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Stu: This week I’m excited to welcome Dr. Alan Bauman to the podcast. Dr. Bauman is the founder, CEO and medical director of the Medical Hair Loss Practice at Bauman Medical. Recently he was voted North America’s number one top hair restoration surgeon. Dr. Bauman’s accessible and interactive presence on social media has garnered millions of video views on YouTube and thousands of subscribers, connections and followers on the most popular platforms. In this episode we discuss the factors behind hair loss, the most common myths, natural therapies, and the latest advancements in hair restoration. Over to Dr. Bauman.
Some questions asked during this episode:
What factors cause hair loss?
What are the most common myths associated with healthy hair?
What are the latest advancements in hair restoration?
Get more of Dr Alan Bauman:
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The views expressed on this podcast are the personal views of the host and guest speakers and not the views of Bega Cheese Limited or 180 Nutrition Pty Ltd. In addition, the views expressed should not be taken or relied upon as medical advice. Listeners should speak to their doctor to obtain medical advice.
Disclaimer: The transcript below has not been proofread and some words may be mis-transcribed.
Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The health sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long-lasting health. Now, I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We are into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website, that is 180nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay, back to the show.
This week I’m excited to welcome Dr. Alan Bauman to the podcast. Dr. Bauman is the founder, CEO and medical director of the Medical Hair Loss Practice at Bauman Medical. Recently he was voted North America’s number one top hair restoration surgeon. Dr. Bauman’s accessible and interactive presence on social media has garnered millions of video views on YouTube and thousands of subscribers, connections and followers on the most popular platforms. In this episode we discuss the factors behind hair loss, the most common myths, natural therapies, and the latest advancements in hair restoration. Over to Dr. Bauman.
Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I am delighted to welcome Dr. Alan Bauman to the podcast. Dr. Bauman. How are you?
I’m doing great, Stu. Thank you so much for having me tonight.
Look, really, really appreciate you sharing some of your time. And I know this is a topic that’s going to be close to many of our listeners hearts or heads at least. But first up, for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, I’d love it if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself please.
Sure. I’m Dr. Alan Bauman. I’m the medical director of Bauman Medical Hair Transplant and Hair Loss treatment center located in Boca Raton, Florida. But what I’ve done for the past 25 years is take care of people who are struggling with hair loss or who want to maintain their own living and growing hair, thicker, fuller, healthier, not just part of their lifespan or health span, but they want to also increase their health span and hair span too.
Absolutely. So hair loss, it’s one of these things that seems to be inevitable as we age and whether it be thinning, balding, graying, we get lots and lots of conflicting information about what to do, how to stop it, lots of pills on the market that promise to do so much, but I actually wonder whether they do. I’m intrigued to understand from an expert the factors that actually cause hair loss.
Sure. Well, I think we should first talk of why hair is so important to us. Evolutionarily we’re pre-programmed with our lizard brain, if you will, to choose a good mate to propagate the species, to pass along the DNA, to survive. And hair is one of those highly metabolic organs in our body that produces something that we can visually see. And I can see yours through Skype, but obviously you could see somebody else’s from across the room. So it’s a way to make a very quick judgment about somebody’s age and fertility and health, just like plumage on a bird, for example, the female bird chooses the male bird because of the bright plumage, let’s say. And that’s an evolutionarily conserved function, if you will, to make sure that the best genetic and DNA is passed along and propagated through the species.
It’s normal for humans to wake up and wash their hair, comb their hair, make sure that everything is crimped and proper before we head out to face the world. And when we notice that our hair is changing, just like sometimes whether it’s our skin or our teeth, we may want to do something about, it because it’s an outward sign of our age and our health. And now whether it is or is not, we can go into that, because there are some genetic factors that make us, let’s say, just age our hair more quickly. And there are certainly other things that can influence the hair follicle metabolism, but it’s normal to want to have a thick and full healthy head of hair. And even though many people will embrace the bald look, it’s okay, but I think we’re just genetically programmed to at least when the hair loss begins or first starts, to want to try to keep it and keep it looking great.
Absolutely. Well, very intrigued then about some of the things that we can do and the term biohacking comes to mind because nowadays there are lots of new and emerging tips, tricks, tools and techniques that allow us to do stuff like change things. But on the other end of that scale you’ve got the big brands. So whether it be big pharma and some of their brands that have been created that seem to be the definitive solution to thinning hair, hair loss, et cetera, like Rogaine for instance. Are they effective? Is that the first solution? Should we stop there and think of no other solution when wanting to address this issue?
Well, a lot of people do reach for the low hanging fruit, if you will. If you have a problem, you want to go and get the easiest, quickest solution, and you’ve got Rogaine or Minoxidil on the shelf at your local supermarket, and it is FDA approved for hair growth. It was the first FDA approved hair growth drug. And there is a lot of data that shows that Minoxidil is very helpful for some patients, but for others, not so much. So let’s back up a little bit and talk about why does hair loss occur? Because if you know what’s going on with, let’s just say male pattern hair loss as an example to start with because it’s simple, we know that the male hormones, testosterone get converted into DHT, dihydrotestosterone, and based on your genetics, your follicles in a very predictable pattern could be sensitive to DHT.
And that’s when you’re going to start to see some miniaturization in the hairline, thinning in the crown and so forth, that first visible sign that your hair might not last you your whole life. And so our primary treatments, as you say, might revolve around these FDA approved ingredients. So Minoxidil was the first FDA approved drug, although it didn’t attack or address that thinning problem related to the androgens, right, the DHT, but we also have Finasteride. But people often ask, hey, listen, doc, I tried Rogaine. I did it for a little while. I thought I tried it. I thought I gave it a good try, but it didn’t really work for me. I didn’t really see much improvement or I didn’t get my hairline back. And that’s not uncommon, because actually Minoxidil is not going to regrow a dead follicle. So if the follicle is dead and gone beyond repair, you’re going to need a transplant. That’s the bottom line.
