How to Treat Female Hair Loss

April 15th, 2016

Hair loss is generally considered an issue with males. However, female hair loss occurs in approximately 5% of women under the age of 30 and 60% of those who are over the age of 70. Female-pattern hair loss is genetically inherited from either of the parents and can affect a woman’s hair by thinning the area known as the crown. The shortened growth of hair in this area leaves a woman with wispy-looking hairs instead of flowing hair due to the fact that the hair will not grow to its natural length any longer.

Most women prefer to hide their thinning or hair loss by altering their usual hairstyle. However, many doctors believe that the earlier a patient treats their hair loss, the better the final outcome. Thankfully, there are many hair loss treatment options available for female patients of all ages.

Female Hair LossUnlike men, the only topical application approved by the FDA for woman is Minoxidil 5% which is also known as Rogaine. Fortunately, 81% of women see results when using this foam once per day to regenerate hair growth. Minoxidil is also available in a liquid solution of 2% and 5% and is available over the counter. Minoxidil works by extending the growth period of the hair which, in turn, provides more time for the hair to grow to a more natural length. With Minoxidil, a person must be patient. It must be used once per day and it will take 3-4 months before any noticeable improvement is seen. Furthermore, this product works best when the patient begins using it in the earliest stages of hair loss. It must be used consistently in order for it to work. In other words, if a patient stops using the product, the hair stops growing again.

Many women believe that hair loss stems from getting their hair permed, colored or from various hair care products. However, this isn’t true. Women do not need to alter their shampoo although an anti-dandruff shampoo which contains ketoclonazole (anti-fungal) like Head and Shoulders can help stimulate hair growth. Anything with zinc pyrthione, which is anti-fungal and antibacterial, can also work well for female patients.

Low iron may be a culprit in hair loss with women. A physician can run tests to determine if a female has low levels of ferritin in her body. Ferritin is a protein that indicates the total amount of iron stored in the body. Therefore, iron supplements might be helpful.

Other women might be experiencing hormonal abnormalities which are often excess male hormones called androgens. Androgens can cause hair loss in women that is similar to male-pattern hair loss. If this is the case, a physician can prescribe medications such as oral contraceptives and spironolactone to combat hair loss.

Finally, hair transplant surgery is a procedure where tiny follicles of hair are transplanted from one area of the scalp to the lacking area. Since the genetics of the hair is different within the various areas of the scalp, this makes hair transplant surgery successful. Many women opt to have this procedure done because it is permanent and can leave the hair looking quite natural.

- SP

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Chest Hair for Hair Transplants

March 16th, 2016

Chest Hair for Hair TransplantHair transplants typically involve transferring hair follicles to a region where there is balding. The usual source for such a purpose is the area of the head that has plenty of hair. This is normally the back of the head. But what if the patient experiences so much thinning that even the back of the head does not have enough hair on it? There’s a new technique that makes use of hair from the chest area and other parts of the body and it has been gaining in popularity over the last few years.

Follicular Unit Extraction, or simply FUE, pertains to a method of harvesting hair follicles one at a time. Traditionally, the follicles are extracted from the head only thereby limiting the supply to up to 7000 follicles only. In a patient whose baldness is too severe already, this number may not be enough to produce a cosmetically pleasing coverage of the balding area. That is why there’s a need to gather follicles from parts of the body other than the head.

The use of chest hair for hair transplants is truly remarkable. This method gives hope to hair transplant candidates who were turned away due to severe balding. Using body hairs as a source for the transplant can solve this problem by providing a virtually unlimited amount of donor hair for the balding areas. The chest is the most common source but hair follicles can also be gathered from other areas such as the beard, shoulders, arms, stomach and legs.

Aside from servicing the severely bald, other benefits of using body hair for transplants include:

  • It is less invasive
  • It does not require any sutures or stitches
  • A faster recovery time as the donor site heals in a week or even less
  • Minimal scarring

The majority of patients qualify for this type of hair transplant. The ones that would not are those who don’t have body hair or have hair that is not suitable for transplant. Another thing that can make the patient a poor candidate for body hair transplantation is if he is not a good candidate for surgery in general. Possible causes for ineligibility to undergo surgery include a family history of blood disorders (particularly clotting abnormalities) and a history of allergies to anesthetic drugs.

