Avacor® Hair Regrowth Blog

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Just what exactly is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS? For starters, it is the most common hormonal disorder among women, affecting between 7 and 10 percent of all women, according to women’s health experts. PCOS is an endocrine system disorder, though it may affect the reproductive system as well. It has several side effects, many of which can be emotionally or physically overwhelming, including hair loss or thinning hair.

PCOS is typically caused by a hormonal imbalance. Often, levels of male hormones, or androgens, are too high, causing the imbalance that leads to PCOS. Most women’s bodies produce androgens in varying levels, just as many men produce varying levels of female hormones, or estrogen.

If diagnosed with PCOS, a woman’s ovaries may become enlarged and filled with several small cysts. However, these cysts are painless, so women who have the condition may not even notice this symptom. Instead, pay attention to the other noticeable physical symptoms, including irregular or missed menstrual cycles, acne, obesity, infertility, hair loss, thinning hair, new face or body hair, decreased breast size, development of a deeper voice, dark skin marks around the armpits, groin, neck, and breasts, or depression. If you are experiencing multiple symptoms from this list, talk to your doctor about PCOS.

PCOS can develop in women as early as the preteen years and throughout a woman’s childbearing years. As women get older, the likelihood of developing PCOS decreases, and is very uncommon once a woman reaches menopause.

There are a variety of treatments depending on the specific symptoms a woman with PCOS may be experiencing. These treatments include weight loss (especially for obese women), and a variety of drugs and oral contraceptives, as well as possible surgery. Birth control pills can help regulate menstrual cycles and are often used as a treatment method for PCOS, though women wishing to become pregnant may not wish to pursue this option. Other health risks of PCOS, especially if untreated, include diabetes, infertility, uterine or endometrial cancer, increased breast cancer risk, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

Thinning hair, or new face or body hair, are often some of the most distressing symptoms for women. When a woman loses her hair, it is often more emotionally upsetting than in men, because thinning hair is almost expected in men. However, there are ways to treat thinning hair for women coping with PCOS, or other women who have experienced hair loss or thinning hair. Avacor Physicians Formulation® for Women is an FDA-Approved hair regrowth product that is formulated specifically for women experiencing pattern baldness, which might be a symptom of PCOS. It can help regrow lost or thin hair in as little as four months when used as directed. Women diagnosed with PCOS should consult their doctor prior to beginning treatment.

Above all else, if you are diagnosed with PCOS, follow your doctor's treatment instructions, and seek emotional and social support from your friends and family members. The condition is treatable; PCOS affects many women, so understand that you are not alone.


Exercise and Hair

Exercise and eating the right foods are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. We all know that. But how does exercise affect your hair health, hair loss, or hair regrowth? The answer might surprise you.

In general, exercise can help you maintain a healthy head of hair, and even help your body regrow hair. Regular exercise increases general health and circulation in your body. Increased circulation can stimulate growth in hair follicles. Also, exercise helps reduce stress in your life, and reduced stress helps with overall scalp health, according to Livestrong.com. So, if you exercise regularly, you are doing yourself—and your hair—a favor, right?

The answer might not be so simple.

Too much exercise, or overexertion, is actually bad for your hair. Excessive exercise causes a state of chronic stress in your body, according to author and nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman. Chronic stress is a leading cause of telogen effluvium (TE), a condition that causes premature resting and shedding in hair follicles, according to the American Hair Loss Association. In addition, eHow.com explains that extreme bodybuilding and other extreme exercise activities can produce more dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes baldness in men. Conversely, mild exercise, like regular jogging or cardio, can help reduce DHT.

However, there is one form of mild exercise or cardio to think twice about if you are conscious about your hair health: swimming in pools. Most pools contain chlorine. The chlorine is there to keep the pools clean, but it can cause your hair to become dry and eventually break or shed. If swimming is your favorite form of exercise, you can avoid chlorine damage by wetting your hair with non-chlorinated water before getting in the pool (i.e., a locker room shower), so your hair absorbs the normal water, rather than the chlorinated water. Also, get out every 30 minutes or so and rinse the chlorinated water out of your hair. Wear a swim cap, and wash your hair after swimming with proper hair care products.

Another thing to keep in mind about exercise is that it causes you to sweat. Salty, heavy sweat build up on your head can cause faster shedding or other damage to your hair. The Harvard School of Public Health advises that you can combat this damage by using mild, pH-balanced shampoo and moisturizing protein conditioner at least once a week. Avacor offers both Thickening Shampoo and Volumizing Conditioner to help combat hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth. Avoid using hot hair tools as well, such as blow driers and curling irons.

The bottom line: exercise regularly, but avoid over-exercising or extreme exercise activities, and take good care of your hair with the proper hair care products. If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly, but still experiencing hair loss, consider using Avacor Physician's Formulation, an FDA-Approved hair re-growth product clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles and help you grow back hair.

