ChemoFor many in cancer treatment, chemotherapy is a drug that allows patients to fight cancer cells and hopefully enter remission. Hair loss is a side effect of the drug, which can be hard for the millions of women diagnosed each year. Scientific breakthroughs mean there are new and exciting ways to combat this side effect. Let’s look at some of the options.

Cold Caps and Freezing

A cold cap is wearable technology that aims to save hair during chemotherapy treatment. By cooling the hair capillaries, these caps reduce the hair to a hibernated state preventing the drugs from absorbing into the scalp. Research shows the results are mixed. One study involving 122 women with stage 1 or stage 2-breast cancer showed that two-thirds of the patients saw loss of only half of their hair. While doctors have expressed concerns about scalp hypothermia, the FDA clears a majority of these caps. Caps are available for patients to purchase or rent during treatment.

Hair Stimulants

Another method women can use to prevent or halt hair loss during chemotherapy is the application of hair stimulant medication. Hair stimulants are often associated with male pattern baldness, but application during chemotherapy can stimulate hair follicles and allow the hair to grow back faster during the chemotherapy process. While there is no scientific evidence that these drugs can prevent hair loss during treatment, there are plenty of testimonials to their effectiveness in the months after chemotherapy ends.

Tips for Hair Maintenance During Chemotherapy

If you are already undergoing chemotherapy and have experienced hair loss, maintaining your scalp and remaining hair can be key to regrowth when treatment is complete.

Tips for scalp maintenance during chemotherapy include:

Using soft brushes and shampoo for sensitive skin

Shave your remaining hair to prevent irritation

Protect your scalp with sunscreen or a covering

Hair loss doesn’t have to be the defining moment of your cancer treatment. Beautiful scarves can be tied in a variety of ways to create looks for every occasion. Fake eyelashes and wigs have evolved over the years, and some are designed to look completely natural. Wigs also give you the chance to switch hair colors and textures throughout your treatment.

It’s important to realize that everyone deals with hair loss differently. While some are quick to embrace their new look, some cancer patients need more time and space to adjust to a drastic chance in their appearance. Remember: whether you seek treatment to preserve your hair during treatment or work through hair loss, there is no right or wrong when it comes to making it through chemotherapy.

If you’re suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy or any other medical condition Van Scoy Hair Clinics can assist you with hair loss alternatives. We invite you to meet privately with one of our hair loss professionals who will assist you in choosing how to proceed during this difficult time. To schedule a free consultation call us at (419) 289-6665 or to contact us via email click here.

 

Photo Credit: Candace Nast Via Flickr Creative Commons

We’ve received a number of inquiries from people coming into our clinic about Trichology, and what a Trichologist does.  So we thought it might be helpful if we posted an article on trichology to give you an idea what it is.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia Areata

Trichology is a subset of dermatology and refers to the study of hair and scalp problems and specifically hair and scalp health. A ‘trichologist’ is someone who specializes in problems of the hair and scalp, and especially hair loss problems such as hair breakage, itchy/flaking scalp and baldness. They also treat all forms of alopecia, including alopecia areata.

You can think of a trichologist as a hair and scalp ‘doctor’. This type of specialists is someone you might consult instead of visiting your general practitioner, particularly if the problem or condition they are experiencing is more specific, such as persistent hair fall, itching and redness of the scalp, etc.

A trichologist will typically perform a thorough intake examination and will go over your medical history, and gather information about your lifestyle, including your diet, stress and other factors, and conduct a thorough examination your hair and/or scalp.

Hair Loss and Hair Loss Treatment

Did you know your hair is an indicator of your over all general health? Hair that is dull and lifeless can often suggest a stressed, unhealthy lifestyle, while hair that is full and shiny can often indicate overall good health. This is only one of the many factors a trichologist may consider when prescribing a course of treatment.

Many people don’t just see a trichologist for hair loss issues but also for advice on keeping their hair and scalp in tip top shape to try and reduce the risk of hair loss.

Hair loss can cause a lot of distress, and there are often misunderstandings about its causes and treatments. Probably the most common type of hair loss is the so-called ‘male pattern baldness’ which, despite its name, can also affect women as a general overall thinning.  While there is no specific, readily-available treatment, it is a problem that requires sympathetic handling, and a qualified hair loss specialist has the experience to understand each individuals anxiety and help him or her understand the type of hair loss they are experiencing and develop an effective strategy to of hair loss treatment or hair restoration.

Van Scoy Hair Clinics in Cleveland, Columbus and Ashland, Ohio offers all proven hair loss treatment, hair replacement and hair restoration options for men, women and children. If you are experiencing hair loss or balding and exploring the various treatment options available to you, we invite you to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices at your convenience. You may reach us at (866) 601-6599 or to contact us via email. You may also request a consultation by clicking here.

