Hair loss can be disconcerting, seeing more and more hair in the drain after your shower or accumulating in your brush. But it’s not rare, either — by the age of 35 nearly two thirds of men will have some degree of noticeable hair loss. Move the needle up to age 50 and that number climbs to 85 percent of men showing noticeable hair loss. And it’s not just men; about half of women suffer from hair loss after they turn 50.
Available remedies for hair restoration have ranged from marginal (various salves and drugs) to comical (spray-on hair). But hair restoration has evolved over the past few years, and the actual success at returning dormant hair follicles to growth has improved dramatically.
Dr. LoBuono offers three of these new approaches for hair restoration: NeoGraft® hair transplantation, platelet-rich plasma, and low-level laser light therapy.
What is hair rejuvenation?
Human hair has three phases in its growth cycle: growth (anagen), transition (catagen), and rest (telogen). On the scalp, there are around 100,000 hair follicles. We lose 100 hairs every day due to follicles that have entered the resting phase and shed their hair. But other follicles return to growth and make up for the loss.
Not so if you have male pattern hair loss, you’re getting older, you’re taking certain medications, or you have health issues. Then you’re having more hair follicles stay in the resting phase for longer periods, hence your thinning hair. And if more of those follicles continue resting and go completely dormant, then they won’t grow hair again.
Hair rejuvenation has the simple goal of moving recently resting hair follicles back to the anagen/growth phase. Or, in areas where more follicles have become dormant, restoration takes healthy, active follicles from where you don’t need them and moves them to the thinning areas to begin regrowing hair naturally.
Who is a candidate for hair rejuvenation with Dr. LoBuono?
These treatments are effective for patients who have thinning hair, not full-blown balding areas. The best candidates have noticed their thinning relatively recently and want to reverse the trend. This is because follicles that have only recently entered the resting phase can more easily be energized and returned to the active growth phase.
For NeoGraft® transplantation, the above is true, plus the patient needs to have hair still growing normally on the back of his or her scalp. These are the follicles that will be transplanted to the balding areas. The success of the procedure is dictated by how much bald-resistant donor hair the patient has, along with the amount of thinning area that needs to be covered.
“What a wonderful doctor and awesome staff. Highly recommend.” – L.S.
What are the hair restoration treatments you use?
Dr. LoBuono offers three different hair restoration treatments: NeoGraft® hair transplantation, PRP treatment, and low-level laser therapy.
NeoGraft hair transplantation
Hair transplantation formerly was a difficult procedure. A strip of actively growing hair was taken from the back of the patient’s scalp, and this strip was transplanted in the balding area. As you would assume, this didn’t create natural looking results and it created a massive scar across the back of the scalp.
Recently a new option was developed. This is called follicular unit extraction (FUE), and it takes single hair follicles from the back of the scalp and transplants them one by one into the thinning areas. These follicles are not susceptible to pattern balding, and they start to naturally return hair growth to the thinning areas. On the back of the scalp, the removed follicles are not noticeable. Of the FUE systems available, Dr. LoBuono uses the NeoGraft® system.
For follicular unit extraction, the back of the patient’s head is shaved and numbed locally. Now, the NeoGraft® technology comes into play. Dr. LoBuono uses the NeoGraft® Automated Hair Transplantation system for both extraction and transplantation. For extraction, individual follicles are removed from the donor area on the back of the head. The NeoGraft® system extracts these hairs, which consist of 1-4 hairs per follicle, with a gentle pneumatic process that ensures the hairs will have a better chance of being successfully transplanted.
Once enough hair has been harvested, Dr. LoBuono transplants the hair using the NeoGraft® “no touch” implantation method. This propriety method doesn’t use a scalpel. Instead, the NeoGraft® instrument makes the holes at the optimum depth in the area that is balding, and then the hairs are inserted into these holes.
PRP for hair rejuvenation
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used by professional athletes for a couple decades to help them recover more quickly from injury or surgery. The idea is to put the powerful healing functions and growth factors in blood platelets to work repairing the area.
To create PRP, a blood sample is taken and put into a centrifuge, which separates out the red blood cells. This creates a serum of concentrated blood platelets, white blood cells, and blood plasma — PRP.
