How would it feel to wake up every day, look in the mirror and see…
Did you know that by age 50, 85% of men and 50% of women will experience hair loss? Thinning hair can be distressing for both men and women, but luckily there are several great ways to slow hair loss and improve hair density. This month, we’re talking about a cutting-edge hair loss treatment that our practice offers using your body’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP). If you want to slow hair loss and improve your hair’s diameter (thickness) and density, then read on!
Hair loss symptoms and causes
Before discussing treatments, it’s important to understand the symptoms and causes of hair loss, also called alopecia. Thinning can occur on the head or the entire body. It can be temporary or permanent. Depending on the cause, it can happen suddenly or slowly over time. Some common causes of hair loss are:
Androgenic alopecia, also called male or female-pattern baldness, is the most common type of hair loss. It happens naturally as we age and is caused by an inherited gene that makes the hair follicles shrink and stop growing.
Male and female-pattern baldness occur gradually and in a predictable way. For men, hair loss typically begins with a receding hairline on the forehead. Women often notice age-related hair loss as a widening where they part their hair or a thinning around the crown of the head.
Stress and trauma
Another cause of hair loss is a stressful or traumatic event, such as losing a loved one, a surgery, or childbirth. People may notice their hair falling out in clumps when they wash or brush it. Usually, this type of hair loss does not require treatment, as the hair will begin to grow back normally in the months following the trauma.
Hormones and medical conditions
Hormonal fluctuations that occur naturally during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause can cause periods of hair loss in women. Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are characterized by hormonal imbalances, so women may experience hair loss as one of their symptoms.
Some medical treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, can cause full-body hair loss. In most cases, the hair grows back on its own after recovery, but it may not grow back the same as before treatment. Using a cooling cap before, during, and after treatments may help prevent hair loss.
Some conditions, such as the immune system disorder alopecia areata and infections like ringworm, can cause patchy hair loss all over the body.
Hairstyles and treatments
Wearing your hair in styles that pull at the scalp, such as tight ponytails or cornrows, can cause traction alopecia. Hot oil treatments, permanents, and hair relaxers can also cause thinning. Changing hairstyles and stopping the harsh treatments is usually enough to encourage new hair growth, as long as the treatments didn’t cause scarring on the scalp.
Treating hair loss with PRP
Platelet-rich plasma is a groundbreaking new hair loss treatment for people with androgenic alopecia. It uses platelets, which are one of the components in blood, to speed healing in targeted areas of the body. The platelets are the body’s “first responders” after a cut or wound because they help stop bleeding.
PRP also has high levels of growth factors, which are proteins that stimulate cell growth and tissue repair. Since androgenic alopecia causes damage to the hair follicles, researchers hoped that using PRP would help reverse the follicle damage and help patients regrow their hair naturally.
But does PRP actually work?
Treating hair loss with platelet-rich plasma is still relatively new, but there’s exciting evidence that PRP does indeed slow hair loss, increase the diameter (thickness) of existing hairs, and improve hair density. It’s the trifecta of hair loss treatments!
What to expect at your PRP appointment
During a PRP hair loss treatment, we take a blood sample from the patient and put it in a centrifuge machine. The centrifuge spins quickly, which separates the platelets from the other components of the blood.
Next, we’ll put the platelets in a syringe and inject them into targeted areas of the scalp where the hair is thinning to encourage cell growth and tissue repair in those spots. Usually, the entire treatment takes about an hour, and there are no activity restrictions after you leave the office.
It may take more than one treatment session to reach your desired level of hair regrowth. Once you reach your density goal, you’ll need to maintain a schedule of two to four treatments per year to maintain your regrowth. Like other common hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia), your results are not permanent and will only last as long as you continue treatment. Why? Because hair continues to thin more and more as we age, so you need to maintain treatments to keep slowing the hair loss and promoting the growth of new, healthy hairs.
Stop hair loss in its tracks
Are you ready to get the thick, dense hair of your youth back? Then schedule an appointment for a PRP hair loss treatment at Cumberland Skin today! Together, we’ll create a hair care plan that will encourage your body to regrow its own hair naturally.
Cumberland SKIN is passionate about hair health. If you’re interested in learning whether a PRP hair loss treatment can help you regrow your hair naturally, then give us a call at (615) 235-0325 to schedule your appointment.