But you’re going to want to put together a multi therapy approach to really address the hair loss process. And it might include Minoxidil, either or topically, which is a traditional way, maybe with a compounded version that’s more sophisticated than Rogaine. It’s not so greasy or gooey, has better penetration and so forth. Maybe even compounded oral Minoxidil, which is very popular these days in terms of treatment. Those are very, very nice ways to get started. But a lot of folks, they don’t want to take a medication. They don’t want to take, for example, Finasteride, which is the old Propecia, to lower their DHT levels. And so they’re looking for other options. But yes, to go back to your main question, are these FDA approved ingredients effective? Yes, they are to a point. They’re very effective.
In fact, Finasteride is probably one of the most powerful treatments against male pattern hair loss. It has a 90% success rate.
Now, you mentioned a phrase there about the hair follicle, when it’s dead, when the hair goes, when the follicle is done and dusted and it’s given up the ghost, we can’t get it back outside of perhaps hair transplant surgery. I just want to talk to that point a little bit, because we’re in this fear of biohacking as well, where there are other things that are often raised in terms of let’s say dental health with the possibility of remineralization of cavities and the growing of teeth. Is that a definitive no, like when that hair follicle is done and dusted, you are never going to get that back? Because I’ve heard about things like increased blood flow, massage, needling, UV penetration, red light therapy, all of these things that perhaps could be a catalyst to be able to do something. Is there any truth to any of that?
Well, there’s a huge amount of truth to that, because here’s the thing that happens, as the follicle weakens, it doesn’t just shut off like a light bulb that burns out. The follicle actually grows a thinner, shorter, weaker, wispier hair over time. So remember that hair follicles cycle on and cycle off, they produce a hair fiber for let’s say a healthy follicle for five to seven years. Then the hair fiber that we see is actually dead keratinized protein. So that hair fiber sheds and then hopefully that follicle will start up again in about 90 days and produce another hair. But if that follicle is under the influence, let’s say of DHT and the follicle sensitive to DHT, those cycles become shorter and the thickness of the hair becomes thinner, it becomes less pigmented.
And over time, the amount of hair that’s produced, let’s say on masse if you will, if look at an area that’s really being affected, it all of a sudden doesn’t produce any coverage to the scalp, and that’s where it looks bald. So you could lose theoretically half of your hair quality and quantity and still look like you’ve got a pretty good full head of hair. But if you lose a little bit more than that in any one given zone, then all of a sudden it looks thin to the naked eye.
I guess the point is, is that these hair follicles, unless it’s something other than what we call androgenetic or hereditary male or female pattern hair loss, like something that really shuts down the follicle or injures it abruptly, usually there’s a lot of time to save it, to rejuvenate it, to help make it more resilient to the effects of your body’s hormones and maybe other influences that we can talk about in terms of lifestyle, nutrition, inflammation, as you said, UV exposure, exposure to mRNA, spike proteins and vaccinations and you name it. All of these things can dysregulate the hair follicle.
Well look, very, very interested in exploring the natural therapies. Obviously our channel is really focused on that. And I’m sure-
As I’m as well, when you’re talking biohacking, you’re speaking my language. We just got back from the 9th Annual Biohacking Conference with Dave Asprey, with thousands of like-minded individuals who want to take control of their own biology and not leave it to big pharma or their primary care physician to help them live longer and healthier lives. They just don’t want a bandaid on it.
No, absolutely right. And I was reading, literally only yesterday reading about the success of that one, the biggest one to date, and I wish I could attend there. And I can see as you were talking and just stating with your hands, I see you’ve got the Oura ring happening on your hand as well. So you’re obviously into tracking your metrics, and that’s something that I want to talk to you about a little bit later on as well. So natural therapies and perhaps the crossover between the term natural therapies and biohacking, because oftentimes the two are fused together. Which natural therapies in your perspective are worth exploring where hair loss is concerned?
I would say our top natural therapy, if you will, or nonchemical, non-pharmaceutical treatment option is low level laser light or photobiomodulation as it’s called today. And we’ve been using red lights, specifically laser light energy to stimulate hair follicles in my practice since the 1990s. And you’re talking, this is before we had any research whatsoever to even elucidate what the mechanism of action was. We didn’t know that those red light wavelengths were absorbed at the mitochondria or the cytochrome sea oxidase and converted into ATP, and we had no idea why there was an increase in blood flow, although we could see it. And we didn’t really know why those follicles that were resting are now turning on and why the hairs were getting thicker, darker, stronger over time.
All I knew is that I was setting out to disprove it as a bogus treatment back in 1999, took the devices for a test drive, and I was amazed at the results that we saw. I knew there was something there, I just didn’t know how to explain it properly. And there was some rush and research around at that time to go over photobiomodulation or red light therapy, but there really wasn’t a lot of knowledge on low level laser. Now today, we have tens of thousands, if not 100,000 published peer-reviewed papers on photobiomodulation. And the research has elucidated the mechanisms of action, and it’s a common therapy. You’re not going to see a biohacking conference or a natural therapy conference without red light. It’s everywhere. And it has a very profound effect on the body, and I use it myself.
And that’s why we designed, for example, our portable turbo laser cap. We reimagined, reinvented, reimagined and re-engineered, I should say, with the inventor of the laser cap, Dr. Michael Raven from Cleveland, Ohio, to build something that was more powerful, more portable, that had more diodes than anything else on the planet as Dave Asprey says, and to make it very effective for patients in a treatment that’s only five minutes a day, with absolutely zero side effects.
