Hair is important!
It tells a story and reflects one’s personality. It defines who we and how we appear to the outside world. A full head of hair portrays youth and health.
It makes people feel sexy, cool, confident, and attractive. A full, thick head of hair allows for experimentation with hairstyles and is a hairdressers dream.
Patients take hair loss seriously. And so do we!
The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. There are many different forms of alopecia. Dermatologists divide alopecia into 2 main categories: scarring & non-scarring.
Scarring alopecia results from inflammation around the hair root, causing the obliteration or destruction of the hair follicle. If the destruction of the hair follicles is complete recovery may be impossible. However, if the damage is not complete, the revival of the affected hair follicles is possible.
Non-scarring alopecia results from several factors including genetics, hormones, medications, and inflammation, which contribute to miniaturization of the hair follicle but not complete destruction. In this form of alopecia, regrowth is possible.
Some forms of non-scarring alopecia include:
- Stress-related alopecia
- Androgenetic alopecia or Male-pattern alopecia (baldness)
- Androgenetic alopecia or Female pattern alopecia (baldness)
- Alopecia areata
- Acute Telogen effluvium
- Chronic Telogen effluvium
- Age-related alopecia (senescent alopecia)
- Medication-induced alopecia (thyroid-related, iron-related
Dermatologists are specialists in diagnosing and treating hair loss.
At Heart Lake Cosmetic Dermatology, we have been evaluating and treating hair loss for over a decade.
The treatments for hair loss depend on the type of hair loss diagnosed.
The first step in addressing your hair loss is to make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist. Once a diagnosis has been made, a treatment strategy will be discussed.
Treatments for hair loss
The two main evidence-based medical treatments for alopecia include topical Minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine) and oral Finasteride (widely known as Propecia).
These two medication treatments have been around for years and are approved by Health Canada. They
Another medication class used for specific forms of alopecia is corticosteroids (or “steroids” for short). These medications are prescribed by your physician and are used to suppress inflammation around the hair follicle. They also aim to halt hair-loss progression. These medications can be applied topically or by injection.
Over the last decade, Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP has evolved into another treatment strategy for hair loss. PRP has been used extensively over the world for various other medical indications, especially in sports-medicine for joints and arthritis conditions.
Now PRP is becoming a very popular treatment for hair loss.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Hair Loss & Hair Restoration?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Hair Loss is a newer, advanced, non-surgical, and non-invasive treatment that involves injecting areas of hair loss with ones own plasma. Plasma comes from your own blood and is rich in platelets and natural nutrient-rich, growth-factors that act as “fertilizer” to help regrowth hair.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy aims to improve hair density and volume without medication. It can be combined with other treatments for hair loss.
What are the steps involved in PRP Therapy for Hair Loss?
PRP treatments should only be performed in a dermatologist office.
Each PRP treatment session involves three steps.
Step 1: In the office, a blood sample is drawn from your arm into a tube as if you had a blood test. The tube is placed in a rotating machine called a centrifuge and spun at very high speed for 10 minutes.
Step 2: After 10 minutes of centrifugation, your blood in the tube separates into three layers or liquids:
- Platelet Poor Plasma
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
- Red Blood Cells
The PRP layer is the one that is best to treat hair loss.
Step 3: The Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) layer is extracted into a syringe and injected into all the affected areas of scalp alopecia.
At Heart Lake Cosmetic Dermatology, we use a unique device to inject the plasma back into the scalp, which makes the entire process nearly painless. This process is usually repeated each month for 3 months.
What are the benefits of PRP Therapy for Hair loss:
- Natural (no medications & no steroids)
- Safe (minimal potential side-effects; see below)
- Performed in a dermatologist office
- No downtime
Does PRP Therapy hurt?
You may experience a slight and sensitivity during the injections; however, our injection device really makes the procedure quite comfortable. On a ten-point scale, patients describe the pain as 2 out of 10 intensity (10 being severe and 1 be nothing).
What are other potential side effects associated with PRP Therapy?
PRP is autologous, which means we are introducing your own body’s plasma back into your skin, which makes the allergy nearly impossible.
Some potential side-effects:
- Pain or sensitivity at the injection sites during and after the procedure
- Slight swelling of the scalp
How long do PRP Therapy treatment sessions take?
The collection process takes 20 minutes, and the injection process takes about 10 minutes. You will be in the office for about 45 minutes.
How many PRP treatments are required?
Based on your diagnosis and severity of alopecia, a recommendation on the number of sessions needed for your particular case will be discussed. Usually, we recommend 4 treatment session spaced apart by one month, followed by yearly maintenance sessions.
How much time will I need to recover post a PRP Therapy procedure?
There is no downtime associated with the PRP procedure. Patients can resume regular activities immediately. Your scalp may feel a little sensitive. We recommend that you avoid washing your hair for one day after the procedure.
What is the cost of PRP Therapy or Hair loss?
The cost will depend on your diagnosis and the severity of your hair loss. Heart Lake Cosmetic Dermatology specializes in PRP Therapy and provides free consultation and price quotes to patients interested in the procedure.
Is PRP therapy the recommended cure for baldness?
There is no cure for baldness. PRP therapy acts like nutrient-rich natural fertilizer, and when started at the right time for the right patient with the right condition, it can substantially slow down your hair loss and regrow your hair.