456. Unlocking the Mystery of Hair Loss: Methods of Restoration for Men & Women w/ Dr. Alan Bauman

Dr. Alan Bauman

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. Alan J. Bauman is a full-time hair transplant surgeon who founded Bauman Medical in Boca Raton, Florida in 1997. He’s one of the world’s leading minds on this subject, having treated nearly 30,000 patients and performed over 10,000 hair transplant procedures.

Alan J. Bauman, MD, ABHRS, IAHRS, FISHRS is a full-time board-certified hair restoration physician and hair transplant surgeon. His compassionate, patient-centered philosophy and individualized artistic approach to protecting, enhancing, and restoring the appearance and health of the hair and scalp is what sets him apart from non-specialists and other practitioners.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Dr. Alan J. Bauman is a full-time hair transplant surgeon who founded Bauman Medica in Boca Raton, Florida in 1997. He’s one of the world’s leading experts on this subject, having treated nearly 30,000 patients and performed over 10,000 hair transplant procedures.

We cover genetic and lifestyle influences on hair loss, differences between the male and female experience of it, background of early treatments, all the way up to the amazing modern therapies and surgeries offered by forward-thinking artisans (yes, there’s a big art component at play) like Dr. Bauman and his team.

You can go to lukestorey.com/bauman to get a free consultation with purchase of the Bauman Turbo Laser Cap and to check out the other supplements and technology discussed. And if you know someone losing their hair who'd prefer to keep it, make sure to share this episode with them.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

00:03:29 — Learning the Basics of Hair Loss

00:30:37 — Supporting Healthy Hair

  • No magic solution for sustained hair color
  • Overuse of chemical solutions 
  • Microbiome of the scalp 
  • Hair dryers, heat, and toweling tips 
  • Shedding doesn’t always mean losing
  • Supplementation guide

00:45:49 — Technology & Treatments

  • Dr. Bauman comments on Rogaine
  • Ultrasonic wave therapy 
  • Shout out to Dr. Amy Killen
  • Peptides, lasers, and stem cell therapy 
  • Dr. Bauman reveals his photobiomodulation technique
  • Red light therapy 
  • Free consultation with Bauman Turbo Laser Cap

01:07:57 — Exploring the Surgical Option

  • Background of hair transplantation
  • Development of follicular unit extraction (FUE)
  • Keeping art in the equation 
  • Risks of medical tourism 
  • Prevention, protection, and restoration 
  • Eyebrows and eyelashes 
  • Going deeper into health with Dave Asprey

More about this episode.

Watch on YouTube.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:00:06] Oh, PRP doesn't work. Well, yeah, it does but you got to use the right dosage and things like that. Hair transplants. You're going to go do plugs? What? No, I think that there's a way that we can do this to make it look natural, artistic, so it doesn't look like something artificially created. This is Alan Bauman, and you're listening to the Life Stylist Podcast.

Luke Storey: [00:00:28] Hey, my friends. Luke from lukestorey.com here. I've got an incredible episode for you today. It's number 456: unlocking the mystery of hair loss and all methods of restoration for men and women with Dr. Alan Bauman. And by the way, if you want all the content from each new episode delivered right to your inbox every Tuesday morning, here's what to do. Just visit lukestorey.com/newsletter and enter your name and email and I'll send you all the goods the moment new shows drop every week. Again, that's lukestorey.com/newsletter. 

All right, let's talk about our awesome guest. Dr. Alan J. Bauman is a full-time hair transplant surgeon who founded Bauman Medical in Boca Raton, Florida, back in 1997. And since that time, he's treated nearly 30,000 patients and performed over 10,000 hair transplant procedures. So if you want to learn about the real causes of hair loss and every available option to get it back, keep on listening. 

And here's your obligatory topic summary: differences in male and female hair loss and their treatments; the most common and often unknown causes of hair loss; whether hair loss is really hereditary; how testosterone pellets inserted into the scalp can help; Dr. Bauman's theory on hair as the luxury item of the body and a barometer of your overall health; how to have a healthy scalp; PRP, placental matrix, and other cutting-edge treatment therapies offered at Bauman Medical. 

We also cover topicals like GHK peptides, C-60, and Methylene blue; Bauman zone Turbo LaserCap and Nutrafol nutritional supplements; the evolution of transplants; eyelash transplants and so much more. So if you want to keep the hair you have or put some more of it back on your head, this is the show you've been waiting for. And by the way, Dr. Bauman's also got an awesome web store devoted to every viable solution for hair loss.
We'll put this link in the show notes, or you can click your way right over to lukestorey.com/bauman to get a free consultation when you purchase the Bauman Turbo LaserCap. The site is definitely worth checking out you guys. Lots of great info and products there. All right, you guys, let's all put our heads together and figure out this damn hair loss thing with Dr. Alan Bauman. Dr. Bauman, I'm excited to talk to you, man.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:02:53] I'm excited to be here. This is awesome.

Luke Storey: [00:02:55] This is great. I'm so glad we got to do this in person. I like to track people down when we happen to be in the same city. And here we are back in my original home city of Los Angeles. On the other side of this curtain here, there's actually some really beautiful weather, which I'm enjoying as a Texan now. Yeah, like, oh, yeah. I remember why I stayed here for 32 years.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:03:15] I went to college in Southern California, you see Riverside--

Luke Storey: [00:03:17] Oh, really?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:03:17] Yeah. So I have a lot of friends and even roommates from college.

Luke Storey: [00:03:23] Oh, I didn't know that.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:03:24] With inquiries, so we'll be connecting with them this weekend too, as well as with all the rest of the biohackers and such.

Luke Storey: [00:03:28] Right on, man. Okay, cool. Well, let's get right into it. So you're one of the leading experts in hair restoration, and I would say probably hair preservation, too, if that's fair, right?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:03:39] Absolutely. That's a big part of what we do, a huge part of what we do-- keeping the hair that you have as well as restoring hair that you lost.

Luke Storey: [00:03:46] All right, cool. So the first question I have for you is what are the stats on women's concerns with this issue versus men's? Because I never even realized until I started researching your work a little bit that this was also something that's problematic for many females.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:04:02] Absolutely. So there's probably about 80 million to 90 million Americans out there who are dealing with hair loss. And it can happen to men. It can happen to women. And I think what most people don't realize is that it can have a very strong effect on women. And there's no socially acceptable option for women with hair loss. And so 40% of my practice are female patients who don't want to lose their hair, and that's always a surprising statistic for most.

Luke Storey: [00:04:29] I'm surprised. For those watching the video, that's my surprise face. Wow, that's interesting. Yeah, I guess I never thought about it. I didn't know that and didn't think about it. My younger brother started losing his hair, I think, when he got sent off to college, and so he just always had a shaved head. And I just know that's my brother, Andy, he's got a shaved head. But for many females, that would be not a great option.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:04:53] Right. Not a socially acceptable option unless you're Britney Spears, I guess, or Sinead O'Connor or something. But those shouldn't be your hair heroes. But yeah, so men lose their hair starting anytime after puberty. It could be a receding hairline, or thinning in the crown and we all know what that looks like. In women, sometimes can lose 50% of their hair and it'll still look about the same but they have to just style it differently. But it still has the same emotional effect.

Luke Storey: [00:05:18] When women lose their hair, then, is it not so much like the male pattern thing, it just starts to thin overall rather than getting receding hairline and the crown thinning and stuff. Is it more of a systemic?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:05:31] So let's make sure we're talking on the same page. So androgenetic alopecia, which is male and female pattern hair loss is the most common type of hair loss. That's the most prevalent. And yes, it looks completely different in men and women when it gets started. So as we said, losing hairline in men could happen any time after puberty. 

But for women, when they start losing their hair, sometimes it's just a volume issue or they're seeing excessive shedding or they're losing some coverage like in a part line in the front of their scalp. Usually, it happens mostly in the front for women first. So it's a totally different look than someone with male pattern hair loss.

Luke Storey: [00:06:05] Right. Because-- 

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:06:06] Over time, they can recede too. 

Luke Storey: [00:06:06] I don't see women that have my hairline.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:06:09] Right. Exactly. But women can recede as well as they age and they go through perimenopause, menopause, and become postmenopausal. Their hairlines can change and can recede backwards. So we do have a lot of women that come to us to look for a more youthful hairline, whether it's density or even location. And then, of course, there's other things that could change the hairline in women, for example, like brow lift surgery, and things like that.

Luke Storey: [00:06:31] Oh, interesting. Okay, cool. Yesterday here at the conference, I stopped by your booth and you had some diagnostic tools with video screens and stuff like that. I reluctantly sat in the chair and had a little diagnosis. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might have been. But tell me a little bit about--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:06:50] It didn't hurt?

Luke Storey: [00:06:51] No, it didn't hurt.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:06:52] See, it's just an evaluation. It's like listening to your heartbeat.

Luke Storey: [00:06:54] Okay. But when you see a magnification of your scalp, it looks like there's very little hair there. And obviously, for anyone listening and myself, I know this is like a vanity issue and one's self-worth hopefully is not derived on how much protein they have popping out of their scalp. But yeah, looking at that, I was like, ouch. So what is that diagnostic tool? How do you use it? How long it's been around, stuff like that?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:07:17] So the tool is really exciting. It's the first AI-powered microscope. It's called HairMetrixs made by Canfield. And what it enables us to do is we can take a small microscopic photo of the scalp, it gets sent up to the cloud and it comes back with a hair density measurement. And also all the hair in terms of caliber. So if it's a thick hair over 90 microns, it's going to go in this category and it's tagged this color.
If it's 60 microns a little bit smaller, it's in this category. If it's 30 to 60, it's in this category. Less than 30, it's red. No bueno. So basically--

Luke Storey: [00:07:49] Luckily, I had a lot of green on the screen, so I was like, okay.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:07:52] Yeah, green and dark green, those are the colors that you want to see on the microscope. When it gets to yellow, that's miniaturized or smaller hairs. And then, of course, red, not a great hair. So we use that tool to track your current hair loss status. So we'll look, for example, in your case, maybe the difference between the more permanent zones in the back of the scalp compared to areas that you might see some thinning or maybe areas that are at risk for thinning and you don't even know what's going on in that zone. 

So it becomes not just a diagnostic tool initially like what's going on and where, but also a benchmark. And as a biohacker, you want to know if whatever intervention you're doing, is it improving? How much is it improving and where? And that's what the measurements enable us to determine.

