Happy New Year
We’re taking a couple days off for the New Year celebration, but will be back on Wednesday, January 2nd with more hair loss questions and answers!

2007 was a very good year for BaldingBlog, as the site saw substantial growth in visitor traffic and number of questions answered. I’m pleased that I was able to help so many this year. I believe we published somewhere around 1700-1800 posts in the past 12 months! It’ll be hard to top 2007, but here’s to a great 2008!

Happy New Year!


Tags: baldingblog, balding blog, hairloss, hair loss, new year, holiday

I am a woman who once had lots of chest hair. I still have belly hair and lower back hair. This may sound odd, but my hairy chest did wonders for my sex life. My chest hairs disappeard at 38. I really want my chest hair back. Is there a prescription that I can get from my doctor to regrow it? Is there any OTC that works? Thank you.

I don’t know why you had chest hair to start with or why you eventually lost it. This condition is called hirsutism. Many hormonal imbalances can increase hair in the female body. There are a wide range of medications and disorders that can cause this condition, including:

  • Obesity
  • Exogenous androgens
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — most common
  • Congenital or delayed-onset adrenal hyperplasia
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Excess growth hormone
  • Hypothyroidism

Since you lost your body hair, it seems that whatever had been giving you a hairy chest is not in the picture anymore, so I don’t know whether or not an internist or an endocrinologist can help you figure out what gave you your hairy body. Also, there is no OTC that can give you your chest hair back.

We have transplanted hair in the chest area, although I can’t recall a case where this was performed on a woman. I might consider doing a procedure of this type if that is what you want, if I find you reasonable and mentally stable, and if a good patient/doctor relationship exists.

Tags: woman, women, female, chest, hairloss, hair loss, hair, body hair, hairtransplant, hair transplant, hirsutism

Nawaz Sharif had a hair transplant? As the news channels are showing him every hour after the unfortunate killing of Ms Bhutto, I noticed how drastically un-bald he is compared to just a year ago!

Here’s him a couple of years ago – ForumPakistan

Here’s this month’s photo – ABC Australia

Digging around a bit, I found media has already gotten the clue. Pakistan’s top newspaper Dawn reports
“They share one inexplicable self-indulgence; both have had hair transplants that make them look younger in the eyes of every beholder except their electorate.”

I know ex Prime Minister of Italy Berlusconi had had a transplant. Does that make Mr Sharif the second state leader? Seeing Berlusconi lose the election so badly and Mr Sharif’s general
lack of mass support, HT may not yet be that “effective” for our leaders :)


Interesting comments and photo research. Thanks for sending this in. To answer your question, I really don’t keep track of which state leaders have had hair transplant procedures, but if any readers have examples, feel free to leave a comment. It would certainly seem that Nawaz Sharif had some form of hair restoration. I do not know for sure though, until he publicly acknowledges it. The photos speak for themselves, however.

I’ve put the photos you sent side by side for easier comparison below:

Nawaz Sharif
Tags: benazir bhutto, nawaz sharif, sharif, nawaz, pakistan, hairloss, hair loss, hair transplant, hairtransplant, prime minister, politics

hi i am a 21 yr. asian female. my interests in eyebrow transplants are cosmetic- currently i would say i have full (and healthy!), but fine eyebrows as a result of genetics- i am looking for much denser, thicker and longer eyebrows. . from my research, i find myself mostly concerned with the naturalness of the final appearance.

if i choose to pursue an eyebrow transplant, would it be difficult to achieve a thicker, denser, longer, slightly wild fullness with naturalness? i feel like i might have a better chance since there has been no trauma or illness, and the density of my donor areas are quite full and healthy. is the brow transplant a reasonable idea? for instance, would there be an issue with my natural fine eyebrow hairs and the new transplanted follicles? would that look strange?

also this may seem like a strange question, but hair is hair: it seems like the angle of the brow is an issue for some women, so i’m wondering if it is possible for the surgeon to use pubic donor areas considering they are similar to angular brow growth?

thanks for your time, and i hope you can get back to me soon!

The fundamental concept of a hair transplant surgery is moving hair from one part of the body to another part of the body. Thus, you can transplant your pubic hair to your eyebrow. I do not know what your pubic hair looks like, but in general pubic hair is more coarse and kinky than eyebrow hair. We routinely perform transplants of scalp hair to the eyebrow. The angle and the direction of the transplanted hair is related to the angle and the direction of how the surgeon makes the incision for the transplant. It is not a function of the hair, as it is on your pubic area.

Tags: pubic, eyebrow, hairloss, hair loss, hairtransplant, hair transplant

I read somewhere that propecia doesnt prevent baldness it just slows down the process.I am using propecia since i was 19, so should i expect to get bald sooner or later one day even though i continue to use propecia? If yes,on an average at what age will get bald?

Everyone is different and reacts differently to medication. Some people have a strong and aggressive hair loss pattern and Propecia will slow it down, but not by much. Other people have a not-so-strong tendency to bald and it may slow it down for years and years. Others will reverse the balding process. I have a number of patients who took it for crown balding when the drug was first released and the hair loss completely reversed and has stayed normal since 1998 (no evident balding to the naked eye, although it can be seen with some miniaturized hair when looked at under high magnification).

