Hair Restoration – what are the options?
Hair loss can be devastating for both men and women. In my patients, I see hair loss associated with self-consciousness and a lack of self-esteem. Not to mention the worry people feel about whether hair loss is a sign of something more serious. Fortunately, we have a full toolkit of evidence-based strategies to help reverse hair loss and stimulate hair regeneration. This blog post will introduce you to some of those options.
What causes hair loss?
Most adult-onset hair loss is caused androgenic alopecia, AKA male pattern balding. In women, it is a dramatic thinning of the density of the hair caused by miniaturization of the follicles in which the anagen (growth) phase is shortened resulting in hair that never gets longer, thicker, or more dense. The telltale sign of androgenic alopecia is that the hair loss is most pronounced at the hairline, temples, and crown of head. Usually the lower areas are spared (the classic ring of hair that remains for many bald men). However, since different causes are treated differently, androgenic alopecia must be differentiated from other forms of hair loss, such as telogen effluvium or scarring alopecia. In Telogen Effluvium hair loss is diffuse along the entire scalp. These are people who complain about suddenly seeing lots of hair stuck in the shower drain or in the hairbrush. In this situation, the telogen (shedding) phase is extended or excess follicles enter this phase as the same time. Stressors, such as surgery or a big emotional or health event often trigger Telogen Effluvium. There are other less common causes such as scarring alopecia and autoimmune alopecia which can progress to alopecia totalis if not addressed early and aggressively. Unfortunately, I’ve had 2 cases of teenage girls who loss all their scalp hair and eyelashes before we were able to stop the autoimmunity and get them on a path to recovery and regrowth (they have beautiful tresses today).
In the common cases, we address hair restoration with a combination of therapies. Hair restoration is definitely best addressed with a “all the tools in the toolbox” approach. Supplements, medications, topical treatments, and minimally-invasive procedures are all part of our approach to hair restoration at VitaLab.
What therapies can help hair loss?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one of the most popular hair restoration treatments. Offered at our San Diego, CA office, PRP is a relatively simple process involving blood withdrawal, processing, and injection into the scalp. Used since the 1980s in patients with hair loss, PRP injections can trigger natural hair growth, growth maintenance, and hair shaft thickening. These benefits occur when the growth factors present in the plasma stimulate local follicles and increase blood supply to the targeted follicles. In essence, the PRP injections feed the follicles the blood, growth factors, and nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth. If you’re interested in PRP hair restoration, then Dr. Erica Oberg and our team at VitaLab Wellness can help you create a personalized treatment plan for your goals.