Luke Storey: [00:08:34] That's cool because what I'm starting to understand about the whole hair restoration thing is that on the patient's part, compliance is really important. And we'll get into some of the topicals and lasers and red light and stuff. But from what I've looked into it, it's not just like you go to a specialist and like, "Pour this cream on your head every night and you're good to go."

There's protocols that one might want to adopt if they're pretty serious about keeping what they've got. So I think a diagnostic tool like that is really cool because it's a reality check.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:09:04] Oh, absolutely.

Luke Storey: [00:09:04] And then also motivating to keep you going if you're like, oh, I and Mitchell, who was on the show before, I think I might have introduced you to him some months ago. He made this, I think it had GHK peptide and C-60, and he sent me some of it with the Derma roller and said, put it on for 20 minutes and get under the red light. And I did it a few times. But it was really difficult to keep up with that practice. And even more so because I didn't really know-- I trust him that it was going to work. He showed me some before and after pictures and stuff. But without me being able to see it on myself, it's like it has to be refrigerated. So I don't think of going to the refrigerator at 11 when I go to bed.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:09:42] Yeah, I think that diagnostic tools like the HairMetrix and other things that we do, hair check measurements, it's another way that we can track what's going on, enable us to keep you honest over time, and also determine what's working and what's not because every patient is different. 

If you're not getting a response from the first-line therapies, well, that's when we have to dig deeper and maybe go into something else. Or if you're having an issue with being able to put the medication on your scalp, let's say it's topical and it was messing up your hairstyle, that's not good. So let's find some other way to get that medication or another modality and we can shift gears.

Luke Storey: [00:10:17] Right on. Let's talk about the causes of hair loss. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and it gets very confusing. If you just do a web search, "What causes hair loss?" You're going to get lost in all rabbit holes that probably will take you nowhere quickly. So hereditary, dietary, what from your perspective, is actually at the root of this?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:10:36] So a hair follicle is a very, very highly metabolic organ. And the niche, which is all of the neighborhood cells that are in the area, includes the adipose tissue, the blood supply, nerve endings, a little muscle that makes it all, all of these different things have an impact both locally indistinct on the follicle. So your lifestyle, your habits, your nutrition status, your stress level, your sleep-wake cycles, all of that including hereditary risk factors, form the basis of what's going to be happening to your hair over time. 

So when we talk about hereditary hair loss, that's going to be your genetic sensitivity to certain hormones in your body. So as you age, those hormones are degrading the hair follicle function. The follicle is going to weaken over time. But all those other lifestyle factors can also have an impact. 

Now, how much are the lifestyle factors versus the hereditary factors affecting your hair? Well, it's different for every person. It's different for men versus women. For example, women may have more sensitive hair follicles, so an issue with their nutrition might impact the hair more drastically, more dramatically than, let's say, a male patient. 

And then there's all the other things like illness. COVID was a huge trigger for hair loss over the past two years. The mRNA vaccines, which just regulate your immune system. So there's an autoimmune component to hair loss. And the microvasculature, the spike protein can sometimes just regulate that.

Luke Storey: [00:11:58] So business has been booming [inaudible]

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:12:00] Well, Luke, I treat about 1,500 patients per year through the door at Bauman Medical. We've treated over 30,000 patients and the practice has always grown over the years. And it's been pretty crazy. I've personally treated over 1,000 COVID-related hair loss patients over the past 18 to 24 months.

Luke Storey: [00:12:19] Wow. I guess that has a lot to do with the metabolic drain, as you were saying, the requirements of energy to keep your hair going, and if your energy is being depleted by some illness, that makes a lot of sense.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:12:31] And that brings us to even some of the types of therapies. People say, oh, well, it's just the genetic sensitivity to this body's hormone, which the DHT for men, that's the primary trigger. But yeah, there are first-line therapies that handle that issue. But then behind that are all the other things that we do in the practice to take a more holistic approach if you will, a lifestyle approach and functional medicine approach to hair loss.

Luke Storey: [00:12:52] Yeah. I was perusing your website and saw that you had a lot of information about just functional medicine and lifestyle choices and things like that, which is cool. Are there a lot of people out there doing what you do that are able to approach this surgically and also incorporate so much of the lifestyle? Or are you unique in that sense?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:13:12] Yeah. First of all, I've always been a unicorn in the field because I've taken a very proactive approach dating back decades in terms of prevention. So not just a hair transplant surgeon. I'm not just board certified in hair transplant surgery. I feel like I'm a hair restoration physician. And that was a term that really wasn't used over 20 years ago. But because we use medications, medical therapies, and I was one of the first to recommend low-level laser light therapy or photobiomodulation back in 1999, I got my first laser biolysis.

Luke Storey: [00:13:41] In 1999? Wow.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:13:42] Yeah, we imported the first laser hoods in 1999 from Sweden. And a lot of the textbook was written by an acupuncturist describing how the laser therapy works on the skin. But we saw great results with those in-office treatments that obviously the patients had to come back in several times a week to get the result.

Luke Storey: [00:13:59] Right.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:14:00] So I've always been very proactive. I guess that's important, so taking care of the long-term issue of ongoing progression as we age, protecting the follicle function. And of course, if the follicles missing are gone or too far gone, if you will, can't be rejuvenated, then that's when the transplant comes into play.

Luke Storey: [00:14:18] Okay. I definitely want to get into that because I was watching some videos on that and I'm like, whoa, that is probably the most tedious thing I can imagine doing.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:14:28] Hair by hair?

Luke Storey: [00:14:29] Yeah. Yeah. I know you've got some robotics and stuff and we'll get into that, but I'm going to go back to the hereditary element. Is there any truth to this that you get hair loss from your mom's side of the family or is that just folklore?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:14:42] Yeah, they used to say, like, your mother's father will determine your follicular fate, and it's certainly not the case. We know that there's so many different contributions today when it comes to what you inherit from your mom's side or your dad's side, the color, the curl of your hair, the thickness of the hair. Whether you're going to have male or female pattern hair loss and other conditions that could affect the hair follicle can come from both sides of the family. 

The onset. When is the hair loss going to be visible to the naked eye? How fast is it going to progress? All of those things are hereditary. And one of the things that we do now is actually some deep genetic testing to determine different metabolic pathways that might influence hair follicle function or make some treatments better than others for you.

Luke Storey: [00:15:22] Oh, wow, that's cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:15:23] So I did genetic testing for hair loss risk over 10 years ago. It was the first genetic hair loss risk test that was available and also androgen sensitivity testing, something that you can do looking at the DNA. But today, the TrichoTest is definitely the deep dive into the metabolic pathways of hair loss. And so that's the personalized precision medicine approach to the treatment of hair loss that we have today.

Luke Storey: [00:15:46] How would someone get this TrichoTest?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:15:48] So TrichoTest is easy to order on the website. It's not a big deal. But the problem is, is that the results of that test are not so user-friendly, so it's not really direct to consumer. I would say it needs a little bit of interpretation. It needs to be looked at in terms of first-line therapy, second-line therapies and taken in conjunction with whatever your lifestyle factors are, therapies you're on currently and things that you've tried or failed on in terms of hair regrowth. 

So I would caution your listeners if you want to know that genetic information, get the test, but it also comes with the consultation. So let me interpret it for you and go through the process.

Luke Storey: [00:16:22] And you guys have that test available?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:16:24] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:16:24] Okay, cool. And before I forget, if you guys go to lukestorey.com/bauman B-A-U-M-A-N, lukestorey.com/bauman, you'll find any resources and offers and things like that that we talk about here. I didn't even know you guys had that. That's cool. Then with the hormones in the functional medicine realm here, many people listening are probably by now had their hormones tested and they're looking at all of that and adjusting their supplementation and diet and movement and all that. 

Is there any universal low-hanging fruit in terms of if your hormone panel looks like this, like your central or main hormones, you're going to have issues with hair loss? If I had my testosterone and my free testosterone check, for example, could you tell something just from that and tell someone, I need to work on raising your testosterone?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:17:13] Yeah. I wish there was a simple biomarker for hair loss, like a lab test that you could just go for. Okay, so here's the thing. So testosterone gets converted into DHT, dihydrotestosterone in the body. And when you're sensitive to DHT at the level of the hair follicle, that's the trigger for miniaturization. So DHT is the culprit.

Luke Storey: [00:17:31] I don't think any male would like the term miniaturization.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:17:33] You don't want anything to miniaturize. Nothing, everything's got to be good. So miniaturization is what occurs at the level of the follicle in response to DHT. And how fast or how quick that happens, that's what the hereditary genetic tendency is going to going to elucidate. But there's other hormone dysregulation that could occur that could affect your hair. In women, sometimes we see thyroid abnormalities and other issues.

So a deep dive into your biomarkers can help figure out what's going on. And once those hormones are optimized, let's just say you're a male patient, you're in your 50s and you're on hormone replacement therapy, be mindful that if you're supplementing your testosterone to bring it back up to normal range or better, that's going to convert to DHT. 

So you could have been decreasing your natural DHT production over time just by getting older and now that would have been good for your hair or slowing down hair loss and now you're increasing your testosterone exogenous from the outside. You're injecting creams, whatever.

And then that's getting converted to DHT, that's going to miniaturize your hair maybe faster. So if you're on hormone replacement, let's say, with pellets or something, and you let's just say get overdosed or you receive a lot of testosterone, which sometimes happens with pellet stacking, you can trigger a lot of hair loss, not every time, but sometimes if you overdose and if you're super sensitive to it. So that's where genetics can sometimes sabotage you and also if you're not really carefully looking at your testosterone levels.

Luke Storey: [00:19:01] Tell people about these pellets, I forgot about those. I've never tried them, but some people probably won't know what that is.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:19:07] Yeah, I'm not an expert in hormone replacement therapy, but you can get testosterone replacement with a cream. That was properly the first thing that happened. And the gels, and then injections. That gives you a slow dose right over the week and some people do it once a week or twice a week. And you can also have pellets implanted. So these are slow-releasing testosterone pellets. 

And if you're really low on testosterone, you may get two or three pellets at a time, potentially initially. And then, oh, my gosh, if you're, God forbid, overdosing on it, maybe you're having accelerated hair loss-- and this can happen in women, too, who are getting hormone replacement therapy because women get testosterone replacement as well for all different great benefits. But if a woman is sensitive to female pattern hair loss, that extra testosterone pellet can sometimes cause a recession of the hairline thinning throughout, shedding, all symptoms. 

But the good news is that the pellets wear off. And so just if that happened to you, it's okay. Just let those pellets wear down and then don't do too many stacked on top of one another. Be a little bit more mindful about that. And let's get on some therapy to help block that DHT effect. So there's medication to do that.

