Aging Gracefully - or NOT

 

Are you happy to age gracefully?  

Does it please you to occasionally see your mother looking back from the mirror? 

 If you answered yes to both questions read no further because this information is not for you.




Do you have unlimited resources? 

Are you on a first name basis with your plastic surgeon?

If you answered yes to both these questions, read no further because this information is not for you.

 

Do you enjoy comments such as “do you ever change?” or “have you had something done”?

Do you want everyone at the next high school reunion to know who you are without glancing at your nametag?

Do you want to have people mistake your child for your sibling? OK maybe that is pushing it….

If you answer yes to 2 of these questions, then sit down and grab your cheaters, we have a lot to talk about.

 

Think about what traits make people you know age well.  

      Do they have a full head of beautiful hair?

       Have they kept an athletic build?

         Do they have beautiful skin?

           Do they move gracefully?

              Do they have an upbeat personality?

                 Are they involved in activities which they enjoy? 

 

We will discuss these and other subjects that arise along the way.  Today lets start by looking at hair

 

Two thirds of males begin to bald by age 35 and 50 million American men and 30 million American Women have pattern baldness.  Are we going to watch quietly as our scalps emerge and our crowning glory disappears down the drain?

There are two major types of hair loss:  Excessive shedding telogen effluvium which is normally brought on by a trigger and often self-limiting and hair loss anagen effluvium when something stops the hair from growing.  Some are permanent, some are poorly responsive to treatment and many are reversible.  

Hair restoration is a growing science and is currently not covered by insurance as it is classified as cosmetic.  Do you feel your hair loss is normal? Do you want to see if it is treatable? Please continue reading to see if you are a candidate for restorative treatment.

Hair – its own story:

 

By week 22 a developing fetus has all the hair follicles its body will ever have since we do not generate new follicles

Every hair strand, an average of 100,000 per scalp, is at a different stage in the hair growth cycle.  Each hair grows from a follicle under the skin which is fed by a blood vessel.

Anagen or growth phase last 2-7 years and determines the length of our hair.  The cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly and the hair grows about 1cm every 28 days.  Over time the length of this stage decreases, and hair may become weaker and thinner with each cycle.

Catagen or transition phase include approximately 3% of hairs and last about 10-20 days when the hair follicle shrinks and detaches

Telogen or resting phase last approximately 3 months and includes 6-8% of hairs.

Exogen or new hair phase part of the resting phase where old hair sheds and new hair continues to grow

Now that we have the biologic basics, how do you determine if you are a candidate for PRP hair restoration? 




Start with the history – when did the hair loss start?  How much hair? (It is normal to lose 100-150 hairs per day.)  Is it in a pattern {Norwood scale for men and Ludwig scale for women}?

Is there an identifiable cause? Is there a family history? 

Ensure there is no pathologic cause such as phemphgoid, infection, hormonal, nutritional defiency.

Test levels of DHEAs, Free and total testosterone, androstenedione, DHT and FAI.  Additionally, ensure there is normal thyroid function, adequate iron and vitamin-D.  While doing these labs also check that hemoglobin is >10 and platelet count is >105.

People who are not candidates are those with active scalp disorders, inflammation, injury, local skin cancer, trichotillomania, pregnancy, breast feeding, chemotherapy, keloid development, coagulation disorders, untreated PCOS, hyperandrogenism syndromes or body dysmorphic disorder.

Is there excessive shedding? Telogen Effluvium – Which may be caused by 20 pound or more weight loss, giving birth, extreme stress, high fever, undergoing surgery, recovery from an illness, especially if it included a high fever, or stopping oral contraceptives.  This is normally self-limiting and resolves within 6-9 months of the trigger.  

The second type of hair loss is when something stops the hair from growing – anagen effluvium.  Most common causes are hereditary, immune mediated, harsh product, hairstyles that pull hair, drugs and treatments and the compulsion to pull out one’s hair.

The pull test is used to diagnose telogen effluvium, by grabbing approximately 40 hairs one inch from the scalp with thumb and forefinger and tug hard enough to pull up scalp.  Then slide fingers along shaft to the end. If 6 or more hairs come out the test is positive. Next examine the hairs using a hair card to look for miniaturization. If the pull test is negative and there is miniaturization the diagnosis is androgenic alopecia.

 

PRP works best for androgenic alopecia, although it may succeed in any area containing terminal hairs.

 

The PRP procedure is simple.  A tube of your blood is drawn and spun in a special centrifuge.    The top 4-6 mls of platelet poor plasma is removed and the remainder of the plasma carefully agitated to distribute the platelets.  This PRP is then drawn into syringes for injection. A small gauge needle is used to inject 0.2-0.3 cc aliquots at 1 cm intervals into the suitable areas of the scalp.  A machine which blows cold air, helps to decrease pain.

Most patients need monthly session for 3-4 months, then maintenance at 3-6 months.  Cost is typically $600-800 per session, with a discount normal given for maintenance treatments. Topical agents with or without nutritional supplementation may be prescribed.

If you feel you may be a candidate and are interested in a free consultation, please call to schedule.