Treatments for Hair Loss at KMC Hair Center
Yesterday I discussed the types of hair loss. Today I will explain how we treat them both surgically and non-surgically at KMC Hair Center.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Hair Loss
Many people are not candidates for hair transplantation. In addition, even those that are surgical candidates, may need to address the issue of ongoing hair loss. Non-surgical treatments for hair loss include topical treatments, oral medication and laser devices.
Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) is an FDA-approved direct stimulator of hair growth. It works in 88 to 90 percent of individuals with Androgenetic Alopecia to slow down the progression of hair loss, re-thicken hairs that have thinned, and regrow hairs that have not been permanently lost. We recommend using the 5 percent foam once daily for both men and women. This 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 only. However, it may be indicated in post-menopausal women with Androgenetic Alopecia. It blocks the effects of dihydrotestosterone on the hair follicle. The product works in up to 92 percent of users to stop the progression of hair loss, and can also rethicken and regrow hair. Up to 1 to 2 percent of men may experience sexual side effects.
Spironolactone is 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.
Low-level laser light stimulation devices can also stimulate hair thickening and regrowth. There are many devices on the market, in addition, I typically recommend it as an adjunct to other more well-studied treatments, such as minoxidil and finasteride.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a preparation taken from a patient’s own blood in which the platelets are enriched in concentrated plasma. PRP increases dermal papilla cells, which are decreased in individuals with balding, and potent hair growth stimulators, Fibroblast growth factor-7 and Beta-catenin. In addition, mice treated with PRP have quicker transitions into the growing phase of hair than untreated mice.
When used as an adjunct to hair transplantation, hair follicles pre-treated with PRP can demonstrate better density and graft survival. Because of the improved hair growth seen with hair transplantation and the above-mentioned animal studies, hair specialists have started using PRP as primary treatment for male and female pattern balding, as well as Alopecia Areata. PRP treatment is particularly attractive for women who have not seen great results with minoxidil, and young men who may not be suitable candidates for finasteride or hair transplantation.
Surgical Hair Restoration
Modern hair transplant surgery is an exciting and gratifying method to restore hair on a thinning scalp. It entails removing hair from the back of the scalp – which is generally thicker and grows longer – and placing it in the front of the scalp. This surgery works because the hair in the back has a different genetic destiny than the hair in the front.
Unlike hair transplants in previous decades where “hair plugs” were used, follicular unit transplantation aims at restoring thinned areas while creating a natural, undetectable appearance. We achieve this by using small, follicular groupings of one to three hairs while creating a very natural-looking hairline.
When performing hair transplantation in men, the most important aspect is creating a natural appearing hairline. Because it is difficult to predict the future extent of hair loss, it is also pertinent that ongoing hair loss is accounted for, so that the cosmetic improvement looks natural today and 20 years from now.
Fortunately, most women experiencing hair loss are helped with a combination of both medical and surgical therapies. Many women are candidates for hair transplantation. With the use of follicular unit transplantation with one to four follicular unit grafts very good cosmetic, natural-appearing results can be achieved. Women are often more concerned about the ‘see-through’ nature of the scalp, as opposed to regression of the hairline or loss at the crown of the scalp. The net cosmetic outcome and density will reflect the amount of hairs transplanted minus the ongoing hair loss. In addition, placing the hairs predominantly in the frontal scalp, as opposed to diffusely spreading it throughout the involved areas will lead to a better cosmetic outcome.
KMC Hair Center treats all hair loss types using a combination of therapies. If you are experiencing hair loss and would like to explore your options, contact us for a consultation to see what treatments can work for you. Call 913-631-6330 or visit KMCHairCenter.com to learn more.