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Causes of Thinning Hair

Hair begins to thin due to stress, genetics, diet and other factors. Normally, hair growth occurs in three distinct phases. First, there is a growth or anagen phase usually lasting 2-3 years. This is followed by the resting or catagen phase, spanning 2-3 months, where the hair stops growing but doesn't fall out. Finally, there is a short phase of hair loss (telogen phase) lasting several days. The longer the hair growth phase, the longer the hair. Once thinning occurs, the normal hair growth cycle may be reduced to only 3-5 weeks. Thus instead of hair developing into thick, mature (non-vellus) hair, the scalp develops only thin "peach fuzz". Some of the more common causes are briefly described as follow:

Androgenetic Alopecia - The Adverse Effect of DHT

The most compelling theory regarding hair loss involves the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and the adverse effects that this androgen has on the follicle where there are DHT receptors. Subject to hereditary influence, these receptors are normally in the "horseshoe" area on top of the scalp head, thus explaining why the average person loses hair on the top from the back crown area (vertex) to the front hair line (e.g. frontal recession). Apparently, excessive DHT causes hair follicles to move from active to a dormant stage, resulting in androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. DHT also, supposedly, plays an important role in female pattern alopecia (female thinning). Because DHT levels are much lower in women, more generalized thinning over the entire scalp is typically seen. Due to hormonal imbalances, this process is frequently initiated or aggravated in women during child birth, menopause and other periods of above normal hormonal changes.

Although the conversion of DHT has the adverse effect of causing hair loss, DHT does have its function in the scheme of hormonal influences. For example, it has been disclosed in medical research that a deficiency in DHT may cause the inability of a male fetus to form sex organs.

The prescription drug, Propecia® has been specifically developed to treat hair loss by disrtupting or blocking the formation of DHT by inhibiting an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase Type II. The approach is obvious, by reducing the formation of DHT there is less DHT to cause hair loss. This effect of reducing DHT is the very reason women, especially pregant women, are warned against its use.

The FDA approved drug Minoxidil®, better known in its use as the active ingredient in Rogaine®, was developed around its vasodilative effect during its use as a former blood pressure medication which had the side effect of increasing hair growth (including eyebrows) in some patients. Thus, though FDA approved and clinically proven in stimulating hair growth [WHERE THERE ARE ACTIVE OR LIVE FOLLICLES TO STIMULATE...CAVEAT: You can only stimulate active or potentially active follicles. There is no medication that can create new follicles.

Alopecia Areata

Although the cause is unknown, suspected factors include stress, genetic factors and autoimmune reactions to physiological conditions (e.g. thyroid functioning abnormally). According to a recent published article, people with autoimmune conditions such as diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk to this form of hair loss.[*] Hypothetical treatments would include the ability to quell the autoimmune attack of the hair follicles.

Telogen Effluvium

A hair loss condition that is due to a shift of anagen (growth phase) hairs to telogen (resting phase) hairs due to factors such as stress, fever, medication, pregnancy and a reaction to the topical application of minoxidil.[*]

* "Approach to the adult female patient with diffuse nonscarring alopecia" by M.B. Chartier, B.S., D.M. Hoss, M.D., JM Grant-Kels, M.D., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, December 2002, Volume 47, Number 6, pp809-818.


Reaction to Drugs/Medications

Although cancer chemotherapy medications are commonly associated with hair loss, there are other medications that may cause hair loss. In the interest in life or death health, the hair loss side effect of certain drugs are not emphasized or disclosed. Since hair loss is in general not a life threatening condition, no person should stop taking a medication that is necessary to maintain or regulate health just to stop hair loss. This information is provided only to make you aware that your hair loss may be associated with the medications you may be taking.

Anabolic steroids, Antibiotics, Antiarthritics, Anticoagulants, Anticonvulsants (for epilepsy), Antidepressants, Acne medications (Accutane), Beta blockers, Cholesterol reducing medication, Gout medication, Parkinson medication, Ulcer, etc.

You may ask your physician or pharmacist whether your medication has the side effect of causing hair loss. Hair loss from taking medications may be temporary or irreversible. However, one should be careful not to allow esthetic vanity outweigh the necessity of a medication that effectively supports your health and life.


HairPrime® Program Products

The four-part HairPrime® Program for Thinning Hair is purposely developed to be a comprehensive system that addresses hair loss attributable to:

- the adverse effect of ingredients in Shampoos
- the adverse effect of DHT
- inflammation of the follicle
- dietary imbalances

Herbal Shampoo - too many shampoos contain ingredients which are adverse to the health of follicles and HairPrime Herbal Shampoo is purposely formulated to avoid such ingredients while including healthy hair ingredients like Biotin, Panthenol, Horsetail Extract and the herbal extract that was used in the herbal preparation proven effective in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.** The HairPrime® Shampoo is specifically formulated with a gentle combination and level of surfactants to gently bathe and nourish your hair, leaving it looking radiant, healthy, and full of vitality.

