Entries in Hair (9)


Women Turn to Eyebrow Transplants to Improve Brow Fullness

John Slater/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to eyebrows, thin is no longer in.  But if you’ve been waxing and plucking for years, you may find that your eyebrow hair just won’t grow back.

Some people with that problem are turning to eyebrow transplants.

Take Pamela Penrose, for instance.  For 10 years, she watched as bald spots appeared in her eyebrows.  She was constantly filling them in with a pencil hoping for a better look.

“It’s a little embarrassing and it affects my self-esteem,” Penrose told ABC's Good Morning America.

Penrose turned to Dr. Sanusi Umar for an eyebrow transplant.  Doctors used to transplant head hairs, but Umar pioneered a way to harvest hair from a woman’s arms, legs or nape of the neck.

Hair from those areas “much more resembles the natural eyebrow,” Umar, of Derm Hair Clinic in Los Angeles and Redondo Beach, Calif., told GMA.

“It’s slow to grow, small in appearance and much more resembles the natural eyebrow,” he said.

It’s painstaking work.  Each hair is transplanted individually, and the entire procedure lasts about two-and-a-half hours.

GMA went back to visit Penrose three weeks after she had the transplant.

“My eyebrows look a lot larger and thicker and exactly what I wanted,” she said, adding: “I feel like a totally different person.  I feel much more confident.”

Eyebrow implants are not cheap -- they cost between $6,000 and $8,000, depending on how much hair needs to be replaced.  But there is another alternative that women can consider first: Rogaine.

Rogaine is the anti-balding medication used mostly by men, but there is a women’s version.  Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist, said her patients have had good luck getting eyebrow hair to grow in fuller using it.

But be careful how you apply it.  If you get the treatment on other parts of your face, you could end up growing unwanted hair there.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The Latest All-Natural Hair Treatments Hit Los Angeles

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A few bananas, a squeeze of honey, some avocado and a little mayonnaise are normally the ingredients you’d find in a smoothie bar.  But now, they’re the products included in a recipe for the latest Los Angeles hair treatment.

The Broot (as in, back to the root) hair treatment salon just opened in Los Angeles this month, but it’s already enticing beauty-conscious clientele. 

Owner Samira Asemanfar bills the salon as the first ever all-natural hair treatment bar because it uses everyday ingredients like avocados and bananas in $25-35 treatments that promise to strengthen and repair hair.

“Your hair will feel softer.  I think it will feel more bouncy, clean and fresh when you are done with it,” Asemanfar said.

Broot says these ingredients, unlike traditional shampoos and conditioners, are free of chemicals and help damaged hair in a natural way.

A few ABC News correspondents gave the natural hair treatments a try live on Good Morning America Wednesday.

Amy Robach had the mayonnaise treatment, which Asemanfar said is the most moisturizing option.  Mayonnaise protects the scalp from dandruff, and also contains vinegar, which gets rid of any old product build-up on your hair.  And after the treatment is finished, the best way to get it out is to soak your hair in the bath for about 10 minutes.

Juju Chang got the avocado and egg hair mask treatment.  Avocado adds moisture and promotes hair growth.  Egg strengthens hair follicles and adds volume, shine and texture.  To apply, massage it right onto your root for fuller, thicker hair.

Linsey Davis received the banana hair mask treatment.  Banana’s help tame unwanted frizzies and can fix dry, thinning hair.  They’re also full of vitamin A and E, and are oil-free.  If you have oily skin, Asemanfar said this is a great way to condition your hair without any oil.

Ready to give it a try yourself?  Asemanfar provided GMA with a special recipe for you to try at home to repair your hair the natural way.

The Broot’s “Strength & Shine” All-Natural Hair Recipe:

  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Jojoboa Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon of Honey
  • 2 Ounces of water

How to blend:

  • Toss in the banana
  • Pour in 1 ounce of water
  • Begin to blend for 45 seconds
  • Add remaining 1 ounce of water
  • Blend again
  • Add egg, oils and honey
  • Blend for 1.5 minutes to ensure that there are no chunks left
  • When you pour into your bowl or bottle, use a strainer to get all the banana pieces out -- otherwise it makes it harder to wash out of your hair

Sit with it in your hair for 15 to 20 minutes, preferably under a heat cap to really penetrate all the nutrients into your hair follicles.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pathological Grooming Now Categorized as a Form of OCD

Courtesy Nicole Santamorena(NEW YORK) -- When Nicole Santamorena was a baby she pulled her hair for comfort when she was distressed or sick.  But that coping mechanism eventually escalated into pathological grooming behavior so serious that she was bald by middle school.

"I had to wear a hair piece and a bandana," said Nicole.

Today, the 17-year-old from Putnam, N.Y., still fights the urge to pull out hair, but therapy, a good support group and even Internet friends with the same compulsive behavior have all helped.

Medical experts are baffled by these behaviors.  But now they are giving more scrutiny to pathological groomers, those with dermatillomania [picking scabs], trichotillomania [pulling hair] or even simply nail biting.