So for all of our listeners out there that may have already jumped on the bandwagon of red light-
Similar but different. So what we know about laser diodes in particular, obviously it’s a different wave form. It’s coherent light, so it’s going to penetrate a little bit different. It has different biologic properties at the level of the skin. And the most prominent experts who wrote the textbooks on laser therapy are the ones that really told us, look, you’ve got to have enough power at the level of the mitochondria in order to make this action happen. And so could we potentially have a non laser, like an LED device that actually emits enough energy to create hair growth? I guess it’s physically possible. I’m never going to deny it. But today, the devices that work the best, at least that we’ve seen in our hands and in my practice on in medical have been the laser diodes.
And so yeah, they’re going to be a little bit more expensive than those other devices that you see out there on the market because lasers are just more expensive to create than LEDs, which are coherent way.
Okay. So other things then.
So the Joovv is probably better than nothing, but it’s not going to grow your hair back like a turbo laser cap will. I’m all about the Joovv and other devices that are similar for total body photo biomodulation we use, for example, the Aspen laser, TheraLight 360, which is a massive unit, has over, I don’t know, 50, 70,000 diodes in it of various wavelengths for inflammation. And we use that to treat our military veterans here in the US, take care of them when they’re not being well taken care of by our VA.
That’s my pet project, by the way.
So other strategies in that sphere then, and I’ll use myself as an example. I’m 51. I’m doing okay. I’ve got a reasonably good head of hair. I’m not white as yet, like my father was at his age. The things that I do right now, and I don’t know if there are any use whatsoever, but I like to exercise, so I like to get blood flow to the whole body. In terms of supplementation, I’ll use some collagen. I enjoy collagen, hair, skin and bones, supposedly, don’t know whether it does any good. And I also like to jump in the sauna and really stimulate that blood flow and get the heart going. I don’t know, to me it just seems like, I just feel very vital when I’m doing all of these things and I can almost feel the pulse in your head and I can think, well I’m sure that that increased blood flow and heat must be doing something. Any of those strategies have any merit in your eyes?
Well, they obviously have a lot of health benefits and we talk a lot to our patients about blood flow mainly because it’s really important no matter what we’re doing to stimulate the hair follicle to make sure it has enough nutrients. And so everything you just mentioned, adequate circulation and blood flow, if that’s diminished in some way, shape or form due to age or illness, cardiovascular problems, dysregulation, like I said from a spike protein, all of that can clog up those blood vessels in a pretty hurry. And so we use things like nitric oxide and as we’ve mentioned photobiomodulation to increase blood flow to the scalp before we put scalpel to skin, so to speak, even though it’s not that invasive anymore, but before we do a hair transplant
Because we want that area to heal well immediately after the procedure. We’ve got to literally take a living and growing organ from one place on your scalp and carefully move it intact and gently place it into another location. And we’re asking the body to heal that area as well as grow the hair. There’s a lot of metabolic need in the area of a hair transplant. And the same is true with just a healthy scalp. You could do the calculations and it’s a little beyond the scope of our discussion today, but even in the hour that your listeners are listening to this podcast, they’ve already grown five to six feet of hair. And so that’s a huge metabolic commitment that the body makes in terms of protein. And so yes, if you’re protein deficient, you’re going to go bald for sure, and that’s very, very well documented in the literature.
You don’t have to go to a starving village to see that. Just look at any bariatric surgery patient, and today, sometimes the weight loss drugs that are being used on or off label can sometimes cause a dramatic shed and shut down due to caloric restriction. So you need to have the nutrients, you need to have the fuel. I’m a big advocate for circulation and things that we can do to improve that internally and externally for sure. Supplementation, like we’ve said, nitric oxide and other things. But of course, making sure that your diet naturally is full with the nutrients and vitamins and minerals that you need to produce a healthy hair fiber and a shiny one at that, not just a hair, but a good colored hair, a good smooth, healthy looking hair, one that has good aesthetic value. And so that’s important to do all of that.
And so we’ve developed my own wellness system for hair. I’ve got my own line of nutritionals and nutraceuticals, which include protein powder by the way, we’ll ship you some out, and specialized nutrients, not just the regular multivitamins that are needed like B complex for hair and Biotin of course, as we all know. But I have other supplements in that line that deal with added stress. We use ashwagandha very routinely, especially in these days of the pandemic, a lot of stress dysregulating the hair follicles, whether it’s perceived stress or actual stress from being infected or just being in a state of despair can certainly affect your hair in a detrimental way. And so we have different nutritionals for that probiotics, that’s in the nutritional wellness system for hair in addition to all these other things that we’ve just mentioned, immune support and so forth.
So we have different specialized ingredients in that internal system that we want to provide the best environment for healthy hair growth.
Well, I love that you’ve touched on nutrition as well, because clearly there are many of us out there that will be deficient in something. It’s just going to happen irrespective of the dietary convention that we’re following, which can be these days very wide-ranging. You’ve got veganism on the left, you’ve got carnivore on the right and everything in between. My take is that irrespective of whichever diet you are following, you better make sure that you’re getting the nutrients and you’re not deficient in something and you better make sure that the nutrients that you are getting are as readily available to your body as they possibly can be.
You also mentioned protein, again, the building blocks of every cell in our body, including hair, right? And we are being told, or some of us are being told that limit your protein as you age. And I think that that’s the wrong end of the scale, with things like sarcopenia on the table, we want to have lean body mass as we grow.
100%. 100%. And maintaining that every year gets harder and harder.
