other lifestyle factors can influence hair loss. Poor nutrition, high stress levels, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of sleep can all lead to excess shedding.

Nutrient deficiencies, particularly of vitamins and minerals essential for hair growth like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins, can lead to weakened hair and increased shedding. Following a balanced diet, partaking in regular exercise, and managing stress are all crucial for healthy hair growth.

If you are experiencing hair loss, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist that specialises in hair loss today. While lifestyle factors can play a role, there are many different causes of hair loss and they can diagnose the root cause and identify the best course of treatment.

Hair loss, a common concern affecting millions of people across the UK, can occur for various reasons and manifest in different forms. Understanding the specific type of hair loss that you’re experiencing is crucial in determining the most effective treatment approach.

In today’s blog, we’ll explore the different types of hair loss, including Androgenetic Alopecia, Anagen Effluvium, Telogen Effluvium, and Alopecia Areata.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is the most common type of hair loss. In men, it typically manifests as a receding hairline and thinning at the crown, while women usually experience a general thinning of hair across the scalp.

This condition is primarily genetic and is linked to androgens, hormones that regulate hair growth. Androgenetic Alopecia involves a gradual reduction in the size of hair follicles, leading to shorter and finer hair over time.

Anagen Effluvium

Anagen Effluvium is a rapid form of hair loss resulting from medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. These treatments can abruptly halt the growth phase of hair follicles, causing hair to fall out quickly and in large amounts.

The severity of Anagen Effluvium depends on the type and dosage of the treatment received. Typically, hair begins to regrow once the treatment concludes, but the texture and colour of the new hair may differ.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is characterised by excessive hair shedding caused by a disruption in the normal hair growth cycle. This condition often follows stressful events, major surgery, significant weight loss, or serious illness.

Telogen Effluvium occurs when a lot of hair follicles prematurely enter the resting phase (telogen), leading to increased hair shedding. This type of hair loss is usually temporary, and hair growth returns to normal once the underlying cause is addressed.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles. This causes it to fall out in small, round patches. The severity of hair loss can vary significantly, from a few patches to complete loss of hair on the scalp (Alopecia Totalis) or the entire body (Alopecia Universalis).

While the exact cause of Alopecia Areata is unknown, it’s often associated with other autoimmune conditions and can be triggered by stress and illness.

Understanding which type of hair loss that you are experiencing is key to receiving the right treatment. Identifying the root cause is the first step towards finding an effective solution.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist that specialises in hair loss as well as conditions that affect the scalp.

It’s Veganuary and the numbers pledging to adopt plant-based meals are rising every year. First launched in 2014, Veganuary had convinced half a million people to go vegan for January in 2021, almost double the number in 2019

Adopting a vegan diet can lead to many health benefits, but it can also have some potentially negative effects too. A poorly planned vegan diet may not provide enough essential nutrients such as niacin, vitamin D, calcium, selenium or zinc, which can have a detrimental effect on your all-round health and wellbeing as well as potentially resulting in dietary-related hair loss.

Can a Vegan Diet Trigger Hair Loss?

Vegan diets are notoriously strict, cutting out any form of animal products. While there are some benefits to doing this, there is also a risk that the body will miss out on important vitamins and minerals.

Hair loss in vegans can sometimes occur due to deficiencies in certain nutrients essential for hair growth. These include iron, protein, zinc, and vitamin B12 – nutrients traditionally sourced from animal products. A sudden or significant reduction in these nutrients can disrupt hair growth cycles, leading to hair thinning or shedding.

Rapid weight loss often associated with a drastic dietary change can also contribute to hair loss. It’s important to note that not all vegans will experience hair loss; it largely depends on ensuring you are consuming a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet.

Is Diet Related Hair Loss Permanent?

Diet-related hair loss, particularly due to nutrient deficiencies, isn’t usually permanent. Once the deficiency is addressed and the body receives adequate nutrition, hair growth typically resumes its normal cycle.

It’s crucial to identify which nutrients are lacking in your diet and find plant-based sources or supplements to replenish them.

