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(Anatomy) Hair: New Treatments for Balding (Hair Care)

 
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: (Anatomy) Hair: New Treatments for Balding (Hair Care) Reply with quote






Scientists Seek New Treatments for Balding
By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer
Tue Nov 15,10:01 AM ET


NEW YORK - Look around a crowd, and you'll see that lots of middle-aged men are losing their hair. As Baby Boomers, they have every right to demand, What is science doing about this? Quite a bit, it turns out.

A British company, for example, says five guys are walking around with hundreds more hairs than they had before, thanks to an early test of what's been called hair cloning. An American outfit hopes to start testing a similar approach next year.

Other scientists are tracking down genes that make some men susceptible to hair loss, and struggling to understand the mysterious biology behind it. For example, how can men lose hair on the top of their heads while their beards and even eyelashes keep going strong?

Black men are far less susceptible, but about a third of 30-year-old white men have signs of what doctors call male-pattern baldness. By the time they're 50, about half of them do. The condition creeps across the head like three tiny armies bent on deforestation: one starting at the back, and two making inroads from the front.

Sure, some men say bald is beautiful. And others can smear on minoxidil (Rogaine) or take Propecia pills, or get hair transplants.

In fact, right now is "the best time in history to be going bald, because there's an awful lot of things that can be done," says Dr. Ken Washenik of the Aderans Research Institute in Philadelphia, which is investigating the "hair cloning" approach.

But the drugs don't help everybody, and not everyone is interested in a transplant. So there's room for new approaches.

To understand the search for new treatments, it helps to know a little about hair and male pattern baldness. (Women can also get hormone-induced baldness like this, but it's not clear if it's really the same condition).

Everybody starts out with a lifetime supply of about 100,000 follicles on the scalp, each primed to produce a single hair shaft. Normally, any given follicle pumps out that shaft for two years to six years, then takes a break for a few weeks. Then it sheds that hair, and starts the cycle over again.

Each day, we lose about 100 hairs this way. No big deal; about an equal number of follicles enter the growth phase on the same day, and at any one time about 90 percent to 95 percent of the follicles are busy growing new hair.

But in some men, in selected places on the scalp, this orderly process goes awry.

The hair-growing phase gets progressively shorter and the resting phase gets longer. So the resulting hairs get shorter and shorter with each trip through the cycle. Eventually, they don't even poke out through the scalp.

What's more, affected follicles take longer to start growing hair again after they've shed the last one. And they shrink, so the hair they produce is finer. On your head, it's like replacing mighty trees with saplings. And the total number of remaining hairs slips by about 5 percent a year.

What causes this? The full picture isn't known, but it clearly involves a combination of genetic susceptibility and hormones, including testosterone.

Researchers are eager to identify the biochemical actors within follicles that could be manipulated to fight baldness. As for genetics, some studies have implicated a particular gene that may be necessary to get the condition but not sufficient to produce baldness on its own, said Stephen Harrap of the University of Melbourne in Australia.

In all, it might take inheriting certain versions of about five genes to get the condition, like getting a bad poker hand, suggested Rodney Sinclair of the university.

In England, meanwhile, a company called Intercytex has just begun human studies of an approach sometimes called hair cloning. It focuses on a particular kind of cell, found at the base of the follicle, that can team up with skin cells to produce new follicles.

Here's the idea: Extract some cells from the areas of a man's head that resist balding, put them in a lab dish and expand their numbers by thousands of times. Then inject these new cells back into the scalp, where they'll work with skin cells to form new follicles. So, unlike transplants, the guy actually ends up with more hairs than he started with.

The company has recently tested this on seven men with thinning hair due to male pattern baldness, and five of them gained hair, says Intercytex chief scientific officer Paul Kemp. This was just an initial study to look for side effects like inflammation, Kemp says, and no such problems appeared.

Not that this restored a full head of hair. The treated areas were just the size of a quarter, and covered places that already had hair, rather than bald spots.

"We didn't want to create these weird and wonderful patterns on their head," Kemp said. "It's such a small area in the hairy area anyway, I would be surprised if they really knew any difference."

Eventually, if further studies go well, the technique could allow hair transplant surgeons to cover more of a bald head, Kemp said. The next round of human research is expected to start next summer.

Someday, men might avoid transplants altogether, just getting periodic shots of their own cells to counterbalance their hair loss. "You would be going thin, and you'd be maintained," Kemp said.