Patients under 24-years-old are also not recommended to undergo body hair to head transplants because the progression of baldness is not yet complete at that age. The transplant surgery may only lead to unnatural looking results that would almost always require a revision surgery at a later date. Patients who have extremely curly hair, such as those of African descent, are also not good candidates for the procedure.

Just like any surgical procedure, body hair transplant has its share of downsides. There are a couple of reasons why transplants surgeons are critical about this method. The first is the fact that this type of hair transplant requires a high skill level. Body hairs tend to be more angled and therefore more difficult to punch accurately. Another is that the outcome with body hairs can be a bit inferior compared to that of head hair. Body hair blends poorly with head hair due to their respective thickness and potential growth length.

Patients looking to have their body hair transplanted to their head must know what to expect from the procedure. Finding an experienced board-certified hair transplant specialist is one of the keys to getting the best possible results. A good hair transplant surgeon can maximize the characteristics of body hairs in order to come up with a cosmetically-pleasing result.

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How to Cope With Hair Loss

February 15th, 2016

People that suffer from hair loss are sometimes dealing with more than just the actual loss of hair on their scalps. The loss of hair can also be hard to deal with mentally. Thankfully, there are ways to cope no matter how swift or slow the hair loss process is for a person. Have you tried any of the steps listed below if you’re having trouble dealing with your personal hair loss?

  • The loss of hair is not a life-threatening event for anybody. While it might not be an enjoyable experience, it is only as bad as you believe it to be. Living with a bald spot or hair that is thinning is an experience shared by many across the country.  Remembering that others are sharing the same experience as you can actually be a comforting thought when you are feeling down about your hair loss.
  • The loss of hair does not equal the loss of life, the loss of a job or the loss of those around you that you count as friends and family. They love you for more than the amount of hair you do, or don’t, have on your head.
  • The loss of hair can help you find a new look. Visit a hairstylist who has experience in styling people with varying degrees of hair loss. A shaved head might be the option that gives you a new look. You can always go with something as simple as a stylish hat. Take the opportunity to embrace a new look instead of trying to hide your hair loss with a comb-over.
  • If you’re having trouble coping with the loss of your hair, reach out to others and discuss your feelings. From psychologists to support groups to online forums, there are a variety of ways to connect with others and share what you’re going through on a daily basis. You are not alone so reach out and share your story with others.
  • Remember that the future is not that far away. There is always research being conducted in the area of hair loss and hair restoration. What might seem like a fantasy cure today could actually be a reality in the future.
  • You can always consult with a doctor about your hair loss. It might be the result of a medical condition that causes temporary hair loss. The hair loss that looks to be a permanent problem today might be a temporary issue that can be corrected in the near future.
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Top 10 Hair Loss Misconceptions

January 15th, 2016

More than half of the male population aged 50 and above suffers from some form of hair loss. There are many products and treatments available to combat this problem. Unfortunately, many of the hair loss solutions available today are not as effective as they claim to be. It can be quite difficult to determine which products are the best options for hair loss.

Much like the treatments out there, there is also a lot of information and misinformation about hair loss itself. Patients can’t differentiate between the myths and facts. Here are some of the most common misconceptions people have regarding hair loss.

1. You will suffer from hair loss if one of your parents did

While it is true that hair loss is genetic, you can’t expect it simply because one of your parents has this problem. Like most inherited traits, hair loss is brought about by the genes of your immediate and extended relatives from both sides of your family. There are several other factors that contribute to hair loss aside from your genes. These factors include hormonal imbalance, systemic diseases, poor nutrition and certain medications.

2. The hair loss gene comes from your mother’s side

Hair loss is not necessarily inherited from the mother’s side. Inheritance is stronger on the maternal side but hair loss can be inherited from the paternal side as well. If the condition is present on either side, you’re still at risk for it but not as much as when it runs on both sides of your family.

3. Hair loss only occurs in older people

Hair loss is commonly seen in older people but that doesn’t mean that the younger ones won’t suffer the same fate. No one is too young for hair loss especially if you’re genetically predisposed to it. Hair loss can hit as early as the teenage years. If you notice that your hair is not as thick and full as it used to be, it might be a sign of hair loss. Hair thinning is progressive and often the first step to hair loss. The best thing to do is have it checked by a specialist because the sooner it is treated, the better the treatment options.