Tags: propecia, finasteride, hairloss, hair loss

hi ! thanx for all the help you are providing us youngsters!

now to my problem. i am a 15 year old male, and have really thin hair, and the left portion of my head,and the top part are thinner than the rest. i had perfect hair that was envied by my friends till last year when i was 14. my hair used to be thick,straight and shiny.but 2 years back,it started getting wavy and i finally started using hair straightening creams to get my straight hair back. i used the cream a few times. i also used to eat very poorly. last year, i started losing hair at the temples. a few months later, overall thickness was lost and resulted in very thin hair. when i wet my hair,you can even see my scalp. and lately, i have lost hair on the crown of my head. even though i have improved my diet, i still experience a high amount of hairfall. can it be due to DHT or any other hormone? even my forehead is getting bigger now. what should i do??? help me!!! i need to regain my thick hair….please help. thanks

Poor diet can cause hair loss and changes in hair characteristics. Getting out of your adolescence will also cause hair to change. You have to be careful that you are not damaging it by what you do and you will need to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis, not from me over the internet. Good luck.

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, teen, age

What happens if someone who isn’t showing signs of MPB or hair thinning and doesn’t have the genes for baldness takes Propecia? IE, what if someone who is simply paranoid about going bald takes an anti-baldness medication(assuming they got a prescription for it)?

I can not condone what you are asking. Taking any medication without a reason, makes no sense. Maybe you need to deal with your paranoid state. Does it extend to other things in your life as well?

Tags: finasteride, propecia, hairloss, hair loss

hello doctor.i have some questions regarding hair loss.I’m almost 19 and i’m a class 2 norwood(i think).i was wondering if using an alcohol based product on my hair(like red wine-for styling purpuses) or if using a dry shampoo made of clay powder would do anything to damage the follicle

I don’t believe any commercial shampoos can damage your hair follicles. As I’ve written in some past blog posts, topical agents can rarely cause hair loss if there is no physical damage involved to the root of the hair.

Tags: shampoo, clay, wine, hairloss, hair loss

My son has had alopecia areta past 5 years, we tried all kinds of medications ( from ayurveda, homeopathy, allopathic mecinines) but all in vain.. he is now diagnosed for opheosis…(alopecia totalis). We all are going through stress and depression.. and even our social life is getting affected becaause of all this.. is there any solution.. in laser therapy….
Please help…

Alopecia totalis is one of more advanced types of alopecia, in which hair loss spreads to involve the entire head. The mechanism of this disorder is similar to other more limited types of alopecia, like alopecia areata. Autoimmune reaction against hair follicles is suggested to be the cause of this condition. Although recovery could be spontaneous in a few cases, it may take months to years to appear.

Medications, such as minoxidil, have very limited success and topical immunotherapy is considered the most effective current treatment, but the response is not universal among all patients. You should have your son see a dermatologist who has special experience in treatment of this condition. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I can refer you to someone local.

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, alopecia, totalis, areata

Dear Dr Rassman,

I am interested in you doing a FUE. I have one strip excision before and unfortunately was left with a rare but very unpleasant side effect, namely neuropathy, or “hair pain”. for instance, for more than a year it was painful when I ran my hand through my hair (not just the transplanted hair) or when my hair blew in the wind. I eventually was treated with Neurontin/Gabapentin and Amitriptiline to kind of calm the butchered nerves down. (I have since stopped and things seem ok). Obviously this was as a result of the strip excision. I didnt mind the scalp numbness much, and that was expected anyway, but the hair pain was not something I want to experience again. I was told though that it probably wouldnt happen a second time. I dont necessarily want to risk it. Which is why I am considering FUE, so as to avoid the strip excision. Am I right in assuming no nerve damage ? However I was told that FUE involves a tremendoues increase in the total length of incisions when compared to conventional strip harvesting ?? In terms of the cosmetic results in the donor area I was pretty happy from the first operation, although some of the hair seemed more fuzzy for some reason. This operation was performed 3 years ago and I think it was like 500 grafts. Oh, and also started with dandruff for the first time in my life a few months after the surgery. I dont know if it was a result of the nerve damage or maybe because of taking the medication, but its too coincidental to not be related in any way. (I have been off the medication for about 2 years now but the dandruff has not gone away. but its very much under control provided I use an anti-dandruff shampoo).

Hair pain is rather unusual and I don’t believe that I have ever seen it. Damage to small cutaneous nerves are possible whenever the back of the head is cut into, even with FUE. If the hair pain is all over your scalp and not just on one side, then I am stumped.

It would be best for me to speak with you, better still to meet you. At the least, a phone conversation with good pictures emailed beforehand to go by would be helpful. You can call my office at 800-NEW-HAIR to setup a time for us to speak, or email me at the address on the Contact page (please reference this blog post either way).