Luke Storey: [00:20:14] Oh, there's medications?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:20:17] So medications are one of the primary therapies.

Luke Storey: [00:20:19] Okay.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:20:19] So finasteride has been available in the form of Propecia. Years ago, it was the first FDA-approved oral medication for male pattern baldness. It can also be used in women post-menopausal, but it's dangerous for women of childbearing age because of the risk to the developing male fetus. So it is a prescription medication. It should be used with caution. But know the risks and the benefits, talk to your board-certified hair restoration physician.

Luke Storey: [00:20:43] I think a lot of people listening to this show probably think anything pharmaceutical is all risk.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:20:47] Yeah, well, let's talk about that.

Luke Storey: [00:20:50] But I think about something like Accutane. One of my brothers, not the one who lost his hair, but the other one, he's a teenager. He had acne, he's Accutaned and it jacked him up and at the time, it was like a godsend in terms of the benefits. But we don't know the side effects until some time later.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:21:08] Accutane is notorious for hair loss. So a lot of patients come in having used Accutane as a teenager for acne and then all of a sudden their hair is doing terrible.

Luke Storey: [00:21:16] Really?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:21:17] Yeah. So Accutane is awful for hair regrowth. It's just terrible. But let's talk about finasteride because I know your viewers, your listeners may be totally anti-pharmaceutical, but again, they're going to dig into what exactly does this pharmaceutical do and what are the real risks and benefits? And sometimes that's where it gets confusing on the Internet. Because all of a sudden you see a very small percentage of patients who have side effects, let's say 2% that have side effects. Well, 2% out of millions of patients, I mean, that's a lot of noise on the Internet.
And so what are the benefits of being on finasteride? If you're a male patient, why should you consider finasteride as soon as possible? Well, because it's the strongest tool in the toolbox. It's a treatment that we have because it reduces that DHT level, which would then protect the follicles. 90% of folks on that medication get a positive effect. That's pretty good for a pharmaceutical, 90% success rate--

Luke Storey: [00:22:09] It's a lot better than many of the popular ones right now.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:22:12] Yeah, for sure. And even preventative therapies, for our favorite virus. But anyway, my point is, is that finasteride orally at the correct dose works 90% of the time. Five out of six guys are going to stop losing hair. Two out of three are going to see some regrowth. But what are the risks? 2% of patients are going to see mild and temporary sexual side effects. So those side effects could be decreased libido--

Luke Storey: [00:22:35] Isn't that funny how that--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:22:36] [Inaudible] dysfunction.

Luke Storey: [00:22:37] I'm thinking this guy is like, "Man, my hair looks great. I got a date tonight." Oops. The ratio there, there is pretty good side effect versus benefit. And to be fair to the pharmaceutical industry, there's times where I'm happy to take drugs or go see an allopathic doctor. By all means, sometimes you just need it. You need the big guns, and it's worth it.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:23:00] So the good news is, is that if you did, let's say, have a side effect, let's say you tried finasteride or Propecia when it first came out, and let's say you had a side effect, we can actually now apply that medication topically through compounding pharmacies. So you don't have to take it orally. There's no major systemic absorption. Much less risk of side effects, almost negligible, and still get a powerful hair regrowth effect right on the scalp.

Luke Storey: [00:23:23] Wow, that's badass.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:23:24] So that's the nuance that we have today that sometimes gets lost in the noise on the Internet, about, oh, my God, it's anti finasteride. We can't do finasteride.

Luke Storey: [00:23:34] With this, was it FHT?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:23:37] DHT, dihydrotestosterone.

Luke Storey: [00:23:39] DHT.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:23:40] That's the bad guy. 

Luke Storey: [00:23:41] Okay. With the DHT, if your hormones are dysregulated, too much, too little of that, whatever and you're having that go on and you talk about like losing that hair, if that follicle loses a hair, does that by definition mean that it's toast forever unless you did replacement?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:23:57] No. Let's talk about what happens at the level of the follicle, because there's some misconception about when the hair sheds out that like, oh my God, the hair is gone. Well, it's not really how the follicle works. Hair follicles have cycles. They turn on and turn off. And over the course of your life, they're going to go through a growing phase, a hair production phase. Think of it like a 3D printer making a hair fiber. The hair fiber is dead tissue like your fingernail. And the follicle is under the skin making that fiber.
It's going to work for about 5 to 7 years. That's the antigen or growth phase. And then it turns off and takes a rest. And it takes about 90 days for it to reboot. They call it anagen and telogen. And so telogen is that resting phase where the hair is shed in between telogen and the next anagen. So the shedding is going to happen every single day. About 100 to 200 hairs from a healthy scalp is normal. And it's not super concerning.

But if you're seeing some increase in shedding, more hair in the drain and the brush and the bed pillow or whatever, then you need to take some action, and get some measurements going on.

Luke Storey: [00:24:59] Okay, cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:25:00] Yeah. So my point is, is that when DHT is affecting the follicle, each successive cycle of the hair follicle becomes shorter. So what happens? You get a miniaturized hair, you get a shorter, thinner, weaker, wispy your hair over time. And then eventually the hair is so short, so deep pigmented that follicle can never be rejuvenated. It's like beyond repair. It becomes like a follicle that you have on your cheek. It's invisible to the naked eye. It's just producing what they call a vellus hair. That's no bueno. That's not good. You want to try to prevent that.

Luke Storey: [00:25:33] And so if you've gone to that stage, then surgical restoration transplant is going to be your only option really. Like there's no bringing that back once it gets to that point, correct?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:25:44] Correct. But we want to dovetail and Luke, if you're not going to be doing pharmaceutical interventions, maybe you're doing red light therapy, maybe you're doing those lifestyle changes, trying to get better sleep, better nutrition, maybe you're doing a regenerative treatment like PRP, platelet rich plasma or PDOgro or exosome therapy to stimulate those follicles without surgery. 

So you don't want to let it get to that point. But yes, the vellus hair is the point of no return. That's when you're going to need some degree of transplantation because of the density issue.

Luke Storey: [00:26:11] Okay. Cool. A common request from Life Stylist listeners is a breakdown of my top five non negotiable supplements. After a couple of decades of research, I'd have to say that vitamin K2 easily makes that list. Nearly every American adult has insufficient levels of vitamin K2. It's simply not available in the modern Western diet. 

Why does this matter? Well, a K2 deficiency can cause major issues, including coronary artery disease, heart disease, bone spurs, kidney stones and liver stones, plaque in your heart vessels, and even major cardiac events. 

In 1990, the Rotterdam study looked at people from eastern Japan who consumed high amounts of K2. More than 8,400 participants were given 50 micrograms of natural K2 on a daily basis for more than 10 years, and the results were insane. Participants of the study showed a 50% decrease in cardiovascular events and mortality, a 25% decrease in all-cause mortality, and finally, a 25% increased rate of living longer and healthier. It's crazy what they found in this study. 

So now you can see why I'm into taking K2 every single day of my life. And my favorite source is from a company called Just Thrive. Their vitamin K2 is the only product on the market with 320 micrograms of pharmaceutical grade K2-7, which is the optimal daily amount. This is the K2 I use and trust because it's microbiologists formulated and clinically tested and supports healthy heart circulation, brain bones and nerves, and even encourages healthy blood sugar levels. 

So for exceptional gut and immune health, there's nothing like Just Thrive. And right now you can get 15% off everything Just Thrive carries when you go to justthrivehealth.com and use the code LUKE15 at checkout. That's justthrivehealth.com, and the code is LUKE15. Have you heard anything about parasites being the root cause of hair loss?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:28:23] Parasites? Well, I don't come across a lot of parasitic infection in my practice, so I can't speak from personal experience. But I would imagine if something is affecting your health, and your body is fighting off a parasite, or maybe if it's a gut parasite or something and you're having poor digestion, you can imagine there's a whole domino effect of health-related effects from that. 

And hair follicles, remember, we talked about that super sensitive to inflammation in the body to dysregulation, sleep-wake cycles. So there's so many different things that could basically screw up your hair production, and turn off that 3D printer. So wouldn't be surprised. Infection can cause it.

Luke Storey: [00:29:05] I think--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:29:06] With a viral infection, bacterial infection, parasitic infection, if your body's working to fight something else, then it goes into a defensive mode and it directs its attention to those more critical functions of the body. And that's one of the reasons why we see hair falling out from all different reasons.

Luke Storey: [00:29:27] Okay, cool. That makes sense. Yeah. Someone mentioned that to me as a possibility and I believe if I remember right, it was related to mineral regulation and that the parasites are going to gobble up a lot of your minerals and that was the cascade effect of that. But the way you frame it makes sense. It's like anything your body is fighting against and struggling with is less energy. It's going to have to do its job, which is to put hair on your head or at least one of its jobs.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:29:53] I always think of hair, I tell my patients a hair is like the luxury item of the body. If something's going wrong, all of a sudden you're not going to make hair. And so why is that? I think that hair is like just a very, very important barometer of your health. It's a very, like I said, a highly metabolic sensitive organ. It's rapidly dividing. It's one of the most highly metabolic cell populations in the body. 

Think about if you went on chemotherapy, what happens? Your gut lining starts to shut down, highly metabolic and replaces itself every day. Your bone marrow, that's when you start to get anemic and your immune system gets shut down and your hair falls out. So why are those three things affected by cancer therapy? It's because they're all highly metabolic.

Luke Storey: [00:30:36] Interesting. Okay. You mentioned loss of pigmentation, and that wasn't even in my notes. But now that you mention that, what do you know about people going gray?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:30:46] Yeah. So while it's prevalent, and hair color industry is a gazillion-dollar industry. It's big, it's huge because people want color to make their hair look more youthful. And so it's obviously desirable. So just like people want a healthy-looking head of hair in terms of volume and quantity of hair-- and that's normal, we're hardwired for that because hair makes us look good and feel good. Most of the time as our hair starts to change or lose its color, people want to either try to figure out why to fight against that. 

The bad news is that there's no miracle cure for going gray. But we think that there may be things that are been studied in the research that elucidate what's going on at the level of the hair follicle. So the bottom line is that, yes, hair color is the quick fix for that. But chemical processing and using color on your scalp can have other effects. These extrinsic effects on the hair follicle can seep into the skin and be not so good just regulate the hair follicle as well.

What are the kinds of therapies that they've seen in the research lab that works? So there's been a lot of studies on catalase. There's been some studies on rapamycin and hair pigmentation. And a lot of this research is just in the primordial stage. So I would say if someone is out there looking for some cure for hair color, be careful. There's a lot of snake oil out there. There's not a lot of solid scientific studies that show that these things work. Copper peptide is one of those that comes up a lot, the old-fashioned and ancient Chinese He Shou Wu.

