Overcoming Our Own Perceptions of Female Hair Loss

When Medi Tresse opened 2015, our mission was two-fold.  First, we wanted to help all women experiencing hair loss feel empowered by their options and reclaim their confidence. Secondly, as the leading medical professionals in our industry, we wanted to normalize women's hair loss through education while creating a caring and supportive community for women.  That second part is the hardest, but most important part of our mission.

The reason I am sharing this, is due to a recent patient interaction that I had during a consultation.  During the consultation I made a comment about the patient’s hair loss and the patient was slightly taken aback and stated that they did not suffer from hair loss. The patient went on to state that she only has some thinning hair, but not hair loss.  This is actually something that is not that uncommon to hear from patients at Medi Tresse.

While hair loss may seem fairly objective, either you have it or you don’t, in reality, that is not how people feel about hair loss.  The truth is that everybody has different perceptions about what counts as hair loss.  We have some patients that come in with what appear to be full heads of hair, but they are noticing changes in their hair and feel they have hair loss that needs to be treated.  We have other patients that come in with what we would consider advanced female hair loss, but they feel like they have just started to notice hair loss or they have always had fine hair so it really is not that advanced to them.  It is important not to minimize anyone’s feelings about what they are experiencing.

It is just as important to break through the negative connotations of words and phrases like “hair loss”, ”thinning hair”, or “alopecia”.  Thankfully, with the patient I alluded to above, even though this patient did not think they had hair loss, they were still seeking treatment.  Unfortunately, many women are unable to take the next step to see a specialist, because doing so would be an admission that they are experiencing hair loss.  Hopefully, through greater awareness of how common hair loss is in women and the treatments available, we will be able to break free of our negative perceptions of female hair loss.

We know it is not easy, but important work never is.  When you are ready to take that next step, please know that staff at Medi Tresse is here for you.

Posted by Dr. Mary Wendel

How Tresse Rx Differs From Nutrafol and Viviscal

With the addition of our Tresse Rx supplement and vitamins, we have received a number of questions from patients regarding how these differ from Nutrafol or Viviscal.  First off, it is important to remember that the Tresse Rx healthy inside plan, is a comprehensive plan that consists of not just the Tresse Revitalizer and Tresse Fortifier supplements, but also the Tresse Prebiotic gut health powder.  When comparing to the Nutrafol or Viviscal, you really cannot include the Tresse Prebiotic gut health powder in the comparison, because that part of the plan is so different from what you get with Nutrafol or Viviscal, which is one of the reasons we love the Tresse Prebiotic.  Gut health plays such an important role in all aspects of our health, including our hair, the ingredients in the Tresse Prebiotic have been found to boost our immune system, soothe inflammation, and increase overall gut health.

What is great about the Tresse Revitalizer and Tresse Fortifier supplements is that they not only have many of the key ingredients found in Nutrafol and Viviscal, but they actually have even more ingredients that have been known to address the many causes of hair loss.

Ingredients Similar to Nutrafol
  • Ashwagandha Root Extract
  • Biotin
  • Marine Collagen
  • Resveratrol - Japanese Knotweed Root
  • Saw Palmetto
Ingredients Similar to Viviscal
  • Vitamin C
  • Biotin
  • Calcium
  • Marine Collagen
  • L-Cystine
  • L-Methionine

While Nutrafol and Viviscal are great supplements for hair health, there are still many important vitamins and nutrients that they do not have which have been incorporated into the Tresse Rx supplements. Below are some of the highlights:

Folic Acid

Folic acid can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, which is a type of B Vitamin. As folic acid is mainly responsible for healthy cell growth and can be found in your scalp tissue and hair, it is widely believed that folic acid is important for the generation of new healthy hairs.

Magnesium

Magnesium can be found in the Tresse Fortifier supplement. Magnesium plays a key role in protein synthesis in our bodies. As roughly 80% of our hair is made up of protein, magnesium plays an important role in the development of key cells for the hair. Therefore, magnesium deficiency can have a direct effect on our hair. Lastly, Magnesium is known to help reduce stress and anxiety, which we know can negatively impact our hair.