"The problem is we don't have data -- it's not something we collect because we always thought of these behaviors as benign," said Dr. Nilay Shah, a neurologist and medical director of the Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, N.Y.

"It's common enough to see 20 or 30 percent of all kids at some point along a spectrum that we call pathological, but other than that it's a wild guess."

Soon, all of these repetitive habits will be included in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-V or the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under the broader category of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

"That's a great thing," said Shah, who treats Nicole for other health issues.

"The beauty is that a categorization in the DSM-V gives it a whole new light," he said.  "And the research institutions can have a unified definition and approach that will lead to drug company and NIH funding."

Doctors know that OCD is a spectrum of disorders.  Compulsive hand washers and germaphobes exhibit repetitive behaviors as a kind of magical thinking to ward off something bad happening.

Pathological groomers like Nicole, on the other hand, derive stress relief and pleasure from their tics.

"There is a sensation I get before I pull," Nicole said.  "It's like a pulsating scalp and if I don't pull, it doesn't go away.  It's kind of a compulsion."

Studies suggest that the behavior is also genetic.  Nicole's mother picks her skin scabs and her father bites the hair from his knuckles.

"When you look at the brain wave activity, it does correspond with obsessive compulsive disorder," said Shah.  "We know consciously that it's not right or logical or reasonable, yet cannot help doing it.  And for a brief moment it feels better -- there's a release."

Researchers speculate that on a microscopic level, the signals or neurotransmitters in the brain are involved and often use antidepressant medications to help treat these behaviors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Woman's Hair Turns to Black Fingernails, Baffling Her Doctors

Handout/Shanyna Isom(NEW YORK) -- Shanyna Isom has consulted every possible specialist, including a doctor in the Netherlands, but she still has no idea what is wrong with her.

The 28-year-old beautician and former University of Memphis law student has developed a condition so severe, fingernails grow from the hair follicles all over her body.

"Black scabs were coming out of her skin," said her mother, Kathy Gary.  "The nails would grow so long and come out and regrow themselves.  They are hard to touch and stick you."

The disease so far has affected not only her skin, but her bones and her vision.  Because Isom is unable to walk without a cane, her mother helps her out of bed each day.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, where Isom is being treated, told her family that she is the only person in the world with this unknown condition.

And now, she has $500,000 in unpaid medical bills.  Isom has state insurance, but it doesn't cover medical care in Maryland.  Her mother lost her job as a medical receptionist because she looks after her daughter at home, so savings have dried up.

Once a month, mother and daughter travel to Baltimore from Memphis, Tenn., to monitor her treatment.

But now, Isom has put all of her energy into creating the S.A.I. Foundation (named for her initials) to help others with mystery illnesses.

Bank of America has agreed to take donations at any of their branch offices.  Friends have organized fundraisers, and her high school has dedicated a football game to her charity.

Despite her debilitating illness, Isom told ABC News, "I don't know whether to smile or cry.  I am very blessed."

Isom was a junior studying criminal justice when the mystery illness first occurred in September 2009, according to WLBT-TV in Memphis, which first reported the story.

After baffling her Memphis doctor, Isom went to Johns Hopkins in August 2011, where doctors determined that she was producing 12 times the number of skin cells in each hair follicle.  Instead of growing hair, the follicles were producing human nails.

Doctors think her skin isn't getting enough oxygen -- she is also lacking sufficient amounts of vitamins A, B, C, D and K, according to her mother.

But with treatment, she is improving.

"Her legs aren't covered in black scabs," said her mother.  "They are looking better, and her face just looks like she has a real bad sunburn."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Expert Tips for Healthy Summer Hair

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Looking for ways to keep your hair looking healthy and vibrant all summer long? Rodney Cutler, owner of Cutler/Redken Salons in New York and Miami, shared some secrets exclusively for ABC’s Good Afternoon America viewers.

Rodney’s Tips for Maintaining Sexy Summer Locks:

  1. Always use a product that has UV protection.
  2. Wear a hat.
  3. Put conditioner on your hair before you jump in the pool or the ocean.  It will create a barrier and fill up the hair shaft so the color molecules can’t escape. It will also help retain moisture. Choose a really thick cream conditioner or mask.
  4. Chlorine, salt, and sun exposure are the worst.  Any way you can protect against those will help save your hair.
  5. Braids are great. They can go from wet to dry with little or no maintenance.
  6. Head scarves look chic and protect your hair from the sun. For a very ’50s style, tie the knot in the front near your part, or wear the scarf as a headband.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Wolfman’ Likes Hairy Face, As Do Ladies

Danny Ramos Gomez(NEW YORK) -- People call Danny Ramos Gomez “the wolfman.” He has a condition called hypertrichosis, which causes his body to produce an abnormal amount of hair.

At a young age, Gomez and his brother Larry, who also has the condition, were exhibited in a circus side show as “wolf children.” Gomez still works in the circus, performing daredevil feats on the trapeze and trampoline.

Betty Tampa, one of Gomez’s closest friends, said that people still react to him differently and often insult him because of his appearance.