Luke Storey: [00:32:21] He Shou Wu. That's what I was going to say.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:32:22] Mr. Dark Hair. That's what He Shou Wu means. Mr. Dark Hair.

Luke Storey: [00:32:26] I was going to mention that. In Chinese medicine, you hear things about Shilajit and different Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, herbs, and things like, if you take this, you'll never go gray.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:32:35] So I'll tell you, just from my experience, I've been to Beijing. There's a lot of people with gray hair, so I don't think the Chinese figured it out. Maybe it's lost in translation somewhere. But yeah, I don't think they figured it out yet. They got a lot of gray hair.

Luke Storey: [00:32:47] Speaking of hair dye and permanent solutions, hair straightening solutions, do those have a negative impact on the volume of hair and hair loss?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:32:58] Well, absolutely those kinds of chemical solutions can have a detrimental effect on scalp health. And so we know in certain populations that do relaxing agents, for example, over and over and over again. African-American population will use relaxing agents to straighten the kinky hair so it becomes more manageable, easier to deal with, and for esthetic purposes as well. They may want to change their hairstyle. 

But the problem is that overuse, consistent use of those relaxing agents can cause a lot of damage at the level of the scalp, and that causes other types of alopecia or other types of hair loss scarring alopecias.

Luke Storey: [00:33:33] Oh, really?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:33:34] Where the follicles are completely obliterated, replaced with scar tissue. And in many cases, it's very difficult to restore those areas even through transplantation if the skin has been damaged in a way.

Luke Storey: [00:33:46] It's like a burn almost, it sounds like a chemical burn.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:33:49] Yes, that's what we think. There's a chemical burn component to those chemical treatments.

Luke Storey: [00:33:54] What about hair lightning, when people want to go blond or platinum and stuff?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:33:58] Luke, in my practice, obviously, I told you 40% of my patients are women and most women do color their hair. So I would be in pretty big trouble if I told all my women, "You can't call your hair." So we know the esthetic value of hair color and we know the esthetic value of treatments of your hair to change the curl, whether it's you're straightening it or curling it. So I would just say you have to use those treatments carefully and monitor your scalp health. 

In fact, at Bauman Medical, we have a complete department. That's all they do. Trichology department and trichologist lab monitor and evaluate and optimizes scalp health.

Luke Storey: [00:34:33] Oh, really?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:34:34] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:34:35] These guys are hardcore, man.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:34:36] Yeah. The full department of certified trichologist, certified hair coach Kim Jenkins. And she can do measurements of your scalp that include PH level, moisture level, sebum level. We can look for microorganism overgrowth and things like that and figure out what's going on. So patients out there are people with scalp symptoms, itchy, flaky, dry, oily scalp. Let's evaluate that, figure out what's going on, because that can impact hair growth as well.

Luke Storey: [00:35:00] Oh, wow. You said microorganisms, are people having microorganisms in their scalp?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:35:06] Oh, yeah. So the scalp contains just like the skin, a microbiome. So we've talked a lot about microbiome of the gut. Well, there's a scalp microbiome as well. And when there's an overgrowth of certain microorganisms like yeast, for example, that's the primary trigger for dandruff. Sebor dermatitis is an overgrowth of certain microorganisms. When the diversity reduces, you get an overgrowth of one species. That's what's triggering sebor dermatitis, which is inflammation at the level of the scalp. 

These microorganisms feed on the exfoliated skin cells and the sebum that's being produced. And there's different therapies and treatments for that because sometimes it's an incidental finding. The patient comes in with hair loss concerns and we're digging through the scalp like, geez, your scalp is inflamed, it's flaky dandruff. He's like, "Yeah, yeah, sometimes I see that." Well, let's get that fix before we start with hair growth treatments. That's like foundational first.

Luke Storey: [00:36:03] Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. Do you think that excessive use of a hair dryer, even drying one's head with a towel, is going to have any long-term negative impact on the volume of your hair?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:36:16] Again, there's esthetic value to using a blow dryer to dry the hair. Excessive heat can actually dry out the hair fiber and make it more prone to breakage. But you don't want to style your hair when it's wet either. It's more fragile at that time. So we actually at one point had special types of towels--

Luke Storey: [00:36:34] Oh, really?

Luke Storey: [00:36:34] Yeah, that we would recommend almost like turbans to absorb the water. Just be more gentle with your hair. And I think it's just a good plan if you're trying to grow better, thicker hair and your hair is prone to be fragile, that you better just be careful with it, whether it's heat or how you dry it or how you style it, what chemicals you use, that's a reason to chat with either board-certified hair restoration physician or my trichologist to handle those kinds of questions.

Luke Storey: [00:37:00] Cool. Cool. Yeah, as I've gotten older and my hair starts to thin, I noticed I got out of the shower and I'm a little more ginger about the way I dry my hair with a towel. I used to scrub it and get out of there. And now I'm like, oh, pat it down a little bit.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:37:14] Well, you may be going overboard. Let's be honest. But because some degree of scalp massage can actually trigger hair growth. There's some actual studies that show that mechanical manipulation of the scalp improves hair growth and circulation. So you may be thinking, oh, I'm just going to treat my hair more gently-- and for women, especially, sometimes they decide, well, I'm not going to comb it out, I'm not going to brush it out, I'm going to put it in a ponytail or whatever, really like a ponytail. 

And then when they take out that ponytail or they decide to shampoo and brush it out, it's like they got a handful of hair and they think that that's severe hair loss. But actually, that's just all the hair that would normally have shed each day that they wouldn't normally notice a lot of it. Now it's all in one spot. So once a week it's like 1,000 hairs.

Luke Storey: [00:37:57] I think we forget that you're going to be losing hair all the time, even if you're not set for some pattern baldness. When you look in the shower drain every couple of weeks, it's like, where did all that come from?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:38:07] Shedding can be a disturbing symptom because it's like the physical embodiment of the hair leaving your head. That's not a good feeling. Nobody wants to see that in the shower drain. But remember that treatments like laser light, even platelet rich plasma, the regenerative treatments, or starting prescription minoxidil, a topical medication can trigger the shedding phase as the new hairs are coming in and pushing out the old ones. 

So a lot of people stop their regimen right at the time that it's working because they mistake the shedding as loss when actually that's the symptom of the regrowth that they're getting from the therapy. That's why the measurements are critical.

Luke Storey: [00:38:50] Yeah. And I can see there's a lot of education needed in this. If someone's serious about going down this path, it's like you need someone like you who knows what they're doing that can guide you because you could freak out, or be like me and not want to towel dry my hair too hard, and you're like, "You're probably-- 

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:39:04] You're okay. You're good. Yeah. Luke, you're okay, man. You can go back to towel-drying your hair. I don't think you need a turban at this moment. You are doing okay.

Luke Storey: [00:39:11] That's hilarious. Back to the nutrition piece, are there any just universally positive supplements one can take that are known to support just the strength of your hair or longevity of your hair?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:39:24] Yeah, there's a lot that we can do. So I always ask my patients, are you on some caloric restrictive regimen? Are you on some special, and I say extreme diet, we all know what these are. So if you're doing extensive fasting or things like that, you may actually be protein deficient and you need protein to grow hair. That's what the hair is. It's keratin, protein. So if you're protein deficient, you're not going to be growing good hair at all. So we do recommend our own collagen peptide supplement.

Luke Storey: [00:39:53] Oh, cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:39:53] It's called the Builder that's under the Bauman brand and it's part of our wellness system for hair. We have a number of different components to that system, but that's one of the foundational ones. It's simple and easy. You can throw a scoop of collagen in your coffee, your tea, your juice, you can throw it on whatever, your oatmeal, and you're going to get that boost of collagen peptides.

Luke Storey: [00:40:14] Awesome.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:40:15] So I think that's foundational. I also like a multivitamin, B-complex, Biotin is also a good supplement. Those are some of the basics. Now we can get more nuance with nutritional supplementation in terms of probiotics which regulate the immune system, because we don't want to have an overblown immune response to anything. We want to keep that tamp down in our health. And we also want good absorption. 

So we have a probiotic called, the good guys. There's other nutritionals, which I would consider more defensive. So things that boost your immune system so that you don't get COVID or less likely to perhaps so that you stay healthier or things that are like stress adaptogens, like ashwagandha. These are more nuanced, aggravated herbs and things like that. That one's called the Zen master. So there's a whole variety of things that we have in my particular system to address not only a positive impact on the hair, but also a defense to hold off these other influence.

Luke Storey: [00:41:12] For sure. For sure.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:41:13] And Luke, you want to make sure you're not iron deficient and that you have a well-balanced diet. And that goes along with all the other lifestyle factors, that you're sleeping well and taking care of yourself and being mindful and get that stress cortisol under control. Spike it when you need it, but get it down when you need to. You've got to get that stimulation and then rest and digest at the same time.

Luke Storey: [00:41:32] The stress and hair loss thing is definitely real because I noticed I had a really stressful year and a half, which I'm now maybe a few months out of just moving my life to Texas and renovating the house and stuff, man and I could swear. you don't know if it's causation or correlation, but I'm like, I definitely lost some hair in that period, more so than just aging another year and a half, because I was so stressed out and it's just so busy. 

I think there's a lot to be said for just the lifestyle part of it. If you're using ashwagandha and getting your magnesium up and you can do that, but there's a certain degree of commitment one must have to meditation and breathwork and just learning how to self-regulate, so you're not in that fight or flight high cortisol response all the time.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:42:15] Yeah, for sure. There's no question that we see patients who are under physiologic stress or perceived stress, which is psychologic stress experience hair-shedding phases. So shedding we've talked so much about this, telogen effluvium-- I want to make sure I get the terminology out there-- is a synchronized shed. And that can happen if you have a high fever, infection as we've talked about, childbirth, a general surgery, operation or a change in residence is a very, very common trigger.

Luke Storey: [00:42:46] Really?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:42:47] Yeah, that's literally on the list. Or job change. Or change in marital status. Change in financial status. So these are all major stressors. Things that keep us up at night, we don't eat the same. We don't take care of ourselves the same when these things are happening. We're in a state of flux. And so our body is a little bit out of balance. And that can definitely trigger a shedding phase. 

