Keratin hair fibers are, well, tiny bits of fiber made of a keratin (protein) derivative. They look just like little pieces of hair.
What Are They For?
Keratin hair fibers mask areas of hair thinning and hair loss. The fibers don’t treat hair loss by making you grow more hair; they are a simple, noninvasive, and inexpensive solution to instantly help camouflage areas where you need it most. Our product comes in six different colors.
How Do They Work?
They are very easy to use. You just shake the bottle over the area where you need coverage. They stay in place with the help static electricity. After you have applied the fibers, don’t comb or brush your hair or you will brush them away. Keep in mind that they make your hair look fuller, so you need at least some hair to use them. They can’t be used in areas of complete baldness. Read more
Involutional alopecia is the thinning of your hair as part of the natural aging process. This type of alopecia occurs when your hair’s growth (anagen) phase is shortened, and the hair spends more times in the resting (telogen) or shedding (catagen) phases. For more information about hair physiology, please see our other article.
For young people, about 90 percent of your hair is in a growth phase at any one time. As you age, that percentage drops, and over time hair is not replaced like it is when you are young. This is why some older people also cannot grow their hair as long as they used to be able to—the hair doesn’t stay in a growth phase long enough to grow really long hair.
Androgenic alopecia is the most common genetic and age-related type of alopecia. This type of alopecia is what is generally referred to as male or female pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness can be mapped in a predictable way according to the Hamilton-Norwood scale, and female pattern baldness can be mapped according to the Ludwig scale. Read more
In this last part of our Hair and Hair Loss Treatment series, we'll discuss other causes of hair loss and treatments aside from surgical and medical (drug) treatments.
A few weeks ago, we discussed at length that Low Light Laser Therapy (LLLT) effectively treats hair loss. And just recently, we announced that have greatly improved our LLLT caps with a new design to make them more comfortable.
Aside from genetics, there are other things that can cause or at least contribute to hair loss. Illness is one. There are several illnesses including autoimmune disorders like Lupus or a skin infection like Ringworm that can cause hair loss. Occasionally a type of cancer called Hodgkin’s Disease can present as hair loss. Thyroid problems, especially hypothyroidism can manifest itself as hair loss. Read more
Today we’ll explore medicinal (non-surgical) treatment options.
To date, there are basically four drugs that are commonly used to treat hair loss: minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, and corticosteroids. We will look briefly at them one by one.
Minoxidil, the generic name of the drug commonly known as Rogaine, has been around since the mid-1970’s. In a previous article, we discussed it at length. The drug was originally designed as a vasodilator when it was found unexpectedly that the drug also helped patients grow more hair.
For hair loss, it is applied to the scalp twice daily. We have a very effective 5% spray foam for men that is easy to apply and gets the drug exactly where it needs to be.
Finasteride, originally designed to treat prostrate problems, was found also to be effective in treating male pattern hair loss. The drug is taken orally, and it works by blocking the serum dihydrotestosterone responsible for hair loss in the scalp. The drug has not been found to be helpful for women with hair loss.
Depending on the dosage and the individual, the drug can have some sexual side effects. These are things you would discuss with your doctor before trying it. Read more
Today we’ll explore the surgical treatment option called Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE has been a major player in surgical treatment for hair loss since around 2000. In this technique, instead of harvesting a strip of skin rich with hair follicles and then slicing up the strip preparing it for transplant, individual hair follicles are removed from the donor area and transplanted one by one into the receiving area.
The follicular units are extracted using a very small punch-like instrument. There is considerable skill required not only to extract hair follicles without damaging them, but also in transplanting them into the new area where the hair needs to grow in the right direction and look natural.
FUE is a longer procedure than Strip Donor Transplant and tedious for both the physician and the patient. Depending on how many follicles are being transplanted, often several sessions will be required. FUE tends to be more expensive than Strip Donor Transplant because of the time it takes to do and the training and skill required of the physician to use the technique.
Advantages of FUE compared to Strip Donor Transplant
The biggest advantage of FUE over Strip Donor Transplant is the scarring. Since the incisions are tiny and round, the scars are small and barely noticeable in the donor area, contrasting significantly with the linear scars left from Strip Donor Transplant. The difference is scarring should be a major consideration especially if the patient intends to wear a very short hair style.
Disadvantages of FUE compared to Strip Donor Transplant
As mentioned earlier, Strip Donor Transplant is usually an inexpensive option. The overall survival rate of the grafts from FUE is strongly correlated with the skill of the physician, and considerable care should be exercised in choosing the surgeon to perform FUE.
There is also now Robotic FUE available. Although the technology is new, the precision and accuracy available with robotic instruments may turn out to be a significant improvement to what is already a tried and true method.
This concludes Part 6. In Part 7, we will discuss nonsurgical treatment options to help you with hair loss.Read more