hair loss

Cosmetic surgery for guys?!

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in aging, Guyside, hair loss, men, menopause, weight, weight gain | 0 comments

Last week, I talked about how men’s self-perception changes over time, as they age. After the column, I was amused and touched to have one friend contact me and ask if I was okay. The answer, for the record, was and is yes.

I’m pretty comfortable with my physical self. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t ecstatic to be on my bike last Sunday for my first outside ride of the season, or looking forward to dropping a few pounds from around the waist as I ride more and more frequently.

I am in not even in the ballpark where I might consider getting a surgical procedure done to enhance my looks. But apparently, more and more of my counterparts are in that ballpark. According to a Business Insider article, men are the new growth area for cosmetic surgery. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that cosmetic procedures carried out on men more than doubled between 1997 and 2012.

According to this New York cosmetic surgeon, there are four types of guys who get cosmetic surgery: the “male model”, the “bodybuilder”, the “CEO”, and the “athletic dad.” I don’t fit any of those, so perhaps that’s why cosmetic surgery is not on my radar. He also associates certain types of procedures with each of those types.

So what do guys get done? The top five procedures (in the US at least) are: liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction to treat enlarged male breast, and ear shaping. While you might associate cosmetic surgery with hair replacement, that procedure on its own is almost as big as all cosmetic surgery in terms of numbers of procedures.

I don’t want to judge. If someone wants to get one or more of these procedures, that’s up to them. For me, I think of it like spending megabucks on hotsy-totsy carbon wheels for my bike. Yes, I might save up to a pound. But of course, if I ate better and exercised more, I could probably lose way MORE than a pound.

Like most choices we face, cosmetic surgery has benefits, risks, costs and opportunities attached to it. For me, I can’t make the calculation work out in favour. But where do you draw the line? Are contacts a cosmetic procedure? What about manscaping? What about men who wear cosmetics?

What decisions have you made? How far are you willing to go to keep or enhance your looks? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Hair Today. Gone…

Posted by on Sep 8, 2008 in hair loss | 2 comments

Have you been seeing a few extra hairs in your comb or brush? Thinning hair and bald spots (also known as alopecia) occurs in roughly 37% of postmenopausal women. Although declining levels of estrogen play an important role, researchers now say that low iron levels before menopause fully sets in is an important risk factor.

In a recent study published in the European Journal of Dermatology, investigators evaluated hair loss in 5,110 women between the ages of 35 and 60 years. They also collected blood samples and measured the level of a protein called serum ferritin, which is a determinant of overall iron levels stored by the body. In this study, “excessive” hair loss was described as losing lots of hair during washing, brushing or towel drying, and/or finding lots of hair on the pillow or on clothing).

The findings showed that a majority of the women (57%) who were affected by excessive hair loss also had low iron stores (serum ferritin <40 micrograms/liter).  Conversely, low iron stores affected only 23% of postmenopausal women. These findings remained after adjustments for factors such as age, use of oral contraceptives or IUDs, and levels of red blood cells.

Iron is important for maintaining growth of hair follicles. Consequently, it appears that maintaining adequate iron stores may be critical to prevent hair loss after menopause.

However, too much iron can increase risk of developing certain diseases such as diabetes or cancer. So, in the interest of maintaining a beautiful head of hair, it’s important not to overdo it. Recommended daily allowance is 8 mg daily for perimenopausal women, and 14 mg if you’re also a vegan.

Two types of iron can be found in food: heme iron, which is easily absorbable and present in red meat, seafood and poultry, and non-heme iron, which is less absorption. and found in fruits, vegetables, grain and nuts. However, adding vitamin C to non-heme sources and increase absorption up to six-fold. Fortunately, if you prefer the vegetable route, those rich in both nutrients (e.g. broccoli and bok choy) can help to insure better absorption. You can find a complete listing of iron in a variety of foods here.

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