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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!