PRP Alone is Proven for Short-Term Hair Growth, but Thickening Hair Needs Advanced Treatment

Thank you for your question. You’re 21-years-old and you state that you’ve
been having hair loss for the past 3 years. And you submitted two photos that clearly
demonstrate the extent of your hair loss. And you’re asking about PRP to help manage
your hair loss in light of the advice you were given to wait about 4 years before undergoing
a transplant. So I think the overall question is about what you can do before doing a hair
transplant. Well, I can certainly share with you my approach
to helping patients like yourself in my practice. A little bit of background, I’m a Board-certified
cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I have
been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. In fact, I’m also the
founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers. This is a system we developed which
evolved out of hair transplant to non-surgically treat hair loss in men and women with genetic
pattern loss using PRP and extracellular matrix which I’ll describe in more detail later. So to begin with, it’s clear that you have
very aggressive pattern at a young onset. And so, in our practice and we treat patients
all over the world for hair loss using this treatment called Hair Regeneration. And I’ll
explain to you a little bit about it in the context of what PRP does. Now PRP, just to review, is a concentration
of the wound healing and growth factors needed when you have an injury. And when concentrated,
can be applied for a variety of indications. In our practice, we use it for acne scars,
for wrinkles, for under eye dark circles, to help with the incisions and wound healing.
And in respect to hair loss, it has been many times proven that PRP can stimulate growth
in hair loss and the dermatology literature is recognizing the benefits and a lot of ideas
are being generated about the mechanisms which are clearly more complex. But the basic idea
is that PRP can help people with hair loss. The challenge is how sustainable is the treatment
of PRP and will it really last as long as its potential. And this is where our treatment which we developed
starting about 7 years ago called Hair Regeneration evolved out of our use of PRP with a material
called extracellular matrix or Acellular matrix. This is a wound healing technology which leverages
your body’s own adult stem cell activity for tissue repair. So for example, if there’s
a muscle injury, it helps muscle regrow as opposed to scar tissue. Now this is fascinating
and when we were doing this initially, we were doing this to help hair grafts heal better
during hair transplants. It’s well known that every hair graft that is transplanted
doesn’t make it and results can vary. So we want to improve the outcomes of the hair
transplants with Acellular matrix. We want to also improve the wound healing of the donor
area incisions. Well, a side-effect resulted which was that thinning hairs appear to get
thicker. From that point forward, I made a decision
to pursue the possibility of leveraging this method to help people with thinning hair.
It became clear to me that the majority of the people who seek hair transplant are not
bald people. They’re people who have thinning hair and they’re losing hair and they’re
trying to keep up with the loss. Well, if we can thicken existing thinning hair, well,
we can actually move the clock back and actually improve the overall volume. And over several
years, we clearly demonstrated with our method that we can actually not only get the coverage
of a hair transplant but in many cases, we can exceed the coverage of two hair transplants.
It’s a bold statement to make but it is true. Now that being said, in the context of your
situation, we’ve established with Hair Regeneration treatment that people of all ages with our
protocols, we’re able to get about 5 years at least of stability and improvement. Basically,
we’re able to reactivate hair that’s not growing, stimulate the growth of thinning
hair into thicker hairs, induce the shedding of thinning hair and replace that with thicker
hair. And very importantly, we’re actually able to stop the progression. However, I have looked at people from different
lenses and when I think of a variable that currently is being challenged because of concerns
of the drug finasteride, I’m looking at patients in a way as it relates to possibly
relative DHT sensitivity. So when I see a young person losing hair very aggressively,
it is possible that your hair is very DHT sensitive. DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone.
Testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone or DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.
Now what happens is hair follicles that are susceptible to DHT will actually miniaturize.
So you have to ask the question: why is it when you are in your 20s, you’re losing
hair while 80% of your contemporaries are not? And one possible variable in that explanation
is relative DHT sensitivity. So in my practice, I do counsel patients to consider taking finasteride
as a way to diminish the DHT dose on their hair so that’s something that PRP cannot
do is affect DHT levels. Now that being said, there is an opportunity
with a treatment like we have called Hair Regeneration to do something that a DHT blocker
does not do and that is to stimulate hair growth. What I believe is occurring with Hair
Regeneration is we’re effectively prolonging the growth cycles. In some ways, we refer
to it as like extending the warranty on the hair. Now there’s a challenge, of course
when people have aggressive hair loss like you do and there are going to be people that
don’t necessarily respond. But I think that in your position, it’s probably in your
best interest to do everything you can to slow down your progression as well as to stimulate
growth to get maximal coverage. Unfortunately, even though you are 4 years
away from a hair transplant in this situation, hair transplant isn’t the perfect solution
because the rate of hair loss, in your situation, is likely to rapidly exceed the rate in which
placement can provide reasonable coverage based on what the degree of loss that you’ve
experienced in that past 3 years and you’re only 21-years-old. So it’s important that
you understand the limits of the surgical option as well as try to learn more about
how to maximize the longevity of your hair and maximize your coverage. Hair loss is unfortunately
much more complex and we have limited number of tools. Hair Regeneration has essentially became a
new category that allows our patients who come to us from all over the world to improve
the longevity of their hair growth cycles and maximize the coverage. And for many patients,
actually defer having a transplant. So learn more about these options and I think the earlier
you seek attention, the sooner and better it is for you based on this rapid progression. So I hope that was helpful, I wish you the
best of luck and thank you for your question.

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