Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Could David Beckham Cause Widespread Traction Alopecia Among Men?

Photo by PR Photos

I can't say enough about how risky hair extensions are to the long-term health of a person's hair follicles. Over the years, a number of female celebrities have been spotted with what appears to be bald spots or deep hair line recession as a result of damaging hair styles and treatments.

Now, according to the UK's Daily Mail newspaper (read it here), the trend, long limited to women, is crossing over to men. 

UK salons have seen a 200% increase in male hair extension treatments, as more guys seek to imitate the thick, full, lengthy locks of David Beckham, Harry Styles and Oliver Cheshire. But imitating these stars can have dangerous consequences for a guy's hair line: as more men add on extensions, they're increasing their risk for a specific type of hair loss known as "traction alopecia." This condition, which is permanent and can only be treated with hair transplant surgery, is caused by the extra weight and pulling action from the extensions on the hair follicles, which physically damages them.

Both men and women should avoid long-term use of hair extensions or use them intermittently only - and this is especially true for anyone with weak hair. Most stylists will underestimate their potential for damage until it's too late.

Male hair extensions appear to be part of a larger man-'do trend, as bro-braids, man-buns and dude-'tails are also picking up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Recession Alert - Pierce Brosnan

Photo by PR Photos

Pierce Brosnan's latest movie, "The November Man," hits theaters tomorrow, but unfortunately the 61-year old's hair line doesn't seem to have the same staying power as his career.

In recent photos, an obvious crown bald spot can be seen, which is quite typical with male pattern hair loss. 

While hair loss is common in a man's 60s, there's no reason why anyone should have to endure it. Medical treatment options are available that can help. The hair line frames the face, and those who allow it to thin and recede will look much older than someone the same age who has a full head of hair. Why look older than you have to?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sylvester Stallone's Age-Proof Hair

Photo by PR Photos

With 'The Expendables 3' out in studios, Sylvester Stallone's career isn't the only thing that's age-proof - the same also appears to be true of his hair line. At 68 years old, his hair line looks like that of a man half his age. 

So how does he do it? 

Although it's pure speculation, it appears that Stallone has undergone at least one hair transplant, and has been dutifully following a multi-therapy regimen ever since. Earlier photos (see #23) show a receding hair line with weakening temporal points, all of which is no longer evident on the star. Of course, there is speculation that he wears a wig; but many of the candid photos of Stallone appear to show a real hair line.

Stallone's hair restoration work appears to have been well done - and while it isn't possible to know for certain without examining him, he seems to have avoided a common trap among celebrities and pro athletes: the outdated strip-harvest hair transplant. The old-fashioned strip-harvest procedure leaves a long, linear scar at the back of the head, which you can see on Jeremy Piven, LeBron James and others.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Would America Elect a Bald President?

US Senator Marco Rubio

Recently, the Washington Post, International Business Times and Newsmax had a go at an increasingly common debate in US politics - does a presidential contender's hairline affect his chances of winning? (Read the full stories here: WP, IBT, NM.) This time the focus is on US Senator Marco Rubio, from my home state of Florida.

On the surface, let's admit it - this notion sounds pretty silly. Would anyone really not vote for a candidate just because he or she is balding? Hopefully not.

However, it would be wrong for us to overlook the importance that appearance does have on the US voting public. Since the classic - and often cited - 1960 TV debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, it's been clear that Americans prefer a 'mediagenic' president. That means someone who is not unattractive, not too old and charismatic. Since 1960, Americans have only elected two presidents over the age of 60 (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush). And let's not forget how ruthlessly the press often analyzes the fashion and style sensibilities of female candidates. 

So, does a healthy hair line matter? It's silly to say there's any direct link between a candidate's hair line and his or her chances of winning. But it probably does play a subtle role in how they're perceived by the voting public. To that end, it certainly makes sense for candidates to do what they can to keep their hair lines full and healthy.