Now, how quickly you rebound, if you do rebound, that is determined by your baseline genetic. Because, for example, my patient's right. A female comes in, had a baby six months ago, they're done nursing all this business and they had a massive shed six weeks out from childbirth. And the shedding is still going on and maybe slow down a little bit, but it's revealed this underlying-- so we would hope that that would resolve and everything would be back to normal and great and good within the next year. 

But sometimes it doesn't happen. So why is that? Why did that childbirth effect reveal an underlying tendency towards female pattern hair loss? We don't really know the answer, but sometimes it's like as you stack these things against the hair follicle, sometimes you have more than one diagnosis.

Luke Storey: [00:43:56] Right. Multifactorial.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:43:58] Yeah. So COVID, all of a sudden, the male pattern hair loss was going slowly, slowly, slowly, then boom, COVID twice in a year. And now it's accelerated dramatically. So what are we going to do about that? Well, some of that hair might be beyond repair. It's not going to bounce back without therapy.

Luke Storey: [00:44:15] Okay. I've been pretty much obsessed with the principles of quantum energy for years. Before any particle manifests physically, it exists as pure quantum energy, and that includes our bodies. And every person constantly interacts with other quantum energy fields. But things like EMF and toxic air, food, and water diminish our body's energy. 

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All right. Let's get into some of the topicals first. I know you guys are doing some really interesting stuff, and then we'll close it out with when you really need the big guns and you're going to be getting into the surgical zone. So some things that I've used or heard about and you mentioned a couple of these would be peptides and of course the PRP stem cells. And then you guys are using something you alluded to earlier PDOgro. Explain how this stuff--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:46:14] This is all fits. 

Luke Storey: [00:46:15] Yeah. All this stuff that--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:46:17] So sometimes--

Luke Storey: [00:46:17] Naturally, be injected or microneedle into the scalp.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:46:20] So sometimes when people say topicals, they think of Rogaine because you can buy that at CVS or Walgreens. So obviously there's compounded topical.

Luke Storey: [00:46:28] Does that work, by the way?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:46:29] So Rogaine contains Minoxidil. But the problem is, is that a lot of folks don't have the enzyme activity in their skin to convert minoxidil to minoxidil sulfate. So about 30 to 40% of people don't get a great response from over-the-counter Rogaine. We can figure that out through the tricho test, as we mentioned earlier, that sulfate transferase activity, metabolic pathway is one of the things that the tricho test looks at. 

Or we could prescribe something that ramps up that activity in the skin like a compounded version of minoxidil. So our quality compounded minoxidil concoctions, if you will, are always going to be more powerful and more well tolerated than the over-the-counter. We're going to eliminate the irritating ingredients. We're going to include other ingredients that potentiate or increase hair growth response. We can even put finasteride in the topicals, as we talked about.

Luke Storey: [00:47:16] Oh, cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:47:17] So that's pharmaceutical stuff. And then the other topicals that you mentioned would be like peptides. So peptides can be applied, injected, they can be applied as a cream or a serum and they can also be microneedle in. We have a newer technology now that can actually push peptides through the skin at high volume without a needle.

Luke Storey: [00:47:38] Do you have one of those downstairs?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:47:40] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:47:40] Yeah, I was looking at that.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:47:41] Yeah. So that's TED. So that's the least invasive in-office therapy that you can dream of.

Luke Storey: [00:47:48] How does it do that without breaking the skin?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:47:50] Yeah. So it's really cool, brand-new technology. So ultrasonic waves, which are sound waves, are the same types of things that you use like as jewelry cleaner or ultrasonic toothbrush, you know that buzzing sound. So those are ultrasonic waves and what they can do at the correct frequencies is break up the stratum corneum temporarily. 

So for your followers and listeners, the stratum corneum is the moisture barrier cells and lipids. That's just microns under the skin, the very, very top layer, just under the dead skin cells, there's a tight moisture barrier. So the reason why when you go in the shower is that the water rolls off your skin, you don't absorb it like a sponge. So when you use ultrasonic waves, it disrupts that brick-and-mortar barrier temporarily.

Luke Storey: [00:48:32] Wow.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:48:32] And then that ultrasonic system, that ultrasonic delivery tool, can also help push the serums with pressure right through the skin. So it's doing two things. You can prime the skin, make it more permeable temporarily. You apply the serum and then use the tool again to push it powerfully through the skin.

Luke Storey: [00:48:53] Wow, That's cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:48:54] So this is a brand-new technology that can be used in oncology and in so many different areas of medicine, probably head to toe. And I had a quick chat with Amy Kaelin about where she wants to use this ultrasonic technology. So don't even ask, she's got the other--

Luke Storey: [00:49:08] Yeah, Amy Kaelin--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:49:08] Yeah, Dr. Kaelin's got the other head covered. But we're working on the scalp. 

Luke Storey: [00:49:12] Did some stem cells for me a year ago and I always joke, she's the only woman that's ever put a hypodermic needle into my penis. Yes. Okay. So actually, you know what they did? I think they did my scalp when I was there.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:49:24] She is a certified hair coach, so she's well qualified to do that as well. But TED, Trans-epidermal Delivery is this new technology. We're one of the first in the country to have it in Boca Raton at the practice right in South Florida. So that's going to be a little bit different than what most people have heard of in terms of PRP, Platelet-rich plasma. It's just an easier method to apply these hair growth serums. 

So what's in the serum? Everybody wants to know. We know that there's like 30 to 35 ingredients in the serum and it comes sterile. It was carefully curated in Italy by some very, very clever chemists and researchers. It contains not only amino acids and growth factors like VEGF, which is important for new blood vessel formation and an increase in circulation. But it has a Thymosin beta-4 derivative, so TB-4 is very well known in the clinical literature for hair growth and probably most importantly, copper peptide.

Luke Storey: [00:50:16] Nice.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:50:17] So we're going to deliver a lot of that Thymosin beta-4 derivative and the copper peptide and the and the VEGF directly through the skin along with amino acids and the stabilizers and such, which keep it sterile and protect it from UV light and things like that. So you can't just pull a serum off the shelf and think that that's going to work. Using TED, these serums are very, very carefully created so that they stay where they're supposed to as we're doing the treatment. 

And obviously they stay well preserved on the shelf as well. This is another critical factor a lot of people don't realize that some of these components, especially peptides, are very fragile molecules. And so it's important that they have stabilizers in there.

Luke Storey: [00:50:56] Yeah, I remember getting some un-constituted or pre-constituted peptides like the little powder, and it instructed you when you put the backwater in there to not stir it up, to very gently inject the water into constitute, I was like, "Oh that's interesting."

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:51:12] Yeah. You don't want to shake it up.

Luke Storey: [00:51:15] Yeah, I was like, "That's funny."

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:51:16] Like a cocktail shaker.

Luke Storey: [00:51:17] Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:51:19] So it's the same thing. So that's the TED.

Luke Storey: [00:51:22] Okay. And with the peptides, I know with some of this stuff it's not a one-and-done thing. I guess with the transplants it sounds like it is and we'll find out. But it's the peptide treatments and things like that, something that you're going to probably have some maintenance with?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:51:39] Yeah. So all of these therapies up to this point that are non-invasive need to be continued over time. There's no one-and-done set-it-and-forget-it.

Luke Storey: [00:51:47] Damn it.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:51:48] So if you're using laser, you've got to do that five minutes every night. If you're doing the topicals, it might be once or twice a day. If you're doing an oral treatment, you've got to continue that. If you're doing your nutrition, you got to keep up with that. 

If you're doing, let's say, the TED treatment, that's usually a package of three treatments spread a month apart. So you do those three treatments, we're going to measure your results. Most patients do great with that for about a year. Some patients might need a touchup, they may need a booster shot, so to speak. But eventually, you're going to need another series of that to keep up with the hair loss. To keep the hair loss at bay.

Treatments like what we do that are, let's just say, a little bit more invasive, meaning that we require local anesthetic like PRP, Platelet-Rich Plasma, using a dual-spin process, that's going to be a once-a-year treatment for most patients. So that's going to have a boost for 10 to 14 months. So Platelet-Rich Plasma, your listeners may know, is the use of platelet-derived growth factors from a blood sample that's separated through centrifugation concentrated to a very specific hair growth recipe, if you will. 

So we want to get to a 1.5 million platelets per microliter or 1.5 billion per cc. We're going to use a local anesthetic block to make it completely painless. And that injection is going to occur. You're not going to feel any of those injections throughout the scalp. And there's micro-needling at that time.

Luke Storey: [00:53:02] Oh, okay. So are they injected with a needle and micro needling?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:53:07] So it's a layered treatment. So what happens, people say, Oh, I just got my PRP at the medi spa and all they did was an injection, they didn't even use local anesthetic. They sent me and sent me out. Well, there's a little bit more nuance, after doing like 13,000 PRP treatments, we've gone through so many different preparation protocols. We've measured all of these patients. So we know now what the correct platelet concentration is that we want to get to. 

We know that everyone comes in with a little bit different platelet concentration in their whole blood. So we tailor the spin to create that sweet spot, 1.5 million per microliter or 1.5 billion per CC. And we know we have to create at least seven and a half or more CCs to get a scalp treatment done.

Luke Storey: [00:53:48] To do the whole scalp.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:53:49] Yeah, it's a treatment about 600 square centimeters, which is about the size of the palm of my hand plus that area. And we use local anesthetic, so it's painless. I'm always shocked at how many people tell me "Oh, I had PRP in my local med spot." No, they didn't use any local anesthetic. What are they, Barbarians? That's crazy.

Luke Storey: [00:54:07] That's funny. When I had it I think they used my adipose and marrow-derived stem cells at Sarah's clinic two years ago, but I was totally under anesthesia. I had no clue. And I just came out, I was like, "Why is my head all red?"

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:54:20] Oh yeah [inaudible].

Luke Storey: [00:54:20] They did micro needling at my face but yeah, thankfully I didn't know that was happening. That would be quite uncomfortable, I imagine.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:54:28] Correct. So as I say, it's a layered treatment. So we even do laser therapy on the scalp before we even start. And then of course, there's an antiseptic wash or shampoo that's performed and the mapping and the photos and the measurements that we do, the local anesthetic goes in at the same time that we're doing the spin. And so the dual-spin process gets us to that high dose, well, concentrated platelet-rich plasma with also some of the white blood cells that are helpful. 

So a lot of people don't know that the way that we spin also actually contains some of the white blood cells, which I would just say are more like stem cell, they tend to be like helper cells for tissue regeneration repair and we preserve that in the spin.

