knudsen

Level 2 / 45a Bay Street, Double Bay 2028 nsw, AUSTRALIA
Phone: 02 9327 0300

Hair Transplant Blog - The Knudsen Clinic

Hair and Now

Posted on 10 Oct, 2013

There has been a lot of publicity in recent times about a possible new treatment for hair loss (of any cause) that is called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). This is argued to be a “stimulation” therapy for hair loss. The theory is that the multiple skin growth factors that live inside platelets (the blood cells responsible for clotting) can be utilised to stimulate hair by “cracking open” the platelets after the patient’s own blood has been centrifuged (spun down). These growth factors are then re-injected into the scalp in areas of thinning hair.

 

The idea has been around for a while but the evidence for hair stimulation has not been strong. We do know that PRP is helpful with wound healing but it is less clear which thinning patients might benefit. One of the problems is that the technique has no stringent set of rules and different centrifuges produce different results. Current research is directed at assessing whether higher concentrations of growth factors produce a stronger stimulating effect on weakened hairs.

 

Another possible line of research involves combing PRP with an extracellular matrix product that acts as a scaffold to assist the effect of the growth factors. Further research is needed in this area.

 

At best, current evidence is inconclusive that PRP is as effective as other stimulatory products such as minoxidil or techniques such as low level laser therapy.

Low Level Laser Therapy Hair Loss

Posted on 10 Oct, 2013

There has been a lot of publicity in recent times about a possible new treatment for hair loss (of any cause) that is called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). This is argued to be a “stimulation” therapy for hair loss. The theory is that the multiple skin growth factors that live inside platelets (the blood cells responsible for clotting) can be utilised to stimulate hair by “cracking open” the platelets after the patient’s own blood has been centrifuged (spun down). These growth factors are then re-injected into the scalp in areas of thinning hair.

 

The idea has been around for a while but the evidence for hair stimulation has not been strong. We do know that PRP is helpful with wound healing but it is less clear which thinning patients might benefit. One of the problems is that the technique has no stringent set of rules and different centrifuges produce different results. Current research is directed at assessing whether higher concentrations of growth factors produce a stronger stimulating effect on weakened hairs.

 

Another possible line of research involves combing PRP with an extracellular matrix product that acts as a scaffold to assist the effect of the growth factors. Further research is needed in this area.

 

At best, current evidence is inconclusive that PRP is as effective as other stimulatory products such as minoxidil or techniques such as low level laser therapy.

Finasteride and Prostate Cancer

Posted on 09 Sep, 2013

A long-running study of men in the USA with enlarged non-cancerous prostates (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH) using finasteride previously reported a 25% reduction in overall numbers of patients developing prostate cancer. However, there was some debate about whether the prostate cancers detected in users of finasteride were of the more aggressive variety. A recent analysis of this study showed that finasteride users had lower levels of the prostate cancer screening test PSA (prostate specific antigen) which led to more accurate diagnosis of those patients actually suffering cancer rather than just an enlarged prostate. In addition, the smaller prostates made tumour detection easier by biopsy.

 

Overall, men taking finasteride were 30% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 43% less likely to get a diagnosis of low-grade cancer (slow growing). In addition, survival rates were not changed in patients taking finasteride compared to those not on finasteride.This is very reassuring news to patients taking finasteride for hair loss as these prostate effects are beneficial rather than harmful and will likely result in less unnecessary surgical treatment of prostate enlargement in future. We can reassure patients talking finasteride that there are no harmful long-term effects on the prostate from treating their hair loss.

Natural Ingredients for Hair Loss

Posted on 21 Jul, 2013

I frequently get asked the question: Are there any “natural” products I can use for my hair loss? The answer is – it depends upon the cause of the hair loss.

 

For example, if the hair loss is related to iron deficiency anaemia, then foods with high iron content or iron tablets could help. Biotin (Vitamin H) deficiency has been correlated with hair loss but it is a very unusual cause in the general population. Vitamin H, Vitamin B6 and zinc are all essential nutrients for healthy hair but are not necessarily involved in a particular persons hair loss, so supplementing them may not be effective.