4. Hair fall is the first sign of hair loss

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not synonymous to hair fall. It isn’t the first sign either. You don’t become bald because of the hundred or so hair strands that fall off your head on a daily basis. Hair loss is brought about by your hair being replaced by thinner hairs. This process is known as “miniaturization.” Hair fall is actually a normal thing. But if large amounts of hair are falling off, there may be some underlying problem and it is advised that you see your doctor right away.

5. Pulling hairs can cause hair loss

The repeated pulling out of hairs can lead to what doctors call traction alopecia. This type of hair loss is caused by repeated trauma to the hair follicle which then leads to scarring to the point that the follicle can no longer produce hair. This follows the same reasoning as plucking your eyebrows. Plucking hairs on a regular basis can get rid of them for good. However, occasional pulling out of some grey hairs when needed should not cause any serious problems at all.

6. Stress leads to hair loss

Stress can lead to many things but hair loss isn’t one of them. Just think about it: If everyday stress can cause hair loss then we’d all be bald! Hair loss and stress are often associated with each other because people tend to lose some hair due to extreme stress. Hair loss that is caused by extreme psychological distress is known as telogen effivum where the hair follicles are driven to their shedding phase way too early. According to the American Hair Loss Association, this type of hair loss is most often seen during childbirth.

7.  Wearing caps and hats will make you go bald

Wearing caps and hats does not cause hair loss. They would have to be tight enough to the point that they pull a lot of hair off your head for them to cause some hair loss. It is also a complete myth that caps and hats prevent hair follicles from getting oxygen. The oxygen supply of hair follicles is derived from the bloodstream and not from the air.

8. Frequent use of shampoo causes hair loss

People think frequent shampooing causes hair loss because they notice some hair falling out when they shampoo. Again, hair loss and hair fall are not the same thing. There is no evidence that connects hair loss to the number of times you shampoo your hair per week. In fact, shampooing less often can be bad for your hair. Shampoo cleans oil off the scalp and prevents dandruff. Be sure to shampoo your hair regularly and remember that it is normal to lose a few strands during the process.

9. Supplements can help hair grow back

Although some supplements are good for your hair, there isn’t a pill that can induce hair regrowth.

10. Hair loss can be prevented

Hair loss is caused by miniaturization and, so far, there is nothing that can be done to stop this process. There is no preventive measure for hair loss but there is early intervention. Once hair loss takes place, there are a few things that can address the problem. For men, certain medications and hair transplant surgery can help turn the hair clock back a couple of years.

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The Curious Case of Tom Brady’s Hairline

December 30th, 2015

Anyone looking at Tom Brady’s life from the outside would think he is leading a charmed life. It seems that he has everything a man could wish for including good looks, a stellar career, a legion of fans and the gorgeous Gisele Bundchen as his wife.

It’s said that nobody is perfect and Tom Brady is no exception. It has been speculated that the future NFL Hall-of-Famer has been having some problems with a receding hairline. It’s also been whispered that he (ALLEGEDLY) underwent a hair transplant. While there has been no confirmation about this from Tom or his wife, evidence circulating on the Internet tells a different story. We’ve gathered a couple of pieces of evidence to try and determine if the famous quarterback is indeed fighting a battle with hair loss.

  1. He almost always wears a cap in public:

Tom is almost always seen wearing a cap wherever he goes. While this could be nothing more than a fashion statement, people are quick to assume that the cap is his way of hiding a receding hairline.

  1. He went to a hair transplant clinic:

There are reports claiming Tom visited hair restoration clinics on two separate occasions. The first visit was in Manhattan in 2008 while the other was in 2010. In the 2010 incident, Tom’s car was seen parked outside a hair transplant clinic in Rhode Island. While only the car was seen and not Tom himself, celebrity watchers speculate that he went there to seek consultation and treatment for his alleged hair loss problem. There’s no hard evidence to prove this fact. He might have just been giving a friend a lift to the clinic.

  1. He has had many different hairstyles:

Tom has sported many different hairstyles over the years. He even sported a Justin Bieber haircut at one time in his life. There was also a time when he sported a shaggy hairstyle that might have been an attempt to hide his thinning hair.