Luke Storey: [00:55:10] Oh, cool. Is that the kind of help that heal up faster?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:55:13] Yeah. So then the injection occurs, then we're going to microneedle with some growth factors on the outside of the skin at the same time. So everything that we create in the PRP process, that's injected and then there's a topical growth factor that's also applied at the time that we do the micro-needling. So there's a lot of stuff going on.

Luke Storey: [00:55:29] You guys are intense.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:55:31] The other secret I'll give out today is that for many years, we've been using Photobiomodulation, which is the use of a variety of wavelengths and colors to treat the syringe before we do the injection. So we've been doing Photobiomodulation or PBM-PRP for almost 10 years. And not too many people know that, so it just released--

Luke Storey: [00:55:57] Now they do.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:55:58] Yeah. We just made it a little bit public one of my secrets.

Luke Storey: [00:56:01] Well, there's a lot to be said for that. There's this blood irradiation. There's this machine the Hema lumen or you can have your blood run through it. And then using Methylene blue for different things, you hit that with red light. There's definitely something to the Photobiomodulation in terms of even before you put something in your body.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:56:18] No question.

Luke Storey: [00:56:18] It's super cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:56:19] They've used actually Photobiomodulation for stem cell therapy to activate stem cells to release growth factors. And that does the same with platelets. So we know that those specific wavelengths of light have an impact on the live cells and the cell fragments which are platelets. So there's definitely some impact there. There's mitochondria there that work and do things. So there is some cytokine release that occurs more effectively when you do treat with the Photobiomodulation.

Luke Storey: [00:56:43] That's very cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:56:44] Which is awesome. Then the PDOgro. So PDOgro is the next step. So PDOgro--

Luke Storey: [00:56:50] There's more steps above what you just said? That sounds badass.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:56:55] Well, that PRP which I just described, that's our basic PRP.

Luke Storey: [00:56:58] Oh, okay.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:56:59] That's basic, man. That's what we've been doing for 12,000 treatments in 15 years. PDOgro has been around for about six years or so, and that's the use of everything we just talked about with the addition of Polydioxanone threads. 

So those are absorbable synthetic material that's FDA-cleared. You put it right in under the skin while it's numb and it dissolves slowly over six or 12 months. And that creates a scaffold, if you will, under the skin that the body works on. And you've done the PRP at the same time, and those two things together give you another big boost of hair regrowth. A little bit stronger, maybe even a little bit longer than just the plain PRP alone.

Luke Storey: [00:57:35] That's interesting. That's like robotic superhuman stuff. That's very cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:57:41] A lot of people know those threads from the changes that cosmetic surgeons will do, like for wrinkle reduction and things like that. They'll put those threads in the skin or to pull the skin in different ways for tightening purposes. Obviously, we're not looking to tighten your scalp. We're not really interested so much in collagen production. We're more interested in the growth factor release and also the new blood vessel formation. And that's what happens with PDOgro. 

So that's the upgraded version of PRP also takes just about an hour and there's really no recovery or downtime from that either. The scalp will be a little bit pink, a little bit numb for a couple hours, and that's it.

Luke Storey: [00:58:14] But you're not walking out with stitches.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:58:16] No.

Luke Storey: [00:58:17] I mentioned methylene blue. Have you ever heard of that being used in conjunction with any hair protocols?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:58:24] No, I'm not super familiar with that. But if you've got some information, I will have it--

Luke Storey: [00:58:28] I don't yet. But it just seems to do so many things that I'm surprised it hasn't somehow crossed your path because I keep just hearing more and more benefits of it. It's just such a strange and fascinating compound.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:58:41] Yeah. No, I'm not sure what the effect would be on hair follicle.

Luke Storey: [00:58:44] One effect for sure, it would turn your whole damn head blue for quite a while. Probably a few weeks. So maybe that's why we haven't heard of it.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:58:52] It could be the reason, yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:58:53] In terms of the case, we covered the peptides, the PRP, the PDOgro. What about placental matrix, Exosomes, stem cells, the next level of those type of compounds?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [00:59:06] Yeah. So placental matrix or perinatal biologics have been available for many, many years and that's included with our PRP. So we do that as our standard, the placental tissue as a biologic scaffold, as opposed to what the Polydioxanone is, which is a synthetic scaffold. 

So in regenerative medicine you have cells, signals and scaffolds. And that's like the troika or triad, if you will, that makes things work in the field of regenerative medicine. So we learned that early on and the placental-derived tissues were essential in potentiate and prolonging the effects of the PRP. So we've done that. 

Exosome therapy is really the rising star because we're talking about nanoscience now. Exosomes are if your listeners are not clear on that, these are the little messages that come off of cells and we're interested really in the messages from stem cells and how they tell the body to repair, rejuvenate and restore function and form. And so stem cells can be, as you know, harvested from your bone marrow, your adipose tissue, but exosomes can come from anywhere. There are exosomes in breast milk, in semen, in urine, you name it. They're exosomes all over the place. In your blood, their platelet exosomes, that's what contain the growth factors. 

So Exosomes is just a general name for these little bubbles that are very tiny, that used to be thought of as just cellular waste, and now we know these are important communication messages in a bottle, if you will, that come off of cells by the billions to tell other cells what to do. Sometimes in the local area, sometimes distant.

Luke Storey: [01:00:38] Got it. So these are the messengers.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:00:40] Yeah. So like, how does a stem cell that goes into an injured knee or joint or whatever, how does it tell the area to do what it does, because the stem cell doesn't really become any part of the knee, but it executes the repair? Well, how does it do that? Well, the secret home, the stuff it gives off is what tells the body to rejuvenate. That's exosomes.

Luke Storey: [01:01:01] Okay, cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:01:02] That's what we're after. So today, if you're not really interested in getting your bone marrow or fat harvested to get stem cell therapy, then we can go to a laboratory and find one that is basically creating exosomes with the correct payload, correct concentration, sterilize and purified and quantified and then frozen. And they send that to us. 

So exosomes come in little vials, 50 billion in a vial that's smaller than my pinky. And that can be applied to the scalp. And so at this moment, let's call it topically applied exosomes. We could do it with TED as we talked about. We can apply exosomes that way. There are other ways to apply Exosomes under the skin.

Luke Storey: [01:01:44] Okay, cool, cool. Then you mentioned a couple of times the laser and the red light and I was looking at your booth again and saw, I've seen like red light, little helmets but your's super hardcore. It was lighting up your whole booth. 

So whatever that thing is, it's doing something. What's the evolution of laser treatment, red light directly on the scalp and how does that work? How effective is it? Does it need to be combined with some of these other things in conjunction, or would that alone do anything for you?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:02:15] So two decades ago, I would have told you, there's no way that red light would do anything on the skin. Nobody taught me that in medical school. What the heck are you guys talking about? Photosynthesis is for plants. Well, no. Today we know that red light has a very powerful effect on animal cells, and especially the mitochondria and they figured out exactly how that works. How does red light change the function of the mitochondrial membrane to create more ATP and change the gene expression in hundreds of different genes to create a cascade of not just energy but anti-inflammation and pro-survival and anti-apoptosis, which is cell death?

So there's like all of these things that happen from red light therapy that we know about today that we didn't know before. On the scalp, you want to apply red light therapy, which is a great non-chemical, noninvasive, no-side-effect treatment with the correct dose.

Unfortunately, what you've described is that you've seen the evolution of these devices. Now, we have a plethora of consumer devices which are out there in the marketplace, Amazon and whatnot, that are just very weak, very clunky. Yes, you can get a result from them, but it's like driving a Honda instead of a Lexus. It's a different level. You want something with a little bit more horsepower, you want something that's going to be a quicker treatment, get you there faster, something that's going to treat all of the areas of the scalp, not just a spot treatment. And that's what we've designed in the Turbo LaserCap. 

So the Baumann Turbo LaserCap is the premier device on the market. We worked with Dr. Michael Rabin and his team of engineers and scientists to re-envision and reengineer the LaserCap. He's the original inventor of the Cap. It was the laser. And so Dr. Rabin and I working closely, we developed what you see as the Turbo LaserCap, which is completely collapsible. So it's totally portable. 

It has over 300 laser diodes in it. It has a five-minute treatment time, it has a rechargeable battery pack and it has a lifetime warranty. So hopefully you'll be the last one you ever need, as opposed to these Amazon ones, which are yeah, sure, they're a lot less expensive, but they're basically disposable. They're going to crack and break and they're not going to fit in your luggage.

Luke Storey: [01:04:22] I like the rechargeable thing too because I would prefer to not put something plugged in on my head for very long, we were talking about EMFs or a lot of these health devices. They're starting to figure it out, but a lot of them also have some negative effects because you're plugging your head into the wall.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:04:36] Oh, my gosh. Well, there's plenty of lasers that are out there, again in the consumer realm that you literally have to sit in a chair and plug it into the wall for it to work. And you're just sitting there with all of that going on. So having a portable battery pack that you can recharge when you're not near it is important as then use and having a quick treatment time. So you're not under this treatment for 20 or 30 minutes. It's literally 5 minutes. You're done.

Luke Storey: [01:05:00] That's cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:05:01] I do it at night right before bed. I find the red light to be soothing, relaxing, as you can imagine. And of course, I feel that pulsation of circulation in the scalp, especially if I've applied a topical with it at the same time.

Luke Storey: [01:05:13] With this, what's it called? Your Turbo?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:05:14] Bauman Turbo LaserCap.

Luke Storey: [01:05:16] Turbo LaserCap. And can a consumer just go buy that from you or do they have to be one of your patients and go through your treatment?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:05:22] So we do have it on our E-store at baumanmedical.com, they can go there shop at baumanmedical.com and see that and purchase it. Actually, when they purchase that device, it comes with a consultation.

Luke Storey: [01:05:32] Okay cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:05:33] So I don't recommend that people do this without guidance because sometimes they're going to miss the mark and they may become disappointed or they may not realize they have underlying conditions that could have been rectified to improve their situation. 

So I always the general public really just get a consultation so you know what the situation is, get a correct diagnosis because a lot can be learned in a very short period of time. A 30-minute call on Zoom and I learn everything I need to know about your medical history that could be impacting your hair. And how can I do that in 30 minutes? Well, it's because I've done it like 30,000 times.

Luke Storey: [01:06:07] Yeah. Yeah. Let's hope you figured it out by now.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:06:09] Yeah, I figured it out. Yeah. My parents say it's a 25-year overnight success. I figured it out.

Luke Storey: [01:06:13] Yeah, that's funny. Let's take a moment to do a little mental evaluation, shall we? How sharp do you feel on a daily basis? Do you struggle with brain fog or have difficulty focusing? Is it hard to recall names, dates, or where you left stuff? If so, I have some really good news for you. 

