Male hair loss is closely linked to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a form of testosterone. Some DHT is helpful as it is more powerful than testosterone at generating muscle and bone, and it is also important for libido. Excessive DHT however can cause enlargement of the prostate gland, and causes hair follicles to reduce their production of hair and eventually die.
Genetic factors make certain hair follicles, usually those located on the front and the crown of the head, especially sensitive to the negative effects of high levels of the DHT hormone. These are the traditional areas referred to as “male-pattern baldness”. Hair in these locations impacted by DHT grows more slowly as time goes on, and eventually stops growing altogether.
In addition, stress and poor nutrition can also diminish the body’s ability to grow hair, and hinder the regeneration of hair follicles.
It turns out that once hair follicles are “dormant”, it takes about three to five years before their capacity to grow hair is permanently lost, giving a window of opportunity for regenerative therapies to attempt to coax these follicles back into production.
If hormone levels are found to be out of balance, or nutritional issues are identified, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy coupled with fitness, proper diet and specific nutritional supplements can restore balance and be an effective treatment for male hair loss. Because DHT is made from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, men can lower their DHT levels with specific nutritional supplements which down-play this enzyme
Working closely with compounding pharmacists, I have recently developed a topical solution for men which can be applied daily to the scalp to awaken dormant follicles to start growing hair again, as well as prevent further loss. In addition, we are now able to offer PRP therapy to the scalp as a way to stimulate follicles.
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is an extract of your blood which is specially prepared in a centrifuge. PRP contains powerful growth factors which have been show to have the ability to reawaken hair follicles to stimulate significant new growth with as little as two to three treatments. After a local anesthetic cream is applied, the PRP is injected into the skin in the regions of dormant follicles. This treatment is repeated in 2-4 week intervals. New hair growth can be apparent in as little as 3-4 months. This treatment works equally well for women experiencing hair loss!
For more information, or to book an appointment to discuss hair loss, please contact my office.
Your partner in Living Longer Better,
Dr. Grant Pagdin, MD
1. Li ZJ, Choi HI, Choi DK. Autologous platelet-rich plasma: a potential therapeutic tool for promoting hair growth. Dermatol Surg 2012; 38: 1040-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22455565
2. Takikawa M, Nakamura S. Enhanced effect of platelet-rich plasma containing a new carrier on hair growth. Dermatol Surg2011; 37: 1721-9http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21883644
3. Trink A, Sorbellini E, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled, half-head study to evaluate the effects of platelet-rich plasma on alopecia areata. Br J Dermatol 2013; 169: 690-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23607773
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