Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is Hair a Factor in NFL Players' Performance?

Photo by PR Photos

A new study was released, which examined the correlation between NFL players' hair and their performance. If you have a minute to check it out, it's worth a read: (by West Coast Shaving).

Some findings from the report:

  • The Chicago Bears are the most bald team in the NFL, at 12.73%. Coincidentally, the Bears 
  • The Kansas City Chiefs have the most facial hair of any other team, at 98.39%.
  • Quarterbacks tend to perform better with facial hair, than without. According to the average QB rating from last year, they performed 12% better with five o'clock shadows than when clean shaven.

Of course, as a hair transplant surgeon, I'm most interested in the correlation between baldness and performance. Here's how the 'most bald' teams fared in their divisions last year:

Team:                      Baldness:           Division Ranking:

Chicago Bears           12.73%              2nd
Arizona Cardinals      10.71%              3rd
Tennessee Titans       10.53%              2nd
Pittsburgh Steelers     8.93%               2nd
Indianapolis Colts       8.82%               1st

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hairline Comeback - Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey at Interstellar Premiere (Photo by PR Photos)

Is Matthew McConaughey's hair getting better with age? 

His new film, "Interstellar," hits theaters this Friday, but what's really inspiring to me is the return of the 44-year old's hairline, which began to show signs of serious recession many years ago (check out #4 on BuzzFeed's list of male celebs who are less bald than they used to be). 

While McConaughey has never admitted to undergoing a hair transplant, he has discussed using topical treatments before. A regular routine of pharmaceutical-grade minoxidil could potentially achieve this level of results, but it's best to use a multi-therapy approach that combines topicals with finasteride, low level laser therapy, nutritional supplements or platelet-rich plasma therapy. There's no way to regain hair that's dead and gone without undergoing hair transplantation surgery, and McConaughey's frontal and temporal hairline does appear to be fuller in several areas.

McConaughey in 2005 (Photo by PR Photos)

Whatever he's doing, it's clearly working, but I strongly doubt it's all due to one all-natural topical treatment as McConaughey has claimed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

J.Lo's 'Mega Hair Volume'

Photo by PR Photos

Jennifer Lopez's voluminous hair was center stage during a recent taping of the American Idol auditions in L.A. At 45, her hair is looking better than ever, which begs the question, how does she do it?

No doubt she has a great stylist and is using top-notch products for her hair, but for those who want to go one step beyond cosmetics, consider utilizing advanced medical treatments that have been shown to enhance the volume and thickness of hair, even if that hair has already begun to thin. Treatments like Viviscal Pro, a marine-derived nutritional supplement, and low level laser therapy are both extremely effective. Viviscal helps boost the overall health of the hair follicles themselves, which tend to weaken as we age - think of it like calcium supplements to help stave off osteoporosis. And low level laser therapy uses light energy to stimulate the follicles at the cellular level, boosting cellular metabolism and resulting in increased thickness, fullness and growth in the hair strands.

Of course, cosmetic products are also helpful. A good one to keep in mind is Pantene's AgeDefy line. My clinic was involved in the early research and consumer testing of the AgeDefy Advanced Thickening Treatment product, so I know it well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is James Franco Showing Signs of Recession?


James Franco's weird, bloody Halloween photo with Megan Fox is raising a few eyebrows, but what's most interesting to me is the 36-year old's hairline.

Franco recently shaved his head for his role in Zeroville, laying bare his hairline which appears to show some signs of recession, particularly at the temporal points. It's common for men to lose hair in their 30s, so hopefully Franco's team will get him started on preventive treatments soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The All-Star Cast of 'Fury' is Fighting More Than Nazis

The World War II action film 'Fury' premieres this Friday, but its all-star male cast is fighting more than Nazis - they also appear to be winning the fight against hair loss! Stars Brad Pitt (50), Michael Pena (38) and Jon Bernthal (38) all have relatively strong, healthy hairlines given their respective ages, which leaves us to wonder, have they been using proactive treatments? 

Pitt, in particular, has a remarkably thick, full hairline for a man his age.