So if we’re planning on that increased lifespan, we want to live 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 or more, you’ve got to figure it’s going to get harder each year and certainly each decade to keep that lean muscle mass. And so I’m a big advocate for that. I want do the centenarian decathlon. I want to be able to lift my great-grandchildren up from a seated position up over my head. In order to do that that’s a goblet squat. A 30 pound goblet squat is easy to do today, but how many 90 year olds or 100 year olds can do a 30 pound goblet squat? We’ve got to be training now with three times that weight.
Yes, perfect. Great conversation. I love the idea of backcasting. What do we want to be doing in 20, 30 years time? Because if you can’t do it now, forget it. Forget it. A lot of that stuff does speak to the phrase that prevention is the cure. If we want to prevent frailty in later life, well, we should have some system right now to be getting strong and resilient because all of the systems are against us [inaudible 00:22:10].
100%. Like entropy, right? It continues to degrade just like our skin, our bones, everything. And so the hair is really, like I said, an important visual sign of that aging, and most people are going to have thinner, weaker wispier your hair as they age. So the time to take action is not when you notice that big bald spot occurring, but just at the beginning signs. So let’s be a little bit more sensitive to how our hair is behaving. Women are typically a little bit better at that because they have to do different things to manage their hair. They’re cutting it a certain way, they’re styling it in a certain way. They’re maybe curling it or perming or coloring it.
And so they take more inventory of their hair typically than us men who until the Zoom and boom, we maybe even didn’t look at ourselves in a screen or in a mirror for more than 10 seconds our way out of the shower. But today in the boardroom, there is no boardrooms. You’re looking at yourself on Zoom and you don’t want to look like the oldest guy in the Zoom.
That’s not a good look.
So visually, obviously, as I said, you can lose half your hair before it’s noticeable to the naked eye. So that’s where the technology comes into place. Now, if you’re a distance from us, you’re not local to Boca Raton, Florida or you can’t readily fly here so easily. You’ve got to do your best, right? Comb your hair while it’s wet and parted, take a picture of it, try to assess. But in the practice, we do hair check measurements, which is a cross-sectional bundle measurement, a very specific and sensitive way to attract your hair in different areas of the scalp, not only to establish a diagnosis, but also to get a baseline of how things are today before we start or initiate any therapy. And we also have very cool technology, AI powered microscopes, which essentially load the microscopic view up to the cloud, the photo comes back down, every single hair in that photo has been counted and sorted based on its caliber.
And so it’s a very, very intricate and detailed way to know exactly what’s going on. So there’s no guesswork. No dermatologist is looking at you from across the room and dismissing you saying, oh yeah, it looks fine. No, we’re going to measure it and we’re going to find out what’s going on. And then we can do other assessments. We can do DNA testing to see if you’re at risk for hair loss over time, and if there are metabolic pathways that maybe put you at risk, or if we’re moving step forward into a therapy or treatment, what treatments might work best for you based on your unique genetic code?
So if I came to you and wanted the gold standard, I’ve got unlimited access to finance, give me the gold standard, would you address all of those angles in terms of nutritional supplementation, movement, mindset practices, and the tech that you’ve just been speaking about now? Would that be the best approach?
100%. The first thing that goes on is a discussion, right? We want to find out what your genetic tendency is. So you’re going to talk about your mom’s side, your dad’s side, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents. What was their hair loss status if we know or can we find a photo of them? If you have brothers or sisters, what’s their situation? Are they older or younger? Do they have health issues? And then yes, your lifestyle, your medical issues. Are you on medications? How’s your sleep cycle going? If your circadian rhythm is dysregulated, man, it’s hard to do everything. It’s hard to do anything if that’s a mess. So we always try to fix sleep, and I’m actually working on technology in conjunction with an app that really works well to try to improve sleep, not just track it like with Oura, but actually to improve the sleep that you’re getting and to put you into a wind down process, almost like a journey into sleep and then a wake up process. And we’re going to tie that to your treatment regimen.
But yes, it’s a holistic approach as you mentioned. And we’re talking about all of those different things, your nutritional status and such, and if you’ve lost or gained any weight recently, and what’s your workout schedule? Are you an athlete? Are you not? Because those are specific issues that can harm the hair follicle over time. And what’s your current supplement regimen, are your supplements or medications on the good side, or are they on the bad side? And you have to sometimes weigh the pros and cons. If you’re on a mood modulator, a statin medication, a blood pressure pill, well guess what? We just need the top three medications that dysregulate hair.
Very, very interesting. It’s just information. That information will be the future, and it has to be because we’re in a system now, obviously I don’t live in the States, but over here if you do visit the doctors, the doctor is typically not going to ask you any of these things, because they’re time poor and they may have financial interests that support their business and feed their children. It’s very, very hard. But coming from a standpoint of understanding all of these things, and you mentioned sleep, sleep for us is the biggest lever that we have because if we don’t sleep well, everything else crumbles. We make poor food choices, we don’t feel like exercising, and it just spirals out of control and just pulls us down and lower and lower.
And if we’re making poor food choices, we’re not accessing the nutrients that we need, super, super interested in that side of things as well.
Absolutely. And if you’re dysregulated in terms of your circadian rhythm, it puts you at risk for all kinds of skin inflammation. There’s some really deep science now about clock genes in the skin, which may be controlled by the master clock, our natural circadian rhythm. But if you’re jet-lagged, you might be more prone to sunburn, you might be more prone to a rash or psoriasis or things like that. So there’s so many things that are tied to sleep and skin today. It’s a really important factor, and that’s why I’m honed in on that as a key pathway forward. It’s a little premature to discuss that app and so forth, but we’re getting there. It’s going to be pretty exciting when we get it ready to go.
