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What’s new in hair restoration?

Posted September 05, 2017 in Uncategorized

Full, thick hair is associated with youth, vitality and health, as well as an expression of our masculinity or femininity.  So, when we notice that it is not as thick as before or the hairline changes, this can be a very stressful situation.  Luckily there are a number of new and exciting treatments, as well as advancements in the established treatments!

Platelet rich plasma

Platelet rich plasma has been used in orthopedics, oral surgery and plastic surgery for many years to help athletes heal injuries faster and hasten recovery from surgery.  This treatment uses your own body’s ability to heal itself and reverse some aging changes.  With this treatment, your blood is drawn, spun in a centrifuge and the platelets and growth factors are extracted.  This portion of your blood is injected into the scalp.  These growth factors help healing, increase blood flow and stimulate the follicles to grow hair.  Studies have found PRP to be safe and effective in both men and women.  Patients were found to have increased density even with one treatment, but may require a few to see the optimal results.  Also, the results are not as dramatic as hair restoration surgery, but the procedure, cost and recovery are also significantly less.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topically applied medication that increases the blood flow to the hair to increase growth.  The 2% and 5% solution are both available over the counter.  The 2% solution can be used by women and men and the 5% solution should just be used by men.  This does increase hair growth.  However, it does take about 3-4 months to see a result.  It works best for men and for hair on the crown of the head, but will work anywhere.  Since it will work anywhere, you may notice increased facial hair while you are using it.  Usually not a big deal for a guy, but a really big deal for a woman!  So be careful.  The hair will go back to the way it was before using the medication once it is stopped.

Other topical products

There are a slew of products that are marketed to increase hair growth.  Unfortunately, if they are not “medications” they are not subject to the scrutiny of the FDA.  So, they may work or may not.  Usually they are pretty safe but not very efficacious.  So, the worst case scenario you have purchased a product that doesn’t work.

Light treatments

As skeptical as I was about light treatments, there are actually scientific studies showing efficacy.  Red and Near Infrared (NOT UV) light is applied with a panel (looks like a solar panel), comb or helmet-type appliance.  The treatment is usually only a few minutes a few times a week.  The hair follicles are stimulated to increase hair growth.  You should see thicker, denser hair in a few weeks to a month or two.  The treatment protocols can be about 6 months with maintenance treatments after that.  The treatments have very few risks and are very safe.

Posted in: Uncategorized