Tags: hairtransplant, hair transplant, nerve, hairloss, hair loss, neuropathy, hair pain, strip, fue

I am asking this question in regards to the rate of hair loss and the multiple minaturization studies conducted. I have had HT at [name removed] twice 1994 and 1996 (small procedures 125 total, they robbed and mamed me) but the next two were with [name removed] in MI. The latest in July 2001 and Oct 2007. Just started propecia again Sept 2007 (real good results on propecia) Dr. stated that my min study did not show thinning on the top sides and or upper part of the back of head (taken in 2004, 2005 2006 and 2007) / my stylist also stated the same thing by not noticing any changes for the several years of cutting my hair (*just a little in the front and crown but nowhere else). I still have a decent bridge in the middle (slight thinning) and my brother who started thinning in the same pattern at 28 has the same pattern which he is now 41 with no hair loss product (more hair in fornt of head though). My transplants were just in the front and hopefully my last.

I started thinning at age 24 and the top sides and upper back of head are thick with no signs of miniaturization even being off hair loss products for almost ten years. Is this a good sign that the patten will stay?

That’s an interesting history and some tough times you’ve had. If you have been off hair loss products for 10 years with no progressive balding, but you just started on Propecia (which is a hair loss product) and it is working nicely, then you should stay on the Propecia.

Honestly, I am surprised that you think that Propecia is already working for you, as it usually takes 8 months to see any benefit (the hair only grows 1/2 inch a month). If you stop the Propecia, then you will probably lose all of the hair gain benefits that the drug gave you. I gather from your letter that you are happy with where your hair is now, correct?

Tags: propecia, finasteride, hair loss, hairloss, drugs

Hi Dr. Rassman, I’m 29, hair has been thinning, and I’ve been using the hairmax laser therapy for about 7 months.. I’m not sure if what I’m experiencing is considered positive results. Hope you don’t mind having a read, I would really like to have your opinion!

  1. Excessive shedding, quite common (apparently).
  2. Overall look doesn’t seem much worse after the big shed, but fine hairs have been growing. Not vellus hair, because these fine hair are much longer. And I’m very sure they were never there before.. in fact, for years they were never there. These fine strands of hair only started growing after I used hairmax.
  3. A few strands of dark hair growing on the front hairline.

Hair still falls, but within the common average of like 10 – 20 strands a day. Will the fine hair ever grow darker? Cos although these fine hair grow out longer, they don’t seem to make much cosmetic difference. Will they always remain this fine? Are my results considered positive?

Anyway, I thank you for your time.

LasercombI am impressed that you are seeing some growth and surprised about the shed you discussed. If you’re seeing growth at all, that absolutely should be considered positive. As to whether those hairs will get thicker, I couldn’t say.

A man your age should be on Propecia (finasteride 1mg), as that will be the very best thing you can do to treat your hair loss. The LaserComb might be a good addition to the Propecia, but it is not a substitute for finasteride, which actually blocks DHT.

Tags: propecia, finasteride, lasercomb, hairmax, laser comb, laser, hairloss, hair loss

I have recently started taking finasteride. Although, in order to save money, I buy them in the 5mg size. I try to cut them into 4 pieces as equally as possible, but considering the shape of the pill(triangular), this is not always an easy task. My question is: Are there any problems I will run into by sometimes taking a little more than 1.25mg and sometimes a little less than 1.25mg, especially in regards to the rebound effect. More specifically, does my body/scalp get use to taking the amount that is over 1.25mg, therefore not recieving enough when I take a little less than 1.25mg and therefore, contributing to hair loss.

Small variations in the dose should not be a problem, provided that you average 1-1.25mgs per day. That is why the drug company makes Propecia, as it is exactly the correct recommended dose of 1mg. No cutting required with Propecia, but you are going to be paying a premium over the generic 5mg finasteride.

Tags: finasteride, propecia, hairloss, hair loss

Hi doc. I am a 22 year old male and I have been on propecia now for about 13 months. It has been working very well for me, and I was even getting some regrowth at my temples and along my hair line. however, around the tenth month my hair started to get worse, and I started to loose more hair and my hair looks as though it is miniaturizing especially along the hairline and my temples. This has been occurring for the past 3 months and my hair does not seem to be improving at all. Is it possible that propecia is causing my hair follicles to become more sensitive to DHT or that my body has up regulated androgen receptors in the hair follicles to make up for the low amount of circulating DHT? I just wanted to know what I should do? Thanks.

It would be highly unlikely that Propecia would be causing your hair loss. The most likely explanation is that your genes are causing your balding process to continue, and Propecia can only do so much to arrest the process. It is possible that the hair loss process has itself, accelerated.

Since you are using Propecia, you must have a prescribing doctor. You should ask him/her to do a miniaturization study of your scalp to get some metrics knowing at least from this point forward, where your miniaturized hairs are and to what degree they are miniaturized.

Tags: finasteride, propecia, hairloss, hair loss

Do nasal steroids like rhinocort prescribed for allergies make or cause hair loss worse?

It shouldn’t, unless you are using the medication for a long period of time at high doses and have the genes for hair loss.

Tags: nasal, rhinocort, hairloss, hair loss, steroid