  1. His wife suggested using hair plugs:

When supermodel Gisele Bundchen married Tom, they promised to be with each other through “thick and thin.” She probably didn’t expect the “thin” part to be his hair. According to reports, Gisele encouraged her hubby to get hair plugs. This isn’t the first time she meddled with his hair issues. Many people think that Tom’s long hairstyle was actually suggested by his wife. The lovely supermodel seems very determined to prevent her husband’s impending “bald-death sentence.”

  1. His father suffered from the same problem:

Tom’s father is bald so experts assume that he will suffer the same fate. After all, hair loss is genetic. Furthermore, the doctor of the hair loss clinic where he was allegedly seen was quoted as saying that Tom’s father must have passed the hair loss genes to his son.  The good doctor even said that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the proverbial baldness tree.”

As compelling as these pieces of evidence might seem, all of these theories are mere speculation. Until Tom Brady confirms publicly that he is indeed suffering from hair loss, the public might never know the real story.

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How Are Eyebrow Hair Transplants Performed?

December 15th, 2015

Eyebrows play an important role in face symmetry. They make the very first impression about the face. Sometimes, due to injuries, burns or an incident at the time of birth, the eyebrows lose their symmetry and medical help is necessary to make them more symmetrical. The method used for permanent restoration of the hair on eyebrows is known by the name eyebrow restoration or eyebrow hair transplant.

Eyebrows can lose their symmetry due to an over-plucking of hair on the eyebrows as well as injuries and burns. Autoimmune diseases also affect the eyebrows. Some people lose their eyebrows due to old age orthyroid diseases that affect the symmetry of the eyebrow as well as make the eyebrows thin.

Eyebrow Hair TransplantThe procedure for a hair transplant in the eyebrows depends on if the hair loss is full or partial. Anywhere from 50 to 500 follicles of hair can be transplanted during the hair transplant procedure. Hairs from the scalp are used for the restoration of eyebrow symmetry. The harvested hairs from the scalp are restored in the eyebrows just like it is done in scalp hair restoration. However, the surgeon should be trained to perform such a precise procedure as eyebrow hair restoration.

Transplanting hairs in the eyebrow is a normal outpatient procedure. It can take 4 to 5 hours under local anesthesia. First, the shapes of the eyebrows are marked by pencil so that hairs can be transplanted to the marked shape decided on by the doctor and the patient before the procedure.

A single hair follicle unit with a very small diameter is used for transplantation. Automated follicular unit extraction method with neograft is the best-known method used in eyebrow transplants. This method can be performed easily and requires less time for healing. In previous methods of eyebrow transplants, a strip method was used that could cause scars. A hair follicle is chosen that closely resemble the eyebrow hairs. The single hair graft can be placed precisely and the shape of the eyebrows can be made accurately. Very small incisions are made to place the hair follicles at the eyebrows.

Dried crusts from the eyebrows should be removed gently before washing the face after the procedure. After every face wash, antibiotic ointments are applied to prevent any infections. Bruising is a common side effect of the procedure. Patience is required after the procedure as it takes time for the final results to become visible.

Some advantages of the automated follicular unit extraction method with neograft include:

  1. It is easy to perform.
  2. It doesn’t leave any scars.
  3. Sutures are not used in this method.
  4. Recovery time is not very long.

The eyebrow hair growth becomes slower over the course of time. The transplanted hairs start appearing like the previous hair. The procedure is followed by two or three sessions that help in shaping the eyebrows and the final look on the patient will be seen after nine or ten months.

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You Can Have a Transplant Just Like a Celebrity!

November 18th, 2015

Hair transplant procedures are desired by a good number of people even though they don’t go ahead and have a procedure.  Why do so many people put off having a hair transplant? The main reason is they simply don’t want others to know they have had a procedure. One group of people this is especially true for is celebrities. They are constantly in the public eye and don’t want the press (or their fans) to know the truth about their hairline (or lack of one).  Luckily for celebrities and non-celebrities alike, there is a procedure that can help them maintain their privacy and it is called non-shaven FUE hair transplant.

