The following post is by UK-based physician Dr. Bessam Farjo:


Written by:
Dr Bessam Farjo, United Kingdom
Dr Bessam Farjo
United Kingdom

I’m often asked about the ICX-TRC Cell Therapy Human Clinical Trial and whether or not it was successful. For those of you who don’t know, the trial was (in very simple terms) the development of a therapy whereby cells are sourced from an individual, multiplied, and then returned to that same individual. Take a look at the Farjo website for a more detailed account.

For anyone who has experienced any form of hair loss, the idea that your own existing hair follicles can be multiplied and re-implanted is a huge breakthrough.

Initial results were very encouraging, with an excellent percentage success rate seen within the test areas of the trial subjects.

Unfortunately, whilst the ICX-TRC trial results appeared positive, another unrelated Intercytex project was having less success. As a result of this and Intercytex being listed on the stock market (to make a long story short) the project’s funding was cut, putting an end to the activity – for the time being. The global credit crunch exacerbated matters further.

In 2010, the different divisions of the company were broken down and sold off to different interested parties. The ICX-TRC trial was acquired by Aderans Research (ARI) in the USA, who are continuing to do trials on this subject.

Cell therapy is still an exciting and promising area for the future; however it has proved to be a complicated study that still holds lots of unanswered questions. We’re still very much committed to the concept as well as other exciting areas, and hope to have the opportunity to discover the answers to some of these questions soon – watch this space!

Learn more about the author of this article, Dr. Bessam Farjo, on his BaldingBlog profile or at his website.

Tags: intercytex, icx-trc, hair loss, hairloss, hair cloning, hair multiplication, farjo

Hi Doctor,

At age 23, I started taking Propecia. I soon switched to Finpecia made by Cipla to save on costs. For three years things were great. I regrew hair on my crown, no more small baldspot and no noticable hair falling out whatsoever. It was everything I hoped for.

This January, after aproximately 3 years on Finpecia, I noticed my hair thinning out and everyday I see that I am losing hairs. I still have decent coverage on the crown but my hairline is receeding and it’s definitely thinner coverage all over.

I’ve been taking some supplements such as saw palmetto and been using 2% Nizoral. I’m wondering if adding Rogaine Foam may be to some benefit.

Also wondering, if in your experience, you think I should get back on the name brand propecia. I’ve been getting the Finpecia from a reliable online pharmacy that requires a prescription and is “certified”, but I wonder if the quality of drug is different.

Thanks for your help and I appreciate this blog.

CiplaFor those readers not familiar, Finpecia is a generic Propecia (1mg finasteride) made in India by Cipla — the generic 1mg isn’t available legally in the US yet due to patent laws. And just like Propecia, it does not continuously work for everyone. Many men on finasteride will see results for 5-10 years (or beyond), but each case is different. You need to see your prescribing doctor about the reduced impact of this drug. I think you should still stay on the medication, because if you stop it you will likely lose a great deal of hair.

Cipla is a huge pharmaceutical company and I doubt there’s a difference between the generic and the name brand finasteride.

As for adding Rogaine Foam, I suppose it’s worth a shot. You might see some benefit, but I can’t say for sure.

Tags: propecia, finasteride, cipla, finpecia, generic, hairloss, hair loss

(female)
I recently had a huge knot in my hair instead of waiting for my stylist to look at it I slowly ended up having a huge bald spot the size of a grapefruit in the back. I have gone to a dermatologist to get some clobex shampoo and luxiq foam and I was wondering how much faster does this help your hair grow than if I used nothing at all.

LuxiqClobex (clobetasol propionate) is used to treat psoriasis. Luxiq foam (betamethasone) is a corticosteroid and also used in the treatment of psoriasis. I don’t know why you’d be prescribed these with the goal of growing your hair faster.

I have no clue what is causing your hair loss (was it just ripped out??), but perhaps you should ask your dermatologist for a diagnosis of what you are attempting to treat. Find out the success rate of such treatments and get realistic expectations.

Tags: clobex, luxiq, corticosteroid, hairloss, hair loss, female hair loss

Hey Dr
I just wanted to share my experience with the medication finasteride. I initially started the treatment as a early Norwood 3 vertex only then within 4 years I developed into a Norwood 6. I still have hair on the top of my head but its all miniturized to somewhere around 90 %.

I know you have limited information on me and my condition but for someone who has a slighlty above average donor hair, fine hair, and a Norwood 6 thinning pattern, when should I consider hair transplantation as a viable option?

Thank you

NW6As long as you and your doctor have realistic goals in mind, and you have the donor hair available to do it, anytime would be a viable time if you are serious about a hair transplant.

Please see our hundreds of before and after pictures for some examples (there are Norwood 6 cases in there) and learn about our concept of the Master Plan.

Tags: hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, norwood

hi dr,
i’m curious to know how dense you can make a head of hair if you have plenty of donor hair to work with? i like to keep my hair short is why i’m asking & just wondering what kind of density you are able to create.

here is a link to a famous actor christian bale. my hair resembles his in color & density so i’m wondering if you would be able to re-create that kind of density. heres the link [Google Image Search].

i appreciate your time…

Packing the recipient area with transplants can be done, however, you would want to discuss the general supply/demand ratio with your doctor when it comes to evaluating the donor area.

Here’s an example patient that had work in the hairline and crown. There was a total of 5756 total grafts moved over two procedures at NHI. I realize the side view photos aren’t the exact same angle in the before and after shots (sorry), but it should still give you a good idea of what was done. Click the photos to enlarge.

After (5756 grafts):

 

Before:

 

Tags: hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, hairline, crown, dense packing

Hello,

I am 24 and have been taking Propecia for nearly 6 months now, but I have noticed little to no change in my hair loss. I have spoken to a doctor about getting a hair transplant but was told that I need to continue taking Propecia after the transplant in order to keep my existing hair, or else I will only have the transplanted hair on my head in the future. If the Propecia is not responding to me are there any options for the future in terms of keeping my hair?

Thank you!

I often write here about the importance of speaking with your doctor for a treatment plan, but I suppose even after talking to a doctor there are things that go missing. Your doctor should have explained to you (and maybe he/she did) that Propecia is not a cure for hair loss, but it should help hold onto the hair you currently have. Some patients respond better than others to Propecia, but that does not mean it isn’t working. It just means your hair loss predisposition is outweighing the limits of the drug.

Hair transplants may help, but you deal with your existing hair problem. This is the main reason you need to have a Master Plan. Hair transplantation is not a simple decision to take lightly. You need to plan for what your hair will look like in the future. With or without Propecia if you are destined to go completely bald (Norwood class 6 or 7) you need to plan for your surgery accordingly.

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

Hi doctor,
I am a 19 year old male who had really long hair a year ago. I use to tie my hair in a bun with lots of rubber bands. The rubber bands were pushed really hard against my scalp and my scalped from a bruise/bump. The bruise was red, painful, itchy, and bumpy. I pushed down on the bump with my thumb to make it flat and applied Neosporin. The swelling went away but the hair loss remains till this day. My dermatologist recommended rogaine foam but i have seen little progress(5 months in.)My doctor does not recommend cortisone injections.

Rubber bandYou were not doing yourself justice with making tight rubber bands pull on your scalp. This can cause traction alopecia. In your case though, I can’t tell you what is going on with your scalp without seeing you directly.

Are you balding all elsewhere or just one hairless spot? Are there local areas that are missing hair? I can keep asking questions, but without even a picture, I am helpless.

You may wish to see another dermatologist if you don’t feel you were given adequate time or treatment. Or go back and ask your dermatologist for a follow-up.

Tags: rubber band, scalp, bump, hairloss, hair loss

BoxHello Dr. Rassman! I am very grateful for the information that you provide for all of us trying to find legitimate ways to mitigate hair loss and for answering my questions in the past.

It has been almost three months since my hair transplant procedure and I am looking forward to the results. I do recall however that 3 days after my procedure, a friend of mine inadvertently tapped my head back then with a folded box. There was no pain, no bleeding occured and the force of the tap itself was lightly moderate.

My question would be: Could that tap may have affected the grafts in the recepient area that the box may have touched? I’m just concerned that that particular single tap (no taps or hits with any object have occured since then) may have affected any of the grafts that the box may have touched back then. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

As long as it was a single tap, and the box was folded, and the color of the box was brown… you should be fine. :)

In all seriousness, it’s common to be overly-worried about the results of your hair transplant since at just three months you’re probably not seeing growth… but a light tap on the head is nothing to be concerned about.