Niacin

Niacin can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement.  Niacin is a B vitamin that is known to improve blood circulation, which is so important to hair health.  Increased blood circulation in the scalp allows for increased oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle, which can extend the growth phase of the hair.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement.  Riboflavin plays an important role in hair growth by activating Vitamin B6 and niacin, which are two important vitamins for healthy hair development. The body stores only small amounts of riboflavin and riboflavin deficiency is known to cause hair loss.

Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 can be found in the Tresse Revitalizer supplement.  Vitamin B6 helps our hair in two ways.  First, Vitamin B6 plays a key role in protein synthesis, which is important for hair as protein makes up roughly 80% of our hair.  Secondly, Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the creation of neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, and it is widely believed that Vitamin B6 can help us manage stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact the health of your hair.
Vitamin E
Vitamin E can be found in the Tresse Fortifier supplement. Vitamin E is a well-known antioxidant, which protect cells from the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is known to play a role in premature hair loss. One study on the use of Vitamin E as a supplement for hair loss found that people with hair loss experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months, while the placebo group had only a 0.1% increase.
To learn more about the Tresse Rx Healthy Inside plan schedule a consultation or contact our offices today.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

Increasing Incidence of Hair Loss in Women

Hair loss certainly isn’t as prevalent in women as men, but it is still a very common problem with significant accompanying emotional distress. The incidence varies according to the type of hair loss, but the statistics are as follows: Between the ages of 15 and 29 about 12 % of women have thinning hair from all causes. By the time a woman reaches 65, up to 50% of women have thinning hair.

Traction alopecia is caused by continuous pulling of hair seen in certain hair styles like a tight bun, dreadlocks, or tight ponytails. It is especially common in certain ethnic groups, especially Hispanic and African American women. In these cultures, studies have shown that up to 17 % of teens already have noticeable thinning along the temples, and up to 32% of adult women experience traction alopecia.  Professional women athletes who leave their hair in tight ponytails for prolonged periods of time also experience traction alopecia with thinning along the frontal hair line.

Scarring alopecia is a less common type of hair loss that results in permanent damage to the hair follicles. It is widely accepted that the incidence of scarring alopecia is increasing. While this is most common in post menopausal women, it has been reported in women as young as the late teens. Hair loss experts don’t have good evidence as to why this is increasing. There is some evidence that some of the cosmetic products may be to blame, but further research is needed.

Another increasing cause of hair loss in women is post chemotherapy. Fortunately more women are experiencing long term remission and cure of their cancers as treatment improves. However, the latest statistics have shown that up to 30 % of chemotherapy patients experience some degree of permanent hair loss.

Telogen effluvium is the most common cause of temporary hair loss and it occurs in all ages. This can be caused by both physical and emotional stress. Both acute and chronic stress cause elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can cause shedding. In severe chronic stress there are also increased levels of androgen hormones which can accelerate genetic hair loss as well. Increasing levels of stress are becoming more problematic in our society and may account for why hair loss in women is increasing.

Fortunately, all types of hair can be treated if diagnosed early.  If you notices any signs of hair loss it is important to see a hair loss specialist as soon as possible.

Posted by your Medi Tresse Team

Medi Tresse Boston Female Hair Loss Seminar

We are excited to announce that on Thursday November 8th we will be hosting a free Female Hair Loss Seminar and Open House at our Wellesley office. Enjoy light fare and refreshments while learning about the latest advancements in female hair loss. Some highlights of the night include:

More details to come!

Interested in attending? Call our office at 774-314-3900 or email us at info@meditresse.com to RSVP.

No, McDonald’s Fries Do Not Regrow Hair

If you have watched or read the news lately you probably saw some headlines that read “McDonald’s French Fries Cure Hair Loss!”. While that headline is attention grabbing and sounds delicious, sadly, it is not true. So what is everyone talking about?

There was a recent study conducted in Japan where a research team was able to regrow hair on mice by creating hair follicle germs, which are the reproductive source of hair follicles, and seeded them into the mouse’s body. Amazingly, the hair follicles generated hairs on the back of the mice. The hope is this may one day lead to similar success with humans, but there is still much testing to be done.

So you are probably still asking what this has to do with McDonald’s french fries? Dimethylpolysiloxane is a silicone compound that McDonald’s uses in its french fries to prevent the oil from foaming. The research team also used Dimethylpolysiloxane in this study. In order to produce the hair follicle germs in a lab, the research team needed “oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of the culture vessel”. Therefore, while it is true that this ingredient in McDonald’s french fries was used in a successful hair loss study, it was not a contributing factor to the hair growth, but rather was necessary for conducting the study.