If you’re concerned about hair loss after switching to a vegan diet, it’s recommended to monitor nutrient intake closely and consult with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist. They can provide guidance on maintaining a balanced diet that supports hair health.

Preventing Hair Loss on a Vegan Diet

Preventing hair loss on a vegan diet involves careful planning and being aware of the hair’s nutritional needs. Incorporating a variety of plant-based protein sources, such as lentils, beans, and quinoa, can help meet protein requirements.

Foods rich in iron, like spinach, kale, and fortified cereals, should be regular parts of your meals. Including nuts and seeds can also boost your intake of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for hair health.

It’s also essential to consider vitamin B12 supplementation, as this vitamin is primarily found in animal products. Keeping track of your overall calorie intake ensures that you’re consuming enough energy to support your body’s functions, including hair growth.

If you’re experiencing sudden hair loss though it’s also important to consider other factors that could be contributing to hair loss and seeking a diagnosis from a dermatologist that specialises in hair loss.

A new study has revealed fat injections from your thighs could be the key to treating hair loss. The injections, which worked particularly well for those with scarring alopecia, could help millions of men regain a thick head of hair within just six months.

The study, led by scientists from the Iran University of Medical Science, found the growth factors within the fat induced hair regrowth.

So, could this be the treatment those with scarring alopecia have been looking for? Here, we explore what the condition is, its causes, and whether fat injections could be an ideal treatment.

Understanding Scarring Alopecia

Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, is a unique form of permanent hair loss that causes irreversible damage to the hair follicles. The follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue, preventing new hair from growing back.

Scarring alopecia can affect anyone but it is more common in adults, and can progress slowly or rapidly, depending on the underlying cause.

Unlike other forms of alopecia, it often involves inflammation, redness, and pain or itching in the affected area. The hair loss is usually patchy and can be accompanied by changes in the skin’s appearance, such as scaling or pigmentation changes.

What Causes Scarring Alopecia?

Scarring alopecia can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is inflammatory skin conditions, such as lichen Planopilaris and discoid lupus erythematosus. These conditions cause inflammation that eventually leads to scarring and hair loss. Infections that affect the scalp, like folliculitis decalvans, can also be to blame.

Another contributing factor can be physical trauma to the scalp, such as burns or injuries. In rare cases, certain hair care practices and treatments that cause tension or chemical damage to the hair follicles may also lead to scarring alopecia.

It’s important to understand the underlying cause, as this determines how the condition should be treated.

Could Fat Injections Help Treat Scarring Alopecia?

As revealed in the Iranian study, fat injections could potentially help treat scarring alopecia. However, it’s important to note that it was a very small study, involving just 10 patients. Larger studies will need to be carried out to determine just how effective it is.

These injections use autologous fat (fat from the patient’s own body) as a source of stem cells and growth factors. They rejuvenate the scalp and potentially stimulate hair growth in the scarred areas.

Right now, there are approved treatments available, such as anti-inflammatory injections, topical, and oral medications. If it has been caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be required. It’s important to note that there is no cure, but the treatments available can help manage the condition and minimise symptoms.

The best type of treatment will be determined after an initial assessment that looks at the cause and severity of the hair loss. If you have suffering with scarring alopecia, or you are experiencing hair loss, book a consultation with a dermatologist that specialises in medical conditions that affect the scalp and hair.

Alopecia areata is often thought of as a single type of hair loss. However, there are various types of the condition that can influence who it targets, where the hair loss occurs, and how severe it is.

Earlier this year, renowned TV presenter Louis Theroux announced he was suffering from a form of the condition known as Alopecia Barbae. Causing him to lose his facial hair, the star joked to his Instagram followers that he has been left with an unfortunate looking moustache. Now, he has revealed that hair loss has affected his eyebrows.

So, what is Alopecia Barbae and what are the other types of the condition to be aware of?

Here, we explore the different types of alopecia areata and how they impact hair loss.

