Hair loss is something that is, unfortunately, incredibly common in both men and women. In fact, it is estimated that 25% of all men will start balding before they turn 21, and that 50% of women experience some sort of hair loss around 50 as their estrogen levels drop. While men statistically have an easier time emotionally dealing with hair loss than women, losing your hair is absolutely devastating. It can make you feel so self conscious that it may adversely affect your confidence in the workplace as well your romantic life. It can also make you look or feel older, something that nobody wants. Furthermore, for women, hair is directly tied to our identity. As a physician who cares deeply for her patients, I want to do everything in my power to make you feel like the best version of yourself. This is why I am so excited to introduce our Boston area patients to ProGen Hair Restoration for hair loss.
What is ProGen?
Dermatologists are experts in skin, hair and nails. This means that I am up-to-date on the latest research about what works to combat hair loss and what does not. ProGen Hair Restoration is a cutting-edge procedure that uses platelet rich plasma. Made from your own blood, in a study conducted last year, it was shown to be more effective at treating hair loss than minoxidil (Rogaine) alone.
The body’s blood supply is comprised of four elements:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
Most of us are familiar with the first two, but the latter two can be the key for hair restoration.
Platelets + Plasma = Healing
Platelets are actually very small cells whose job is to circulate through the body, looking for damaged blood vessels. Made from your bone marrow, white and red blood cells, platelets work by binding together to heal wounds. Plasma, which is the largest component in the blood making up about 55%, has one main job: to transport nutrients, proteins and hormones to the parts of the body that need more of one or all three. What makes this treatment so special is that it is a concentrated version of these two healing powerhouses.
ProGen for hair loss works by bringing nutrients, specifically growth factors, to encourage your dormant hair follicles back to life and support hair growth in your current hair follicles. This, in turn, can make your hair appear both thicker and fuller.
Benefits of ProGen for Hair Loss
In the right patient, ProGen can be an effective way to combat hair loss that is less expensive and painful than a hair transplant. It also requires significantly less downtime. Another thing that I love about this hair restoration treatment for my patients is that it is completely natural. Since it is made from your own body, there is almost no chance of an adverse or allergic reaction.
As with any aesthetic procedure, patient selection is critical. ProGen Hair Restoration works for patients who are experiencing male or female pattern hair loss. In other words, you need to still have intact hair follicles so this is a procedure that you want to get earlier rather than later. If you are already bald, it is not going to be effective.
ProGen Treatment for Hair Loss Procedure
The ProGen Hair Restoration procedure is:
The first thing that will happen is that either a nurse or myself will draw a small amount of your blood and place it into a sterile, disposable container. This container goes into a special centrifuge for about 10 minutes that spins the blood in order to separate out just the platelet rich plasma. This is what I will inject through a very fine needle into the areas of the scalp where your hair is thinning.
Since it is difficult to anesthetize the head, I use a combination of ice packs and “talkesthesia”, which is my own, unscientific form of distraction. Most patients tolerate the procedure well. There is really very little downtime involved with this procedure. Your scalp is going to feel full and possibly a little tingly right after your procedure, but this will resolve on its own in about a day or two. The only restrictions that I ask of my ProGen Hair Restoration patients is that you not wash your hair for at least 4 hours following your procedure and avoid exercise for 24 hours.
How Many Treatments are Necessary to Combat Hair Loss?
In general, most patients need 3-4 treatments, spaced about a month apart, in order to achieve their desired result. I can typically tell after the third treatment whether or not the procedure is working. If it is, I will recommend a fourth treatment followed by a maintenance treatment at 8-12 months. While most patients do well with just one maintenance treatment, some may require two.
With ProGen, I am now able to offer our Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation patients a viable treatment for hair loss. Since hair is often such a crucial component of our identity, I am incredibly grateful to have a procedure that can allow you to continue to both look and feel your very best.
To find out more about the ProGen Hair Restoration for hair loss procedure with Dr. Catherine DiGiorgio at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, contact us today or call (617) 735- 8735 to schedule a consultation.