Well then let’s just touch on then common myths associated with healthy hair. Because we are at the mercy of advertising, whether it be in print, in store, out of home, or digital, which is the biggest one right now. There are so many products that I am served from an ad perspective daily, whether it be the healthy hair pill that has all the nutrients. You mentioned Biotin before, and all of the B vitamins and supported associated stuff. There’s a soap that I see that gets rid of gray hair. Every shampoo under the sun promises to do something, and I liken shampoos to laundry detergent. The next shampoo comes out, and it’s even better than the one before and does all of these things, but ultimately it’s just a mixture of chemicals and who knows what that’s going to do to me in 50 years time if I’m slathering all this stuff on my scalp when I’m in a hot shower and my pores are open, I don’t know.
Well, look, I think your question is what are these kinds of, let’s just call them scalp hygiene things that you’re being served. What does that have to do with hair and hair loss? Well, of course what we’ve learned as humans is that we do need to wash our hair. And so look, my dad went completely bald, and if you ask him what he used to wash his hair, he’ll tell you he used a bar of soap. Now, I don’t know if there’s any causation there, I’m just telling you his story. Luckily we were able to transplant them and the scalp was healthy enough for that. But my point is, is that a lot of people have dysregulated scalp. And so what does that mean? It means a scalp symptom. So do you know the most popular shampoo in the world?
Head & Shoulders.
Of course. Why? Because everybody’s scalp, 50% of the time, 50% of the people are going to have itchy, flaky scalp. And so something’s going on with the microbiome of the scalp that’s not good, that our scalp produces sebum. It can retain moisture or not. And then you have the issues with the hair, is the hair thinning and so forth, and then all the products that people may use that they put on their hair. So yes, this shampoo at its most basic form as a cleanser. And if it’s a deep cleanser, it’s going to wash out the sebum and strip the hair of its aesthetic value and then you have to reapply a conditioner to get the hair to be moisturized again. So that’s the basic function of shampoo and conditioner. Now, is there a magical shampoo that’s going to regrow your hair? Of course not.
But I will tell you, if you’re using the wrong shampoo, your scalp lets you know pretty quick because your scalp is going to be red, inflamed, it’s going to be itchy, dry, flaky. It’s going to be pimply even at the worst case. And if your hair is laying flat from too much condition or poofed up high because it’s so flyaway and uncontrollable or frizzy, then you need some help. Put that all aside for a moment, and remember, I don’t know if you know this, but inside my clinic I have 1,000 square meter clinic, it’s nearly 12,000 square feet, and I have an entire department dedicated to trichology. That’s the health of the hair and the scalp, has nothing to do with the hair growth per se, that has everything to do with the health of the scalp, like curating and making sure that the fertile ground is there for optimum hair growth.
And so it’s staffed with a group of people who can do diagnostics on your skin if you’re dysregulated, if you have itchy, flaky, oily, dry, that stuff that we’ve all said and maybe even experience, we can look at the pH level, the moisture level, the sebum level and figure out do you need some therapeutic intervention, a treatment, or maybe just change your scalp hygiene. And so when I say scalp hygiene, that means that, yeah, I would love for you to use a product that has great ingredients that are safe and healthy for your skin that hopefully you don’t find out later on that, gosh, you have exposure to this for 50 years in a row. We try to create clean and natural products. That’s what I do under the Bauman brand and any of the products that we use to treat your scalp go through that same rigor that we do the best that we possibly can to evaluate the ingredients in those shampoos.
I like shampoos that have hair growth properties to it for sure. So some of the ingredients in the shampoo that we have are going to be anti-androgen, so they’re going to contain saw palmetto. It might have caffeine, which has been proven again and again to be a miraculous anti-aging compound for the skin and also for hair. Green tea, which lowers also DHT production in the scalp and things like what we now know, Sandalo, which is actually an odiferous component, an odor component that can trigger growth in the hair follicle. And we discovered that through our work with the University of Miami. So those are some pretty interesting ingredients to stimulate the hair.
And then in my soothing line, or we call soothe conditioner and shampoo is going to contain CBD, and I’m not sure what the regulations are in Australia, but here in the US we know CBD, cannabidiol, which is the non-psychotropic part of the cannabis plant, is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, which is great for skin and scalp and also might have hair growth properties to it.
Interesting. Are there any particular ingredients in shampoo or condition or any hair haircare products as such that we should actively try and avoid?
Well, I think that there’s a laundry list, and you can probably Google that very easily, but I just want to caution your listeners and your followers that sometimes we have a tendency to vilify a particular ingredient. Let’s just say sodium lauryl sulfate. Oh my gosh, it’s an engine degreaser. Why would you want to put that in your hair? Well, sebum is oil. So something that has a high degree of surfactancy might be a good cleanser if your scalp is particularly oily. So sodium lauryl sulfate gets a pretty bad wrap. We don’t have it in our products. It’s been eliminated. But what I would caution people, and this is just from having done the work to create our own haircare line, sometimes what they replace it with is just as bad if not worse than the original villainous ingredient.
So you’ve got to be very careful about villainizing these ingredients because, look, I’m not a chemist, but my grandfather was for sure. But I can tell you that these chemists are very clever at getting rid of the sodium lauryl sulfate and putting something else that might be just as detrimental. But here’s where it goes detrimental. So if your scalp is very dry, as most of our scalps after the age 50 start to dry, just like our skin, we need more moisture. We don’t produce as much sebum. If you use the same shampoo at age 50 that you did when you were a teenager, yeah, you’re probably going to dry the hell out of your scalp and you’re going to cause some irritation and inflammation. So that’s probably not a great idea. Hair loss shampoos are generally targeted to people who have very thin or fine hair.
And so if you strip the thin fine hair of the sebum, it becomes more lightweight and it gives it more aesthetic volume even though you haven’t grown any hair. So that’s the reason why a lot of these hair loss shampoos can be very, very harsh on the skin. They have a high degree of surfactancy.