In the case of Rubio, he would likely benefit from a multi-therapy treatment approach, including Propecia, Formula 82M and Viviscal Pro. A NeoGraft FUE hair transplant might also be needed, especially if he doesn't take action soon, to help restore the crown area and the frontal hair line.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Reminder About the Dangers of Hair Extensions - Kim Kardashian Edition

Photo by PR Photos

I've long warned about the dangers of hair extensions to women's hair lines, and a new report on Kim Kardashian illustrates the risk. According to these photos published on, Kim appears to be showing signs of hair loss consistent with 'traction alopecia.' This type of hair loss, also referred to as 'scarring alopecia,' happens when the follicles are physically damaged - such as from the excessive pulling and strain caused by wearing hair extensions.

Of course, as a doctor who hasn't personally examined her, this is all speculation, but the photos are compelling. 

Traction alopecia is a permanent form of hair loss that results from physical damage to the follicles. Wearing hair extensions, braids, tight pony tails, or certain types of hair styles in which the hair is pulled back tightly towards the vertex of the scalp, can damage the follicles, resulting in this type of balding. Women who suffer from trichotillomania are also at high risk for traction alopecia - in fact, I treated one woman a few years ago who'd lost all of her eyelashes as a result of compulsive pulling.

Other celebrities have been noted to suffer from traction alopecia as well, most notably Naomi Campbell.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why Tiger Woods is Wrong About His Hair Loss

Photo by PR Photos

In a recent interview on Fox Sports Live, legendary golfer Tiger Woods opened up about his thinning hair line, which has been noticeable for the last three-plus years. But what Tiger said next is a bit upsetting, as it may give the wrong idea to millions of Americans who likewise suffer from male-pattern baldness.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

- Interviewer: Are you comfortable aging?
- Tiger: I'm comfortable with it, my hair line is not. I have a nice skylight ... and if I don't wear a hat, I feel the heat. 
- Interviewer: Are you going to get to the point where maybe you just give up and shave your head?
- Tiger: I think I will, but I'm fighting the cause. I'm fighting it hard. It's a no-win fight, but I'm just hanging in there.

A no-win fight? Tiger, you haven't been to a qualified doctor! In the vast majority of cases, hair loss is a perfectly treatable and reversible condition. The hair loss industry is a highly specialized field and a number of effective treatments have been developed over the years - whether it's FDA approved finasteride and minoxidil, NeoGraft FUE micro-surgical hair transplants, platelet-rich plasma therapy, low level laser therapy, clinical-grade supplements and more. If Tiger wants to restore his natural hairline, all he has to do is consult with a qualified hair restoration specialist who can get him started on a multi-therapy approach. There's no reason today why anyone - man or woman - should give up when it comes to their hair. Medically proven treatments are out there and they are highly effective at preventing, treating and reversing hair loss.

For those who want to watch the full interview, go here (the hair loss conversation starts at 2:14).

Monday, July 28, 2014

Did Vanity Fair Photoshop Prince William's Bald Spot?

Prince William and his family are on the cover of the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, but if you look close, you'll notice that Prince William's bald spot seems to have vanished, leaving many questioning whether or not the magazine did a little photoshopping. 

I can't say for sure, but if you compare his cover portrait to other photos, you will notice his hair does appear a little thicker. 

I've discussed Prince William's hair loss in the past on this site, at 32, he has advanced male pattern hair loss for his age - in fact, he's a Norwood Class III-vertex, progressing quickly toward IV and beyond. In my opinion, it would be best to start a multi-therapy approach immediately that combines finasteride (Propecia), minoxidil (Rogaine) and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). Non-invasive FDA-approved therapies can start reversing the miniaturization of the hair follicles immediately. Because hair growth rates are slow, the results will take 3-9 months to become appreciated. A microsurgical FUE hair transplant with NeoGraft (the "Cadillac of hair transplants") would also do wonders for him. 

The good news is, if Prince William decides he likes the look of a fuller head of hair, there are many options available today to restore his lost follicles.