Hair Transplant Blog Featuring John P. Cole, MD

Doctors Share Hair Transplant & Hair Loss Information

Hair Transplant Surgery Insider Blog by The untold side of hair loss and hair transplant surgery from industry insiders. Includes exclusive news and facts, top five and top 10 lists and reliable studies and findings.

Stem cells

In recent hair loss news, a study performed by Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute was released in the journal PLOS One.  According to this study, which was published just a few days ago on January 26th, researchers may be closer than ever to determining a means to generate new hair follicles. The study introduces a novel idea of using a cell-based treatment approach for hair loss.  Researchers were able to show how a unique type of cells, termed human pluripotent stem cells, can ultimately lead to the growth of new hair. These cells dictate the formation of hair-follicles and determine the growth cycle. When transplanted into mice, they differentiate into dermal papilla cells thus yielding new hairs. For the 61 million Americans suffering with alopecia, this could be the beginning of the breakthrough treatment they have been waiting for. 

“Our next step is to transplant human dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells back into human subjects,” said Vasiliy V. Terskikh. “Partnership is needed to implement this final step.”

If so, using a caffeine shampoo could be just what you need. According to a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine was proven capable of reversing the inhibitory effects testosterone has on the hair follicles. This study aimed to determine the effects of caffeine and testosterone on the growth of human hair follicles in vitro. This was made possible by collecting ex vivo hair follicles taken from scalp biopsies of men suffering from androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and testing them in vitro to establish the maximal inhibitory concentration of testosterone as well as the caffeine concentration necessary to reverse such effect. A meaningful suppression in follicle growth was seen in hair follicles treated with 5ug/ml of testosterone. Caffeine neutralized this suppression in concentrations of 0.001% and 0.005%. When used alone, caffeine significantly stimulated hair follicle growth. Because dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the agent responsible for causing AGA, and DHT is a result of testosterone conversion, inhibiting testosterone could lead to inhibition of AGA. The results produced in vitro by this study set the basis for the clinical efficacy of topically applied caffeine for treatment of AGA, thus the creation of caffeine shampoos.

A few of the caffeine shampoos currently available include Alpecin caffeine shampoo, Organix Awakening Shampoo, Alaffia Shea and Revitalizing Shampoo (infused with Robusta coffee), and Dr. Wolff Plantur 39 Caffeine Shampoo. The quantity of caffeine in the Alpecin shampoo is equivalent to about 1/5 cup of coffee. Several of these products use coffee beans as the source of caffeine. It’s possible that liquid caffeine could be added to your usual shampoo for a similar invigorating effect. Caffeine shampoos should be allowed to sit on the scalp about 2 minutes to ensure proper absorption. Presently, Dr. Cole is working towards patenting his very own line of caffeine shampoo.

Hair Transplants Really are Life Altering

This is most definitely the case for 11 year-old Cokie Allen. The young girl suffered crippling burns before the age of 1. At the time, she was abandoned at a Chinese hospital.  Today, she is the adopted daughter of a loving family in Indianapolis. Since her injuries, Cokie has undergone extensive surgeries. Her mother recalls at least 8 surgeries to her head alone.  Dr. Jack Fisher of Nashville is helping the young girl restore hair to the areas of her scalp that were burned.  Cokie and her family recently met with Dr. Fisher for her second hair transplant to the initially hairless area.  The goal of this session was to add density to the area. The procedure took approximately 4-hours, and the follicles are expected to take root in about 8 months.  While a few more transplants are necessary, the young girl is expected to have a full head of hair that can be styled any way she likes once the procedure is complete.  Cokie and her family are thrilled by the transformation she has undergone thus far.  Cokie is already feeling the effects of the two transplants she has received. Styling her hair used to take over an hour, but now, she can do it much more quickly and without trying to hide her scars.  Hair transplantation surgery is truly a blessing to this family.


If LeBron James really did have a hair transplant, it sounds as if he did plenty of research. Hair transplantation can have a profound affect on one’s appearance, so choosing the right surgeon and procedure to fit your needs is crucial. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the the most advanced form of hair transplant surgery available. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is often applied during hair transplant procedures to aid in healing, promote donor recharging, and even improve the appearance of pre-existing hair follicles. Dr. Cole utilizes all of the latest treatment methods covered in this video, from advanced FUE to PRP.  The Capillus Laser Cap is even available for purchase through Cole Hair Transplant. As far as LeBron, watch this video and draw your own conclusion.

heart disease

According to the BMJ Open online journal, support has been found that can connect male baldness on the top (crown) area, known as the vertex, with an added risk for coronary heart disease. Hair loss in or around the hairline is not associated with this same risk.

Six studies were found to meet analysis criteria, and therefore, included in the report. The Hamilton Scale was used to determine the degree of baldness on men in these studies. The outcomes showed that 32% of those with tremendous balding had an increased risk of CHD compared to men of the same age without hair loss. The degree of vertex baldness was also associated with an increased risk of CHD. Minor vertex baldness, modest vertex baldness, and widespread vertex baldness have increased risks of 18%, 36%, and 48% according to the studies. Younger men were also found to have a higher heart disease risks associated with hair loss in the crown area compared to older males.

More research is needed to determine why vertex baldness is associated with an increased risk for heart disease. A few theories include insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, or increased testosterone sensitivity, both of which are connected to CHD. While thinning hair carries a much lower risk of heart disease than smoking or obesity, men suffering from hair loss in the vertex region should be aware of the potential elevated risk. Overall men’s health and a healthy lifestyle should be emphasized.