It’s not a simple science. The science of conditioning and shampoo is a whole science in and of itself, and that’s why I have an entire department to figure out what kind of shampoo you should be using. It seems like a simple question.
It sure does. So question about headwear. So in Australia we get lots of sunshine and many others, myself included, wear hats. I wear a cap quite a lot. Is that advantageous to my scalp, to the health of my hair, or should I be exposing it to more sunshine than perhaps I am?
So the dose makes the poison, right? So here’s the thing. First of all, there’s probably, you were talking about myths. The most common myth that hat causes hair loss, obviously not true. So there’s no way your hat can strangle your head of blood flow, which would kill the follicles or create so much friction. You have to have a pretty medieval headgear on for it to cause enough friction or trauma. That having been said, if you put too much tension or tightness on a hair, if you braid it too tightly over time or attach a hair system to it, you can cause hair loss from that. That’s called traction allocation. It’s not typically from a baseball cap. So do we want to expose the scalp to sunlight? Well, if you sunburn your scalp over time, you’re going to create scar tissue, and that’s a big problem that UV radiation can really disrupt the skin, and you don’t want to end up with a head full of scars or sun damage. That’s not so good, especially if you’re like complected, you’re more risk for that.
So should you get more red light on your scalp? I guess my basic answer would be yes, but maybe not necessarily sunburn light, but maybe try a turbo laser cap or shameless plug. No, but getting red light on the scalp is certainly going to be helpful in a way that’s going to duplicate those wavelengths that you would get in those afternoon or late afternoon or early evening hours where it’s not dangerous to get the UV, but you’re going to get that red light on the scalp, which is nice. So the other thing about wearing hats is that it can cover a lot of hair loss. So if you’re used to wearing a cap every day, day in and day out, you’re a college student, grad student or whatever, and all of a sudden you look in the mirror for the first time, it’s like, oh my God, what happened to my hair? Well, I want to keep that hat on because that makes the frame of my face look more youthful, and that delays your treatment.
So that’s not so good. That’s like wearing baggier clothes if your abdominal girth is increasing, that’s not a solution, that’s going to hide the problem and delay your action, which is early treatment is the best treatment.
No, that’s great. Very good advice. Early treatment absolutely every time. Prevention is the cure, as we mentioned before. Very keen then just to talk a little bit more about the latest advancements. Now, you’ve spoken a lot about some of the tech and a lot of the support that your team offers in your facility as well. So what have you got coming up in terms of things that excite you in this space? You mentioned that you’ve just been to the Biohacking Conference, Dave Asprey’s flagship conference there. Anything on the horizon that you see is going to perhaps gain traction in the coming years or offer something that you perhaps may not have thought about prior?
Sure. Well, I always like the quote that the future is here, it’s just not equally distributed and so forth. I think it was William Gibson sci-fi writer from the 80s who said that he’s the one that coined the term cyberspace, by the way.
Yeah. But the point is, is that the technologies that I’m excited about are some of the things that we have here in the office that we’ve actually been able to debut over the past 18 months. For example, the use of ultrasonic transepidermal delivery systems, which is a no needle pain-free way to push growth factors and peptides through the skin. So that’s a really new regenerative medicine technology. So we’ve been doing PRP for 18 years, over 12,000 treatments. Platelet rich plasma, I’m sure your listeners know there’s a platelet derived growth factor cocktail that comes from your own blood platelets, a cell therapy treatment that we make right at the bedside. And there’s some nuance to that, how we make the platelets and get 10 to 12 billion per treatment into your scalp and so forth.
But that therapy could be enhanced with other things like polydioxanone threads or exosome therapy, which are basically stem cell messages that we get in a bottle from a laboratory. But obviously all of those interventions require local anesthetic if you’re going to do it properly. The TED or transepidermal delivery is an in-office procedure, also takes about 35 to 45 minutes, but no needles, no pain, no blood draw whatsoever. Patients are coming in for that and getting very nice results in terms of hair regrowth, decreased shedding, those weaker hairs growing thicker and longer and especially darker now, even we’re getting some gray reversal with that TED therapy.
It’s pretty exciting.
How cyclical is that?
Like how often do you need it?
That’s a great question. So for PRP in that regenerative category, we know that the PRP that we use is a single treatment’s going to last you 10 to 14 months before a repeat. For TED we have four treatments one month apart, so you have to come in four months in a row and then we’re going to remeasure you. Now remember I said that we just basically launched that treatment or helped pioneer that treatment here in North America, so we don’t have a decades worth of data or tens of thousands of patients like I do with PRP. So we don’t exactly how well or how long it’s going to work for many patients, but what I’ve seen so far is a dramatic that four, five month timeline, and that most patients are maintaining it through the rest of the year.
Some choose to continue with the therapy once a month, every month. They just love the feeling of it. They relax and they enjoy the treatment. It feels like a warm vibration in the area where we’re doing the treatment. So it’s not a big deal. A lot of our male and female patients will just continue to do a monthly appointment after those first four, and it just becomes part of their hair maintenance regimen, just like a facial would for their skin.
Fantastic. A lot on the horizon. I read a whole section in the National Geographic a couple of years ago that was essentially, it was all about aging, and the take home message from this piece was that aging is just a technology problem and we’ve almost solved it. And I’m guessing it has to do with every facet of health. So hair loss, ultimately it’s a tech problem right now. And until we get to the advent where we have that tech, then you’re clearly on the bow of the ship in terms of where that’s heading.
I agree with you. I just interpreted what you’ve said. I think if we look at our DNA compared to other animals and stuff, there’s no ticking time bomb in the DNA that says we have to expire. And so the point is, I think David Sinclair probably said it first, I think it’s a software issue like scratches on a CD and how can we erase or how can we fill in those defects, if you will. It’s a software problem. And so eventually I’m very optimistic that we’ll maintain or enhance lifespan and of course health span. Nobody wants to be live another 10 years debilitated. And of course hair span goes along with that. But also we don’t want to be sitting around waiting for some miraculous cure. People ask me every day, what about hair cloning? Can’t we multiply these hair follicles?
And I said, listen, not yet, but we have great technology for transplantation. Let’s utilize carefully what you have. Let’s protect the existing hair. And hopefully down the road, maybe around the corner a little bit, we’ll have some multiplication technology. But unfortunately, that’s not available at the moment.
And until that day comes, I think it’s important to concentrate on the simple things that we know already work and we know that can help us keep us in good stead until that point arrives. Things like daily movement, good food, sunshine, relationships, like good sleep, all of the above. They’re only going to be net positive. Can’t be any-
Meditation, mindfulness, gratitude.
Yes, absolutely. And very, very hard in a society right now where we are continually interrupted by social media, by alerts and prompts that take us away from being in the moment, being present. Very hard. Unless we can utilize tech to do that as well, which some of us do.
I think that’s the next wave that you’re going to see a divide. People are going to be using the technology to enhance their wellbeing and not just be slaves to it, which is what the stimulus response algorithms are trying to get us more eyeballs, more time. I forget, didn’t Netflix just say that their biggest competitor was sleep or something like that? It’s amazing to me, because people would watch a lot more if they didn’t have to sleep I guess, that’s the thing. And that’s the last thing that we need for this world of humans, is for people to be sleeping less than they are right now. We’re already two hours shy of what nature pre-programmed us to have.
Well, the irony is I actually use Netflix for sleep, so I use-
There we go.
… visual overwriting. I try and turn off the monkey brain with trash TV and Netflix fills that gap for me, and it pushes me in that state, and it seems to be working. But we’re coming up on time. So there’s just a few questions that I’d like to ask you. One that pertains to you personally in terms of you are the guru in this space and not just hair health. Clearly your interest spans the entire health and longevity and health span lifespan that we were speaking about previously. So what are your daily practices, the non-negotiable things that you do each and every day in order to crush your day? And they don’t have to be related to hair in any way, shape or form. It could be I like to get up and stare at the sun for 10 minutes.
Well, so I wish I could get up late enough to stare at the sun. Most of my days start well before the sun peaks up over the horizon. I do get up at five every day, working day. I do track my sleep with the Oura ring. I find that that’s critical, non-negotiable. Not that I’m tied to the scores per se, but I do use that to track heart rate variability. I like to know how much gas I have in the tank. And that’s not to say that we have to be exactly at full capacity, our tank field every single day. That’s not how we go through life. Life is not a balance, but it’s a harmony that goes back and forth. I’m more concerned about expending energy and then regaining energy, expending energy, regaining energy. I consider my life more like a sine wave than a flat line, hopefully for many reasons.
And so that’s how I use my ring to know how much energy can I push out today? I just got back from the conference literally, well, the conference ended on Saturday and Saturday night I went to go see my son who lives up in Orlando, and we spent a lot of great quality time together. And then I slept over his house. He bought a house in Orlando. So I had a chance to stay over there before I came back to Boca to my own home and wife. But the point is, is that I knew that I’d given out all of that energy at that conference, talking to so many people, thousands of people about their hair and other issues connecting with other vendors and like-minded people. I do like to make those, it’s expensive to bring a team and to have a booth and things like that. And it’s also expensive in terms of energy to be pushing out and trying to take in at the same time, to learn and to share.
And so I’m more selective now on the types of conferences that I go to. I want to make sure that it’s beneficial all the way around. And so again, with the like-minded folks at Biohacking, it’s just a natural for me and also to bring my team there to see it as well. So yes, so the Oura ring tracks my gas in the tank. It goes up and down. I want to make sure I have enough gas in the tank if I’m going to be out late with friends or family and it’s a time that they’re only here for a short period. Maybe they’re visiting. I want to make sure I have the energy for that and certainly the energy for my patients. At sleep at night, I try to get as much sleep as I can. I can’t say I’m a great sleeper. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on ever since I realized that my sleep had been dysregulated by working in internship and residency when I was in a younger stage of my career, 140 hours a week in the hospital.
And I was certainly able to handle it in my 20s and 30s. But as I got older than that, I realized that that sleep when you’re dead mentality was going to accelerate the death and not give us any life. So obviously we learn as we go along. Right? And so try to get in the bed, wind things down, put the phone aside, no laptops in the bedroom, that type of thing. And if my wife is going to watch either Netflix or news or something like that, on go my red goggles and I can’t see and hear much of anything after that and the melatonin wave starts, and I’m hopefully off to dreamland if I can. And then my supplement regimen, I take a good set of supplements in the morning and the evening. I do time limited feeding during the day. So on my weekdays, I may just have black coffee up until 2:00 PM, maybe a small snack at that point.
And it just depends on how my body feels. If I did a workout the day before, then I’ll crank up some protein earlier in the day. But I’m very sensitive to that, and I don’t really feel like a hunger twang or craving at any given time. I’ve been able to dissociate that completely, which my family has never been able to believe because I’m a foodie. I love to eat. And so when it’s time to eat, I can’t say I’m a religious eater. I’m very experimental and experiential. I do love to eat, but also do that time limited feeding during the week. So on the weekends I can do what I want.
Fantastic. Well, there’s just lots of little nuggets of gold in there I think for our listeners. Mastering sleep, again, it’s a practice that many of us need to work on. As much as we’re trying to work on our physique, perhaps by going to the gym, it’s so important.