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All right, then let's get into the actual transplants. And to some people listening, they're probably thinking about 20 years ago, whatever it was and you would walk up to someone and you're like, oh, man, he has really bad implants. It would just look like little slugs. Plugs, where it just doesn't look natural and you must think you might as well just let it go. You know what I mean? Because it just looks--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:08:19] Nobody wants to look worse than the natural condition. That's like the worst nightmare. You have a cosmetic defect, you're looking older, and then all of a sudden you've taken some action and it looks awful and terrible. Why would you ever do that? Well, that's the thought that I had over 25 years ago when I first met a patient who had had a hair transplant. 

But then I looked at him. I'm like, "Where did you have your transplant?" And he told me that the frontal hairline had been transplanted like, wow, it looks 100% natural. And he said that was the idea. So that's how I got interested.

Luke Storey: [01:08:48] Oh, cool.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:08:49] In addition to how it changed his life.

Luke Storey: [01:08:50] So take us back to the inception of the hair transplant. I have a sense probably a bit more primitive and if not barbaric in the beginning, I remember people would be missing part of their skin in the back of their neck and weird stuff like that.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:09:03] So hair transplantation in the US goes back to the 1950s and sixties when Dr. Orange Truck first did hair plugs. So imagine instrument to take a punch of skin that was about the size of a diameter, a pencil eraser. That's a big plug of skin that contained 30 or 40 hair follicles and he would swap out the bald spots with those plugs of hair. And so what you got was this like cornrow appearance that was very unusual looking. Joe Biden had those back in the '70s. Go look it up, you can see the plugs when his hair was dark.

Luke Storey: [01:09:32] I'm sure he did.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:09:33] And so the technology evolved, obviously, into the '80s and '90s into strip harvesting. Because the technology worked. The idea concept is that we're taking the hairs that are immune to male pattern or female pattern, hair loss and from the back of the scalp, that's where they're DHT immune and we move them into the thinning or the balding area where they'll live and grow forever. So that's the whole idea. His was a proof of concept that it worked, but it just didn't look great. 

So the plugs evolved into a strip harvest. So the old-style strip harvest was literally a removal of a strip of scalp, and then the gap was sewn shut. So you'd have these stitches or staples in the back of your head, and that would leave you with a linear scar. Still, it worked, you got the follicles, which then needed to be dissected under the microscope and implanted, hopefully in an artistic way so that it would look normal and natural. And again, they would live and grow there forever. 

Well, back in around, let's say late 1999 or early 2000s, myself along with a number of other physicians, maybe about six or eight of us around the world were pioneering a newer technique to try to take the follicles and the follicular units, which are the natural groupings of hairs out of the scalp one at a time. How do we get those follicles out without having to use a scalpel or stitches? How do we take the follicle by itself without having to worry about a visible linear scar being left behind? 

And that technique evolved into what we call follicular unit extraction or FUE. Some people call it today follicle unit excision, but you still have to get the follicle out, so you have to extract it at some point. And so all of that technology started really, really slow, meaning that we couldn't move a lot of hair. It was not very efficient, it wasn't super accurate. But over time we got better and better and better. 

And then there were some new mechanical devices. I'll give you a name. Mini-allografts, for example, was one of the first mechanical tools that really accelerated our speed and accuracy. Basically, because it looked and designed like a dental drill. So you had ergonomic features and functions. It was smaller, less invasive, minimal depth, things like that. And that totally superseded some of the manual devices that I created way back in the day, like the Bauman Index, which was the first commercially available device to help surgeons get the follicles out one at a time. Well, obviously, getting to a mechanical tool was a quantum leap.

And then robotic devices came on the market FDA-approved in 2011, and we were one of the first to have robotic FUE Follicular Unit Extraction in the practice. And today we don't use the robot as much. It doesn't really harvest in all the areas that we need to get to, but we're using manual tools to take hair follicles not just from the scalp, but we can also harvest beard follicles, body hair if we need to. 

But the most important thing is that this minimally invasive procedure, is obviously less invasive, quicker recovery, less downtime, less pain. You can be back in the gym in three or four days, all of that means nothing if you don't do it with an artistic eye. So that's the key to the whole thing. And that's the problem now that you're seeing that there's a lot of FUE volume of procedures out there, especially overseas. And also we can talk about Turkey and things like that, where so many of those cases are coming back and the hairline is a straight line all the way across the head. Or they've used the guy's entire donor zone to create like an inch or two of hair in the front. 

And the hair is sticking out like porcupine. These are disasters that many times cannot be fixed. And that doesn't even go into the fact that they don't give any post-op care and the risk of infection and all these other factors. Then they start bleeding on the airplanes, coming back to the wherever they came from.

Luke Storey: [01:13:12] So is this a medical tourism thing, like when stem cells were less widely available, people will be going to Panama and Mexico?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:13:18] So in Turkey, there is no regulations. You don't have to be a doctor to do a hair transplant.

Luke Storey: [01:13:21] Oh, my God. Yeah. Go to your local rug maker.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:13:24] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:13:25] Oh, that's gnarly. Okay. 

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:13:27] So it's a little crazy. Luke, there are good quality physicians out there, but it's the Wild West. So--

Luke Storey: [01:13:34] That's interesting. And I wonder why that emerged in Turkey.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:13:38] Well, it had the support of the government. So the government will actually pay for the flights for the people that come in, the clinics pay a fee to the government. So the government's in on it, essentially. So there's a lot of different factors. Economic downturn in the area. The Turkish lira, I think is really gone down a lot over the years, I think. So they were looking to increase that medical tourism. And they're hoping that maybe they package it in with some restaurants and hotels and things like that.

Luke Storey: [01:14:04] Okay.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:14:05] But it's basically like Wild West, types of things going on. Women go to Costa Rica for boob jobs and liposuction and things like that, and they can sometimes come back to the US with severe infections and and things that the local plastic surgeons don't even want to treat or touch because there's no way to fix it. So you don't want that to happen with your hair transplants.

So people don't necessarily have to come to me. There are other board-certified hair restoration physicians. There are other people in the list of top hair surgeons in the world. There are others that are recommended by American Hair Loss Association or International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgery, American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. These are all places to go to find lists of folks, and that you want to do your due diligence, you want to compare.

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Okay. And if you're ending up and you've tried, maybe someone's exhausted some of these other options or they don't even want to try this, they're just like, put me in the chair. Fix me, doc. You're looking at a fairly permanent or permanent restoration of that hair. If you move that follicle from a place where it's never going to be lost, are you good to go? And is that hair going to grow like normal hair?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:17:04] Yeah. Once that hair is living and growing in that area, it's immune to male pattern hair loss because of where it's been harvested from, so it's durable, it's the lasting. Now, things can happen over the course of your life, medications and illness and stress, things like that that can affect all of your hair. But male pattern hair loss is not going to affect that transplant, that hair again. 

But in order to make your full result lasting, you need to protect the other hair because let's just say we're transplanting the new hairline back for you, well, you've got some hair up in the frontal zone. That hair is at risk. I'm going to go between those hairs to densify it.

But what if you lose those other ones over the next five or 10 years? Well, then I need to come back and transplant again. So the best plan of action is taking this approach, which I think is the best. There's this prevention, protection, and then the restoration that occurs and then the tracking of it over time. And that's the key to the whole thing. That's why patients are happy.

Luke Storey: [01:18:03] How did you develop the artistic knack that you have?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:18:08] Good question. Well, I was mentored very early on by a plastic surgeon, a very prominent plastic surgeon on the Upper East Side of Manhattan when I was a teenager. And he always said to me, no matter what kind of procedure you're doing, if you want to engage art, you have to be a student of nature. And so I always remembered that. And so if you're going to recreate a hairline, you need to know what a natural hairline looks like. 

And a hairline is not just the hair on the top of your forehead, but it's also, for example, the hair on the side, on the temples. We call this the temple point area. And so if we're going to do a hairline and the temporal points have receded, we have to build that forward as well. So I think it's just being a student of Mother Nature, looking at youthful hairlines, looking at all the different types of hairlines, well, how does Mother Nature create a cowlick? A widow's peak? Receded look? From a time that someone is young or flatter or ethnic hairline?

Looking at all of these things and then looking at the patient's anatomy, using all the sights and sounds as we say. So you might have your bite down here and your jaw to find out where the temporal muscle attaches to the bone. That will reveal the temporal point, raise your eyebrows to see where the hairline used to be. Look for little hairs under the microscope and see where the hairs were. Look at their direction under the microscope. So you need good lighting, you need good microscopy. You need to be attentive to detail. That's the whole thing. If you put the hair in like a porcupine, it's going to look terrible.

Luke Storey: [01:19:36] Yeah. I think that's the thing. I'm really in awe about the work that you do as someone who has a very difficult time with very tedious, detailed work, I'm like broad stroke artiste. [inaudible] when I think about how the tedious nature of like, well, put one and put another one in, it just seems so slow to be so deliberate.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:20:00] Yeah. I guess the phases of hair restoration in terms of a transplant procedure, the way that I perform it is I make all of the recipient sites at the same time. So it's not like a stick in place. So I'm going to make all the recipient sites and I always think of it like a puzzle. And I always did a lot of puzzles when I was little. I also did a lot of plastic models, glue and paint, and stuff.

Luke Storey: [01:20:21] This explains my fascination with you because if you made me put a puzzle together, I would probably throw this table over the balcony and I would get so frustrated after the first three pieces.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:20:30] Yeah. So my family, I guess when I was little, my dad and I, we always did projects like that. My dad's a dentist and he's still practicing after 50 years still in New Jersey.

Luke Storey: [01:20:39] So a guy that knows detail work all the same.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:20:41] Yeah. So his life, his work is right in this small space, and I guess I inherited some of that. And my mom was a teacher and an oil painter as well. So what do you get when you cross an oil painter with a dentist?

Luke Storey: [01:20:51] You. 

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:20:53] [Inaudible] Totally. Yeah. I don't know. Yeah, it worked out, I guess.

Luke Storey: [01:20:55] Yeah. Because you're working in a small space and you're doing something that does require some artistic vision. It's not just mechanistic.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:21:02] But that's what's so fun about what I do. So there's two parts. So there's the puzzle part of it, which is the physical work of making the angles in the positioning so that eventually when the hair grows in, it looks amazing. So that's like the landscaper planting the trees. And then six months later, he looks at the result. 

So the payoff, six, 12 months later, I get a chance to see the result, evaluate it. And I'm critical, very self-critical about the results as if I want to make changes to it, of course, I'll talk to the patient about that. 