 

Diet-Related Hair Loss

Could your diet be causing your hair loss? Following a restrictive diet can cause your hair to thin or even fall out. If you need to stick to a diet for medical or lifestyle reasons, use these tips to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to keep your hair healthy.

Weight Loss and Hair Loss

Shedding pounds to reach a healthy weight can reduce your risk of many long-term health conditions, but in the short-term a very low-calorie diet can have negative effects on hair health. According to dermatologists, hair loss is common after a weight loss of 15 or more pounds, but growth usually returns once the weight stabilizes.

Protein for Hair Health

Hair is made from protein, so not getting enough protein reduces your body’s ability to produce hair. This causes a disproportionately large number of hairs to go into the resting phase of hair growth, which lasts around three months, before falling out. If you notice that you are shedding more hairs than usual, check that you are getting enough protein in your diet. Adults need to eat two or three servings of protein-rich foods every day, such as lean meat, fish, beans, eggs or peanut butter.

Iron and Hair Loss

Hair loss can be a symptom of iron deficiency, which your doctor can quickly diagnose using a blood test. Vegetarians are most likely to suffer from iron deficiency, as iron in plants is not as easily absorbed by the body as iron in meat. If you are vegetarian, consider eating cereals that have been fortified with iron to increase your intake. Soybeans, pumpkin seeds, lentils and spinach are also good sources of iron.

Vitamin D for Hair Health

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D. The body can produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer. Other sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals and milk. Vitamin D plays a vital role in the body’s cycle of hair production.

If you’re worried about hair loss, see your doctor for advice. Many vitamin deficiencies can be quickly diagnosed with a blood test. Once you know which nutrients you lack, you can change your diet or take supplements to support the health of your hair.

For any questions you may have or to speak to a hair loss expert, Contact Us or visit our website for more information!

Ohio Hair Restoration and  Hair Loss Treatment Specialists

Trichotillomania is a prime example of the type of hair loss disorder that can benefit tremendously from an awareness week. Despite notable prevalence in the United States (2-4% of the population), Trichotillomania remains under the radar for most individuals, including many quality stylists and medical professionals. This lack of awareness fuels misunderstanding and shame while simultaneously impeding personal progress and community support. So let’s spread the awareness!

First, what is Trichotillomania?

  • Well, this mouthful of a disorder is pronounced trick-oh-till-oh-MAY-nee-ah, but most people shorten it to simply trich or TTM. What a relief, right?
  • Trich involves the BFRB (body-focused repetitive behavior) of chronic, compulsive hair pulling. It can include hairs on the scalp, face, arms, legs, and pubic area and can feel like anything from a strong, distracting urge to an entirely unnoticed action. There is a lot of variation in its manifestation.
  • People of all ages have been diagnosed with Trichotillomania. It impacts both males and females, but by adulthood, prevalence is much higher in women. Trich is found in happy, well adjusted individuals as well as those whose pulling began as a result of high levels of anxiety or stress. According to the Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC), “preliminary evidence indicates TTM is a nuero-biological disorder and that genetics may play a role in its development.”
  • Treatments and solutions vary from coping mechanisms and resource support to therapies and medication applications. A definitive cure does not yet exist.

How can you participate in Trichotillomania Awareness Week?

  • Understand the need for awareness. Like the TLC, we want to “envision a world where BFRBs are not a source of shame, and treatment that works is accessible to everyone.” The more we talk about trich, the more it becomes part of a norm rather than an embarrassment or affliction to hide, paving the way for those suffering from Trichotillomania to find a support system and resources for improvement.
  • Share a video. How about this one (shown below) from last year’s campaign?
  • Tell one person a day what you have learned. Set a goal to do your part in spreading awareness about trich by telling one person about the disorder each day during Trichotillomania Awareness Week, starting a week from tomorrow, October 1 – 7. It can be a friend, a family member, or a coworker and is as easy as opening with, “Hey, I read that today is the first day of Trichotillomania Awareness Week. Are you familiar with the condition?”
  • Print and post these cards. The TLC created small cards that can be printed and shared on public bulletin boards at your place of work, church, gym, or community center.

For more ideas on how you can get involved, visit the TLC’s website at trich.org. If you or someone you know is struggling with Trichotillomania, there is help available. Reach out and open the lines of communication today.

Restore Your Hair. Restore Your Life!

With more than 40 years experience, Van Scoy Hair Clinics has offered the latest advances in hair restoration for men and women in our state-of-the-art facilities in Cleveland, Columbus and Ashland, Ohio. Schedule a FREE hair loss and scalp analysis today.

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Fall is upon us, and with the change of seasons comes a change of styles. Yes, green leaves are turning orange, hot summer days are cooling into enjoyable autumn ones, and short-sleeved shirts are being covered by sweaters. Why not go with the flow of the shifting seasons and their sweeping transformations this year and opt for a new do to usher in the autumn months? Today we highlight three trendy men’s styles to consider for this coming fall. If you are struggling with hair thinning or loss and are seeking a way to keep your look current, schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists today.