"Sometime in the future, I think baldness will be a choice rather than something you have to suffer," said Kemp. "Any bald people will have chosen to be bald."

Within five years, Kemp says, his company may have a commercial product.

Washenik, of the Philadelphia-based Aderans institute, said his group's efforts in hair cloning have shown promise so far in mice. He hopes studies in people can begin next year.

He said follicles that grow from the transplanted cells should resist balding, because they come from a part of the head that balding doesn't touch. Ordinary hair transplants show that follicles from these resistant regions stay resistant even when planted in bald regions, he said. But even if the transplanted cells do eventually succumb, "you've got years of hair on your scalp that's of benefit to you," said Washenik, who also works for a hair transplantation business called Bosley.

Ultimately, he said, scientists would love to accomplish the same goal with a cream that can be smeared on the scalp and deliver just the right chemical signals to stimulate new follicles to grow.

In any case, he said, it's not just about hair.

Hair follicles, after all, are organs. So what's learned from follicle research may help other scientists who are working to regenerate bigger organs like the liver and kidneys, Washenik said.

The same notion was expressed by Sinclair, who's testing a skin cream in mice that may alter follicle behavior by fiddling with genes. (He says he can't discuss the results because they are a commercial secret.)

Sinclair said follicle research allows scientists to approach not just organ regeneration, but also questions about stem cells, cell growth and gene therapy that may pay off someday in new treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's.

"The idea of growing hair on a bald scalp is only of moderate interest," Sinclair said in a telephone interview. "If we find the cure for baldness we're not going to stop studying hair."

That's just great, Doc.

But if you do find the cure for baldness, lots of men would like to know.

************************************************************
Questions to explore further this topic:

What is hair?


http://www.exploratorium.edu/e.....index.html
http://kidshealth.org/kid/body/hair_noSW.html
http://www.hairlosspatientguide.com/abouthair.html

What is hair loss?


http://www.ehealthmd.com/libra.....hatis.html
http://kidshealth.org/teen/dis....._loss.html
http://www.aad.org/public/Publ.....irLoss.htm

What is hair made of?

http://www.hairfinder.com/hair.....growth.htm
http://www.pg.com/science/haircare/hair_twh_14.htm
http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia.....s/hair.asp
http://www.schoolscience.co.uk.....h5pg5.html
http://www.hairscientists.org/hair-chemistry.htm
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/dna/protein.html


Hair care and nutrition, is there a relation?


http://nutriweb.org.my/nutrite.....care.shtml
http://library.thinkquest.org/.....s/hn_.html

What are the medical treatments for hair loss?

http://www.hairlosspatientguid....._loss.html

Why does the hair on your arms stay short, while the hair on your head can grow very long?


http://www.howstuffworks.com/question100.htm

GAMES

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/kids-only.....index.html
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/kids-only.....ctive.html


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 8:20 pm    Post subject: Female Baldness Reply with quote

Female Baldness
by Lindsay Carswell
18 May 2006

Losing your hair can be traumatic. But one researcher, inspired by her, own disturbing experience, has found the genes behind some rare forms of hair-loss. She hopes this could one day help prevent everyday hair loss and figure out what caused her own. This ScienCentral News video has more.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencentral.com/ar.....=218392792
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:40 pm    Post subject: Hirsute-s you, Sir! Reply with quote

University of Manchester
28 August 2006

Hirsute-s you, Sir!

Could super furry animals provide clues for baldness?
Scientists looking at mice may have discovered why certain people are hairier than others in what could provide clues as to the reason some men go bald prematurely.

The University of Manchester team has laid bare the molecular processes that determine which embryonic skin cells will form into hair follicles and determine the body's hair pattern.

The findings will be of interest to scientists looking at male-pattern baldness but have more direct implications for people who suffer from ectodermal dysplasia - a range of conditions where skin cells fail to develop into other tissue, including hair follicles.

"During human development, skin cells have the ability to turn into other types of cells to form hair follicles, sweat glands, teeth and nails," said Dr Denis Headon, who led the research. "Which cells are transformed into hair follicles is determined by three proteins that are produced by our genes.

"Our research has identified how one of these proteins working outside of the cell interacts at a molecular level to determine an individual's hair pattern as the embryonic skin spatially organises itself."