Celebrity FUE Hair TransplantCelebrity FUE hair transplant is also known as a non-shaven hair transplant.  It is a hair restoration procedure where the surgeon doesn’t have to shave any of the hair on the donor area in order to harvest hair. The non-shaved hair lessens the chance of others detecting any kind of procedure performed on the patient. In turn, this allows the patient to enjoy a faster recovery time as well as maintain their normal hairstyle.  The final bonus is the ability to return to work almost immediately after the procedure. Also, there is minimal swelling and no disfigurement after the procedure.

Why was non-shaven FUE created? It was invented to allow celebrities to have a hair restoration procedure without needing to experience any downtime or visible signs of the procedure. Also, most celebrities try to prevent any hair loss issues before they become too prominent. This means that less donor hair is required to perform the procedure.

There are some important things to remember about the procedure:

  • Celebrity FUE is not limited solely to celebrities. It is available to any and all patients who meet the medical requirements of the procedure.
  • Celebrity FUE doesn’t necessarily give patients an overall better result in terms of more coverage or a higher density of hair. Just because the procedure is more expensive doesn’t mean it automatically gives better quality results relative to the number of grafts received.
  • The average cost of the procedure is more than the cost of a regular FUE procedure. For example, the average procedure cost in the city of Los Angeles is $10,000. Please note that the final price can vary depending on the total number of grafts.
  • The recovery time is lower thanks to the smaller number of grafts transplanted on the patient, the non-shaven area and the smaller size of the procedure.

Celebrity FUE is currently only performed using manual FUE extraction techniques. Since it is a non-shaven procedure, robotic techniques can’t detect and see grafts like they normally do in regular FUE procedures. However, if the grafts are correctly selected and placed, the patient’s hair transplant should be a permanent solution since the transplanted grafts are taken from the permanent zone. This minimally invasive procedure has very effective results. In addition to the effective results, it opens up the availability of hair transplants to a group of patients who might not have undergone a procedure earlier due to concerns about the procedure being detected by others. While there are still some celebrities that maintain a shaved head, there is no need for them to keep that look thanks to Celebrity FUE.

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Can Studies On Mice Help Human Hair Growth?

November 3rd, 2015

In the battle against hair loss, some people resort to toupees and combovers to try and hide their hair loss. Whether it is vanity, not wanting to be “discovered” as having a hair transplant or a fear of the unknown, many people avoid having a hair transplant. However, science continues to work on new solutions for hair loss. One of the most recent hair loss treatment discoveriesHuman hair loss solution might come from a study on mice involves blocking certain enzymes. A new study shows that bald mice underwent these enzyme blocking treatments and proceeded to show new hair growth within 10 days of the treatment.

Columbia University Medical Center researchers spent last year searching for new treatments for alopecia areata. One of the studies involved seeing how well certain drugs worked to inhibit a family of enzymes (Janus Kinase or JAK) located in hair follicles. Their research showed them that these drugs turned off a signal that triggered autoimmune attacks and also raised the possibility of restoring hair growth when applied orally to some subjects and also when it was applied to the skin. The researchers determined that the findings indicated the JAK drugs were having direct interaction with the hair follicles as well as disabling the autoimmune attacks. In other words, the JAK inhibitors brought the hair follicles out of their resting phase as opposed to putting them into the resting phase.

By suppressing its normal activity, the drugs helped the hair that was in the sleeping phase to return to the active cycle. The research on the bald mice involved the JAK drugs being put on their skin for five days. In turn, the mice started to grow new hair within a ten day period. Another group of untreated bald mice remain unchanged while the treated mice regrew almost all of their hair within three weeks.

Past similar studies on mice that have focused on growth cycle manipulation have limited themselves to hair cycles and have not focused on changing the course of miniaturized hairs going through the balding process. Affecting human body hair that has a longer resting and shorter growth phase would be a step forward in helping people possibly have more body hair (if a person wants more body hair). Human scalp hair is in the growth phase 95% of the time anyway. Making the growth phase longer would help a person grow their scalp hair for a longer period of time.  However, if the person has follicles that fall out as a result of male patterned baldness, they won’t be affected as much in the end.

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A Hairy Issue for Republicans and Democrats

October 28th, 2015

On the surface, Donald Trump and Joe Biden don’t seem to have much in common. One has devoted his life to public service while the other has devoted his life to the business world. What they do have in common is their current prominence in the world of politics. Biden recently revealed that he will not be running for president in 2016. Trump is still active on the campaign trail as he tries to get the Republican nomination to be their candidate for the 2016 election. One other thing they have in common? They are both victims of inferior hair transplants.