 

That said, products like Provillus that contain them, and saw palmetto, are not going to harm anyone suffering from hair loss. The unfortunate assumption is that these “natural” remedies, essential for healthy hair, are helpful in the commonest forms of hair loss in men and women: male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. There is NO evidence that these nutrients are involved in these conditions and therefore NO evidence they assist in balding or female pattern thinning.

Hair Loss myths

Posted on 05 Jul, 2013

Tight hats make your hair fall out.

 

Not true. Tight hats might restrict blood supply to the scalp but only by a minimal amount. Whatever the cause of hair loss, hats have no effect on the condition.

 

Too strong a shampoo causes hair loss.

 

Not true. Shampoo is merely a soap for cleaning the hair shaft and has no effect upon hair growth. The hair growth cells are 3-4 mm under the skin and cannot be affected by ordinary shampoos or conditioners.

Shaving your hair makes it grow back stronger.

Posted on 24 Jun, 2013

Not true. As your hair grows it becomes subject to environmental damage (wind, sunlight, washing and combing or scratching). The result of this is that the tips of the hairs become tapered over time. If the tip of the hair frays you get a “split end”.

When you shave hairs and feel the stubble coming back, these hairs have not suffered environmental damage and feel quite “thick”.

They are just normal hairs without damage.

Most common Hair loss consultation questions

Posted on 07 Jun, 2013

The six most common asked questions in a hair loss consultation

1. Do hair transplants work?
YES, YOU CANNOT REJECT YOUR OWN HAIR. THEY GROW NORMALLY AND REMAIN HEALTHY IF PROPERLY SELECTED.

2. What supplements do I need to take to stop my hair falling?
NONE. NONE ARE PROVEN TO WORK.

3. Are there any side-effects with the medication?
SIDE EFFFECTS ARE DOSE DEPENDENT SO, USUALLY, THERE ARE NOT ANY.

4. Will my hair completely regrow back from medication alone?
USUALLY NO BUT IT MAY IMPROVE.

5. How long do I have to take the medication for?
AS LONG AS YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HAIR.

6. Have you had anything done yourself?
NO BUT I DO NOT SUFFER FROM HAIR LOSS BUT I AM TRYING LOW POWER LASER THERAPY TO IMPROVE DENSITY

If you have more questions you would like answered about hair loss and how we could help with a solution to your hair loss, please book a hair loss consultation.

FUE does it change donor planning?

Posted on 23 Jan, 2013

Strip harvesting’s rationale is to harvest all the donor hair is the area selected.  If we choose hairs from the safest donor area, then we can be more confident that the hair transplant surgery results will last. This makes it a proficient harvest of the safest area.

 

Now consider FUE’s (follicular unit extraction) harvesting rationale, where the technique only uses partial removal of hair from the donor area.   Only 25-35% of the available hairs are harvested, as over-harvesting leads to a variation in the density of the donor area compared to the rest of the hair. In extensively balding areas this becomes a concern but is unlikely to be a problem in small cases.

 

How do we deal with this potential issue? In my opinion, considerably bald, young patients should be urged to sustain long-term medication to limit future possible hair loss.

 

I do not believe that choice of strip harvesting or FUE changes any contra-indications to transplantation, but it may impact relative contra-indications to surgery. Consider a young man, developing extensive balding, who also has thinning from the nape of the neck. The restriction of existing donor area will reduce the number of ‘safe’ donor grafts that could be extracted by FUE whereas; a greater number of grafts could be taken from the safe donor area by strip harvesting (FUT). In this instance, more grafts could be achieved by strip harvesting than FUE.

The ongoing Finasteride debate

Posted on 03 Dec, 2012

Recently an international conference heard an in-depth panel discussion about Finasteride and sexual side-effects. It was again emphasized that Finasteride is a safe medication, side-effects were largely dose-related and disappeared upon stopping the medication. It was felt that recently media reports about the incidence and severity of side-effects was significantly overstated and that it remained the medication of choice for treating male pattern hair loss. In my hands, side effects are quite uncommon and only a small intermittent dose of Finasteride is required to achieve long-term stability of the hair loss in most balding men.