The team found that cells given the genetic command to become hair follicles will send out signals to neighbouring cells to prevent them from doing likewise, so producing a specific hair pattern.

They also demonstrated that by hyperactivating the 'hair protein' in embryonic mice, young with considerably more fur than normal were produced.

"We were able to change the number of hair follicles in the embryonic mice while they were developing in the womb," said Dr Headon, who is based in the University's Faculty of Life Sciences.

"The findings could have implications for sufferers of ectodermal dysplasia that are missing this particular protein and who are unable to develop hair follicles during embryonic development.

"The research - while not directly linked to male-pattern baldness - should be of interest to pharmaceutical companies working in this field as understanding the molecular processes at work during follicle development could provide clues as to why follicles shrink and hair growth diminishes in certain men as they get older."


###
Ectodermal dysplasia (ED) is a group of closely related, heritable conditions in which there are abnormalities of two or more ectodermal structures, such as the hair, teeth, nails, sweat glands as well as other parts of the body.

The 1990 edition of the Birth Defects Encyclopaedia estimates that up to seven in every 10,000 babies are born with one of the 150 or so ED syndromes.

ED can affect both sexes but is more prevalent in boys. It also affects people of different races and ethnic groups. Probably the most well-known person to suffer from ED is actor Michael Berryman.
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adedios
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Study Promises Real Treatment for Balding Reply with quote

Study Promises Real Treatment for Balding
By Dave Mosher, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 16 May 2007 01:50 pm ET

Chopping off an amphibian's arm is fairly inconsequential, considering a brand-new one can regenerate in three months. Now, research shows that a mouse's hair follicles can do the same when its skin is wounded, sparking stem-cell-like machinery into action to produce fresh follicles.

The finding tears down 50-year-old dogma about mammals' inability to regenerate hair-growing tissue, investigative dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine said.

With scientific head-butting now aside, the researchers think doors to better hair loss treatments are little closer to opening.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea....._hope.html
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adedios
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:27 am    Post subject: The Primal Roots of Red Hair Revealed Reply with quote

The Primal Roots of Red Hair Revealed
By LiveScience Staff

posted: 24 May 2007 06:36 pm ET

Primatologists know humans, apes and monkeys can see red, but have quarreled over what initially locked the adaptation into place. Did it first help primates find meals, or was the ability to see a red-headed, red-skinned mate from a mile away the first benefit of full-color vision?

A new study shows that apes first evolved color vision to help them forage food, after which nature made red the sexiest color around and spiked apes’ evolutionary tree with red hair and skin. The findings are detailed in this week’s issue of the American Naturalist.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea.....mates.html
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Study: Curly Hair Tangles Less Reply with quote

Study: Curly Hair Tangles Less
By Charles Q. Choi, Special to LiveScience

posted: 13 September 2007 09:59 am ET

Flying in the face of intuition, scientists now find that curly hair gets less tangled than straight hair.

To learn which kind of hair truly is the snarliest, biophysicist Jean-Baptiste Masson at the Ecole Polytechnique in France had hairdressers count tangles for a week in the hair of 212 people—123 with straight hair and 89 with curls. Counting was conducted between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., so that hair had a chance to snag during the day.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/hea....._hair.html
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heads-up study of hair dynamics may lead to better hair-care products

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 17, 9:15 a.m., Eastern Time

From frizzy perms to over-bleached waves, "bad hair days" could soon become a less frequent occurrence. Chemists report the first detailed microscopic analysis of what happens to individual hair fibers when they interact with each other, an advance in knowledge key to the development of improved shampoos, conditioners, and other products for repairing damaged hair, the researchers say.

Embracing that adage, "Personal care begins with hair," consumers now spend almost $60 billion annually on hair care products, one of the personal care industry's largest market segments. Despite the increasing availability of new hair care products within the past century, many products are inadequate for tackling today's rigorous hair treatments, the researchers say.

"For the first time, we present an experimental setup that allows measuring the subtle forces, both physical and chemical, that arise when single hairs slide past each other or are pressed against each other," says study co-author Eva Max. "The findings will help provide clearer strategies for optimizing hair care products." — MTS

ARTICLE #1 EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 17, 9:15 a.m., Eastern Time

For full-text of press release:
http://oasys.acs.org/output/pr.....m-cgi.html
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