It’s as equally as important. If you ask an athlete, the most important thing is the recovery process from whatever work they did at the gym. That’s what your body is doing. That’s the rebuilding of those tissues, the use of the nutrients and fuel to rejuvenate the body and to build it back better, stronger.
That’s really, really important. If you spent all day, every day in the gym, just lifting heavy things, that’s not going to work. You need to let your body recover.
And you need to do everything that you can to enhance that recovery, and sleep is really important. I have to sleep cold. I have a chiller in my bed.
Well, absolutely, temperature is so important. It’s one of those things. And I’m the same. If I am chilly when I get into bed, I know I’m going to have a better quality sleep. And the ring, it never lies. The data never lies, again and again and again I know what I have to do and I know sometimes that it’s not easy to do these things, but I do it and it delivers the goods every time. I’ve been obsessed with sleep for many years. I’ve been tracking on the Oura for four years and just ever so slowly pushing it higher and higher and higher. But we’ve got to do something.
Well, you have to toy around with these different little tweaks and we say biohacks or whatever, to try to see what we can do to improve that, to get better sleep in less time. That’s my goal. I can’t spend any more time. I don’t think I can spend any more time in the bed, so I just have to get better quality sleep during that time. And so we try supplements, we try the red light, try the meditation, try the sauna. We try all of that to make it work.
Exactly. Interestingly for me, I think probably the biggest driver for better quality sleep, particularly deep sleep, has been daily step count. I experimented last year with pushing it up to 20,000 steps each day for a year. That was too much. The sweet spot seems to be about 12 to 14, delivers the best amount of deep sleep. Fascinating. Not all of us have time to do that, but with incidental movement and just being on your feet more, those steps to accumulate and it seems to have a net positive effect on sleep. Fascinating.
A day at Disney will make that happen for you. Not a day standing in the ER or talking to patients. Yes, I can understand that for sure.
Wonderful. Well, look, Dr. Bauman, it has been an absolute joy speaking to you. What’s in the pipeline? What’s next? What have you got on the pipeline this year, perhaps?
We’re very excited about our new department. It’s called the Bauman Performance Program. We have an integrative health program, functional medicine based, everything from wellness to optimization to longevity. And the pieces of the puzzle have come together now. It’s been in the works for several years. It’s been in the back of my mind for a long time, because we uncovered so much dysregulation, so much disease, if you will, related to hair and hair loss over the years, both our male and female patients. And I found that the people that I sent them to, they didn’t really get the care, and especially not the integrative care that I felt they needed. So people can keep their primary doctor, that’s totally fine. We’re not a primary care clinic, but what we will do is we’ll comport all of that data.
We’ll use all of the latest technology in basically uploading your information to the latest AI, whether it be biometrics and biomechanical data, your height, weight, bone density, and BMI and so forth. We’re going to do body scans. We’re going to be doing DEXA scans and so forth, and trying to prevent disease with CCTAs and so forth. But also just getting your nutritional status online, making sure that your activity levels or fitness schedule is on point, that you’re the right things, that you’re expending your time wisely and reaching your goals for whatever it may be for health and wellness, even if it’s just to have a little bit more energy to play with your kids or to be with your wife and family, or lost your goals as an athlete or as an executive, or you’re training for something specific.
We’re really out there to be not a one size fits all. It’s going to be extremely customizable. I have a functional medicine practitioner. I’ve got a medical assistant who’s been in the world of hormone optimization for a long time. He’s specialized in endocrinology, so I feel like we’ve got a really, really great team together. I’ve got a nutrition and fitness expert who’s also been in the world of longevity, and of course, myself, upbringing to the world from the world of anti-aging. I’ve been a member of the American Academy anti-aging for over 20 years. And like I said, we’ve going to Biohacking Conferences for a number of years, and of course it’s exciting to bring all of that new technology, the wearables and the DNA testing and tilling your lengths all the way through epigenetic testing and DNA methylation and all of that to bring that to bear for our patients in the Bowman Performance Program. So we’re super excited about bringing that online.
Fantastic. Well, look, you’ve lit up so many lights in my head I’m thinking, oh my word, if I was only over in the states I want to come and see you tomorrow. That’s definitely down my alley. And the same with our listeners, they love this stuff. So where can they get more of you and your work, your practices, your procedures, and all of the information that we’ve spoken about today? Where can we send them?
On any search engine, you’ll find me, but baumanmedical.com is the location that has thousands of pages of information and thousands of hours of video. I’ve written all those pages myself, most of those videos are of me talking about different procedures and treatments and protocols at all levels of, whether it be this is your hair loss 101 journey, or maybe you’ve had a hair transplant in the past and someone’s told you that you ran out of donor hair, what do you do next? There’s a lot that we can do for everyone, no matter where you are in your hair loss or hair restoration journey, if you’ve got a hair problem, baumanmedical.com is the place. And we do have patients from all over the world. I have patients from Sydney, Australia, and far beyond who we connect with virtually from their home or phone, as we say.
And many patients do fly in. About 50% of my patients fly in for their hair transplant procedures, which are all minimally invasive, artistically designed, performed by me, and the other therapies, regenerative treatments that we offer, as well as the more traditional treatments that would be on the pharmaceutical category in addition to everything we talked about today, like hair care and nutrition and so forth. Even all the way down to cranial prosthetics for those who maybe are not even good candidates for hair transplants, but want to get that Hollywood hair look.
Fantastic. Well, look, we will put all of the links that we’ve spoken about today in the show notes and look forward to sending our listeners your way to find out more. But it’s been an absolute pleasure. Dr. Bauman, thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Looking forward to share it with our audience. Thank you so much.
It’s been my pleasure, and thank you, Stu.
Okay, thank you.