What can the ends of your shed hairs tell you? - BaldTruthTalk.com
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    Default What can the ends of your shed hairs tell you?

    Hey guys. I wanted to ask you what you think the ends of your shed hairs might be able to tell you about how your treatments are working. Most of the hairs I shed are thinner and less pigmented towards the root (as in Case 1 below), with the length of taper being quite short. Less than half a centimeter usually. However.. I do shed a few hairs that are notably thinner at the tip with a gradual increase in thickness and pigment towards the root! They are however in the minority. I also found a few really long hairs today that showed basically no taper throughout the shaft length. I'll post pics of each case.

    Case 1. Shorter hair (3-4 cm) that is thicker at the TIP and thinner/less pigmented at the root. The length of this thinning is about 4mm.


    Case 2. The same hair as above, except this time I clipped off the 4mm that is thinner. You can see that the ends are now the same thickness and pigmentation. The 4mm I clipped off represents about 12 days of growth. There's no way a hair could succumb to miniaturization in 12 days.. could it? Maybe this is normally how hair bulbs look?


    Case 3. Shorter hair (3-4 cm) that is thicker at the ROOT and notably thinner at the tip! Could this be good news? A reversal of miniaturization perhaps?


    Case 4. Longer hair (8-9cm) that is pretty well the same thickness throughout. If this is 9cm long hair, it has been growing for about 9 months by my math. I started fin 9 months ago. Perhaps this means the hair has been maintained!


    So what do you guys make of this? What do your hair ends look like, and how is your treatment going?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgerard View Post
    Hey guys. I wanted to ask you what you think the ends of your shed hairs might be able to tell you about how your treatments are working. Most of the hairs I shed are thinner and less pigmented towards the root (as in Case 1 below), with the length of taper being quite short. Less than half a centimeter usually. However.. I do shed a few hairs that are notably thinner at the tip with a gradual increase in thickness and pigment towards the root! They are however in the minority. I also found a few really long hairs today that showed basically no taper throughout the shaft length. I'll post pics of each case.

    Case 1. Shorter hair (3-4 cm) that is thicker at the TIP and thinner/less pigmented at the root. The length of this thinning is about 4mm.

    Case 2. The same hair as above, except this time I clipped off the 4mm that is thinner. You can see that the ends are now the same thickness and pigmentation. The 4mm I clipped off represents about 12 days of growth. There's no way a hair could succumb to miniaturization in 12 days.. could it? Maybe this is normally how hair bulbs look?

    Case 3. Shorter hair (3-4 cm) that is thicker at the ROOT and notably thinner at the tip! Could this be good news? A reversal of miniaturization perhaps?

    Case 4. Longer hair (8-9cm) that is pretty well the same thickness throughout. If this is 9cm long hair, it has been growing for about 9 months by my math. I started fin 9 months ago. Perhaps this means the hair has been maintained!

    So what do you guys make of this? What do your hair ends look like, and how is your treatment going?
    You would most likely make a good researcher. A relatively short hair with a long taper at the top that sheds may indicate a short anagen (growing) phase. I personally haven't looked into the details of finasteride-related shedding, but I could tell you about transplanted hair. When hair is transplanted some of the hair continues to grow and some stops growing and just sits there. It's important that the hairs that stop growing are scrubbed during shampooing or tweezed out so they don't become "J" hairs. The "dead in the water" hairs can be differentiated from new growth by paying careful attention to the ends. Hairs that need to come out have a straight cut end while new growth has a gradually tapered end. Also, the hairs that need to come out will pull out with tweezers like a needle in warm butter.

    Shedding is common the first year+ of finasteride use. I'm not sure why that happens. There are theories though. I believe that a person's immune system somehow plays a role in normal hair cycles. DHT plays a role in promoting abnormal hair cycles of susceptible hairs and they eventually become damaged. Some researchers believe DHT causes genetically susceptible hairs to become starved of nutrients, become unrecognizable as part of the body, and transition to foreign object status by a man's immune system. Research indicates a lack of progenitor cells at the follicle sheath of MPB induced miniaturized follicles. Finasteride helps block DHT as you all know and perhaps restores a hair status "signal" that assigns "telogen" to hairs that were formerly damaged by DHT. Perhaps the body lost accounting of what the formerly healthy hairs were. The hairs shed and hopefully a healthy, more body-recognizable hair emerges and stays healthy in the reduced presence of DHT.

    Treatments that work even minimally, support some of these hypotheses to varying degrees. For example, hair restoration physicians began taking advantage of the healing properties of platelet rich plasma (PRP) during surgery. Doctors at Emory hospital for instance were having success treating stubborn sports injuries with PRP. Most patients want to look "normal" after hair transplant surgery ASAP and PRP speeds healing. According to our hair mass index record keeping and other doctor's experiences with PRP, treatment also increases hair shaft diameter of miniaturized hair. All that to say that PRP in sports injury applications heals damaged tissue. Perhaps MPB miniaturized hairs are "registered" in the body as damaged and PRP is able to repair the damage to varying degrees? MPB studies indicate that men with the hair loss gene have more hair in the telogen phase at one time than men without MPB. A possible indicator that the immune system plays a role in hair cycles could be suspected by the fact that corticosteroids are immunosuppressants and have a common side effect of excessive hair growth. Topicals like Cordran SP and common hydrocortisone cream often prolong the anagen phase by inhibiting the immune system's role in placing hair in telogen. This is part reality and theory.

    Just some things to think about.


    35YrsAfter also posts as CITNews and works at Dr. Cole's office
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    Last edited by 35YrsAfter; 02-22-2015 at 05:17 PM.

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    Thanks 35yearsafter for the great info! I have to say that lately a much larger proportion of the hairs that I see lying around are of the case 3 type.. that is they are thinner at the tip and much thicker at the root. Finally, after 9 months on fin and a huge thinning of my hair in the past 2 months (due possibly to a crash diet), could this be an indication that new growth is occuring? One can only hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgerard View Post
    Thanks 35yearsafter for the great info! I have to say that lately a much larger proportion of the hairs that I see lying around are of the case 3 type.. that is they are thinner at the tip and much thicker at the root. Finally, after 9 months on fin and a huge thinning of my hair in the past 2 months (due possibly to a crash diet), could this be an indication that new growth is occuring? One can only hope.
    Bariatric surgery could serve as an extreme model to illustrate the relationship between nutrition and hair loss. A diet may not have much of an impact on shedding but the following article may be useful for zeroing in on supplements recommended to bariatric surgery patients to help avoid hair loss.
    Last edited by 35YrsAfter; 02-22-2015 at 05:16 PM.

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    bump. any other theories on this?

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