There are many reasons people lose hair. The most common is an inherited condition called androgenic alopecia, or male-pattern baldness. It’s caused by a hormone called DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, interfering with the communication between the hair follicle root and the stem cells responsible for normal, healthy hair growth. It affects both men and women.
Popular hair loss solutions
Before advances in medical science, the only solutions to thinning locks were hairpieces, wigs, weaves, and camouflaging hairstyles. The drawbacks to these vary by technique and quality, but they include an unnatural look, discomfort, and the risk of dislodging the hairpiece.
Today, many people try to stop hair loss through topical medications like Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). The formula can migrate, growing hair in unwanted places, or cause systemic side effects. They must be used continuously, and what grows back may only be fine “baby” hair.
Hair transplants from a thicker section of hair can be effective for some, but the process is time-consuming, very painful, and carries a risk of infection. The results may not be natural, and not everyone is a good candidate.
PRP for baldness
One exciting new method involves using your body’s self-healing ability to stall or reverse hair loss: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
Studies show that PRP injections trigger natural hair growth and maintain it. This is achieved by increasing blood supply to the hair follicle and increasing the thickness of the hair shaft. The treatment serves to restore the link between a patient’s hair follicles and adult stem cells, effectively interrupting the effects of DHT. PRP therapy for hair loss has minimal to no downtime, and because it’s made from a patient’s own blood, it has almost no risk of infection.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatments and therapies are a branch of regenerative medicine that is the focus of many studies. Its proteins and growth factors have long been used to stimulate healing in bone, tissue, and muscle. It is also being used to halt or reverse the effect of aging on the skin.
Platelets are blood cells that rush to heal injury or trauma in the body, promoting a healing response. This response slows as we age. The PRP extraction process concentrates the platelets to the levels of youth to reactivate damaged tissue, including hair follicles.
Experienced doctors take a small amount of your blood and put it in a centrifuge. This machine separates the three parts of your blood – red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets – by weight. The platelets are separated, mixed with plasma, and the concentrate is then injected into the affected areas.
The PRP mixture improves blood flow to narrowed hair follicles, and signals stem cells to help heal the follicle root. One study showed “a significant reduction in hair loss” in patients “between the first and fourth injection” and “a moderate improvement in hair volume and coverage.” That’s an improvement over many other hair loss treatments.
This alternative to surgery and risky medications are preferred by a growing number of patients. If you are a man or woman interested in stopping male-pattern baldness and re-growing a fuller head of hair, call our office and see if you are a candidate for a PRP hair loss solution.