Hair Loss Research

Man, I have been having rather severe hair loss recently. I have been doing extensive research into my condition. Currently, it’s looking like I am stuck to a stupid hat for the rest of my life.

Here is a summary of my condition: (If you are a dermatologist or an endocrinologist, and have any insight, please let me know…)

  • In 33 blood relatives, going back 3 generations, with the 4 grand parents still alive, and oldest being 82, they all still have hair!!!
  • I started losing hair at 25.
  • The pattern of hair loss is not male-patterned. I am not getting the M-shaped receding hair line, or the bald patch at the back. It’s currently more like female-patterned with a general loss of hair on the top.
  • I haven’t lost too much weight.
  • I seem to lose more when I lose sleep.
  • I have been constantly under stress since 25… (How much stress is sufficient stress?)
  • Thyroid function normal.

I have been doing some extensive research into hair loss treatment, and here are some promising clues.

  • Stem cell research is yielding results. According to Wikipedia, new treatment may be on the market soon.

    Hair multiplication

    Looking forward, the prospective treatment of hair multiplication/hair cloning, which extracts self-replenishing follicle stem cells, multiplies them many times over in the lab, and microinjects them into the scalp, has been shown to work in mice, and is currently under development, expected by some scientists to be available to the public in 2009–2015. Subsequent versions of the treatment are expected by some scientists to be able to cause these follicle stem cells to simply signal the surrounding hair follicles to rejuvenate. See Baldness treatments

    In October 2006, UK biotechnology firm Intercytex announced they have successfully tested a method of removing hair follicles from the back of the neck, multiplying them and then reimplanting the cells into the scalp (Hair multiplication). The initial testing resulted in 70% of male patients regrowing hair. This treatment method is expected to be available to the public by 2009.

    In January 2007, Italian stem-cell researchers say they’ve come up with a new technique for curing baldness. Pierluigi Santi of a Genoa clinic said stem cells could be used to “multiply” hair roots. He said the clinic would be ready to perform its first hair transplants on priority patients – those who have lost their hair in fires or other accidents – within a few months. After that, he said, “we’ll open our doors to paying customers”. Santi’s approach works by splitting roots and growing new follicles.

  • Vitamin D receptor deficient mouse develop alopecia (also here). So, maybe it has to do with VDR deficiency, or even vitamin D deficiency.
  • Celiac disease (intolerance of gluten) is associated with alopecia (but only alopecia areata)

I have been hoping that my diffused hair loss is due to telogen affluvium, but it’s appearing more and more non-transient.  I have also been using Minoxidil 5%, and Ketoconazole shampoo to overcome the itch associated with Minoxidil…  I hope it gets better soon, or I am going to look like my favorite captain soon.