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“I had some really good questions this week that came up and some of them go back to really basic principles and even some exciting research and development that’s being done with hair loss and hair restoration. The simple question that one of my patients brought up was about Latisse. And Latisse, as many people know are bimatoprost is a product that’s available for the enhancement of eyelashes. It is typically applied daily at the base of the lashes with the brush that’s supplied. I often ask people to use a Q-tip, so it’s really just applied at the base of the lashes and not getting on the skin where it can be an irritant. It’s totally safe in the eyes. Latisse as many people are aware is used to increase the thickness of hair by 30%. The darkness of those hair eyelashes by 30% and their length and some people they can get quite long and they have to reduce the use or the frequency of use of the Latisse. The molecule itself, Latisse, is interesting one would ask and a patient did ask me, “Well, gosh, if this works so well in lashes, can I use it on my scalp and get my hair to grow?” and the answer is, in the doses that are being used and this has already been looked at pretty closely and the doses that are being used for eyelashes, scalp hair does not seem to respond. Now, in much higher doses with this molecule, there’s a possibility that we could stimulate hair growth and it gets into this area of are there topical agents that we can use to stimulate hair growth or even reduce the rate of hair loss. Men and women lose hair as we age so no one’s immune from hair lose. Men are obviously and genetically susceptible males much more predisposed to do it that’s why we see male pattern balding and we have good medications finasteride being one of them, the trade name sold over the market. Propecia used at 1 mg a day, now finasteride is available in generic and I’ve actually reduced the dose that I recommend for my male patients to 1.5 mg 3x a day and in California, we can dispense those medications after a good faith examination and a careful evaluation of the patient.
There are some other drugs too that I think are very interested and exciting, certainly, minoxidil or Rogaine has been around a long time. Rogaine or is now the trade name and it’s an over-the-counter topical that supplied as what was originally a sort of a greasy cream and is now foam. As best applied, best results was when it’s applied in crown balding and it’s probably best overall that used in conjunction with Finasteride or Propecia and probably higher doses are better in people who can tolerate it. So, it’s commercially available as a 4% solution for men, 2% for women. I don’t recommend anybody use, men or women use the 2% it doesn’t make any sense and getting into a little bit higher dose maybe in the 6% range may have a little better effect.
So, to kind of enumerate the topical or not invasive medications we have for hair growth or the reduction in hair loss, there is minoxidil or Rogaine, that’s been along around a long time. There’s a little bit newer but certainly well-established finasteride or propecia and again I’m recommending smaller, weekly doses by giving 1.5 mg 3x a week and I have that done for us in a compounding pharmacy. There is the bimatoprost molecule, latisse and there are some analogs to it that probably work as well. There’s not a lot of research on this one, it’s latanoprost. So those two molecules but probably a much higher dose than what are used for eyelashes may be effective in stimulating new hair growth and reducing hair loss and I think those are important.
The other one that we haven’t really talked about and there’s certainly hasn’t been enough research on is potentially topically applying finasteride or the propecia drug and it’s analog dutasteride which may work just as well as finasteride. Again, was originally discovered in males that were taking this medicine to reduce prostate enlargement they were found to have hair growth.
So there’s a list of drugs that we know help to stimulate hair growth on the scalp and I think we’re just at the beginning stages of really understanding how these different medications and maybe a combination of them would be the best opportunity for us to have non-invasive pharmaceutical topically applied products that can improve hair growth, increase the number of terminal hairs or thick hairs that we have on our head and increase the length of the growth phase of hair which we all have phases of hair growth and that’s really the key is increasing the growth phase and the number of terminal hairs on our head. There are a couple other drugs are interesting for example, there’s a diuretic known as spironolactone which in many women I’ll use that if they have hair loss it’s been shown in quite a number to increase both hair density and prolong the growth phase of hair in those terminal or thicker hairs and so there’s really a lot of exciting information on hair loss and it’s prevention on the topical applications of certain types of medications in preventing hair loss or increasing you know the hair growth and I really think we’re just at the beginning of it.
I’m really very happy to talk about this, there’s a lot of exciting research that’s being done in particular with the inflammation in women’s hair loss and so I think as you stay tuned I will try to keep you filled in on all that I learned about preventing hair loss which I do a lot of hair grafting and hair restoration for men and women and scenario I really enjoy but if we could find areas where we could treat people medically and prevent that hair loss, it would be a great thing.
So, stay tuned, I’ll keep you filled in as we learn more information on these newer medications that can prevent hair loss. As always, it’s my pleasure to talk to you, it’s Dr. Maas on looking your best. Write us at Drmaas.com send photographs or videos if you want and I’ll be happy to either do a video tele-consultation or I can just respond to you privately. This is Dr. Corey Maas, thank you.”