Hair Thickening Treatments
Because our hair is such a prominent part of our overall appearance, hair loss can damage our confidence and self-esteem. According to the American Hair Loss Association, “it affects interpersonal relationships as well as the professional lives of those suffering. It is not uncommon for people to change their career paths because of their hair loss.”
Causes of thinning hair
Most hair thinning has been shown to be caused by a combination of hormones & genetics although it can also be caused by medical disorders, stress, and certain medications. Hereditary hair loss with aging, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common cause of thinning hair or baldness in both men and women. Nearly 85% of men experience hair thinning by the age of 50 and about 40% of women by the age of 40.
The scalp and hair growth
Research is revealing how important the integrity of the skin layers, circulation, hair follicles, and surrounding fatty tissue in the scalp is for normal hair growth. A simple analogy is that the scalp is the topsoil and the thicker the topsoil, the better the grass will grow.
Men tend to lose hair from the temples, in front of their forehead, and the top of their heads. Women usually experience thinning mostly across the top of their scalp, usually noticed first as a widening part. Ironically, women also tend to notice brow hairs becoming sparser as lower face hairs ("boar bristles") sprout more.
Each hair follicle seems to function as an individual, with its own growth cycle timing. For unknown reasons, some of the scalp follicles become more sensitive to the effects of hormones with aging, especially dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a byproduct of testosterone. DHT causes the growth phase of the hair to shorten and the follicles to shrink until they no longer produce hair.
Until recently, the only effective treatments for hair thinning were drugs such as minoxidil and finasteride or hair transplants, but new regenerative treatments are showing great promise.
Absorbable threads, nanofat stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) use the healing substances found in your own body to help stimulate hair growth on the scalp and in the brows.
All of these treatments can be compared to the fertilizer part of the above analogy, as they are thought to increase hair growth by stimulating growth factors in the scalp.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune-related disease that causes patchy bald areas, and some studies have also shown improvement in the condition with these treatments. Regenerative hair therapies are not effective if the area being treated has no remaining hair follicles, so it's best to start early.
Absorbable Threads made of the same material as buried sutures, when placed under the skin's surface, stimulate healing and growth factors, as well as new blood vessels. Depending on the material the thread is made of, results can last nine months or two years. Encouraging results have been seen with hair growth when these threads have been used in areas of thinning hair.
They also provide a solid matrix to slow down the absorption of applied nanofat and/or PRP if those treatments are done during the same session.
Nanofat is a regenerative treatment with even more promising effects than PRP on hair loss, probably because nanofat is rich in stem cells in addition to the growth factors found in PRP alone. The name "nanofat" is a misnomer since it's not fat but the healing factors and stem cells that are isolated from a small amount of a patient's own fat that is used in regenerative treatments. Nanofat is often used with PRP and/or threads to treat hair loss and results are usually seen with just one treatment.
To obtain nanofat, a mini-liposuction treatment is performed to obtain a small amount of fat. That fat is then broken up and the growth factor solution is filtered out to be injected.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments have shown improvement in hair loss patients in some studies, especially when a series of treatments are done.
Platelets are cells in our blood that are rich in many types of signaling and growth factors and PRP is the liquid portion of the blood in which the platelets have been concentrated and the other blood cells removed. The effects of PRP on hair loss are thought to be due to the effects of the platelet growth factors on the hair follicles. PRP is obtained by drawing a small blood sample & then spinning the tubes to separate out the red and white blood cells while isolating the concentrated platelets. The solution is then injected into the anesthetized portion of the scalp or brows where hair thickening is desired.
In general, after an initial series of 3 bi-monthly PRP treatments, roughly 30% of patients will see an increase in hair growth, 30% won't see an increase but they won't continue to experience hair loss in the months after treatment, and 30% won't see any change.
What to expect with a hair thickening treatment
Topical anesthesia is applied before any of these treatments to minimize any discomfort. PRP and/or nanofat are injected through tiny needles or they can be applied to the scalp during a microneedling treatment. Threads are inserted under the skin in the area being treated. Occasionally there will be some swelling of the treated area but most people find they can immediately return to their usual activities.
Maintenance treatments are recommended for all of these treatments as needed to maintain results.
The fees at Skinspirations for regenerative hair loss treatments are:
Thread treatment for hair thickening: $800
Nanofat hair treatment: $995
PRP hair treatment package of 3: $1,260
Call us at 727-571-1923 for a complimentary consultation to learn if this procedure is right for you!