But then also I get this amazing benefit from the patient whose hopefully life has been changed for the better from the restoration. They're looking better. They're feeling better. They were concerned enough to undergo a procedure to fix this. Hopefully, I've accomplished the goal or gotten them towards their goal. And that's the payoff. That's the payoff for me.

Luke Storey: [01:21:49] Totally. Yeah. My former life here in LA, I was a fashion stylist. I dressed celebrities, musicians, and stuff for music videos and things like that. And there's all this work that goes into it upfront, which is really stressful. There's creativity involved, but it's a lot of running around and traffic and logistics and budgets and all that. But that moment when you turn on the TV and see your actors walking the red carpet or you go to the newsstand and pick up the magazine that you style, there is something really satisfying about seeing the finished product when you put a lot of work in especially tedious or stressful or both, work.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:22:26] What about when you did that for your clients and they come in disheveled, whatever, ragged off the street, and then you're like, style them, you put them in all those clothes and makeup whatever hair and then you turn the mirror around, do they have to light up?

Luke Storey: [01:22:39] Totally. Well, you hope so. When you finally nail it. Well, the difference between what you're doing is you get one shot at it, or at least one shot per procedure, with me, you turn them around and they're like, "Ah, I don't like this dress or these shoes." And then but when you find the one, when you nail it, yeah, your client is like, "Oh my God, I didn't know I could look like this."

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:23:01] So that's more instant gratification. So I'm a little bit jealous about that, that you can instantly change that around, whereas my work, it just has a longer feedback loop, it just takes longer to do.

Luke Storey: [01:23:11] Yeah. That's very cool, man. Well, jeez. Oh, no. I thought we were done. There's one more question for you. What about eyebrows and eyelashes?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:23:18] Yeah. So wherever there's hair, we're there, man. So eyebrow loss can happen from trauma, from injury. And we've done a lot of those cases pro bono. Someone attacked by a dog or a car accident happens, and it removes the eyebrow area, creates a scar, or they've had some radiation therapy. I did a young girl pro bono who had radiation for cancer and her eyebrow and eyelashes were completely obliterated. 

And so we use the hair follicles from the back of the scalp to restore the look and shape of the eyebrow area. And I can also do eyelash transplants for women. I was the first board-certified hair restoration physician to do a live surgery regional workshop, actually here in Los Angeles. I'm trying to think of the year now. Maybe it was like 2006 or something like that where we actually taught physicians from all over the world, 12 different countries how to do eyelash transplants using this very innovative technique. 

So I'm like, yeah, that's one of my claims to fame is eyelash transplant surgery. Again, taking the follicles from the back of the scalp and implanting them one, two or three at a time into the eyelid.

Luke Storey: [01:24:22] Is the person awake when you're doing this?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:24:24] Yeah, they're awake, a little sedated, relaxed. They're not knocked out at all.

Luke Storey: [01:24:28] Like a little bit of ketamine or something? I'm imagining that to be a little uncomfortable.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:24:33] It's actually not so bad, literally, to numb the lid because the skin is so thin, it takes only about 20 to 30 seconds to numb the lid. And so there's a careful technique that we use with an injection process with a computerized syringe to actually inject that area carefully and safely, of course. 

And then there's a really nuanced technique that I learned from a Brazilian plastic surgeon who's out of Sao Paulo, who is my eyelash transplant mentor. And I ended up taking his technique a little bit further. He was implanting one lash at a time, and I ended up doing a few different things differently. I end up doing two or three lashes per insertion. 

And now I can take the eyelash grafts from the back of the scalp without trimming any hair. So we don't have to cut that linear scar or cut out a strip to get a linear scar anymore. We can actually take the follicles without trimming any hair. But eyelash and eyebrow transplantation come with scissors.

Luke Storey: [01:25:30] Are you serious? Because it grows. 

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:25:33] Yeah. So you have to curl the lashes or trim the brows.

Luke Storey: [01:25:36] I thought, one these stoke though because you could have long-ass lashes.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:25:39] Yeah. So we call it the Hollywood look. When it's, like, really, really long, and in fact, there's a whole cottage industry for perming and curling lashes.

Luke Storey: [01:25:47] Yes. The woman who checked me in here at the hotel, her eyelashes, I complimented her, they were-- I want to say they were like a half-inch long. They're huge.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:25:57] So unless she had an eyelash transplant--

Luke Storey: [01:26:00] I think they were--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:26:01] Yeah, she's probably wearing falsies. So fake eyelashes. So that's, of course, another thing.

Luke Storey: [01:26:08] All right, man. Well, listen, I think we did it. I got one last question for you. Who are three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life that you'd like to share with us?

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:26:15] Well, first of all, I have to say that probably the biggest influence and we're here at the Biohacking conference, just in terms of my changes in health over time, has been Dave Asprey. Years ago, when I met him at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine in Vegas, this is probably in 2015, or 2016, I saw him for the first time in keynote address and he was talking about butter coffee and diet and things like that. I'm like butter coffee, like, what is this all about?

And within about six months, I was trying it. And it was at the advice of my personal trainer who was trying to help me get more in shape at that time. And that was a big change for me. And so stepping me on the path from what I had thought I've been doing like health stuff for like 15 years, going to the American Academy anti-aging, that I was on the path where I wasn't.
But this new path of biohacking taught me to take it deeper. So that's been a huge influence on me and just introducing me to podcast and things like that, and really just experimentation, see what works. And of course, as you know, all the wearables and things like that, the lifestyle changes that we make. It's just been an incredible journey and bolting on things at work and removing things that don't and trying things. It's like always a work in progress.

Luke Storey: [01:27:30] Yeah, Yeah. So I'm familiar with the tinkering.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:27:32] Yes. So I'm always tinkering and so I do thank Dave for that. And of course, he became a patient of ours and so I was super excited to do his hair transplant, have him in the chair to keep his hair looking good until he's 180. I hope to be around as long as that to be able to take care of his hair when it's 180. So I plan to ski when I'm 130, so maybe I'll get at least most of the way there. So that's probably the main one. 

My dad was a huge influence on me, obviously. He taught me a work ethic and obviously still in practice, as I said before, 50 years of doing his thing. But also he was actually one of the people that introduced me to alternative medicine. And so way back when I was an intern in general surgery, cut it out, suck it out, burn it out, my dad always had other businesses, everything from ad specialty items to health and wellness actually, in addition to his dental practice. 

He told me he was getting involved with a business that was based out of Japan that was making devices that were magnets for pain. And I probably didn't hear him correctly. And I said, "What are you doing?" He's like, "Well, bio-magnetic treatments." And I said, "MRIs?" And he's like, "No, no, no. These are static magnets that you put on the outside of your body and they affect people's pain." I'm like, "I don't think that's going to work. That can't work. What's the physiology of that?"

No one ever taught me that in medical school, because I'm, of course, graduated within a year. So I thought I knew everything. And he's like, "Okay, well, stay tuned." Anyway, what I learned is that-- and of course, I became a user of those products, magnetic Insoles and I use the static magnets for headaches and things like that through my residency. I became aware that there were things maybe outside of my medical training that actually had a physiologic effect on my body and other people's bodies, especially in areas of pain. 

That was just an eye-opening thing where you think like you graduated medical school and you're doing surgery, at a top hospital in New York City that you just know everything about medicine when actually probably the opposite is true. They've basically focused and guided you down into some tiny little corner. And that's why I always encourage my colleagues, who pooh-poohed laser light therapy. And now, of course, we've got the metadata analysis of all those clinical studies that show that it worked.

Well, I tried it out like 20 years ago and it worked, but now we have the data to support it. PRP. Oh, PRP doesn't work. Well, it does. But you got to use the right dosage and things like that. 

For hair transplants, you're going to go do plugs. What? No, I think that there's a way that we can do this to make it look natural, artistic, so it doesn't look like something artificially created. And so I think that's important things that my dad taught me. And for my mom, the artistry and the empathy, the compassion for patients.

Luke Storey: [01:30:19] Yeah. So awesome.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:30:20] Those are my three heroes, I would say. If I can add a fourth and it would be my wife because she's the yin to my yang. She's the vodo--

Luke Storey: [01:30:27] Yeah, I know she did like just the work that you're doing and I'm like, okay, you're prolific.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:30:33] So she is the solid support, the cement that holds the family together. Really the lion's share of the work in terms of like raising the two boys, now we're empty nesters. And so it's a really exciting time. But keeping everything all together, allowing me to be so engaged in the work that I do, but also have that family balance at the same time.

Luke Storey: [01:30:54] Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. You're making me miss my wife, man.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:30:57] Oh, let's give her a call. Let's FaceTime.

Luke Storey: [01:31:00] Yeah, I will. I should--

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:31:01] I'm going to do it right out.

Luke Storey: [01:31:01] I should do that on the podcast.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:31:04] So thank you, Karen. Yeah, for everything that you do.

Luke Storey: [01:31:06] Right on. Right on. Well, man, thank you so much. I know you got people to see places to be. I appreciate you taking the time today, man. I learned a lot and I'm so happy I finally got to cover this. I feel very comprehensively this topic that I've touched on here and there, but I always like to find the man or the woman that's going to deliver the whole package. So thank you so much.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:31:24] Well, we just scratch the surface today, obviously.

Luke Storey: [01:31:28] All right, man, thanks so much. We'll see you soon.

Dr. Alan Bauman: [01:31:30] My pleasure. Great to be here.

Luke Storey: [01:31:35] Well, thanks for being my co-pilot on another journey into the ever-fascinating world of the human body. My wish for every episode is that you, as the listener, walk away with a new arsenal of useful information. And if you know someone losing their hair who'd prefer to keep it, make sure to share this episode with them. And for those of you wanting a deeper dive right now, you can find all booking and hair restoration product info, again at lukestorey.com/bauman, that's B-A-U-M-A-N. 

And you'll get that free consultation if you get one of their Turbo LaserCaps. And I got to say, this thing looks insanely cool and it's very likely going to be the next item added to my personal wellness box as a 52-year-old guy whose hair is getting a little on the thin side.

All right. Next week we're hitting you with number 457 featuring Garnet Dupuis from NeuroVIZR. It's called Get High in Your Own Supply: How to access Altered States Within Using Light and Sound. And here's a hot tip for you, make sure to get on the email list right now so next week's show and every show to follow will be in your inbox waiting for you every Tuesday morning. Go to lukestorey.com/newsletter. Thanks for listening, and may your hair last forever.



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