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Entries in Hair Loss (9)

Monday
Jan282013

Actress January Jones Says Her Hair Is Falling Out

Jordan Strauss/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- January Jones is best known for playing Don Draper’s ex-wife, Betty, on the hit TV show Mad Men.

Throughout her career, however, the actress has appeared as a blonde, brunette and a redhead.  She’s now sharing the hard truth about the color changes and the toll they have taken on her hair.

Jones, 35, who appeared as a blonde at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, says she’s going bald.

“I have been every color and now my hair is falling out in clumps,” she told British magazine Grazia Daily during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where she’d gone for the premiere of her film, Sweetwater.

“I like it all colors, it makes you feel different according to what color it is, but I prefer to be blonde.  My son recognizes me in photos when I am blonde.  He says, ‘Mama,'" Jones said.

“I’ve been blonde, red with extensions for this film, then blonde, then black, and now blonde again.  I’m going to have to shave it off and wear a wig,” the actress added.

While factors such as genetics and medical conditions like thyroid disease can play a role in hair loss, hair stylists believe excessive coloring can also result in hair loss.

“The chemicals that are used and the over-frequency in coloring your hair can result in breakage and hair loss,” Gretta Monahan, founder and CEO of Grettacole Salon in Boston, told ABC News.

Jones is not the only star to have had trouble with her hair.  Pop star Lady Gaga and TV personality Kelly Osbourne have also reportedly suffered hair loss because of hair dye.

Osbourne admitted three years ago to getting bald patches after a hair colorist forgot about her in the chair.

“I felt like I’d been electrocuted and burst into tears,” she told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper.

Lady Gaga, a natural brunette, has also spoken honestly about the difficulties of maintaining her platinum blonde look.

“[I] must occasionally get a chemical haircut because my blonde hair is falling out,” she told People magazine.

So what’s a hair dye-loving person to do?

“My advice to anyone who colors their hair too much would be to use the right products for what you are doing and also make sure you are conditioning enough,” Monahan said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov062012

Looking Old May Be a Sign of Heart Trouble

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The older you look, the worse shape your heart is in, a new Danish study has found.

The Copenhagen Heart Study, which began in 1976, followed 11,000 men and women for 35 years to find the connection between physical appearance and heart health.

Originally, the investigators paid attention to seven telltale signs of aging.  They eventually found that wrinkles, gray hair and cholesterol deposits on the cornea of the eye were all part of the inevitable wear and tear on the body rather than predictors of bad health.

“These are signs of physical aging, not necessarily biological aging,” said the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Anne Tybaerg-Hansen.

That left four physical traits -- a receding hairline, baldness on top of the head, earlobe creases and yellow, fatty deposits around the eyelid -- as visible evidence of heart disease.  People with at least three of these markers for aging had a 57-percent increased risk for heart attack and a 39-percent increased risk for heart disease.

When the researchers considered gender separately, they found that hair loss in women was not linked with an increased risk of heart disease.  However, the men with receding hairlines showed a 40-percent higher risk in men with hair loss than those without.

Overall, the group for whom the new results raises a red flag was men between ages 70 and 79.  In this group, 45 percent of those with all four aging signs developed heart disease, compared to 31 percent of those with none of the four.

The markers used in the study are often cited as predictors of heart disease.  Scientists have long speculated that male-pattern baldness may be linked to high levels of testosterone, which, in turn, seem to be associated with a higher incidence of heart disease.

Experts have suspected for decades that earlobe creases and cholesterol buildup on the eye are signs of heart trouble.

Wrinkles, which weren’t associated with heart health in the study, have been tied to poor bone health.  Last year, a Yale study found women with deeply furrowed brows in early menopause may also have weak bones.

Tabaerg-Hansen said her research gave no clear answers as to why the four physical traits were so closely associated with the risk of heart disease.  The next step would be to try to find out why they’re connected and to see if they might also predict other diseases of aging, such as cancer.

