How hair grows.
Hair is found on the scalp in what are called follicles which usually contain 1 to 4 hairs. We average about 2.2 hairs per follicle. Hair will grow and fall out and regrow many times during some ones lifetime. The hair growth cycle includes a growth phase (anagen), a phase in which it prepares to fall out (catagen), and the resting phase (telogen). Anagen can last years. Catagen is only a few weeks. Telogen lasts months and is a resting phase while the follicle is getting ready to produce a new hair. One question patients often ask is why their hair doesn’t start to grow immediately after a treatment. The answer is that most follicles go into the resting phase after the process and will start to grow a new hair on average in about 3-4 months.
What causes hair loss?
Everyone loses some hair every day. Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal. But if hair loss is genetic, you could lose a lot more hair. With this kind of hair loss, you may end up with bald spots if you are a man. If you are a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your head is slowly thinning.
Although hair loss is fairly common, it can be a tough thing to live with, especially when it changes how you look. But there are ways you can treat your hair loss. Treatment options include nutritional supplements, prescription drugs, PRP or stem cell hair restoration, and/or hair transplantation.
Common causes of hair loss include:
- Family history. In most cases, hair loss is inherited, which means it’s passed down from one or both of your parents. This is called male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss.
- Stress, including physical stress from surgery, illness, or high fever.
- Chemotherapy, which is powerful medicine that destroys cancer cells.
- Medications that commonly have hair loss as a side effect
- Damage to your hair from pulling it back too tightly, wearing tight braids or ponytails, or using curling irons, frequent dying, perming or chemical straightening products.
- Age. You grow less hair as you get older. Hair also gets thinner and tends to break more easily as you age.
- Poor diet, especially not getting enough protein or iron.
- Autoimmune diseases in which that body attacks its own normal cells.
- Hormone imbalances including Adrenal Fatigue, Menopause, Thyroid diseases, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
- Ringworm of the scalp
- Your symptoms will depend on what kind of hair loss you have.
If your hair is thinning, it happens slowly over time, so you may not notice the hairs falling out. If your hair is shedding, then clumps of hair fall out. You may lose hair all over your scalp, which is called general hair loss. Or you may lose hair only in one area, which is called focal hair loss.
Since your hair has a lot to do with your appearance, losing it may cause you to have lower self-esteem if you don’t like how you look.
Your doctor will ask you some questions, like how much hair you’re losing, when it started, and whether your parents have hair loss. He or she will look closely at your scalp and hair loss pattern and may gently pull out a few hairs for tests.
FDA Approved drugs for hair loss treatment
Rogaine – is a topical solution available over the counter for men and women in 2% and 5% strengths. Many patients find Rogaine of benefit for regrowth and to help stabilize hair loss. Rogaine can be used in combination with other medical treatments as well as surgery.
Propecia-for men is an oral medication for men that inhibits the hormone called DHT that is responsible for male pattern hair loss. Propecia can be very effective in MPHL and is often used alone or in combination therapy and surgery.
Minoxidil for Women is a potassium channel opener, causing hyperpolarization of cell membranes. Hypothetically, by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels, it allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the follicles. It is available over the counter.
All though the above drugs are FDA approved, they do come with side effects. Ask your doctor if these are right for you.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP, is at the cutting edge of what are called Regenerative Therapies.
In PRP your own body’s healing ability is used to stimulate joint regeneration, ligament and tendon stability, stimulate regrowth of hair follicles, skin recovery and collagen production. PRP requires just a simple blood draw from the arm and then a centrifuge separates the blood’s platelets into platelet rich plasma.
The blood plasma that has been separated contains white and red blood cells as well as high concentrated of platelets in plasma. Platelets, an important reservoir of growth factors in the body, play an important role in many processes such as coagulation, immune response, angiogenesis and the healing of damaged tissues. Numerous proteins are contained in the alpha-granules of platelets: platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), platelet factor interleukin (IL), platelet-derived angiogenesis factor (PDAF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor IGF and fibronectin. Platelets play a significant role in the human body as they are the reason your body has the ability to heal itself. Platelets contain these growth factors that promote regeneration of the cells in the body and also assist in clotting the blood, which is essential for the body to heal wounds.
The process is simple yet effective. First, your area of treatment will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Then, your blood is drawn and spun with a special PRP kit to separate the red blood cells and the plasma. The high concentration plasma is then injected into the scalp. This procedure has minimal pain. As an optional added therapy, a TENs unit may be used to help as a distraction and to release endorphins to minimize pain. Post treatment, you can do activities, work, and even shampoo as normal. You should allow time for your hair follicles to grow. This takes at least a month to see improvements. Research has shown that doing treatments one month apart for a minimum of 3 treatments has produced about up to 70% improvement in hair volume and thickness compared to 3 treatments spread over many months to years only produces about up to 7% improvement.
What sets us apart from all other providers are all the extras you will receive during your treatment to give you the best results. You will receive a full assessment of your underlining causes and dietary guidelines. Post treatment, you will receive a hair/skin/nails supplement to help give the right building blocks to regrow hair and a treatment plan to treat your root causes. Depending on severity of your hair loss, we recommend a series of treatments a month apart to achieve the full benefits of this treatment.
cost: $1000 per treatment. Ask about discount packages and limited time special offers.
If you are interested in leaning more about PRP, the following is research document attachment: Evaluating the Efficacy of Different Platelet-Rich Plasma Regimens for Management of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Single-Center, Blinded, Randomized Clinical Trial