It has been a while since I wrote a post on brief news items and thoughts related to hair loss.
The Worst Year in Hair Loss
I am skeptical about whether it is: the actual Coronavirus causing the hair loss (usually lasting several months); Or whether it is major emotional and psychological stress (i.e., telogen effluvium) causing the hair loss. It also seems like far more women then men are reporting worsening hair loss since the pandemic began. At least on social media.
In any event, several days ago “The Atlantic” magazine published a hair loss article with a great title: “The Year America’s Hair Fell Out“. The author deems the pandemic as “a near-perfect mass hair-loss event“. At this point, the one year is in reality 1.7 years of masking , lockdowns and vaccination. That is unless you live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where life continues as normal despite only a five percent vaccination rate.
The author also points out the numerous ineffective hair products and outlandish hair growth claims all over the internet. Natural products and hair loss supplements are especially a dime a dozen. NPR now also covering the story yet again.
Will a Paralysis Cure Arrive Before a Hair Loss Cure?
Scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago have successfully created a gel that reversed paralysis in mice. This was the biggest news in the medical world this week. The actual study is titled: “Bioactive scaffolds with enhanced supramolecular motion promote recovery from spinal cord injury”.
The gel enabled paralyzed mice to walk four weeks after initial injection. The mice given a placebo never regained the ability to walk. 76 mice were split between the treatment and placebo groups. Apparently, there are 1.5 million people in the US who are living with paralysis.
The gel sends biological signals that trigger nerve cell and blood vessel regeneration. It also restores essential fat insulation (myelin) around nerve cells and removes scar tissue that could hinder cell regeneration. Best of all, this gel is inexpensive to produce. In the future, it could also be tested on patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Extracellular Vesicle Mimetics (EMs) and Hair Growth
I am always on the lookout for new studies on exosomes and hair growth. Note that exosomes are also known as extracellular vesicles (EVs). Large-scale production of EVs remains difficult. Recently, extracellular vesicle mimetics (EMs) engineered by extrusion through various membranes have emerged as an alternative approach for large-scale production of EVs.
A new study from South Korea made an interesting finding. The research scientists developed something called macrophage-engineered extracellular vesicle mimetics (MAC-EMs). The MAC-EMs when injected induced hair regrowth in mice as well as hair shaft elongation in a human hair follicle. Encouraging signs that suggest the potential of MAC-EMs as an alternative to EVs when it comes to use for hair growth.
I just saw this almost 1,000 page thread on HLT a few years late. I only went through 5 pages so far, but it is great. I have frequently cited the crazy hair regrowth that balding MTF transgender persons experience after they start “kitchen skin” hormonal treatments. In many instances, they get back long-lost hair in areas that have been bald for many years.
I am always surprised that non-transgender people almost never seem to attempt this all-out approach. A male obviously never wants to become feminized. However, there are enough desperate males who have major hair loss related depression. I would have thought that many would give in and go for this “side effect guaranteed” and “hair growth guaranteed” approach.
Lo and behold, the above HLT thread that I discovered late was started by someone “Bridgeburn” who is NOT transgender. He just wanted to regain his hair and throw the kitchen sink of hormonal treatments into the mix. He has seen amazing hair regrowth in the process. I really like his signature:
“Youth is more valuable than gender.”
Among the hair loss products that he takes or took regularly include: