When hair loss occurs in both males and females, there begins a perception of aging and loss of vitality. The character and texture of hair vary in color, length, thickness, direction, and density, depending on the stage of development and location, as well as the person’s age, gender, and ethnic background. Hair characteristics are also influenced by environmental factors (sun exposure) and body metabolism (hormones, iron, and thyroid levels).
In a typical healthy adult, there exist about 100,000 hair follicles. These hairs consist of two distinct types. The first is called vellus hair described as fine, short, and light colored, usually observed on the forehead and lateral face in front of the ear. The second type is the terminal hair, characterized by a coarser, longer, and pigmented follicle on the scalp, eyebrow, upper lip, chin, axilla, chest, and pubis.
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Hair in a non-balding scalp is found in three basic phases of hair growth. Ninety percent of hairs are in the growth phase at any time and last about three years. The second regression phase lasts only two to three weeks when the bottom of the terminal hair shortens and separates itself from its blood supply. The final resting phase lasts about three to four months. Then the hair starts growing back to its original self. When the terminal hair is unable to recycle itself, thinning and baldness occur.
Male patterned baldness is a hereditary condition that is characterized by a progressive loss of hair from the front to the back until only the fringes remain on the side and the back of the scalp. Hair loss in men is generally due to a breakdown product of the male hormone that causes the hair follicle to irreversibly wither and die.
Female baldness is characterized by either a global thinning of hair or spotty loss of hair, leaving the frontal hairline intact. The causes of female hair loss are not understood and are variable in contrast to that found in male pattern hair loss. Stress, hormonal changes, immune alterations, and low levels of iron are believed to be associated with female alopecia.
Dr. Sasaki is an early user and clinical investigator for alternative methods to stimulate existing hair growth in men and women. With the use of fat injection with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) into the patient’s subcutaneous scalp the enriched processed adipose tissue will be applied in a very fine, homogeneous layer at a rate of approximately 0.1mL per square centimeter of affected scalp in the subcutaneous space to promote hair growth. With this technique the patient will improve or retard hair loss and patients can see results about 3 months after treatment.
Today, there are FDA approved solutions (2% and 5% Rogaine®) and tablets (Finesteride®) which can achieve modest results on the crown. Red LED lights can also retard hair loss and stimulate growth. When these types of treatment are stopped, however, hair loss resumes. Surgical Hair Stimulation remains the only practical method to provide a full prolonged coverage.
A full compliment of hair has been a source of pride to humans and serves as a distinguishing feature. Considering its significance in the well-being of individuals, it is understandable why hair loss can be a major concern for personal and professional reasons. Although Hair Stimulation remains the only permanent method for hair loss, many patients desire other means of stimulating hair growth without surgery.
Male pattern baldness is a gradual conversion of hairs from the terminal (long, thick) to the vellus (small, thin) state. In males, it is a hereditary condition that appears to be controlled by a single, dominant, sex-linked autosomal gene. The expression of this gene is dependent on the level circulating testosterone and its subunits, as well as the sensitivity of its receptor molecules within the hair follicles. The initial signs of thinning correlate with puberty in males when the levels of testosterone begin to rise, gradually miniaturizing the terminal hair follicles to non-growth entities, leading to baldness. Depending on the exact genetic inheritance, only the temporal and occipital fringe remains. Testosterone secreted by the testes is the principal androgen circulating in plasma in men, whereas in women, other proandrogens from the adrenal glands and ovaries are the hormonal sources of hair loss. In men and women, an enzymatic reduction by 5α – reductase is required to produce dihydro-testosterone for the induction of genetic hair loss.
Dr. Sasaki is an early user and clinical investigator for alternative methods to stimulate existing hair growth in men and women. Dr. Sasaki recommends FDA-approved solution 5% Minoxidil Rogaine® (unknown mechanism) and Finesteride® tablet (5α-reductase enzyme blocker) for hair loss in men, as well as 2% Minoxidil Rogaine® for hair loss in women. Dr. Sasaki also is investigating the safety and effectiveness of Microneedling/Platelet-Rich Plasma and Microneedling/Processed Fat Cells on stimulating hair growth in selected patients who have not responded satisfactorily to the FDA-approved Rogaine and Finesteride. In his surgical center, Dr. Sasaki is also offering a natural hair loss solution, Revivogen®, formulated to reduce and block di-hydro-testosterone production and its receptivity for attachment to the follicle. Learn more about microneedling, Platelet-Rich Plasma, processed fat cells for more information.Back to Top