Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a preparation taken from a patient’s own blood, in which the platelets are enriched in concentrated plasma. The therapy was originally used for injections into damaged joints in the orthopedic field. Now it is being used by cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons for overall facial rejuvenation. Recently, hair specialists have been trialing the therapy in patients who are balding. Animal studies show that PRP increases dermal papilla cells, which are decreased in individuals with balding. Potent hair growth stimulators, Fibroblast growth factor-7 and Beta-catenin, are also increased by PRP treatment.
Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) is a FDA-approved direct stimulator of hair growth. It works in 88-90% of individuals with androgenetic alopecia to slow down the progression of hair loss, rethicken hairs that have thinned, and regrow hairs that have not been permanently lost. We recommend using the 5% foam once daily for both men and women. The solution is just as effective; however, it contains a potential irritant and some complain that it is too greasy.
Finasteride (brand name Propecia) is FDA-approved in men alone. However, it may be indicated in post-menopausal women with androgenetic alopecia. It blocks the effects of dihydrotestosterone on the hair follicle. It works in up to 92% of users to stop the progression of hair loss and can also rethicken and regrow hair. 1-2% of men may experience sexual side effects.
Spironolactone is a a diuretic that functions as an anti-androgen medication in women. At high doses, it can block hormonal influences on hair loss in women. It is not typically used as monotherapy for hair loss, but usually as an adjunct to minoxidil. At these higher doses, women can experience irregular periods, muscle cramps, increased potassium, and lightheadedness. Therefore, we typically start at lower doses to gauge tolerability.
Nutrafol is a supplement that contains a proprietary blend of ingredients that have been clinically tested for efficacy against some of the main causes of hair thinning, including stress and hormones.It aims to restore hair growth by naturally rebalancing stress and androgen hormones, neutralizing free radicals, and combatting inflammatory molecules that alter hair growth signaling.
Low-level laser light stimulation devices can also stimulate hair thickening and regrowth. There are many devices on the market. We typically recommend it as an adjunct to other more wellstudied treatments, such as minoxidil and finasteride.
HairMax Laser is an in-home laser hair regrowth device. These laser treatments work through the process of Photobiostimulation, delivering Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to your hair follicles to activate them for stronger hair growth. LLLT can help promote hair growth by increasing production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which provides energy to the hair follicle, stimulates and stabilizes protein levels, increases blood circulation, stimulates cell proliferation at the base of the follicle enabling it to enter the growth (Anagen) phase and rapidly reproduce new cells to grow new hair, and reduces inflammation.