Weekly Newsletter

Hair today, gone tomorrow? Let’s talk hair health.

Love the mop on your head? Learn why exactly hair turns gray, which vitamins most help hair grow and how Covid-19 can cause hair loss.
Grooming routine of a young Black woman with curly brown hair. She is styling her hair by picking her curls with a long comb.

Whether you have a thick mane, a shorn shag, a gloriously curly crown or no hair at all, chances are you’ve spent many an hour tending the stuff on your head. So let’s dig into the latest science behind why hair changes as we age or get sick, ways to replenish after different types of hair loss and which studies deliver proven (natural) regrowth remedies.

Then, we’ll close out with vital health news on flesh-eating bacteria + fall viruses.

But first, count 100 brush strokes as you scroll down into…

  • The Checkup: the hair necessities
  • Hair Care: grays + oils + loss
  • Healthcare: new boosters + more

The Checkup

Stress + stuck stem cells = ?

Top view of peaceful middle aged female with gray hair holding hands behind head and closing eyes while resting on blooming grass

Studies are shedding light on why hair goes gray.

Hair color is determined by melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) found in hair follicle bulges. When one hair falls out, the McSCs mature into *melanocyte*s + color a new strand as it grows.

One study found that the stress hormone and neurotransmitter norepinephrine can cause McSCs to change + leave the hair follicle, reducing new hair pigmentation. That can happen within days of high stress—and it’s irreversible. Another study found that McSCs can get “stuck” in empty follicle bulges, where they can’t mature into melanocytes or move elsewhere.

Right now, there’s no medical treatment for hair re-pigmentation. But we’re getting closer?

Learn more at Technology Networks.

Rosemary for regrowth?

Portrait of a Filipino young man with round glasses wearing a green parka, looking at camera near some autumnal colored plants.

According to Men's Health, rosemary oil leads hair growth tip lists. But what does the science say?

The oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial + hormone-balancing effects—all which support new hair growth. In one study, it encouraged the same amount of new hair growth as Minoxidil (Rogaine) while resulting in less-itchy scalps.

So, should you try it? Not necessarily.

Hair products used when washing your hair vary in oil concentration. Dry and oily scalps will respond differently in both efficacy and potential side effects. The FDA has only approved Minoxidil, Finasteride (Propecia) and Ritlecitinib (Litfulo) as safe products (almost) guaranteed to help you grow hair again. And all treatments—including rosemary oil—must be used regularly for months to produce results.

Do you have hair loss, dandruff or folliculitis? Dr. B can help!

Explore our hair loss treatments

Covid-19 = hair loss?

Relaxed woman receiving a traditional 'abhyanga' ayurvedic massage. Moment of head and scalp treatment.

As reported by Yahoo Life, a study of around 800 people with prior Covid-19 infections showed that over half experienced telogen effluvium (TE), a kind of temporary hair loss.

With TE, hair follicles enter a resting period that can cause massive shedding + hinder the way hair grows back. For some, TE lasts just a few months. For others, their genetically-triggered hair loss gets worse indefinitely.

The good-ish news? Prescription hair loss treatments + OTC products (like those with biotin) that treat other common causes of hair loss can help Covid-19 hair loss, too.

Learn more about how Dr. B treats hair loss, or read the story for more tips.

Healthcare 411

Flesh-eating bacteria lurk in post-hurricane floodwaters. (NBC).

The vibrio vulnifucus bacteria thrive where warm ocean + fresh waters combine. It’s recently caused several fatal cases in CT, NY and NC. Hurricanes often create such standing water. So officials urge people hit by Idalia to watch for infection. It can appear like a spider bite-like lesion on the skin. If ingested, it can cause cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and fever.

Covid vaccines may roll out within days (NY Times).

The CDC plans to discuss the rollout of the new updated vaccines tomorrow. Once set, millions of doses will ship to vaccine providers within days. Cases, ER visits + hospitalizations increased for the 7th week in a row. Fortunately, lab data suggests the new boosters will protect against the latest variants. Here are more specifics.

If you’re at high risk, Dr. B can help you treat Covid-19 with an online consultation. Learn more here.

Covid-19 is mutating in deer. That could become a problem for people (Time).

A study found that SARS-CoV-2 evolves three times faster in deer than in humans—and deer can carry the virus for nine months. Deer get Covid-19 from humans (we don’t know how) and they haven’t spread it back. But researchers are concerned that deer could help create a significantly different variant years—or decades—down the line that we humans will not be prepared to fight.

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