Ahead of the CURVE

Hair loss treat­ment with­out surgery and drugs

201 Health - - Aging - WRIT­TEN BY LES­LIE PERL­MUT­TER

Mil­lions of Amer­i­cans ex­pe­ri­ence hair loss due to ge­net­ics, hor­mones, trauma and other rea­sons. But, re­gard­less of the cause, the only proven treat­ments – be­yond the nu­mer­ous non-med­i­cal claims out there – were surgery, med­i­ca­tion or both.

But now there is a new med­i­cal-based tech­nique, called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) ther­apy, which stim­u­lates dor­mant hair fol­li­cles. Ber­gen County plas­tic sur­geon Dr. Wil­liam K. Boss per­forms this treat­ment, tak­ing “two vials of blood from a pa­tient, sep­a­rat­ing the plasma and then in­ject­ing into the scalp to stim­u­late growth.”

The ma­jor ad­van­tage to us­ing PRP is that there is no down­time and there are min­i­mal side ef­fects.

Boss treats both men and women with PRP. Boss notes that women “gen­er­ally have fewer choices and ef­fi­cacy with tra­di­tional hair loss treat­ments be­cause women tend to have thin­ning hair and a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of fol­li­cles through­out the en­tire scalp. This makes hair trans­plant not a great op­tion. Also, my clin­i­cal im­pres­sion is that the hair that grows in af­ter PRP is thicker and is more re­silient.”

Boss points out that since “ba­si­cally ev­ery­thing used is au­tol­o­gous – that is, the plasma is yours and is sim­ply be­ing moved from one part of your body to an­other – there is an ex­cel­lent safety pro­file from what we know thus far in use of PRP.”

The num­ber of treat­ments re­quired de­pends upon the in­di­vid­ual, but treat­ments are usu­ally ad­min­is­tered once every four-to-six weeks for about four treat­ments. “Af­ter four treat­ments, we re­assess,” Boss says. “Pa­tients typ­i­cally see a change in one or two treat­ments. One pa­tient told me, ‘Af­ter two treat­ments, I def­i­nitely no­ticed a ma­jor dif­fer­ence and even my bar­ber has no­ticed growth and asked me what I was do­ing.’”

Boss also uses PRP in cell ther­apy to treat fa­cial lines and sun dam­age, a type of treat­ment that re­port­edly has be­come a fa­vorite among celebri­ties. It has been used for a long time else­where in the body to help heal ortho­pe­dic in­juries. The New York Times fea­tured PRP in a “Skin Deep” col­umn, which dis­cussed new treat­ments for thin­ning hair for women. ABC News also dis­cussed this promis­ing ad­vance in a seg­ment on “The Morn­ing Stir.”

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