Unfortunately, this type of breakthrough treatment is still a ways off from becoming a reality, however, there are still lots of great treatments available for hair loss, even if eating french fries is not one of them!

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

Exciting News from LaserCap® Company

We are happy to pass along two exciting updates from LaserCap® Company, the preeminent laser device company, and producer of the first wearable low-level laser therapy (LLLT) device for hair growth.  LaserCap® Company recently announced two new company and industry firsts, the LaserCap® 300Flex™ and LaserCap® Lifetime Warranty Policy.

The LaserCap® 300Flex™ maximizes scalp coverage with 300 laser diodes, the most diodes available for an at home device.  Larger than the original LCPro™ 224, which has 224 diodes, the LaserCap® 300Flex™ provides increased coverage to the frontal hairline, perimeter of the scalp, and occipital region while still providing optimal power.  The LaserCap® 300Flex™ is made with a soft clear elastomeric inner liner, for ultimate comfort and fit, as it flexes to the contours of your head.

In addition to the new LaserCap® 300Flex™, LaserCap® Company also announced the LaserCap® Lifetime Warranty Policy.  That means a one-time investment for the health of your hair!  The best part of this warranty is that it applies retroactively to all LaserCap® devices sold since 2009! The LaserCap® Lifetime Warranty Policy covers against defects in materials or workmanship from date of purchase with proof of purchase. If a LaserCap® is determined to be defective, for the first three (3) years, LaserCap® Company will repair or replace for like model with no fee. After three (3) years a small replacement fee will be charged.

The LaserCap® 300Flex™ utilizes low-level laser therapy (LLLT), which is an extremely effective non-surgical hair regrowth treatment for women’s hair loss. LLLT not only thickens existing hairs, but also increases the number of hairs in the growth phase. LLLT is beneficial in the treatment of Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss), Traction Alopecia, and Telogen Effluvium.

If you think the LaserCap® 300Flex™ may be right for you please contact our offices today.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

PCOS and Hair Loss

At Medi Tresse we have seen women with all different types of hair loss and varying causes of hair loss.  With any patient we see, the first step is to diagnose the cause of the hair loss.  For many patients, their hair loss is truly genetic, but for others it could be due to a hormone imbalance, stress related, or even a change in medication.  One patient population that we often see is patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS.

While the cause of PCOS is still unknown, PCOS is an endocrine system disorder, which means the hormones are directly affected.  Common symptoms of patients with PCOS are irregular periods, excess androgen, and polycystic ovaries, which means the ovaries have become enlarged and contain many small cysts.

Women with PCOS can often see thinning hair due to excess androgen levels, which are commonly known as male hormones like testosterone.  Before starting any sort of hair loss treatment, a patient with PCOS would want to make sure that their hormone levels have been checked and are in proper balance.  If a woman has elevated androgens, this can potentially be managed with very specific birth control pills which can block the negative effects on hair.  Once the hormone levels are in proper balance, then the patient could be a candidate for hair loss treatments.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

Formula 82M vs OTC Minoxidil

When many patients start to see signs of hair loss, their first thought is often to try one of the many over the counter minoxidil treatments.  Minoxidil is a topical treatment, and the most commonly known brand is Rogaine.  Minoxidil can be a great first step for hair loss, and was FDA approved in 1988.  Patients experiencing Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss), Telogen Effluvium, and early Traction Alopecia are good candidates for minoxidil.

While minoxidil can be a good first step for patients with early signs of hair loss, many patients feel that over the counter minoxidil treatments can be irritating or make their hair greasy.  At Medi Tresse we offer a specially compounded minoxidil solution called Formula 82M, which combats these issues.  Formula 82M is specially formulated to be less irritating and less greasy, while also having a higher absorption rate, which means your scalp and follicles will receive a greater percentage of the minoxidil in Formula 82M than with an over the counter option.

