A drug the FDA approved last month can be helpful for regrowing hair in people with a particular type of hair loss called alopecia areata. However, it comes with some concerning side effects that every patient should consider carefully.
For years I’ve been perfecting hair restoration therapies that I know to be safe and effective, which I’ll detail below, but let’s start by taking a closer look at Oluminant (baricitinib).
Oluminant is now FDA approved to treat severe alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack hair follicles. This typically results in hair loss that ranges from small coin-sized bald patches on the scalp, or other areas like the beard or eyelashes and eyebrows, to total “whole body” hair loss. This condition can occur in both men and women and affects about 300,000 people in the U.S.
However, the hair loss condition more people are familiar with is androgenic alopecia. This is often referred to as “male pattern baldness,” – although women have it, too – and manifests in the hairline, upper region of the temples, extending toward the back over time. Oluminant isn’t intended for this condition.
Oluminant was approved after being shown to result in enough hair growth to be deemed “adequate scalp coverage” in between 17 percent and 32 percent of patients (depending on dosage) taking part in two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Some of the regrowth seen in the clinical trials were downright dramatic.
Though that sounds positive, frankly I’m alarmed about its long list of potentially severe side effects (and so is the FDA). Oluminant is in a class of popular drugs called JAK-inhibitors which have been previously approved for arthritis and ulcerative colitis. They work by reducing the activity of overactive immune systems. FDA Boxed Warnings for the JAK-inhibitors Xeljanz (tofacitinib), Rinvoq (upadacitinib), and Oluminant (baricitinib) include “serious heart-related events, cancer, blood clots and death.” I’m also concerned about as-yet unidentified unintended consequences and risks from this long-term, immune modulation therapy.
At Bauman Medical, we’re known for applying effective advanced holistic and regenerative medicine-based hair growth treatments aimed at reducing the standard risks and side effects seen with more traditional therapies. Here are a few (but certainly not all) of my favorites for both alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia.
PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma): PRP is a comfortable in-office procedure that takes about an hour with no recovery time, downtime, or significant risk. Derived from a small blood sample, platelets are separated from other components of the blood, concentrated, then painlessly applied into the scalp under local anesthesia where weak hair follicles exist.
Note that not all PRP is the same. Our PRP is painless, powerful, and can last a year or more from a single treatment. Bauman Medical has an excellent track record of success using PRP for mild alopecia areata [see photo] as well as androgenetic alopecia.
PDOgro™: Researched and developed right here at Bauman Medical, we were the first hair restoration clinic in the U.S. to use PDO threads to enhance hair growth. PDO, or polydioxanone, is a synthetic absorbable FDA-cleared material. Used for decades in surgery, and more recently in aesthetic procedures to reverse the appearance of skin aging, PDO threads placed into the scalp have been shown to stimulate hair regrowth. Typically performed in combination with PRP in a no-downtime “lunch-break” procedure, the threads are comfortably applied into the scalp. They dissolve and are absorbed over time, safely stimulating collagen production, new blood vessel formation, and a release of powerful rejuvenating growth factors.
The PDOgro™ procedure may help prevent or reduce the need for future hair transplantation by stopping, slowing, or reversing hair loss.
100% non-chemical Low-Level Laser Therapy (aka red light therapy or photobiomodulation): Proper and consistent use of medical-grade low-level laser therapy has been scientifically proven to increase blood flow, accelerate healing, reduce inflammation, and promote hair regrowth.
The medical-grade Bauman TURBO LaserCap® is FDA-cleared for hair growth. It’s powerful, portable, hands-free, cordless, rechargeable, and fast, requiring only five minutes of treatment per day for improved hair growth at home. It’s a drug-free treatment with no risk of side effects.
We offer a superb line of proprietary nutritional supplements to help anyone experiencing hair loss or thinning, or who just wants thicker-looking hair.
The Recruiter™: This unique blend of probiotic, plant extract, and Vitamin D3 promotes the release of stored stem cells (stem cells promote healing of damaged tissues due to aging, injury, and stress). It is the only supplement scientifically proven to increase the number of circulating stem cells in your body to support hair growth and overall health.
The Good Guys™: This hair probiotic complex supports your gut’s microbiome to optimize the digestive process, nutrient absorption, and maximize overall health and wellness. It supports a robust scalp and strengthens follicles for optimal hair growth.
The Bodyguard™: A powerful blend of herbs and mushrooms, The Bodyguard™ supports a healthy immune system and defends against environmental toxins. Scientific research confirms the benefits of the formula’s immune-supporting herbs, together with the fungi, which include Asian mushrooms.
A-List Hair Vitamin Complex™: It’s called our “strategic supplement” because it’s compounded with top-tier ingredients shown to strengthen hair and support skin elasticity. It contains antioxidants and trace minerals that protect hair and skin, promote collagen renewal for hair, skin hydration and wound healing.
Interested in learning more about these proven, safe, and non-pharmaceutical methods of dealing with hair loss, no matter the cause? It all starts with the proper hair loss diagnosis.
Give us a call at 561-220-3480 to schedule your private one-on-one in-person or virtual consultation.
Genetics and Hair Loss
There are now over 200 known DNA locations (genes and SNPs) that contribute to genetic baldness.
Hair loss genes can be inherited from either your mother’s or father’s side of the family, or a combination of the two.
Hair loss can start as soon as puberty ends, depending on your hereditary sensitivity to DHT.
Color quality, texture, length of growth cycles, balding patterns, the speed of balding — all of those put together will determine how quickly you see loss occur, how quickly it progresses, and how long it will occur later in life.
Because there are hundreds of genetic and external factors that influence hair loss, baldness can skip generations, skip siblings, etc.
DNA tests (e.g. TrichoTest™) that we offer include a prediction of whether you’re likely to experience hereditary hair loss and what treatments will work best for you based on your unique DNA.
Alan J. Bauman, MD
Medical Director of Bauman Medical
If you or someone you know has hair loss, hair thinning, baldness, or eyebrow / eyelash concerns, click to start either a long-distance virtual consultation OR an in-person, in-office consultation with Dr. Bauman. You can also Ask Dr. Bauman a Question or simply call Bauman Medical Group toll-free 844-GET-HAIR or +1-
*Each individual's treatment and/or results may vary
The content in this post originally appeared on SFHealthandwellness.com