“They perceive him as a wolf — actually as a person from another world — and they insult him,” said Tampa. “They say things to him and they howl at him.”

But Gomez’s hairy chest and face have not hindered him romantically. Lucy, an ex-girlfriend Gomez was with for six years, said that she found his hair to be quite sexy. She said her favorite feature was his eyes, but what made her fall in love with him was his personality.

“He’s very noble,” said Lucy. “He’s very affectionate. He’s a very good person.”

Gomez has a daughter from a relationship before Lucy. He has a new girlfriend, named Hilda. Aside from the occasional trim at the barbershop, he has not changed his hair, despite how easily he could look more normal by waxing or shaving.

“I don’t think I will ever change it,” Gomez said. “That’s the way they love me. That’s how they will always love me. Imagine if I changed my face — who would know who I am?”

Watch the full story on ABC's 20/20 Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Brazilian Blowout Now Has Warning on Label

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Five months ago, the federal government put out a hazard alert about the hair-smoothing treatment, Brazilian Blowout, warning that it contains liquid formaldehyde that can turn into formaldehyde gas when heated during a treatment.

But are salons up-to-date on the news that the product does, indeed, contain a form of formaldehyde?  ABC News visited 16 salons to find out.

Every salon said they had no safety concerns.  Twelve said the product contains very little formaldehyde, while four were not aware that it contained formaldehyde.  The salons all had outdated versions of Brazilian Blowout's literature and bottles, which said "formaldehyde free."

Now, the company's bottles of solution carry a warning label to alert stylists to the potential formaldehyde risk and the need to perform the treatment in a well-ventilated area.  The company says if the product is used as directed it is safe.

Brazilian Blowout isn't the only hair-smoothing treatment that contains formaldehyde.  According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, several other products contain the gas, or can expose you to it during use, even though they may not list formaldehyde on their labels. 

Click HERE to see a list of those products.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cancer Survivor Suspended from School for Growing Hair for Charity

iStockphoto/Thinkstock (file photo)(FLINT, Mich.) -- Seventeen-year-old J.T. Gaskins woke up early Monday morning and got ready for school like all of his classmates, but instead of going to his Michigan high school, he settled in for what will be his second week of spending the school day working from home.

Gaskins was suspended from Madison Academy for having hair that did not comply with the school's rules for how long boys can grow their hair.  But Gaskins is sporting the shaggy hairdo for a very specific reason: As a leukemia survivor, he is determined to donate his hair to Locks of Love.

"I really never thought we would be here," his mother Christa Plante told ABC News.  She was "dumbfounded" when her son's school board upheld a decision to keep him out of school and says she is "very much" concerned about him missing part of his senior year of high school.

The school board did not respond to a request for comment.

Gaskins was diagnosed with Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a high-risk form of leukemia in children, when he was 8 weeks old.  He underwent nearly five years of chemotherapy and his family celebrated him being cancer-free in December 2003.

Over the holidays, Gaskins was touched by a family friend who was battling cancer and decided he wanted to give back by donating his hair.  But when his hair grew over his ears and started getting in his eyes, his school demanded he cut it.

Gaskins refused and was suspended.

"He's done his research.  He knows what he wants and why.  I'm very proud of him," Plante told ABC News.  "He's fought for all these years and I think he deserves a little exception."

Plante said her son wants to donate hair now since he will be turning 18 and graduating soon and this will be his last year of pediatric cancer check-ups, which he has gone through every year of his life.

"He's celebrating his life and now he wants to give back so that other kids can have an opportunity to celebrate theirs too," she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Brazilian Blowout Hair-Straightening Product Under Fire

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Word is spreading about a salon product that promises longer-lasting results. Some U.S. women are lining up to get the Brazilian Blowout, a pricey method of hair-straightening that has been used by Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, Reese Witherspoon and other celebrities. But recent testing shows the trademarked products may pose serious safety risks, which the manufacturer has flatly denied.

When staffers at an Oregon hair salon complained of eye irritation, nose bleeds and difficulty breathing after they used the products, state officials tested them. Chemists at the Oregon Occupation Heath and Safety Administration and the Oregon Health and Science University's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology tested a sample from the complaining salon and other salons in the area. They found the samples contained significant levels of formaldehyde, even though the product was labeled as formaldehyde-free.

The Oregon Health and Science University issued a public health alert Thursday about the product, in which it said two formulations of the product contained 4.85 percent to 10.6 percent formaldehyde. If a hair treatment solution contains more than 0.1 percent formaldehyde, the manufacturer is required to alert the stylist. Additional laboratory analysis also detected four additional chemicals in each sample that were not quantified in the lab, including methanol and ethanol.

Everyone is exposed to small amounts of formaldehyde in air and some foods and products. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says low levels of exposure can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some kinds of cancers, the CDC says.

The makers of Brazilian Blowout defended their product, saying they were conducting their own investigation. Because OSHA did not request samples directly from the company, Brazilian Blowout is questioning the results. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio