Hair loss due to hereditary factors affects both men and women. It can cause emotional and social distress. If you are experiencing early signs of hair loss due to genetics and hormones, there is a hair regrowth treatment that may help you!
Topical Hair Regrowth Treatment
The best way to prevent thinning hair from getting thinner is to use Minoxidil at the first sign of hair loss. Minoxidil Foam 5% is safe for men and women. Men’s Rogaine or Minoxidil is prescribed for twice a day vs Women’s Rogaine or Minoxidil is for once a day. The best bargain Minoxidil is at Costco Kirkland RegrowthTreatment Minoxidil Foam for Men. (women can use it also- only once a day!) It works to increase blood flow to the scalp. In that way it limits the amount of hair in the shedding phase and moderately thickens existing hair. And, you don’t need a prescription to try it.
Oral Hair Regrowth Treatment
Propecia , also known as Finasteride, is the only other FDA-approved medicine to treat hair loss. The drug, which was originally created to treat prostate enlargement, works by blocking production of a male hormone in the scalp known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This hormone functions to cause hair follicle atrophy and shedding, the cause of male pattern hair loss. Blocking DHT decreases hair shedding and stimulates existing hairs to grow thicker.
A small percentage of men experience side effects such as lack of sexual desire or impotence. This is rare and tends to resolve. This medication is not safe for women. Guys, be aware; using Propecia is a lifetime commitment (as is Minoxidil). The hair regrowth will gradually return to the pretreatment level if you discontinue the medication.
Non-Surgical Hair Regrowth Treatment –Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP is a safe, non-surgical method of stimulating hair regrowth, naturally using growth factors from your own platelet rich plasma. The PRP preparation process is FDA approved. However the use of PRP for hair regrowth is considered “off –label”. Nevertheless, there are recent small clinical trials showing that it works.
- How does it work?
After a preparation process, small amounts of concentrated plasma with your own growth factors are injected into the scalp at the level of the hair follicle. The procedure takes 15-20 minutes. The only common side effect is mild discomfort during or after the injection which is relieved with over the counter medications such as ibuprofen.
A series of 3 or 4 monthly treatments will be needed to stimulate hair growth. Following that, maintenance treatment several times a year is sufficient to stabilize the benefit . The growth factors in the PRP help to thicken existing hair follicles and decrease shedding.
At this time the procedure is not covered by insurance. Cost can vary by region of the country and provider. The range is $400-$750 per session.
If you are using Minoxidil or Propecia, it can be continued as the results will be enhanced.
Surgical Hair Regrowth Treatment
- How is the procedure done?
Hair restoration is done by moving hair follicles from the back of the scalp to the front where hair is thinning. Typically a half inch wide section of hair from the posterior scalp is excised and sutured closed. The donated follicles are divided into “follicular units” of 1-5 hairs which are transplanted to the bald or thinning area. The result is a natural appearing hairline when healed.
The disadvantage of hair transplantation is that it is costly. And, since the hair thinning process continues, ongoing maintenance procedures are needed .Good news: PRP can be used after transplantation to speed up growth of hair transplants and to slow down age related hair loss. Hair transplant surgeons also recommend that their patients take Finasteride or use Minoxidil for ongoing maintenance.
Natural Hair Regrowth Treatment
Most “natural” hair treatments can be costly and have little or no benefit! No specific vitamins or combination of vitamins have been shown to regrow hair. But, there are a few things that may help:
- For post-menopausal females-if your hair loss started with menopause, you may be a candidate for low dose hormone replacement. Consult with your Ob-gyn to see if this option is right for you.
- For vegans, vegetarians or anyone on a diet-make sure you are taking in an adequate amount of protein The recommended daily amount is three 3 ounce servings of meat, chicken or fish or 4-5 servings of dairy and beans.
If your hair loss has not improved with topical or oral therapy and you are seeking a non-surgical option, schedule a consultation with Dr Goodlerner at California Skin Institute Torrance to see if PRP therapy is right for you.