The study results were presented at this week’s American Heart Association scientific meeting in Los Angeles.  They have not yet been published.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr192012

Scientists Find Apparent Cure to Baldness -- in Mice

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- Science has apparently made great strides in the war against receding hairlines -- for mice, that is.

Researchers at Tokyo University of Science have managed to reverse hair loss in the rodents by transplanting hair follicles from hirsute mice onto one which was hairless.  They found that 74 percent of the follicles on the bald mouse sprouted hair within three weeks.

Despite the promising discovery, scientists say it will take at least 10 years before the treatment can be used on human patients.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr162012

Propecia: FDA Warns on Baldness Drug

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A small number of men taking Propecia, a drug for male-pattern baldness, may also experience sexual problems that persist even after they stop taking the drug, the government warned last week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is changing the warning labels on Propecia and enlarged prostate drug Proscar, warning that the drugs may lead to decreased sexual desire and problems with ejaculation and orgasm.  Since the FDA’s approval of Propecia and Proscar in the 1990s, the drugs have included warnings about sexual side effects, which stopped after discontinuing the drugs.

Warnings for both drugs will also include reports of infertility and poor semen quality that returned to normal after patients stopped the drugs.

The active ingredient in both drugs is finasteride, which blocks the production of certain male hormones. Both drugs are manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Merck and Co.

The FDA reviewed 421 reports of sexual dysfunction that were voluntarily submitted by patients after taking the Propecia from 1998 to 2011. Of those reports, 59 cases lasted for at least three months after a patient stopped taking the drug.

In a statement, Merck emphasized that it’s not clear that the drugs cause continued sexual dysfunction.

“Merck believes that Propecia and Proscar are generally well tolerated and effective for their respective intended uses in accordance with their approved product labeling,” the statement said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar222012

Clue for Baldness in Mice and Men

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the ongoing search for a cure for baldness, scientists have found yet another biological clue in studying both mice and men.

Male pattern baldness comes from a combination of testosterone and genetics, a duo that leads hair follicles to shrink over time.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania studied men with male pattern baldness and found that bald areas of their scalps had higher levels of a protein called prostaglandin D2 than the hairier parts. When they applied the protein to human hair follicles in a lab dish, they found that the hair stopped growing.

Dr. George Cotsarelis, chairman of dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, said those findings may lead researchers to a treatment that could suppress prostaglandin D2 and the genes that make it to stop or even reverse hair loss.

The study wasn’t the first to hint at a possible treatment for those who are shiny on top. Scores of researchers have identified factors linked to baldness, such as stem cells and stress, and potential hair-raising therapies.

But Cotsarelis said this study was the first to study human scalps along with mice, meaning the findings apply directly to people, not just rodents.

Human and mouse hair follicles typically go through cycles of growth and regression. By studying mice, the researchers also found that the levels of the protein were highest right before the hair follicle entered its regression phase. Cotsarelis said a particularly high level of prostaglandin D2 might keep the follicle in the regressed phase, preventing hair from growing.

In a report published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the authors noted that there were several drugs currently being developed to combat male pattern baldness, and a number of these drugs targeted the prostaglandin pathway. Cotsarelis said assuming the drugs pass muster regarding safety and other regulatory hurdles, they could lead to a cream or medication for male pattern baldness.

Cotsarelis said he also hoped to research what the findings mean for women who lose their hair.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec032011

The Truth About Hair Loss After Pregnancy

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- During pregnancy, women may notice their manes thickening enough to give any shampoo commercial model a run for her money. But thanks to sudden hormonal changes following pregnancy, that once abundant hair can thin.

Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, the division chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, explains that while it’s typical for hair to grow and fall out during different times, hormonal shifts that happen because of pregnancy or for other reasons—like suddenly stopping birth control pills—can cause lots of hairs “to go into old age at the same time and decide to come out.”