Photo courtesy of Menscosmo.com


Food and Hair Health

You are what you eat. We all know that eating healthy is good for your body. But what about your hair? You may be surprised that what you eat also impacts the health of your hair. Food provides nutrients to our bodies, which are used to help grow fingernails, toenails, new skin, and hair.

Specifically, foods that have high levels of protein and iron can impact how thick and healthy your hair is. Here are some great foods to incorporate into your diet to promote a healthy head of hair, according to WebMD:

Salmon contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote strong scalp health and help avoid a dry scalp. It also contains protein, iron, and vitamin B-12. If you don't like salmon, or don't eat fish, try 1-2 tablespoons a day of ground flaxseed.

Dark green veggies like spinach, broccoli, and Swiss chard provide a natural hair conditioner called sebum, produced from the high levels of vitamins A and C found in these foods. They also contain iron and calcium.

Beans provide ample amounts of protein for hair growth, as well as iron, zinc, and biotin. Mix it up with kidney beans, lentils, and other types of beans.

Nuts should also be on your regular menu. Brazil nuts provide selenium, a mineral that helps create a healthy scalp, while walnuts  create natural hair conditioners from fatty acids. Reach for the cashews, pecans, and almonds as well, which all have zinc (zinc helps you avoid hair shedding).

Poultry, like chicken and turkey, provides a high quality protein, which helps maintain a healthy head of hair. A lack of protein, or a low quality protein, can lead to thinner hair, or a loss of hair color.

Eggs are also a great source of protein, as well as biotin and vitamin B-12. They are also versatile; you can cook them in a variety of ways and incorporate them into many different meals (not just breakfast).

Whole grains supply your body and hair with zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Opt for whole-wheat bread and whole-grain cereals.

Oysters have a high level of zinc. They also have a reputation for being a strong aphrodisiac, so give them a try! If oysters just aren't your thing, try beef or lamb instead.

Low-fat dairy products, including skim milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt, contain a lot of calcium, which is a vital mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, both of which are great natural proteins.

Carrots are delicious, and provide a great source of vitamin A, which helps create a healthy scalp.

AskMen mentions a few other great foods that promote healthy hair. For example, raisins contain iron, which helps manufacture hemoglobin, which in turn ensures your scalp receives enough blood to stimulate hair growth. Potatoes, when baked or boiled (with the skin on), are a much better alternative to greasy fried potatoes, which contribute to hair loss.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that while all of these products can help stimulate hair growth and create healthy hair, they are not cures or treatments for baldness or thinning hair. Avacor Physician's Formulation is an FDA-Approved hair restoration treatment clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles and help you grow back hair. Use as directed, and for best results, combine the treatment with healthy, balanced meals. Who knew you could eat your way to healthy hair?


Sexual Side Effects of Propecia

Many people experience hair loss, thinning hair, or baldness at some point in life, and seek some form of treatment to help stop or reverse hair loss. Several different products are available, from "snake oils" to FDA-Approved products like Avacor Physician's Formulation®. Finasteride, which has the brand name "Propecia," is another treatment option. Avacor Physician's Formulation does not use Propecia as an ingredient for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is because Propecia usage often leads to some negative sexual side effects for men. The drug is not FDA-Approved for women to use, though women who do use it are also putting their health (and the health of future children) at risk.

Loss of Libido. Some men who have taken Propecia have reported a reduced sex drive. Propecia blocks androgen, a hormone similar to testosterone. Androgen is needed for men to have a healthy sex drive.

Erectile Dysfunction. Propecia might also cause erectile dysfunction in men. Again, this is due to reduced androgen levels caused by Propecia.

Lower Sperm Count. A study by Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., concluded that Propecia can result in a lower sperm count in men than before they began using the drug. This can also lead to lower ejaculate levels. The study indicated that the sperm count decreased when Propecia treatment began, then increased in the months immediately after the test subject stopped taking the drug.

Depression. Depression is typically caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. While it is not a sexual side effect, some people that have taken Propecia have reported increased symptoms or signs of depression. People who have already been diagnosed with depression should be especially careful with Propecia.

Some men who have taken Propecia also indicate that additional side effects include weight gain and muscle damage.

Side Effects for Women. Although the FDA does not allow prescribing Propecia to women to treat hair loss, some women still manage to get the drug to combat female pattern baldness or excess body and facial hair. However, the side effects can be even worse for women than men. Pregnant women should especially avoid Propecia; even touching the drug can be dangerous to the woman and child. Women who might become pregnant (i.e., most adult women) should use the same caution.

Professor Abdulmaged M. Traish from Boston University, who specializes in biochemistry and urology, indicated that almost everyone who uses Propecia to treat hair loss experiences some of these side effects, though the symptoms are more drastic for some than in others.

