What's New in Hair Rejuvenation?
The current treatment of choice for androgenic alopecia (AGA) involves surgical hair transplant, use of Minoxidil and/or Finasteride. For those patients who do not want to undergo the expense and process of hair transplantation, they opt to have more conservative, less invasive treatments.
We have been performing LLLT for over a decade to treat hair loss for men and women. LLLT has been proven to promote hair growth in males. We actually treated more women then men with good results. A recent study published in the Lasers in Surgery and Medicine using LLLT of the scalp using 655nm, the same parameters as the study in males, reports the results to show significantly improved hair counts in women with androgenic alopecia (AGA). We have found that patients do well with regular treatments from 3-6 months, but usually drop off due to time constraints.
Although used off-label, PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma is becoming more popular. Patients like the idea that it is their own blood, centrifuged to concentrate the platelets rich in growth factors, transforming factor beta, vascular endothelial growth factor epidermal growth factors, insulin-like growth factor and fibroblast growth factor 2.
After the concentration of the PRP, practioners must prepare and activate the PRP and choose to either apply the PRP directly to scalp after miconeedling or inject small amounts at multiple locations... The PRP then stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells in the hair follicle. Treatment protocols using PRP have not been standardized.
With the advances in micro-needling, the scalp can be treated at various depths in the scalp, creating micro-channels for the PRP to penetrate. As with other injections there is a risk for bruising, swelling, pain and infection post treatment. Some practitioners perform this procedure weekly on patients up to 6 months.
PRP has been used alone or in conjunction with LLLT or alone. LLLT therapy usually requires 20-minute sessions 2-3 times per week. Patient selection is crucial. Someone with advanced hair loss who is "shiny bald" and those with autoimmune disorders are not good candidates. With either PRP or LLLT along and even greater with the combined therapy, a lot of patience and proper patient selection, a high patient satisfaction rate can be achieved.