Herbal Lotion - the HairPrime® Herbal Lotion is specifically formulated with a patented botanical ingredient, Phydermanol TM, that was clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.** It is a natural herbal formula that works on the scalp to create a supportive environment for healthy hair follicles

** The results of the rigorous double-blind study, conducted by Dr. Joseph Greenberg, a Board Certified Dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at U.C.S.F., were presented in February, 1995 at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Convention. The study showed that HairPrime® helped to promote thicker, healthier hair growth for 90% of subjects in the active group as published in The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, Volume 7, Number 3, September 1996, pp. 159-162. entitled "Treatment of androgenetic alopecia with a 7.5% herbal preparation." The study further pointed out the positive aspects of a high rate of conversion of vellus (baby fine) hair to non-vellus, terminal (mature) hair and remelanization (a return to natural hair color).

Herbal Scalp Primer - the HairPrime® Scalp Primer, was developed as an enhancement step. Liposome and vitamin enriched, this herbal complex is formulated to prime the scalp by seeking to remove factors we consider as contributing to an unhealthy scalp and to apply factors we consider healthy for the hair and the scalp.

Herbal & Vitamin Supplements - working internally, the HairPrime® Supplement provides 17 selective herbs and 3 vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy hair growth. Three of the nutrients in HairPrime® which are crucial for healthy hair growth are Biotin, Pantothenic Acid and Zinc. Deficiencies of these nutrients will cause thinning hair and improper hair growth. Biotin, for example, is a necessary cofactor in enzymatic reactions in the Krebs Cycle. This cycle is responsible for producing energy in the mitochondria (through the degradation of sugars and consumption of oxygen) that is necessary for proper cellular metabolism and hair growth.


Which herbs play a function in stimulating the healthy hair growth?

The success of herbal remedies is due to their unique natural ability to balance and invigorate the body's natural systems. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are six physiological areas that influence hair growth. The herbs discussed in each of the following sic categories have been incorporated into the HairPrime® Program for Thinning Hair.

  1. The organs which have an effect on healthy hair growth must be nourished and supported. In Chinese Medicine, two of the most important organs are the "Chinese" kidneys and liver. "Organs" in Traditional Chinese Medicine are somewhat different and broader in scope than anatomical organs, although they usually will contain the same organ or a system that includes it. They should more properly be called "organ systems". The categories that follow offer examples of Chinese organs or organ systems.

    In Chinese Medicine, each organ system has physiological functions and is tied to certain emotions, tastes, senses and distant body parts. The liver, for example, "opens into the nails." Therefore a weak liver-blood system may result in brittle nails. There are many herbs which benefit the kidneys and liver. However, there are specific ones which particularly affect the hair, including Polygoni Multiflori (He Shou Wu), Drynaria Fortunei (Gu Sui Bu), Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (Nu Zhen Zi), Ramus Loranthi Seu Visci (Sang Ji Sheng) and Semen Cuscutae (Tu Si Zi). These herbs are derived from the Chinese Pharmacopea, which categorizes thousands of herbs according to functions, taste, "temperature" and their place of action in the body.

  2. The blood may need to be nourished and strengthened in order to provide a blood supply which is adequate for healthy hair growth. This is one of the reasons why women often experience temporary hair loss after giving birth due to the loss of blood and weakening of the blood "quality" during and after delivery. Herbs which nourish and strengthen the blood include Angelica Sinensis (Dang Gui), Radix Ligustici Wallichi (Chuan Xiong), Fructus Mori Albae (Sang Shen Zi).

  3. The basic energy needs of the body may need to be strengthened. Without proper energy we cannot maintain adequate levels of blood. The interconnectedness of these two is summarized by the expression in Traditional Chinese Medicine, "Energy is the father of blood. Blood is the mother of energy." Herbs for strengthening energy include Codonopsis (Dang Shen), and Astragalus (Huang Qi).

  4. Proper circulation of energy and blood must be established and maintained. It is not enough that the proper nutrients be available, they must also circulate properly to achieve healthy hair growth. Herbs commonly used to boost circulation include Radix Ligustici Wallichi (Chuan Xiong), Angelica Sinensis (Dang Gui) and Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae (Dan Shen).

  5. Digestion may need to be regulated and strengthened. There is no use in supplying the body with nutrients if the body is not able to absorb and utilize them properly. Herbs which are helpful to digestion include Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis (Gan Cao), Pericarpium Citrii Reticulatae (Chen Pi), in addition to many others.

  6. Finally, it is necessary to manipulate an herbal treatment in such a way that it will directly impact the appropriate body system. As mentioned earlier, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs have various "energetic qualities". These include channels and organs of penetration, taste, color, "temperature" and direction of movement. It is truly an art to integrate various herbs to achieve a certain direction and effect. The herbs responsible for directing an herbal treatment to the specific organ system are called "guiding herbs". There are certain combinations of guiding herbs that will promote optimal effects on the hair. Both hair and nails, for example, are keratinaceous structures and are affected, both externally and internally, by similar ingredients. To directly impact the nails, as opposed to hair, requires an alteration of the herbal ingredients and the proportions of the guiding herbs-thus the art of Chinese Medicine.


The wisdom of Chinese Herbal Medicine, as enumerated in these six categories, form the philosophical foundation from which we formulated the HairPrime® Thinning Hair Treatment. But as a western science requires the precise understanding, biochemistry and proof, from a western perspective, Universal Biologics continues its rigorous scientific research effort to better understand the value and application of Chinese Herbal Medicine.. That is why Universal Biologics has already dedicated over seven years to clinical research on HairPrime® and continues to develop new studies for product improvements and targeted markets.

For further information about HairPrime®
please contact Universal Biologics at 1-800-LOV-HAIR (568-4247).


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