The good news is that while the hirsute accumulation in your shower may have you running for the nearest wig shop, chances are no one else has noticed.

“Generally, the first question we ask when women complain about this, is, ‘Are you complaining about it because of what you see in the shower or what you’re seeing on your head?’ ” said Dr. Donnica Moore, the president of the health education and consulting firm Sapphire Women’s Health Group.

If you are seeing actual bald spots, consult your physician. Otherwise, have patience—for most new moms, the hair loss stops after six months and normal hair growth resumes.

In the meantime, to abate the shedding, try cutting your hair shorter and ease up on the brushing, Greenfield suggests.

Another option is donating your hair. A spokeswoman for the Florida-based group Locks of Love, which collects hair donations to create wigs for children experiencing hair loss, says  they’ve received a number of postpartum donations—and, as with other donations, they’re grateful.

“Hair donation in itself is a very personal thing, you’re giving of yourself,” said Locks of Love’s Lauren Kukkamaa.

Give some hair, get a baby. Not such a bad deal, don’t you think?

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct142011

Hair Extensions: Dangerous Trend? 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If they say "beauty is pain," then the beauty of achieving long, luscious locks is becoming more and more painful for many women.

Hair extensions have become the must-have accessory of celebrities and starlets on the red carpet and in magazines.

Now more and more women are following suit and using the extensions at home and work. Some as young as 19 are experiencing the dangerous side effects that come with trying to transform one's natural hair with hair pieces that make their hair longer and fuller.

"We have patients who are in their early 20s come in after wearing hair extensions for six months or one year, and they actually have bald spots," Dr. Eric Schweiger, a New York City dermatologist, told Good Morning America.

Doctors say people particularly at risk for damage from hair extensions are those with already thin or weak hair, or with a pre-existing medical condition, like anemia.

Hair extensions, in which hair is attached onto a person's existing hair or scalp by either weaving, gluing or clipping it on, may cause little damage to some women but, for others, the hairpieces can cause nightmarish results.

Twenty-two-year-old Maya Ramos of Delray Beach, Fla., experienced the dark side of hair extensions firsthand after she began using clip-on extensions to make her shoulder-length hair longer and fuller.

Just three months after her extension adventure began, Ramos saw signs of trouble.

"My hair was really falling and falling," she told "GMA." "I was shedding a lot of hair in the back toward the extensions."

The damage caused by the extensions, which she described as "heavy" and "uncomfortable," was so severe that Ramos feared the worst.

"I was freaking out," she said. "I thought I was going to lose my hair by the time I was 30."

Concerned, Ramos sought the help of a hair loss expert. The specialist diagnosed Ramos with traction alopecia, a form of gradual hair loss caused primarily by a pulling force being applied to the hair. Within a year of quitting the extensions, Ramos' hair, much to her relief, had grown back.

Not so lucky is Chioma Odimegwu of New York City. Odimegwu is considering a hair transplant at the age of 25 after six years of using hair extensions resulted in permanent hair loss.

Odimegwu began using 14-inch glue-in extensions at the age of 19. When the extensions caused her hair to thin, she had a professional stylist apply tie-on extensions to cover the hair loss.

The new extensions worsened the problem, and Odimegwu's hair loss spiraled out of control. Odimegwu tried a host of doctor-recommended products, including female Rogaine, in an effort to re-grow her hair, and worked to cover her hair loss in other ways.

"I wear lots of hats," she said. "And really fat headbands."

Ramos and Odimegwu are not alone. Even celebrities are experiencing difficulties related to hair extensions.

"Nothing destroys your hair faster than hair extensions," Jennifer Aniston, whose own shag-style cut in the '90s sparked a worldwide hair craze, told Harper's Bazaar magazine in a 2006 interview. "I decided to have a couple of extensions, never knowing you end up with 400 things in your hair that cause your hair to break off."

Advocates of hair extensions, like New York stylist Angelo David, argue that extensions are still a great asset, and option, for any woman -- provided they are installed and worn correctly.