For hair rejuvenation, this PRP isn’t injected into an injured area, but it is injected in dozens of tiny injections across the areas of the scalp that have thinning hair. The PRP stimulates the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicles. The idea is to stimulate hair follicles that have become dormant or inactive, returning them to the active growth phase. More follicles in the growth cycle mean more hair growth. It’s thought that the various growth factors in PRP provide the stimulus. This starts a process of boosting hair growth again where it was once thinning.
Low-level laser therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is our third method of hair rejuvenation. This FDA-cleared solution uses laser light energy to stimulate the hair follicles to return to the growth phase. The “low-level” of the laser energy is the key. This is also referred to as “cold” energy because the light is absorbed by target tissue but does not heat the tissue. Instead, the light wavelength emitted from a low-level laser will repair tissues that have impaired cellular metabolism by stimulating blood circulation, encouraging regeneration of normal healthy tissues, and encouraging bio stimulation of the hair follicles.
These LLLT treatments are completely non-invasive and painless but they increase hair density.
What is the best hair loss solution?
Of the three hair restoration treatments Dr. LoBuono offers, which option is best for you depends on your situation and your goals. If you’re suffering more from male (or female) pattern hair loss, NeoGraft® FUE hair transplantation is probably the best option, as you need to replace the hair follicles that have gone permanently dormant. By transferring the actively growing follicles from the back of the scalp to the thinning areas, this accomplishes that.
If your hair is thinning due to aging or issues such as stress, PRP or LLLT are good options to simply push hair follicles that have entered the resting phase to return to growth. These follicles are not dormant but resting. They don’t need to be replaced, just returned to growth.
How long does it take to see results from these hair restoration treatments?
FUE hair transplantation takes about three to four months before the transplanted follicles start growing hair again. With PRP and LLLT, patients can see noticeable return of hair growth in the treatment areas in two to three months.
“I’ve been to multiple dermatologists, none of which had been able to help me. Within 5 minute of my visit with Dr. LoBuono he knew exactly what was going on and was able to develop a course of treatment. Truly he is experienced, honest, and personable. I would recommend him, especially out of other dermatologists in Monmouth County.” – C.C.
How many sessions will I need?
- Dr. LoBuono recommends one PRP treatment per month for three to four months to kickstart hair growth. From there, follow-up treatments every three to six months should keep up maintenance.
- For LLLT, we recommend 30-minute sessions every other day for a period of six months. From there, maintenance is dictated by your results.
- NeoGraft® hair transplantation can be a single procedure. But after seeing their initial results, patients often seek to have an additional procedure or two to increase the thickness of their transplanted areas.
Can Supplements Help with Hair Restoration?
Several patented supplements for hair loss have been investigated in randomized controlled trials funded by the companies that produce these supplements. But there is little evidence to suggest that any supplements benefit patients who do not have deficiencies in iron, zinc or biotin.
- Iron deficiency is very common especially in pre-menopausal women. There may be a relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss conditions such as excessive shedding, alopecia areata and Female Pattern Hair Loss, (FPHL). Most women with hair loss have FPHL. This is a chronic situation and any remedy /treatment must be continued indefinitely in order to maintain benefits.
- Zinc is an important mineral that has several functions in the hair follicle. Biotin is effective in treating patients with a Biotin deficiency such as alopecia, brittle nails and dermatitis.
- Biotin deficiency is usually not found in patients consuming a normal diet.
Little research exists to support the practice of treating hair topically with natural products to reverse hair loss. Washing hair more or less often has really no effect on hair loss. Likewise hair brushing has little effect on loss or rate of hair re-growth. But Chemical straightening, dyes, and bleaches, heat/hot rollers and curling irons can damage hair. The amount of damage varies greatly based on the age and type of hair. The hair shaft becomes less tolerant to heat and chemicals as it ages.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is one of only two FDA approved therapies for the treatment of hair loss, and the only FDA approved therapy for women. Minoxidil is thought to increase hair growth rate and hair follicle diameter. Many patients do not see re-growth until 4-6 months after starting treatment. One hair growth cycle is 3 months long and treatment is needed for at least 2-3 growth cycles to see any increase in hair growth. When Minoxidil is used to treat temporary hair loss, patients may be able to safely stop treatment without losing hair growth.
Schedule Your hair Restoration Consultation Today!
Interested in learning more about hair rejuvenation therapy? Give us a call at (732) 449-0167 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Philip LoBuono today! Dr. LoBuono serves Spring Lake, Monmouth, & all nearby areas in New Jersey.