Go for Lift

The pompadour has been popular all year (and worldwide, as we noted during this summer’s Cup), and the style is still going strong as we swing into fall. Consider an undercut of any variety, which allows for whatever combination of lift and length you prefer. This prohibition cut featured on Behind the Chair is a slick look for the working man while the looser version shown on Men’s Hair Style Trends can be perfect for a relaxed evening. Already rocking an undercut? Try pairing it with a beard as the months get cooler.

A Caesar with Bangs

If a typical Caesar is your go to style, make the jump from average to awesome this autumn by simply allowing a bit more length in front. This small shift can make a man look stylish without much styling, and your hairdresser can work the change in over time by allowing for more drama every time you come in for your next cut. Perhaps you will decide you are happy with just a little bit of additional length, or maybe by the time winter rolls in you will be sporting a cool side swept look like this GQ style or something more rock-n-roll like this D’Marge favorite.

Alright, we get that this is a stretch for most men, but for those who do have long manes, fall is the time to let the ponytail down and feel the wind in your hair. As Esquire says in this Game of Thrones based hair guide, “It’s hard to pull off long hair, but if you can, it’s perfect for fall, adding a rich, hearty element to your overall style.” If you go this route though, “keeping it clean, without letting it get dry and brittle is a must”. Guys who are especially focused on styling their locks can take some notes from Schwarzkopf here. For everyone else, at least make sure you take care of any damage or thinning you have been able to hide by pulling it back all summer!

It is a widely accepted misconception that hair thinning and balding are problems that are unique to the male gender. Though still not desirable, there is an expectation of sorts that hair loss comes with age for men, but not for women. In actuality, hair loss does not discriminate and a notably high percentage of women will experience some degree of thinning or balding during the course of their lifetime.

The single largest cause of hair loss in women has hereditary origins and is known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). This type of loss is usually identified by thinning along the part rather than the thinning at the hairline that is frequent in its male counterpart, Male Pattern Hair Loss. The degree of a woman’s hair loss with FPHL is measured using the Savin Scale. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami, some 21 million women in the United States alone are suffering from FPHL with 12% of women seeing signs by the time they are 30 and upwards of 30-40% of women dealing with FPHL in their 60s. These numbers are astounding when one considers how little female hair loss is discussed and acknowledged in today’s society!

In addition to FPHL, hair loss in women can also be attributed to a number of other causes including hormonal changes such as postpartum, birth control, or menopausal hair loss, extreme stress, regular overstyling, medications including, but not limited to, chemotherapy, underlying medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism or lupus, other known hair loss conditions, such as alopecia areata and trichotillomania, and the list goes on and on. It can seem a bit daunting to pinpoint a specific cause with so many possibilities, but a doctor or specialist can help individuals to understand their unique diagnoses and the potential solutions that are suited to their condition.

It is true that certain medications or procedures that are successful in men are not as broadly applicable in women. For example, some medications simply do not treat FPHL and others have female specific side effects that deter doctors from prescribing them. This is not to say that there aren’t a range of options for women dealing with hair thinning and loss, because there absolutely are. From hair transplantations and medications to laser therapies and high quality human hair wigs, opportunities for female hair restoration have never been so plentiful. Like diagnoses though, these prescribed treatments require the expertise of a specialist who understands how to accurately match the unique details of a woman’s hair loss with the dynamic impact and effectiveness of various solutions.

Last, but certainly not least, the social and emotional impact of hair loss in women is a fundamental piece of the challenge faced by females who are enduring ongoing thinning and baldness. For centuries, hair has played an enormous role in defining self-image, femininity, youthfulness, and beauty, and despite how one categorizes things like beauty and femininity, losing the opportunity to decide for oneself can be remarkably difficult to overcome. Frequently women seek to hide their thinning scalp with a new style or limited public exposure, and these temporary solutions leave them feeling vulnerable and isolated. By increasing awareness and initiating conversations about hair loss in women, there is potential to not only limit the loss and commence restoration, but also to minimize the negative social and emotional strains on females that are caused by unwanted hair-based changes. Women struggling with hair loss are not alone!

With more than 40 years experience, Van Scoy Hair Clinics has offered the latest advances in hair restoration for men and women in our state-of-the-art facilities in Cleveland, Columbus and Ashland, Ohio. Schedule a FREE hair loss and scalp analysis today.

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Right on the heels of June’s alopecia universalis breakthrough comes a second publication announcing good news for those suffering from the spectrum of alopecia areata diseases. An August article in Nature Medicine from a team out of New York’s Columbia University presents the successful use of the drug ruxolitinib for treatment of alopecia areata in three patients with varying degrees of hair loss. Ruxolitinib is a JAK inhibitor approved by the FDA for use in treating a bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis. It, along with tofacitinib citrate (which we featured here after it made big news in June), was identified by the Columbia University team as having potential applications in alopecia areata due its ability to block certain immune pathways that have been found to be responsible for the autoimmune attacks on hair follicles. The progress was undeniable as the result of two 20mg doses per day for five months was ‘complete restoration’ in all three initial trials. Additionally, the expectation is that this medication will re-establish a full mane during treatment and can then be discontinued, essentially providing a cure rather than an indefinite drug regimen. These results inspire huge amounts of hope!

Researchers are quick to point out the need for further investigation as these newly opened doors prompt questions regarding the continued consistency of results, short and long term side effects, and the comparisons between the two drugs being actively tested. Despite the numerous directions for future research though, the results published in this latest study have enormous implications for what Dr. Angela Christiano, a co-lead study author from Columbia University, describes as “a tremendously large and motivated population of patients who have no other treatments available.” You can see her full interview as well as conversations with other involved researchers in the video below and access the official article on Nature Medicine here.

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There are a number of solutions available for specific types of hair loss and styling needs, and speaking with a specialist is the best way to decide which hair restoration avenue is the best for you. Today, Van Scoy takes a look at 4 common questions associated with laser treatments.

“I thought laser treatments were for hair removal! How can they serve both purposes?”

Good question! Lasers can indeed work for both hair removal and restoration and have been used for removal for decades while their approved application for restoration is relatively recent. There are various types and levels of lasers though, and those disparities along with the way in which they are applied produce different results. Laser hair removal, for example, involves purposeful, targeted damaging of follicles at a specific wavelength. Laser hair treatments for restoration, on the other hand, use low level, therapeutic, soft, “cold” lasers to deliver light energy to the scalp and generate blood flow rather than damage. In fact, similar lasers have been used for wound healing for a long time.

“Will there be any cutting or burns?”

No. Laser treatments are non-invasive, non-surgical, non-burning, and non-painful.

“What can I expect my overall treatment experience to look like?”

Laser Treatments

Your hair restoration specialist will work with you to set a regular schedule for office visits. Each person is different, but this often means 2-3 sessions of 10-20 minutes per week for 3-12 months. During the treatments, you can simply relax, read a magazine, and take a small break from the day. If you are unable to make regular appointments, at-home treatments are also available. Van Scoy Hair Clinics recommends that laser hair therapy be approached as a 3-step treatment program, which means ongoing attentiveness to thickening hair and a combination of methods that provides the best results possible and enhances the progress of the laser treatments.

“Are there any products that I should use along with the laser treatments?”

Yes! As part of the 3-step treatment program, Van Scoy Hair Clinics recommends professional administration of pharmaceutical-grade products for hair growth. Specifically, the dht Sensor program, which we discussed on the blog in February, has proven especially effective when coupled with laser treatments to gain the maximum effect.

Have additional questions? Drop us a line today!

There are a number of solutions available for specific types of hair loss and styling needs, and speaking with a specialist is the best way to decide which hair restoration avenue is the best for you. Today, Van Scoy takes a look at medication and other products for thinning hair.

Medications and products created to support the hair restoration process come in a wide variety of forms and types from pills to foams, prescriptions to over-the-counters, and with roles from preventing hair loss to promoting hair growth. Heavily advertised brands such as Rogaine and Propecia, for example, operate quite differently despite both being approved by the FDA to halt the thinning process and stimulate growth. Rogaine (Minoxidil) comes in foam or liquid form, is applied twice daily to the scalp, and is available for purchase over-the-counter. It can be used by both men and women. Propecia (Finasteride), on the other hand, comes in pill form, requires a prescription for purchase, and can be used only by men. Additionally, these two products have differing indications, side effects, and success rates.

Some product-based hair loss prevention programs use a variety of product types within a single line and treatment. dhtSensor, for example, uses a number of product types in conjunction that prove especially effective when used with laser therapy. Though dhtSensor does not instigate hair growth in all patients, it is a widely beneficial tool for minimizing and preventing hair loss and improving scalp condition, as well as producing impressive results in enhancing the appearance of thin hair. For this reason, dhtSensor is often suggested for those with thin, fine, or problem hair.

MEDIceuticals also offers a line of therapeutic hair loss products, and these too are often recommended by licensed specialists who can prescribe the correct products for each individual’s needs allowing for a more customized treatment. The MEDIceuticals Hair Recovery Program treats the scalp, treats, cleanses, and conditions the hair, energizes the hair follicles, provides nutritional therapy, and provides healthy hair styling, all integral needs for healthy hair growth.

For all of the above discussed medications and product lines, their use produces the most positive results when applied in conjunction with other treatments, such as laser therapy or another medication or product, and this can be most safely and successfully implemented when monitored and adjusted by a hair care professional.