"Everybody can wear hair extensions," he told GMA. "You just need to wear extensions that fit your head."

His eponymous New York City salon does a brisk business, outfitting women with long locks and custom-made extensions.

David takes pains to make certain his extensions are appropriate for a woman's individual hair type so that extensions are neither too heavy or too tight.

The couture hair extensions offered at David's salon cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of several thousand dollars.

David's clients are thrilled with the results.

"I think that extensions add so much attractiveness to people," salon client Reilly Chaffin said. "I look at them and I think that I look so much better."

Something everyone -- from stylists like David, who favor hair extensions, to doctors like Dr. Schweiger who remain skeptical of their safety -- agrees on is that women who choose to use extensions should do so with care and attention to detail.

"You need to create the right fit," said David. "The important thing is getting into the right extension."

"It's very important that people out there know the risks of hair extensions before they get them done," said Dr. Schweiger. "If you're going to do any extensions, just use them for a few hours and take them out. That's the safest way."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep012011

Going Bald? The Cells that Could Be to Blame

Christopher Robbins/Getty Images(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- A hat may no longer be the only answer for baldness. Researchers at Yale University have found new clues to the causes of hair loss in the fatty skin cells of mice.

Studying cells from the fatty layer, the researchers found that signals from these fat cells were needed to stimulate the stem cells at the base of hair follicles, which are dormant in baldness. These cells could help scientists identify how to treat hair loss in humans.

“The fat cells are important for hair growth.  If they’re not there, the hair won’t grow,” said Valerie Horsley, the lead author of the study.

Horsley said her team will now work on identifying the cells in humans that do the same thing.

“We don’t know for sure if it’s a cure for baldness,” she said. “But I’m hopeful that we can get human cells to do the same as the mice cells.”

Dr. Robert Bernstein, clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University, said the findings were an interesting development in understanding why millions of people go bald.

“It’s an important step.  Mice models are not necessarily applicable to humans, but this is how we start to make discoveries,” he said.

Bernstein noted that the study’s findings don’t address genetic hair loss, in which a hormone called DHT causes hair follicles to shrink.

Horsley said the fat cells she studied are not only linked to baldness. They also could help scientists understand how wounds heal or how skin tumors grow.

“We’re trying to find out more about these fat cells. We’re trying to understand who they’re talking to in the skin,” Horsley said.  ”It’s very exciting because we really knew nothing about the fat in the skin. I’m hoping we can extend the research.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Eyelash Enhancer Thickens Hair, Eyebrows

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved Latisse -- a prescription drug originally developed as a glaucoma treatment that had the desirable side effect of making eyelashes fuller and longer -- only for use on top lashes, some dermatologists have cautiously prescribed it for hair and eyebrow loss that has resisted conventional treatments.

"If a patient asks for it, and they aren't getting the benefit they want from what they already use, than I'll prescribe it, but it's not the first line at all," said Dr. Jerry Shapiro, a dermatologist and adjunct professor at New York University.  "I'd rather use something that's been proven to work."

The two drugs that have been proved to work, Rogaine (a lotion) and Propecia (a pill), are FDA-approved as hair-loss treatments.  But because Latisse is approved as an eyelash enhancer, doctors are free to prescribe it at their discretion.

Latisse manufacturer Allergan is set to start testing the safety and effectiveness of Latisse for hair loss on the scalp and the brow in June, according to Caroline Van Hove, a spokeswoman for the company.

"If successful, we may be looking at an approval by 2013," Van Hove said.

Shapiro said some dermatologists have been prescribing Latisse off-label for scalp and brows for more than two years.  But others are waiting for safety data.

"This would mean potentially more systemic absorption than currently occurs with eyelid usage," said Dr. Michel McDonald, director of cosmetic dermatologic surgery at Vanderbilt University.  "I would like to see the results of the trials before beginning to use it in patients on a larger surface area."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio