Snippet from the article:

The FDA has approved a machine called the Artas® System for use, according to manufacturers Restoration Robotics, Inc. The company describes Artas® as “an interactive, computer assisted system utilizing image-guided robotics to enhance the quality of hair follicle harvesting” by combining “several features including an interactive, image-guided robotic arm, special imaging technologies, small dermal punches and a computer interface.” Artas® can be used on patients with straight brown or black hair; blondes or redheads still have to face male pattern baldness without robotic assistance, at this stage.

Read the full text at Time.com — Now, Robots Can Save You from Baldness… As Long As You’re Not Blond

We posted about the FDA clearance of Restoration Robotics’ Artas® System a couple weeks ago, but with all the emails I’ve gotten about it and more articles showing up in my Google Alerts daily emails, I figured at least some of you might like to see a press photo of the instrument (see below):

Artas®

 

The FUE harvesting that this robot can do is just one step in the process for hair restoration. Some doctor must design the hairline and decide what has to be harvested. Plus, the management of the grafts is a strict science, and the placement of the grafts into the recipient area requires a team of specialized personnel. This is a good addition for instrumentation, but it is not the automation of the entire process.

While I mentioned before that we licensed the core optical technology for the robotic FUE technique and have a vested interest in seeing this instrument be successful, I realize how surreal this might seem. So with that said, feel free to post your cyborg/robot jokes in the comments section.

Tags: restoration robotics, fue, hair transplant, robot

Hello Doctor,

After 2 hair transplants of 1000 grafts and then 1800 grafts, I think investing 30-45mins every morning to gel and blow dry my hair and still be worried about wind speeds outside is probably not normal. My hair loss was rated at 5A/6.

Long story short, I am thinking of shaving my head but am concerned about the big scar left on the back of my head from the 2 surgeries. Can you please let me know the options I have to reduce/eliminate this scar?

Thank you for your time and your teams contribution to this blog.

There’s no way to completely eliminate all donor scarring. You can’t undo a transplant. You might be able to have a scar revision, but even then there will still be visible scarring to some degree.

There is a way to camouflage the scar, as long as you didn’t mind keeping a very closely-cropped hairstyle. At New Hair Institute we have been addressing hair transplant linear scars with Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) (see example). For more information about SMP please visit scalpmicropigmentation.com.

Tags: pigment, smp, scarring

Ive had a bald patch on the left side of my head since birth. It has decreased in size over the years but my doctor has said it will never fully grow hair. I was wondering what caused this and what other alternatives there are.

I cannot tell you why you have a bald patch that you were born with, but think of it like a birth mark. It is what it is.

In most cases, the easy solution to this is with a small hair transplant to the area.

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, birth, bald spot

Hi doctor rassman, my question is regarding hair colour. I have grey hair scattered all over my scalp. I still have more black hair than grey, but the grey is there, and I don’t like it.

if i were to colour my hair black and eliminate the grey until the colour fades, is there a chance that it can make my grey hair worse? basically causing the natural black hairs that I have turn grey faster. Basically can colouring hair speed up the greying process?

Coloring your hair will not speed up or slow down the natural graying process of your hair.

Tags: hair color, hair dye

If pubic hair is transplanted on the scalp will it grow due to the fact the nourishment and exposure will become different. Does apocrine gland still remain active when transplanted on head? A doctor in Delhi does carry out such procedure FUE technique and is affordable. However I still want to have all the facts..If any one has done then it will be good?

If pubic hair were transplanted to the head, it would grow and be very curly. I actually performed a pubic hair transplant to a patient. The pubic hair was mixed in with scalp hair and placed into the crown in a person who had a very limited donor area. It worked well. I have also done beard hair to the scalp that has worked well, particularly when mixed with regular scalp donor hair. These are rare and special circumstances, though. Many doctors are transplanting body hair from the abdomen, chest, and back with mixed results.

But while these procedures are technically possible, surgery on your body should NOT be driven by costs. If there is good donor hair from the scalp that is available (as it most probably is), this should be the first source… not the pubic area. The hair that is transplanted will usually retain its original characteristics so pubic hair on the scalp will be very curly, underarm hair will bring with it an odor from the accompanying apocrine glands, and body hair will usually be characteristically fine and not grow out to be very long. One of your goals should be to have the results look as natural as possible, and body hair transplants (BHT) make that difficult.

Remember, any decision you make will be with you for the rest of your life, so be careful what you choose.

Tags: body hair transplant, bht, hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, pubic hair

I have been taking Propecia for over 10 years, and it has been great for slowing my hair loss. Now my doctor is recommending that I try a higher dose of finasteride for BPH. Will a 5mg daily dose of finasteride still have the effect of slowing my hair loss?

Proscar1mg strength (Propecia) is all the finasteride you need for treating androgenic alopecia (AGA). Taking a higher dose of finateride will not be of benefit with respect to treating your hair loss. I do realize that there are a minority of patients who choose to take a higher dose, but the results are equivocal at best.

Please follow up with your physician and address your BPH issues. A higher dose may give you a slightly higher risk of side effects, but it would not have a negative impact with respect to your hair loss. Essentially, taking the 5mg for BPH treatment would also give you hair loss treatment benefits.

Tags: propecia, proscar, finasteride, hairloss, hair loss, bph

Hi, just curious what your thoughts are on traveling to foreign countries for hair cloning? I understand radical developments have been made in places like Thailand and I’m interested if you have any experience with this. Much thanks in advance.

With all due respect for Thailand and other foreign countries, do you really think that if hair cloning has been successful it would have escaped the research and popular media of the United States?

What I’m getting at is this — just because you see it advertised in Thailand, it doesn’t mean it’s real. Hair cloning doesn’t yet exist in the way that you’re likely hoping.

Tags: hair cloning, hairloss, hair loss, thailand

Dear Dr. Rassman
For a quite a lot of time I had been looking for information regarding hair diameter and its relation with hair loss (I know hair diameter can be used for diagnosis), my question is if thicker hair producing follicles need more time of exposure to dht to give the appearence of hair loss. In other words is thicker hair a a delayer/protective factor for baldness?

People with coarse hair may not show the reduction of hair shaft thickness that those with fine hair would, but DHT will impact the hair equally (regardless of hair character) once the genetic pattern is expressed.

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, hair thickness

My grandfather’s has what you call a Class 7 pattern and the hair around the back and sides is very thin. I asked him if his hair was always that thin and he replied that when he was my age, his rim hair was much thicker. He became bald in his later 20s. Is the donor hair really permanent?

The donor hair around the sides and the back of the head in some men is not permanent.

I have seen men like your grandfather in my office and their donor density is very low, but as they are usually coming for a hair transplant assessment, I, of course, turn them down. There is some miniaturization in the donor hair in these men and I suspect that the miniaturization process that impacted their original frontal hair extends to the donor region. These men are clearly not surgical candidates.

On very rare occasions (about once every few years) I see someone who lost hair bulk in the transplanted hair. These men have a drop in donor density as well, so I must assume that these men are losing this sacred donor hair. This introduces two more risk for patients who have transplants: (a) the loss of some of the transplants over time as the donor hair dies off, or (b) the hair becomes finer with age (a common finding). The few who I have seen that reported transplanted hair loss to me, fortunately did not lose all of their transplanted hair, but it is a risk. I have only been doing hair transplants for 20 years, a relatively short period of time in the life of my patients.

Amongst those men I have transplanted above the age of 70, they never showed miniaturization in the donor area and they behaved like the young men I transplanted. One of my most unusual patients who came to my office frequently during our Open House events, was a Class 7 patient who received 9900 grafts over 9 years and he maintained his donor density through the entire process without miniaturization. He was 74 years old.

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, donor hair, hair transplant

Hi Dr. Rassman, In a recent article i found that it is actually possible to transplant the follicle’s dermal sheath cells from one person to another which can lead to new hair growth.

To view the full article please check the below link and let me know you thoughts about this: ScienceNetLinks

Thanks!! appreciate the work you are doing!!

We know that the body will reject hair transplanted from one person to another, but the very reputable Dr. Angela Christiano is quoted in this article and her experimental technique shows feasibility (I did not verify her work for this review).

So to answer your question, in research this is possible, but real world applications aren’t quite there. It’s early experimentation with the bigger picture being focused on generating joint cartilage for arthritis patients.

Tags: dermal sheath, hairloss, hair loss

Are all generic 5% minoxidil “exactly the same” as the branded 5% Rogaine and Regaine minoxidl and there is no pharmacological difference between them at all? Or for that matter any generic 5% minoxidil that is sold on pharmacy shelves in the general market place?

What I mean by that is if I were to use the generic 5% minoxidil it should just be as effective as the branded Rogaine/Regaine when applied to my scalp in treating my male pattern hair loss? The branded and trusted Rogaine/Regaine should not be more effective in growing more hairs than the generic.? They should be the same. But are they?

Could you reassure me they are all exactly the same so I can purchase the more cheaper generic versions ones and not worry about their pharmacological effectiveness if they are just as good as the label says they are?

I found these chemist sites selling cheap versions as follows:
– Kirkland minoxidil 5% FOR MEN 3 x 60ml Bottles (3 Month Supply) $33.75 –
– Minoxidil 5% 2 x 60mL for $31.99

Will these suffice? Can I buy these instead of the more expensive Rogaine/Regaine and hope they work just as well as I am on a shoestring budget at the moment? I hope you help me out with my enquiry.

The FDA monitors this, not me. When I know a company is legit, like Kirkland (the Costco house brand), I want to believe that it is the same minoxidil as found in Rogaine… but I do not know much more than you do. The confidence in a medication over the counter may be worth a premium, but you will have to determine this. I suppose you can also rely on the labels to see ingredients.

Tags: fda, rogaine, regaine, minoxidil, hairloss, hair loss

First of all thanks for the valuable information on this site.

I am using finasteride from last 3 years. No side effects have been noticed. My question is about the bone density. I heard that using this medicine for long period reduces the calcium levels and makes the bones weak. Is this true?

thanks.

That is false. Bone density is not related to the use of finasteride, even in experimental studies in rats.

Tags: finasteride, propecia, proscar, bone density

BagelsBear with me here while I delve into a story…

It is always good to see past patients. I’ve met them in airports, at shopping malls, or just around Los Angeles. For as big as a city it is, sometimes L.A. can feel really small. I’ve had so many patients over the years that I’m not surprised to run into them at various places around town. Most patients are discreet, but just last week I ran into a past surgical patient in a local bagel shop. He immediately told me his name (I am terrible about remembering names, but better with faces) and we talked generally about the economic recession and its impact on both of our businesses. Pleasant morning chit chat, really.

Then, right in the middle of the bagel shop, he bent down to have me look at his head and asked me what I thought about his hair. I didn’t remember where I had transplanted him and from the quick look I had of his scalp right there amongst the cases of baked goods, I honestly couldn’t tell his transplanted hair from his original remaining hair. I wasn’t going to break out a camera to start snapping photos right there, but he told me that so many people mentioned how good he looked and I’d have to agree with that. It was a nice start for my day.

Tags: hair loss, hair transplant, patient

It sounds like the FDA is in a no win situation. First they are under fire by the Government Accountability Office for how it handles device recalls.

Snippet from the article:


The FDA is falling short in how it handles recalls of risky medical devices, a new report from the Government Accountability Office concluded, adding to the ever-mounting criticisms of the agency’s fast-track, 510(k) approval process.

Read the rest — FDA’s Fast-Track Medical Device Approval Process Under Fire

And then at the same time, the medical device industry is pressuring the FDA to hurry up.

Snippet from the article:

Despite recalls of defective medical devices that have caused devastating injuries and millions of dollars in medical costs, the Food and Drug Administration is under industry pressure to speed up its approval process.

Read the rest — Despite recalls, medical device industry presses FDA to speed up approval process

Tags: fda, recall, approval, medical device

Hi Dr. Rassman,

I was the 22 year old with the early balding. We met at the open house on April 9.

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the information and the prescription for finasteride that you provided. Although I don’t know how I will respond to the drug, you may have saved my fairly full head of hair in the process.

I also would like to stress to other young men my age: if your hair is important to you and you sense that something isn’t right up there, get yourself examined immediately. It is a lot easier to maintain than to regain. Up until a year ago, I thought I would have nothing to worry about until later in life (general family genes start balding in 40+). I was unlucky enough to start early.

Again, I cannot thank you enough. Although it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, the bad news is more valuable to me now that I know I can at least do something about it in the early stages.

You’re very welcome. Thank you for stopping by!

Our events are open to anyone that would like to meet patients and see what we have to offer. Our list of upcoming free monthly open house events in Los Angeles and San Jose, California can be found here.

Tags: open house, new hair institute, nhi