Newest Advances in Hair Loss Treatment

For nearly as long as men and women have experienced hair loss, they have sought a solution. Cures have ranged widely in both safety and efficacy, from the questionable results of quack remedies and tinctures sold by traveling alchemists, to the latest “it” ingredients hawked in the back of muscle magazines. Even in our great age of technology, odd treatments and hair restoration hacks still appear now and again. But at the same time, the scientific community has made great strides towards finding real, effective solutions that get to the root of the problem.

The quest to restore thinning hair is ongoing. Though a complete cure remains elusive despite decades of research, there are multiple treatment options available that can halt or reverse hair loss — and that are proven to work. If you’re eager to prevent thinning or stop a receding hairline in its tracks, schedule a consultation with the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso to find out which hair loss treatment may be right for you.

Medications For Hair Restoration

The first stop for many men and women seeking hair loss treatment is a pharmaceutical solution. There are two drugs currently available to treat thinning hair: minoxidil and finasteride.

Minoxidil, popularly known by the brand name Rogaine, is a vasodilator — that means it widens the blood vessels and increases blood flow to areas of the body where it is applied. When applied to the scalp, this vasodilating effect encourages more oxygen and nutrients to circulate through your scalp and hair follicles, potentially slowing hair loss and stimulating new hair growth. Minoxidil is available in a variety of forms and concentrations, and may be used by both men and women.

Finasteride, available under the brand name Propecia, minimizes hair loss by preventing testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone associated with hair follicle damage in men. This shields vulnerable follicles from being affected by the hormone. Finasteride is available in pill form and is only used to treat hair loss in men.

Both minoxidil and finasteride can be effective, but neither offers a permanent cure. They are temporary fixes that must be used consistently to produce results. Any hair maintenance or hair growth benefits achieved by using minoxidil and finasteride will reverse if you stop using the medication. Both can also have serious side effects that must be carefully considered before choosing them as a hair loss solution.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy For Hair Restoration

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss is a nonsurgical process that may effectively treat thinning hair in some men and women. During the procedure, blood is drawn from the patient and placed in a centrifuge until it has separated into three layers: red blood cells, platelet-poor plasma and platelet-rich plasma. The platelet-rich plasma, which naturally contains a higher concentration of nutritious growth factors, is then injected into the patient’s scalp.

PRP therapy is designed to stimulate and maintain hair growth by increasing blood supply to the hair follicle and prolonging the growth phase of the hair cycle. Because the treatment uses only material from your own body, serious complications are rare and minimal downtime, if any, is needed. Ongoing sessions are required to maintain the results of PRP therapy. Without maintenance treatments, hair density on the scalp will return to pre-treatment levels. Your optimal injection schedule will depend on your genetics, pattern and amount of hair loss, age and hormones.

Low-Level Laser Therapy For Hair Restoration

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-surgical and non-chemical hair restoration treatment that uses laser light to stimulate cellular activity and prolong the duration of the hair’s growth phase. This light energy promotes cellular metabolism while increasing blood circulation and oxygen supply to the follicles. Unlike lasers used in other cosmetic and medical treatments, the laser used in LLLT is a “cold” or “soft” laser that lacks a thermal component. The procedure should cause no discomfort, carries minimal risk and requires no downtime.

It is not yet known exactly why or how LLLT stimulates hair growth. Researchers have proposed several explanations to date, but more studies are required to optimize the treatment and determine its long-term efficacy. So far, laser therapy appears to yield inconsistent results and doctors have not reached a consensus on whether it is an effective treatment for hair loss — though it is generally considered safe, and there is anecdotal evidence that it does provide a solution for some patients.

Surgery For Hair Restoration

Surgical hair transplantation has evolved significantly over the years. Large grafts, scalp reduction and flap-type procedures have fallen out of favor as follicular unit hair transplants have become the procedure of choice thanks to their natural-looking results and minimal scarring. Surgery represents the most permanent solution for those struggling with hair loss.

There are two primary techniques for hair transplantation currently in use: follicular unit excision (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). The primary difference between the methods is the manner in which hair follicles are extracted from the donor area. During FUE, follicular units — tiny bundles of individual hairs — are harvested one by one in a random fashion. This leaves behind no linear scar and generally has a faster healing time. During FUT, a small strip of tissue is removed from the back of the head. Donor hair follicles are extracted from this tissue before being individually transplanted into the recipient areas. This often gives the highest yield of hair but will leave behind a single, generally fine scar. In both techniques, the amount of available grafts varies from patient to patient — the more grafts used, the fuller the hair will be at the transplant site. However, surgical costs also increase along with number of grafts.

Hair Restoration in El Paso

At the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Centers of El Paso, we offer a revolutionary hair restoration treatment called SmartGraft™. This minimally-invasive procedure is a type of FUE transplant that delivers great results to both men and women with fewer risks than traditional hair graft surgeries. SmartGraft™ uses a “closed harvesting system” that ensures each follicular unit is kept whole and clean to avoid complications when it is transplanted into its new area. In addition to increasing the safety of the treatment, the closed harvesting system reduces total procedure time.

After SmartGraft™, hair grows naturally and complete regrowth is evident in nine months to a year. The procedure is safe enough to repeat if you choose to have more hair grafts transplanted at a later date. Your surgeon will work with you to develop a treatment plan for an optimally flattering look. The Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso is the exclusive provider of SmartGraft™ in El Paso and the surrounding region. Call our west El Paso location at 915-543-5600 or our Eastside office at 915-855-7800 to schedule a consultation.

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