Perhaps the worst part about these side effects is that for some people, the side effects continue, even after Propecia treatment stops. Professor Traish called these prolonged side effects "a life sentence." With risks like these, you should consider seeking other treatment options than Propecia, such as Avacor Physician's Formulation.


FDA Approved Hair Products

We've all seen the term "FDA Approved." But, do you know what it means?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a federal government agency in charge of keeping the American public safe by regulating food, drugs, and medical devices. When a product or item is FDA-Approved, it has been rigorously tested and thoroughly inspected, and found to be both effective and completely safe for people to use or consume.

So, how does this relate to your hair?

Well, if you are experiencing hair loss, interested in hair restoration, or just curious about the process, you will undoubtedly encounter a wide variety of products to help stimulate hair growth. Many of these products are not FDA-Approved, which should be an automatic red flag. In other words, if a product is advertised to treat a medical condition, such as hair loss, but it does not indicate anywhere that it is FDA-Approved, then you should avoid using that product. You may be taking a major health risk using a product that is not FDA-Approved to treat any medical condition.

Avacor Physician's Formulation® is an FDA-Approved hair restoration product clinically proven to revitalize hair follicles and help you grow back your very own hair. The FDA has carefully tested and inspected how the product is manufactured, what ingredients are used, how much of each ingredient is used, how the product is stored and packaged, and how the product is administered. In other words, all aspects of Avacor Physician's Formulation production, including each ingredient, the bottling process, and the recommended dosage, have been deemed completely safe and effective for consumers to use for the treatment of hair loss, according to the FDA.

Unfortunately, some consumers continue to be tricked into buying "snake oil" products, or hair loss treatments not approved by the FDA. These products can cause unhealthy and unwanted side effects, such as acne, scalp hair loss, menstrual irregularities in women, irritability, and aggression, according to Dr. Ray Sahelian. The FDA also indicates other side effects of hair growth products that are not FDA-Approved include low blood pressure, heart palpitations and other cardiac symptoms, hair discoloration, sensitivity to sunburn, itching, rash, irritation, or stinging skin. "Snake oil" products are a waste of time and money. They also taint consumer's opinions of the entire industry, making consumers skeptical of all hair loss products, including the legitimate ones. Additionally, they can add more emotional stress in your life when you buy the product and it doesn’t work, and/or causes health problems.

The good news is that the FDA is starting to crack down more on snake oil salesmen and punishing people with fines and/or jail time for trying to sell hair regrowth products to consumers that are not FDA-Approved. However, consumers still need to be aware of the product they are buying.

The active ingredient found in Avacor Physician's Formulation is Minoxidil. Currently, the FDA has approved Minoxidil in two different strengths: 5% for men and 2% for women. The Avacor product has Minoxidil levels that adhere to these requirements. If the levels were anything different than the 2% and 5% required by the FDA, the product could not be advertised as FDA-Approved, and could be recalled by the FDA at anytime.

In January of 2012, the FDA issued a press release announcing the recall of some hair regrowth products because they were unapproved new drugs, and had high levels of Minoxidil that could cause health hazards to consumers. These products had Minoxidil levels between 10 and 15%. If you are currently using a hair regrowth product, be sure to check the Minoxidil level, and consider switching to Avacor's FDA-Approved Physician's Formulation, as well as other hair care products: the Avacor® All Natural Nutricap containing the active ingredient Saw Palmetto, which is widely thought to be a DHT inhibitor; Boost! by Avacor®, which is specially formulated to thicken hair from the very first application; and our Scalp Detoxifying Shampoo, which removes dirt and oil from the scalp, ensuring effective delivery of the Minoxidil to the scalp when applied after using the shampoo. Rest assured that all our products are manufactured in facilities that meet the highest safety and quality standards today. Furthermore, all our products are safe to use, and have been formulated to either help you grow a natural, full, healthy head of hair, or to maintain healthy, clean, and stylish hair.


Welcome to Avacor’s new blog!

Hello everyone! It's a great day for those of you who are experiencing hair loss and looking for more information! We at Avacor are launching this blog to provide you with all the latest scientific news on hair regrowth and the various treatments available to you today.

Our goal is to serve as your trusted resource for understanding the causes of hair loss and learning about your options for taking control of your hair in the future. Even if you are using another treatment for regrowing your hair, we invite you to visit this blog regularly and participate in the learning process.

We know how dense and confusing scientific and medical literature can be. We are here to make information more accessible and help you find answers to any questions you might have.

Furthermore, we are excited to announce the formation of the Avacor® Medical Advisory Board.  This group of distinguished physicians, scientists, and advocates will help make sure you receive the best quality information and understand the benefits and limitations of currently available treatment options.

So stay tuned for more information and feel free to contact us any time!