Photo by PR Photos

At 38, both Pena and Bernthal also show strong hairlines (photos by PR Photos):

Ironically, of the film's leading men, the one whose hairline draws the most concern is 28-year old Shia LaBoeuf. With expanding temporal point recession and weakness in the center of his hairline, he might be at risk for more rapid thinning down the line. This is better illustrated in Georges Biard's photo here.

Photo by PR Photos

The risk of male-pattern hair loss increases proportional to age, but so far these Hollywood stars are winning the battle.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Calum Best Undergoing Third Hair Transplant

Photo by PR Photos

A new report by the Daily Mail newspaper in London, claims that British actor and model Calum Best, 33, plans to undergo his third hair transplant next month. Read the article here.

It's a bit unusual to see celebrities openly talking about their hair loss treatments, so kudos to Calum for opening up about his own struggle with hair loss and raising awareness for others. Calum began losing his hair in his twenties, which is actually more common than people think. 

However, there were a few comments made in this article that I feel need to be addressed:

  • "He believes he damaged his hair follicles by pulling it back in a tight ponytail." While it's true that some people can experience a type of hair loss called 'traction alopecia' from wearing tight ponytails, braids or weaves, that's not going to cause a sudden onset of male pattern hair loss. It will cause recession in those follicles directly impacted by the excess weight, pulling, etc., but not elsewhere throughout the scalp. In Calum's case, it's more likely that he was genetically predisposed to male pattern hair loss.
  • "He also thinks he hastened his hair loss by over-bleaching." Harsh chemical treatments like bleaching will only cause permanent hair loss if the follicles are damaged, such as by chemical burns. Damage to the hair strand itself but not the follicle will cause hair fallout, a temporary condition, not permanent hair loss.
  • "He refused to take the clinically proven drug Propecia, which would have halted his hair loss, because it affects the sex drive of 2 percent of patients." I know some patients are concerned about the sexual side-effect risks of finasteride (brand name Propecia). However, the documented medical evidence shows this to occur in only a small percentage of cases and should not be viewed as a general risk. But for those who are concerned about taking it, there are options. Specially compounded minoxidil solutions like Formula 82M, low level laser therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy should all be considered. It's important to understand how a hair transplant works. Once the hair is transplanted from the back of the head, that newly implanted hair will never fall out of your scalp. However, the other follicles in your scalp, the ones that weren't transplanted, will remain androgen sensitive and will be at risk of falling out. Unless you treat those androgen-sensitive follicles, you could continue losing hair around the transplanted hair, creating a weird 'patchy' look that is not at all desirable.


Monday, September 29, 2014

The LeBron James Hair Mystery - Solved

Photo by PR Photos

Only a couple of weeks ago, the media was speculating about LeBron James' miraculously full hairline in his Sports Illustrated cover. Now that hairline is dwindling before our very eyes, and many are wondering, what the heck happened?

Last summer, I wrote about a suspicious scar at the back of LeBron's head during Game 6. This looked very similar to the long linear scar line that occurs after a strip-harvest hair transplant surgery (this scar is caused by the surgeon having to remove a strip of scalp, i.e., the 'donor area,' in order to supply the follicles for transplantation - and that's why I always encourage patients to seek out the more modern NeoGraft FUE instead). At the time, this seemed to suggest that LeBron had undergone an old-fashioned strip-harvest surgery; after all, his hairline was looking much fuller than it had for some time. However, now that the frontal hair line is thinning again, it's clear that he did not undergo hair transplantation - at least not at the front of his scalp. Transplanted hair is permanent - it doesn't fall out because of male pattern hair loss.

So what is happening with LeBron's on again, off again hair?

Unless the images are being photoshopped, which I don't think they are in every case, the most likely explanation is that LeBron has been using a camouflage powder (like Toppik) to make his hairline appear fuller. It's also possible that he's been using topical minoxidil (either over-the-counter or a compounded prescription version like Formula 82M) and simply stopped using it - although it generally takes about six weeks before we see hair fallout from discontinuing treatment. 

For those who wonder if his hair transplant is "wearing off" or failing him, sorry, but that's just not how it works. 

Mystery solved.