Androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common causes of hair loss, and despite its “other” common name — male-pattern balding — androgenetic hair loss can affect women as well as men. In fact, according to data from the National Library of Medicine, androgenetic balding affects about 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. The primary difference lies in the areas that tend to lose the most hair. In men, male-pattern baldness tends to occur on the top and front parts of the scalp, while in women, androgenetic alopecia tends to primarily affect the hair growing on the top and the crown of the head.
Bottom line: No one likes to lose their hair, regardless of whether it’s being lost from the front, top, or back of the head. And for years, researchers have sought effective ways of preventing hair loss and even reversing it. While the results of many of these efforts have been mixed at best, today, PRP offers a novel approach to hair loss treatment, helping to restore function in dormant hair follicles to promote new growth in those areas. At Love Your Body Medspa, we offer PRP therapy using state-of-the-art techniques to help stop androgenetic alopecia in its tracks.
What causes androgenetic alopecia?
No one knows for sure what risk factors are associated with triggering androgenetic alopecia, but researchers agree it’s probably due to several factors working together. What they do know is that male- and female-pattern baldness are most likely related to hormonal factors, especially a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Androgens play important roles in sexual health and development, both for men and for women. When androgen levels are unusually high, they can affect the hair follicles and the hair growth cycle, causing the follicles to shed hair more quickly and to form hairs that are weaker and thinner. Over time, the cycle slows down and the delay between shedding and new growth widens until, finally, the follicle stops growing new hair altogether.
Some research shows pattern-type hair loss tends to occur more often in families that have a history of pattern baldness, which may be due to inherited genes. So far, only one gene — the AR gene — has been definitely associated with this type of hair loss, but others may also be involved. Environmental factors also might be involved in androgenetic alopecia, either as direct causes or as triggers, acting on androgens or the genes themselves.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, and in recent years, medical researchers have begun really exploring how PRP can help treat an array of medical concerns. Platelets are blood cells that play a role in healing and clot formation. If an area of tissue is damaged, platelets activate and migrate to that area to help heal the area and stop any associated bleeding. Much of their healing “power” comes from tiny proteins called growth factors, which stimulate the growth and development of new, healthy tissue to replace damaged tissue.
PRP features a high concentration of platelets — higher than what’s normally found in your blood. When the PRP solution is injected into an area that’s damaged or not functioning correctly, the platelets and growth factors go to work to heal the area and restore normal function. Because PRP works with your body’s natural healing and cellular restoration systems instead of relying on chemicals and medicines, it’s completely safe. Plus, since PRP comes from your own blood, you don’t have to worry about allergic reactions.
What happens during treatment?
PRP therapy is a pretty simple and straightforward treatment that’s done right here in our office. At the beginning of your visit, we’ll take a small sample of your blood, then process it to separate the platelets and create the PRP solution. The platelets are combined with plasma (the liquid part of your blood) before being re-injected into your body. Injections are made throughout the area of hair loss, and a topical numbing agent is applied to your skin first to minimize any discomfort. Once injected, the growth factors go to work to help heal follicles and jump-start hair production again.
The entire PRP therapy treatment takes about an hour, depending on the size of the area that’s being treated. Once your session is complete, you can go on with your regular activities — there’s no downtime. Most people see the best benefits with a series of treatments spaced apart by several months.
Don't let hair loss make you feel self-conscious. Learn more about PRP therapy at Love Your Body Medspa. Book an appointment online today.