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The Top 5 Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Young woman blonde hair laser hair removal underarm

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Sugarbear Hair: Fact Or Fiction?

If every influencer on Instagram is a spokesperson for SugarBear Hair vitamins, they must truly work, right? Well, the truth about the vitamin and supplement industry is that they don’t require FDA approval for any of their products. This allows companies like SugarBearHair to take quite a bit of liberty in marketing their health claims. At SLK, we don’t take any skin or hair advice unless it’s backed by science, so let’s do a scientific breakdown of the ingredient list: VITAMIN B6 – FICTION Vitamin B6 is known to improve hair growth when it is injected, but unfortunately there is no scientific evidence demonstrating any effect with oral administration. VITAMIN B12 – FICTION Deficiency of B12 can result in hair loss but this type of hair loss only occurs in vegetarian populations, those with gastrointestinal conditions, or malnourished populations. If you have a B12 deficiency, you should take a true b12 supplement and SugarBear hair supplements should not serve as a substitute. VITAMIN A – FICTION This ingredient is a real headscratcher for us. Not only is Vitamin A deficiency not an established cause of hair loss, but excess intake of Vitamin A is actually known to cause hair loss (and dry skin too). Additionally, beta-carotene (the food form of vitamin A – your body converts this precursor into Vitamin A in the digestive tract) supplementation may increase mortality from cardiovascular disease and may increase the risk of lung cancer in some people. Anyone living in an industrialized country like the US receives plenty of Vitamin A just by eating a couple meals a day, so we are really not sure why anyone would find the need to supplement this. If a nutraceutical company must use Vitamin A as an ingredient, no more than 2500 international units of Vitamin A is recommended. We will give SugarBear credit for staying within these guidelines – a single serving of bears only contains 2100 IU. So although it is not beneficial, this dose is not harmful either. FOLIC ACID – FICTION Again, we are not sure why this is included as an ingredient. There is already a considerable amount of folic acid in the diet as it is found in leafy greens and fortified grains. If you are eating a normal diet, extra folic acid will not change anything about your hair. VITAMIN C – FICTION There is some promising data showing Vitamin C promotes hair growth, but only when it is applied topically. There is no evidence showing it has any effect in any oral or gummy bear form. We also noticed a strange claim on SugarBear’s website that “a study found in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology references the use of Vitamin C to improve hair growth.” Well, that study happens to belong to their competitor, Viviscal®, which is a supplement that consists of shark and mollusk powder, silica, and vitamin C. Viviscal’s study actually shows some nice data demonstrating improved hair growth. So all we can conclude here is that maybe we should just buy Viviscal so we can reap the added benefits of shark and mollusk powder. VITAMIN B5 – FICTION Vitamin B5 deficiency is exceptionally rare, only seen in starvation. Again, if you are eating a normal diet, supplemental Vitamin B5 will not change anything about your hair. VITAMIN E – FACT Data is scarce, but oral supplementation with Vitamin E has been shown to increase hair growth upwards of 50%. It is thought that Vitamin E’s potent antioxidant properties reduce oxidative stress in the scalp which is a known cause of hair loss. There are 8 compounds in the Vitamin E family and SugarBear chooses to use “dI-alpha tocopheryl acetate.” however we would prefer to see “tocotrienol” used as an ingredient. It is considered to be more efficacious than tocopheryl acetate because its structure allows for better distribution in the fatty layers of the cell membrane. BIOTIN – FICTION This is one of the most common ingredients in many hair, nail, and skin supplements. But the truth is, we already receive all the biotin our body needs (35–70 MG/day) naturally in our diets by consuming foods like spinach, tomatoes, eggs, dairy, and more. Plus your intestinal bacteria produce biotin for you too. Thus, biotin only needs to be supplemented when someone has a clinical (read: you had your blood tested and your levels are low) biotin deficiency, which only exists under conditions of extreme poverty and malnutrition, or in people with serious illnesses affecting the gut such as alcoholism or inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms of biotin deficiency besides hair loss include numbness and tingling in the extremities, hallucinations, and red rashes around the eyes, nose, and mouth. So unless you have a recent history of digestive illness or malnutrition, plus some of these other symptoms, you probably have plenty of biotin. There is good evidence, however, that even if you do not have a biotin deficiency, biotin supplements can improve brittle fingernails if this is an issue for you. SO IN SUMMARY, DO SUGARBEAR HAIR REALLY GUMMIES WORK? Yes, it’s possible these gummies are effective due to the presence of Vitamin E, the only ingredient with any “Fact” behind it. However we conclude there is no scientific basis for any of the other ingredients. Is it worth the price-tag though? You be the judge!

How SLK Generates PRP

SLK’S PRP PURIFICATION PROCEDURE, STEP-BY-STEP There is a ton of variability in how different clinics harvest and purify their PRP. At SLK, we don’t just buy a PRP system and follow a cookie-cutter recipe, we spend a LOT of time researching and studying the best ways to purify your platelets so that they have the highest viability and efficacy. That said, we wanted to share with our patients our process for generating PRP so they can become better informed about the PRP process. At SLK we use the following method to purify our PRP because it has proven to be the best method for eliminating inflammatory red blood cells and white blood cells. Failure to eliminate red blood cells during the PRP purification process may result in inflammation, cell death, free radical formation and impaired healing. Presence of white blood cells will also lead to inflammation, free radicals, tissue damage and impaired healing. STEP 1: GEL SEPARATION A collection tube containing a physical gel separator is obtained. This is a key step in ensuring platelets rise to the top of the tube, while larger inflammatory cells like granulocytes and red blood cells are filtered to the bottom of the tube. Many clinics use PRP systems without gel separators but we find it is critical to ensuring plasma quality. STEP 2: BLOOD DRAW A SLK nurse or nurse practitioner with many years of phlebotomy experience draws the blood into the collection tube. The collection tube is pH balanced so the PRP does not produce a burning sensation when injected into the patient’s skin. STEP 3: CENTRIFUGATION The collection tube is then placed into a centrifuge where it is spun for several minutes to separate the plasma from the red blood cells.  STEP 4: SEPARATION INTO LAYERS The nurse removes the collection tube from the centrifuge. The red and white blood cells are now located below the gel separator so they cannot contaminate the upper layer of plasma. The plasma layer is now yellow or straw-colored. This matrix provides a scaffold to keep platelets in place and to support prolonged growth factor release, resulting in prolonged stem cell activation. The PRP remains liquid for approximately 10 minutes before forming the matrix. STEP 7: INJECTION The platelet-rich plasma is now ready for injection. Small needles or cannulas will be used to inject the PRP into the subdermal layer of skin where the platelets may now release significant levels of growth factors while being securely retained in the fibrin matrix.

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