Joe Biden's HairJoe Biden is a prime example of the fact that a hair transplant surgeon needs to design a hairline that take the passage of time into account. Biden has an almost juvenile hairline while also having a good amount of thin hair on the top of his head. In fact, Biden’s hair transplant troubles include (but are not limited to) poor initial designing, poor long term planning, too low of a hairline and a hairline that is too broad for his current stage of hair loss. To help create a natural look on a patient, the hairline needs to be kept higher as well as having the appearance of a corner recession to help create a more natural look. Methods to help combat hairline problems like Joe Biden’s include FUE and Beard to Scalp Hair Transplant.

Donald Trump's HairLet’s take a look at the other candidate, Donald Trump. “The Donald” is well known for his hairstyle. In fact, most people think of his hair when they think of Trump. There are many hair experts who believe that Trump had a plug surgery many years ago that did not turn out quite as well as he hoped. If this is true then why hasn’t a guy with the money and resources of Trump fixed the results of his transplant? There are actually some simple reasons for why he has maintained the same hairstyle for years. He could be afraid to undergo another transplant after seeing the results of his first procedure. He might not have enough donor hair to use as a resource for a second transplant. Finally, he might simply be unaware that there is help available to him.

One of the main lessons that can be taken away from these two public figures is that (in many ways) they are just like everyone else. They have a good amount of money and resources yet they still need to follow the first main step that everyone should do before having any kind of surgical procedure. Patients should meet with an experienced and skilled doctor who has expert knowledge about hair transplant methods. The patient and the doctor should discuss the procedure beforehand and arrive at a mutual decision about what they are trying to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if a person has all the money in the world at their disposal. They still need to take the time to plan and discuss their goals before they waste a lot of time and an even larger amount of money.

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PRP for Hair Restoration

October 20th, 2015

Androgenic alopecia, more commonly known as male-pattern hair loss, is a very common problem experienced by both men and women. The condition produces a significant psychological distress to the patient and is often associated with depression and low self-esteem. However, managing hair loss has never been easier thanks to a variety of treatment options. One of the newest options is called PRP. According to reports, PRP can effectively combat hair loss by stimulating growth of thicker, stronger hair strands. It should be noted that there is no solid evidence yet but patients who have tried it seem satisfied with their results.

PRP, which stands for platelet-rich plasma, is a concentrated form of plasma loaded with thousands of small wound-healing cells called platelets. It is derived from the patient’s own blood and processed to get a clear yellowish plasma fluid. PRP contains huge amounts of growth factors that can promote hair growth by stimulating the stem cells of the hair follicles.

The mechanism through which PRP works has prompted experts to study its application in different areas of medicine. Some of its potential uses include skin rejuvenation, lowering risk of infection, rapid healing and reduced chances of ugly scar formation and (of course) hair loss treatment.

What’s interesting about PRP as a hair loss treatment is that there are no clinical studies or hard evidence that proves its effectiveness. Doctors use it because they believe it can work (in theory). Despite this lack of evidence, there are still a lot of individuals who want to try PRP as a hair loss treatment because most patients who have already tried it claim that it works. At present, there are multiple types of PRP available but no one is sure which one is the most effective.

The various applications of PRP in medicine primarily stem from its wound healing properties. These properties are brought about by growth factors. Growth factors are substances that promote cell proliferation and tissue formation. But what does wound healing have to do with treating hair loss? The growth factors that promote wound healing are the same ones that can drive the hair cycle and that is the basis of scientists using PRP for hair restoration. In wound healing, the growth factors cause the blood vessels and skin cells to multiply. In the hair cycle, these substances result in the elongation of the hair shaft.

PRP is a simple and somewhat cost-effective treatment for hair loss. Although there’s really not much clinical evidence to prove the effectiveness of PRP, patients still find the prospect of the treatment a promising solution to their hair loss problems. It will still be some time before doctors have a clearer idea of how effective PRP can actually be in combating hair loss. Until hard evidence and clear results are available for everyone to see, PRP remains somewhat of a mystery in the field of hair loss treatment.

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