Tags: hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, injury

There is a doctor in Australia who is offering to remove some of your blood, centrifuge it and 30 minutes later inject the platelets back into your scalp to make your hair grow. I notice that Bioscor also has offices in N. America as well.

I am thinking of reporting this to the medical board, but I would value your input before doing so. Another rip-off for the gullible.

PRPPlatelet-rich plasma (PRP) is used by some surgeons to speed up wound healing, and some hair transplant clinics have been advertising this as a way to speed up the healing along with promoting early growth. One of my patients is a dentist and he said he uses PRP regularly for his oral surgery patients.

I’ll rehash what I’ve written about this treatment in the past: the greatest issue stems from the fact that there are no controlled scientific studies showing PRP does anything of significance. I’m not saying it’s a useless procedure, but until there are proper studies done it does seem a bit gimmicky to me. I’m also not sure what the FDA has to say about the claims made regarding PRP treatments, and the NY Times had an interesting write-up about this earlier in the year — Popular Blood Therapy May Not Work.

As for the Bioscor company in particular, their Australia site advertises PRP treatments, but their US site doesn’t seem to mention anything about them. Maybe that site isn’t updated or they just don’t offer it in the States. However, the US site does talk about how the founder of the company apparently made a name for himself by selling his “all-natural” hair lotion that contains a “secret formula” of Chinese herbs. That’s all the site seems to be promoting. Even the most casual reader of this site should know how I feel about these magic hair potions with secret ingredients. I’m all for protecting trade secrets, but there’s no magical blend of vitamins and minerals that will make your hair regrow.

Tags: bioscor, australia, prp, platelet rich plasma, hairloss, hair loss, alan ong, lotion, shampoo, herbal

I interesting in learning what can be done for Black Women who are lossing their hair. And the physcians are saying it from the chemicals that we use. Ex. perms. they say the only treatment is rogaine and injections which will also cause complete baldness if we can no longer afford that treatment while they give the white women hormone replacement. Can you help and give better advise

Black hair permChemicals (like relaxers) can cause damage, but many black women will also see traction alopecia, which is permanent hair loss caused by the pulling of tight braids, many times from when they were very young. For women, the only FDA approved hair loss treatment is Rogaine (minoxidil). Hormone replacement likely won’t regrow your hair and I’m not sure which injections your doctor is recommending.

This isn’t an issue of race so much as gender. For men, the great majority of cases of hair loss are from genetics and there’s an oral pill for that. For women, there’s a large list of possible causes of hair loss and no truly great solutions. So it’s not that black women have less options, but rather, all women have limited treatment options.

See this page for more — Female Genetic Hair Loss Is Different From Male Genetic Hair Loss.

Tags: race, hairloss, hair loss, female hair loss, gender

Hello Doctor, This is a hairline receding question. I have witnessed hair thinning and the hairline receding on the far right side of the temple. I’m certain that the same is making it’s way to the otherside and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I am 25 years old and this thinning has gained pace ever since I moved to the eastern part of the country, some people say it’s because of the high iron content in the water here while others say it’s because I travel a lot being in marketing.

I have dense thick hair but this thinning is occuring rather quickly. We don’t have many good doctors where I’m currently working which is why I’m a bit hesitant to take their advice. I would really appreciate if you could help me out with this. Thanks.

WaterWhile I can’t positively say what is causing your hair loss, my educated assumption would be that this is your genetics…. not iron levels in the water. It’s not uncommon for one side of the hairline to recede before the other, and while stress from travel might contribute to acceleration of the loss, I’d expect this is simply your genetics at play.

There are two proven medications to treat hair loss in men — Propecia (finasteride 1mg) and Rogaine (minoxidil). Propecia is by prescription only and both medications do have their limitations. In other words, you shouldn’t expect full regrowth (particularly in the hairline), but the hair loss may be halted from progressing for some time.

Tags: iron, water, hairloss, hair loss, hairline

Snippet from the article:

MicroneedlesIn a move that could spell disaster for the lollipop industry, scientists have reported progress in designing pain-free vaccines that people might be able to use at home. Someday that might mean fewer jabs at the doctor’s office — and fewer crying kids needing a sweet to comfort them.

The Band-Aid-like patches, coated with microscopic needles, generally don’t hurt. Moreover, they may actually work better at delivering vaccines and some medications, according to recent research.