Alopecia Areata – Patchy Hair Loss

Alopecia areata is a common form of hair loss that typically manifests as sudden, patchy bald spots on the scalp. It is caused by an autoimmune response, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. The patches of hair loss are usually round or oval and can vary in size.

The condition can affect anyone regardless of age and gender, although most cases are diagnosed in those under 30. The severity and pattern of hair loss can vary. Some may experience just a few bare patches, while others may have more extensive hair loss.

Alopecia Barbae – Beard Hair Loss

Alopecia barbae is a specific type of alopecia areata that affects the beard area in men, resulting in patchy hair loss. It is also caused by an autoimmune response where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles. This leads to round or oval patches of hair loss in the beard, which can be distressing and affect self-esteem.

The condition can start with small patches that may expand or merge over time. While the exact cause of alopecia barbae is unknown, genetics and environmental factors are believed to play a role.

The hair loss experienced with this type of alopecia isn’t usually permanent. Many men see their hair regrow within a year.

Alopecia Totalis – Entire Scalp Hair Loss

Alopecia totalis is a more advanced form of alopecia areata, characterised by the complete loss of hair on the scalp. It is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out.

This type of alopecia can develop quickly at any age. The exact cause remains unknown, but factors like genetics, stress, and environmental triggers are thought to contribute. It can significantly impact quality of life and emotional well-being.

Alopecia Areata Universalis – Whole Body Hair Loss

Alopecia areata universalis is the most severe form of alopecia. It leads to a complete loss of hair across the entire body, including the scalp, face, and body. This rare condition is also caused by an autoimmune response that attacks the hair follicles.

Like alopecia totalis, it can develop suddenly at any age, although most cases occur before the age of 30. Managing the condition can be challenging, as it often has a profound impact on the patient’s self-image and emotional well-being.

If you are experiencing hair loss, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist that is experienced in treating Alopecia Areata for an assessment and personalised treatment approach.

Each November, thousands of men take part in Movember in a bid to raise awareness of men’s mental health. In 2021, a staggering 394,000 men signed up to take part according to the campaign’s annual report.

According to NHS statistics, 6.5 million men are affected by hair loss in the UK. While often dismissed as a cosmetic issue, it can have a significant impact on confidence and self-esteem.

To help raise awareness, in today’s blog we’ll be discussing the mental health impact of male hair loss.

How Can Hair Loss Impact Mental Health?

Hair often plays a significant role in shaping our identity and how we perceive ourselves. So, when we start to lose it, it can trigger self-consciousness, anxiety, and, in some cases, even depression.

Hair loss can be a particularly challenging experience for young men. Beyond the physical changes, it can have a significant impact on their mental health. Hair loss is often perceived as something that happens as you get older, but it does impact young men too.

The emotional toll of hair loss can be difficult to live with. However, it’s important to understand that there are treatments available to help minimise and manage the condition.

Can Mental Health Issues Contribute to Hair Loss?

While hair loss can trigger mental health issues, it can also work the other way around. If you suffer with a mental health issue, it can trigger or worsen hair loss.

Stress, anxiety, and depression can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance and contribute to conditions such as alopecia or telogen effluvium.

Also, it’s worth noting that some medications prescribed to manage mental health conditions, including certain antidepressants, may have side effects that include hair loss.

Seeking Treatment for Hair Loss

Addressing the root causes of hair loss, whether they are physical or psychological, is essential for effective management. Prioritising mental well-being through stress reduction, therapy, and self-care can have a positive impact on hair health.

When it comes to addressing the hair loss itself, there are several treatment options available. Topical medications, such as Minoxidil, can help stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss. Oral medications like finasteride can also be prescribed to inhibit the hormonal causes of hair loss.

For those seeking more extensive restoration, hair transplant surgery offers a more permanent solution. This surgical procedure involves transplanting hair follicles from areas of the scalp with healthy growth, to areas experiencing thinning or balding.

Each of these treatment options has its own benefits and things to consider. Consulting a hair loss specialist can help determine the most suitable approach based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Men’s mental health is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, and seeking treatment may even help minimise or eliminate the hair loss issue.