By Marcela Ramirez, NP
Hair loss at any age whether you are female or male can take a toll on a person’s self-esteem. That is why hair loss treatment is a 3.5 billion dollar industry. Sadly, about 98% of those treatments do not even work. People who start losing their hair at an early age tend to become more distressed about it and are more likely to seek out non-medical options, like shampoos, hair growth devices, or vitamins.
The two FDA approved drug therapy options available are: Rogaine and Propecia®. Rogaine (Minoxidil 5%) is an over the counter topical foam that you have to apply to the scalp twice a day for the rest of your life. It helps by increasing the growth phase of one’s hair growth cycle, causes follicles at rest to grow, and enlarges miniaturized follicles. Results are moderate but noticeable. Propecia (Finasteride) is a prescription oral therapy that is only given for male pattern hair loss. It is contraindicated to give it to women especially those of child bearing age. Propecia, dosed at 1 mg/day, slowed the progression of hair loss and increased hair growth in clinical trials over 2 years. However, side effects have been clinically documented with Propecia, such as sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, and breast enlargement. Treatment with both options must be continued indefinitely.
My own husband has seen his hair thin out dramatically since he was 26 years old. Self conscious, my husband started using Rogaine immediately after he noticed his hair thinning out. We believe that Rogaine® helped slow the rate of hair and without Rogaine he would have had much less hair. He also used Propecia for a couple of years but he did not see enough results that justified the cost or the possible side effects that accompanied it. We have even looked into hair transplant therapy! Hair transplants are a frightfully expensive procedure performed by only a handful of experienced surgeons.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) Hair therapy has been a game changer for not just my husband but many of my male and female clientele! PRP is a concentrated preparation of platelets and growth factors found in a small amount of plasma derived from your blood. These growth factors have been shown to promote regeneration by signaling molecules that regulate the healing cascade, including inflammation and cell proliferation. By injecting the patient’s own platelets into their scalp we are able to tap into your body’s powerful ability to heal by localizing this process to promote new and healthier hair growth. It is much like fertilizing a lawn, and it is probably the most natural, side-effect free way to treat hair loss on the market, but best of all it works! At our office we also like to pair this treatment with some fantastic supplements, that truly help. Viviscale is a fantastic product with over 7 clinical trails and years of practical application proving that it works. We carry the MD-strength variation version that contains proprietary AminoMar® marine comples, plus a blend of nutrients that help strengthen thinning hair and promote existing hair growth. We pair that with the Qilib supplement which contains a hearty dose of biotin plus some other vitamins that nourish the scalp. In combination with PRP, these two supplements can really make a difference. Check out my husband’s before and afters, he is thrilled with the results. I also included some other cases by my colleagues!