Read the rest of the story at LA Times — Microneedles could replace the syringe

While not hair loss related, I wonder if these could eventually be used at the start of a hair transplant to remove any and all pain from the initial injections. Regardless, even as a new way for delivering vaccines, it’s worth reporting here.

Tags: microneedles, vaccine, vaccination, hair transplant, surgery

I have been reading your blog for quite some time and i see you repeatedly emphasis not to hold your breath on the baldness cure. I totally agree with you, my dad went to Europe in the 70s to talk with doctors and find a cure for his baldness the doctors then told him there may be a cure in 2 or 3 years! It has been 40years since then and i must admit he still has hopes that those 2 or 3 years is not far away!! Me on the other hand have no hope of seeing anything new at least till 2020 considering if the trials succeed by 2013 go for FDA approval.

So i have considered going for a wig or a hair piece, i just wanted to know what is the psychological effects that you noticed with an average person(non-celebrity) who uses a wig? Do they get addicted to it and would they be able to live without it after awards if they choose to lose it? Also how much emotional scare does it do if it comes of in a public place like a swimming pool?

What is your advice on the best hair piece available, which would look real and shows the scalp and not something that looks like a thick road kill.

Thanks.

HairpieceWhile I do hope we see a cure for hair loss at some point, we’ve all been hearing the same story for decades. Who knows — 30 years from now, people might be having a conversation about how foolish we were in 2010 for hoping the cure was right around the corner.

As for the wigs / hairpieces… well, people all respond differently. There’s possibly the initial wave of confidence, but with that comes new problems you have to deal with.

The attachments used are critical, because you do not want to make the hair loss worse from traction alopecia caused by pulling of the hair under the hair system. Most people will shave the head under the hair system to minimize the impact of traction. There are clearly limitations with a hairpiece (like swimming).

Interaction with women is a problem if the lady wants to run her fingers through your hair… and gets the hair system instead. Most men who wear these pieces realize that there is a “no-touch zone” around their head and watch people carefully when they approach (especially women or relatives).

I really don’t have advice on where to buy them or what to buy, but judging by the amount of spam I get from wig vendors that read this site, I’m sure plenty of them will offer their 2 cents.

Tags: wig, hair piece, hairpiece, toupee, hair system, rug, hairloss, hair loss, cure


Dear Dr,

I was wondering what the percentages are for DPA vs regular progression of male patterned baldness? I am 30 years old and have a norwood 2 or 3 pattern but most of the men in my family are bald to a large degree. Only my father has a complete head of hair.

Regards

I don’t have statistics directly comparing diffuse patterned alopecia (DPA) to male pattern baldness (MPB). We don’t get asked all that much about DPA here, so check out this link for more info.

Essentially… if you are balding from genetic causes, the hair can fall out without thinning in a specific pattern (DPA) or it can thin according to a specific pattern (MPB). In either case, the final pattern will be determined by your genes.

There is also a condition defined by us in the medical literature called diffuse unpatterned alopecia (DUPA) which reflects that the hair all over the head shows miniaturization, including the sacred donor area that is usually genetically protected in men. Most genetic female hair loss appears similar to DUPA, in that it is diffuse and over the entirety of the scalp.

Tags: dupa, dpa, hairloss, hair loss, mpb, genetic

Hello Dr. Rassman, I was just curious if you’ve ever come upon this web site: mypropeciasideeffects.com. This guy doesn’t seem real pleased with his Propecia experience. I’m not sure if he’s got an agenda or if he’s just a worst case scenerio. Any legitimacy to his claims?

Thank-you for your time

Not everyone will be happy with every choice they make. Propecia is an elective medication to treat a cosmetic issue. If someone is concerned about the possible risks from the medication, simply don’t take it. The fact is, I’ve yet to see a good clinical study that shows any side effect is permanent and studies have shown the side effects are seen in less than 2% of men. I have no idea if he’s got an agenda, but I’ve written about this issue many times before:

  1. Recommending Finasteride Despite Web Forum Outrage
  2. Can You Dismiss Propecia Information on the Web?
  3. Propecia Causes Damage to the Penis — If It’s on the Internet, It Must Be True!
  4. Propecia Info on the Internet Has Me Worried!
Tags: propecia, finasteride, hairloss, hair loss, side effects