Most patients will start to see a benefit from Formula 82M in three to six months, but for some patients it could take six to twelve months.  At Medi Tresse we have seen the best results for patients when they combine the Formula 82M with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy or a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) device like a laser cap.  If you think you may be experiencing signs of hair loss the first step should always be to see a hair loss specialist who can not only diagnose your type of hair loss, but provide you with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team

The Benefit of Treating Female Hair Loss in Multiple Ways

benifits2aAt Medi Tresse Boston we offer a wide array of treatments for hair loss that treat the follicle in different ways.  From Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy to Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to Formula 82M, each of these treatments offer different benefits to help stimulate hair health and even regrow hair.  What is great about all of these treatment options is that on their own they are great options for our patients.

However, with many patients we often recommend the use of more than one type of treatment as we feel they can get even better results by utilizing the combined effects of both treatments. The first question we often receive is, “If I only do one type of treatment does that mean I will not see improvement in my hair?”  The answer to this question is no, as all of the treatments that we offer are clinically proven to improve hair health and in some cases stimulate regrowth when used on their own.  We often liken this approach to the approach used in weight loss.  It is possible to lose weight through dieting and it is possible to lose weight through exercise, however, when you combine both diet and exercise your approach is more effective, and you often see results more quickly.  Treating hair loss is really no different.

One of our favorite combinations of hair loss treatments is PRP and LLLT.  Both PRP and LLLT are great treatment options on their own; but since they treat the follicle in different ways, when combined we can see really excellent results.  PRP is great, because hair follicles survive on the nutrition they get from their blood supply, and that nutrition comes in the form of platelet activated growth factors. Platelets also tell the body to rejuvenate and repair. By delivering the platelets (via plasma) directly to the cells around the follicle, the growth factors become activated and essentially breathe new life into weak or dying follicles.  Alternatively, LLLT stimulates cellular metabolism at the molecular level of the hair follicle, thereby enhancing the quality of the hair produced from the hair follicle, and reversing miniaturization seen in female hair loss.  We feel that by combining PRP and LLLT, the patient is providing treatment to the follicle in multiple ways, which can make treatment even more effective.

If you're further curious about PRP hair loss therapy or LLLT hair loss treatments - as well as any of our treatment options - feel free to get in touch with our hair regrowth specialists. Medi Tresse is proud to provide hair regrowth options for women throughout Boston and Wellesley.

Posted by Rosie Scano, RN

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy A Treatment Option for Alopecia Areata

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Although Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) was originally studied with the intent to treat Androgenic Alopecia, or Female and Male Pattern Hair loss, the research just keeps getting better and better!  There have been several very exciting studies showing that PRP is also useful to treat other kinds of Alopecia conditions, one of which is Alopecia Areata.

Alopecia Areata is considered to be an autoimmune reaction in the body that results in patchy loss of hair, typically on the head. At any time in life, most commonly starting in adulthood, a person with Alopecia Areata may start to see small circular areas of hair loss emerge. There may only be one area or several, but typically the area starts small and can become quite large in diameter.  In most cases, this is temporary and hair will begin to regrow and fill in. Unfortunately, the event typically re-occurs, and the person experiences the loss all over again, often in different areas then before.  It is also possible that hair will never grow back.

Up until recently, this type of hair loss was treated solely with steroids – both through injections into the area of loss in addition to topical creams.  Unfortunately, this still is not a cure and strong steroids are needed to illicit a positive response. Using these steroids long-term is never a favorable choice. Long-term use of steroids in the scalp can lead to thinning and weakening of the skin, as well as rebound irritation or skin reactions. Furthermore, because of the nature of the condition, most patients have to return multiple times a year to get more treatments.

Fortunately, with new advances in research involving PRP, we can now confidently offer PRP as a treatment alternative to steroids for Alopecia Areata!

This is similar to how we use PRP to treat Female Pattern Hair loss; by encouraging healing of injured follicle cells, we also use it to facilitate repair of cells affected by Alopecia Areata.  We recommend a series of 3 PRP treatments, however, in as little as a single treatment we can already see hair regrowth over the area(s) of loss much quicker than we would if steroids were used, without the long-term negative side effects! It is also thought that because this is a healing procedure, that PRP treatments can aid in decreasing the chances or number of re-occurrences of Alopecia Areata. It’s a win-win!!

Please, feel free to get in touch with us today to learn more about PRP and Alopecia Areata, or to schedule an appointment!

Posted by Lacey Sellati, RN, PA-C