Why Repeat Minoxidil Injections are Less Effective for Hair Loss than a One-Time Treatment

Why Repeat  Minoxidil Injections are Less Effective for Hair Loss than a One-Time Treatment


Thank you for your question. You submitted a photo, a close-up of what
appears your frontal hairline in your part. And you’re asking if minoxidil injections
typically help this area of the frontal hairline. So certainly, I can share with you the basis
for the use of minoxidil and certainly how I approach hair loss in our 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. Hair loss is a big part
of my practice and in fact I’m the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers.
This is a non-surgical solution that we developed using Acellular matrix and PRP for hair loss
for both men and women again without surgery. So, I’m going to give you more details about
this as I further discuss your concerns. So, you know, I think that it’s interesting
that you are asking about minoxidil injections. As you may or may not be aware, minoxidil
originally was a drug used for hypertension. And it was in the 1980s that it was noticed
that there was a stimulation of hair growth with this drug. And so the rest was history
and the topical form was developed that was basically applied once a day to essentially
stimulate some growth as well as to prolong the growth cycle of thinning hair. It has
been a successful way to manage hair loss but it doesn’t stop the progression of hair
loss. Now for years, people have tried different
ways to further enhance the absorption of minoxidil. This includes different formulations
where the top layers of skin is actually, you try to break it down or thin it out so
it gets more absorbed. This, very often, customized formulations include topicals such as retinoids
to help improve absorption. There are also methods of doing microneedling to again further
enhance absorption. Undoubtedly, there’s going to be some thought or somewhere they’re
going to do injections. The challenge is, of course, is how sustainable
are these treatments? How often will you get injected or in order to sustain growth? You
see, the challenge is, your concern is about the frontal hairline but most often, that
frontal hairline thinning is also a reflection of more diffused thinning. And so, how many
places can you inject and how sustainable can this be? Currently, when it comes to hair loss, for
men, there is Propecia or finasteride which is an oral drug, topical minoxidil and hair
transplant and we’ve developed a category called Hair Regeneration which I’ll discuss
again further. Women, it’s basically minoxidil and nothing else other than surgery and again,
Hair Regeneration. So a little about Hair Regeneration because
you’ve already asked about injections and injection is what we do with this treatment.
Hair Regeneration evolved out of our desire to improve outcomes with hair transplant.
With hair transplant, there has been a lot of frustration with the yield of the grafts
in terms of the numbers of hairs that survived and as well as the proper healing of the donor
area. Well a side-effect was noticed which was that thinning hairs, in some patients,
got thicker. This was something that we started about 7 years ago and we ultimately, through
very rigorous process of analysis and development, we created a protocol for different types
of hair loss based on gender, degree of hair loss, age of onset and essentially an algorithm.
And what we’re doing is we’re injecting a combination of Acellular matrix, platelet-rich
plasma (PRP), vitamin D and doing this for both men and women with the highest level
of success with what’s called androgenetic alopecia or genetic pattern loss. Now this
injection, typically, when we started doing this, essentially, we were trying to observe
that the hairs sustainably grew and stayed constant for over 5 years. And we certainly
continuously evolved and improved our algorithm and process. But essentially, a single set
of injections at one visit was very effective. Now we further developed other protocols but
when it comes to other types of injections, whether it’s minoxidil, it’s likely you’re
going to need to do something like that monthly and in the outer limit, maybe 3 months. The
same goes for what is basically routine PRP injections, platelet-rich plasma. Again, Hair Regeneration is a combination
of Acellular matrix which is a wound healing material which is based on this very advanced
stem cell technology that’s used for other areas of surgery to improve wound healing
and the use of platelet-rich plasma. Platelet-rich plasma is derived from your own blood and
it’s a concentration of the wound healing and growth factors necessary. So when you
get a cut, you’re actually healing. Basically, we’ve evolved into a level that
is, I think, is the next level of medical care which is using your body’s own ability
to heal, to manipulate what appears to be pathways of hair growth in the physiology
of hair. So again, I’m not saying that it’s a perfect solution for long-term, beyond 5
years, but compared to what is currently available, it’s been extremely effective. With both
men and women, we’re seeing over 99% success in terms of stopping progression, reactivating
growth and prolonging hair growth cycles so that the hairs continue to grow and doesn’t
require continuous constant treatment. So I think that it’s important that as you’re
exploring injections as a category, learn about the different modalities and always
ask the question how frequently do you need injections to sustain growth. I will tell
you that a lot of our patients come to us after they’ve tried other modalities with
injections. For example, if they’re going for PRP injections, they’re getting them
once a month and after 4 months, they’re starting to feel that they didn’t know where
their end point was and how long could they keep getting poked in the scalp. So it’s
very important to understand that and understand what kind of real outcomes you can achieve. So there’s certainly more opportunity for
you to do research and once you have completed the acquisition of knowledge, you should move
forward and meet with doctors and learn about your options from them in terms of the specifics
as to what you can expect for your situation. Again, it’s very important to make sure
that you also have the right diagnosis before you move along with the treatment. So I hope that was helpful, I wish you the
best of luck and thank you for your question.

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