Hair Transplant Blog - The Knudsen Clinic: Female Hair Loss Treatment
A new technique called Scalp Micro-Pigmentation has recently been developed that has an exciting future in the range of therapies that we can offer for hair loss or patients with scarring of the scalp.
The idea of using a pigment tattoo to help camouflage scars on the scalp is not new. The problem with previous techniques is that the tattoo faded to blue or green over time and the pigment often “bled” into surrounding skin to give a “paint” effect which was not natural. Recently however, the development of newer, non-metallic pigments, together with the development of a specific technique to place pigment dots into the middle layers of the skin has revolutionised the concept. The use of non-metallic pigments is crucial as it will allow patients to have MRI scans if they are needed.
The outcome of the SMP technique is to produce the appearance of shaved hairs. This can be applied to any scarring of the scalp with matching of pigment colour to natural hair colour. This means any patient with donor scars from previous hair transplant surgery may achieve good camouflage of the scar with this technique. In most patients the SMP will last from 2-4 years before needing a refresh.
In addition, women suffering from Female Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss) can have the illusion of extra density created by providing SMP to the upper scalp. This eliminates the need for topical camouflage products which need to be constantly used.
The Knudsen Clinic is proud to announce that SMP will be available from mid-2017 at our Hair Clinics.
There has been a lot of publicity in recent times about a possible new treatment for hair loss (of any cause) that is called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). This is argued to be a “stimulation” therapy for hair loss. The theory is that the multiple skin growth factors that live inside platelets (the blood cells responsible for clotting) can be utilised to stimulate hair by “cracking open” the platelets after the patient’s own blood has been centrifuged (spun down). These growth factors are then re-injected into the scalp in areas of thinning hair.
The idea has been around for a while but the evidence for hair stimulation has not been strong. We do know that PRP is helpful with wound healing but it is less clear which thinning patients might benefit. One of the problems is that the technique has no stringent set of rules and different centrifuges produce different results. Current research is directed at assessing whether higher concentrations of growth factors produce a stronger stimulating effect on weakened hairs.
Another possible line of research involves combing PRP with an extracellular matrix product that acts as a scaffold to assist the effect of the growth factors. Further research is needed in this area.
At best, current evidence is inconclusive that PRP is as effective as other stimulatory products such as minoxidil or techniques such as low level laser therapy.
There are many causes of hair loss, everything from genetics to diet have been identified as contributors. For anyone who realises they are suffering, one of the first reactions can be to run out and grab as many over the counter shampoos and conditioners that are marketed to us these days. These however do not offer much help for male or female hair loss at all. When they don’t see any improvement, the next step is to investigate the more clinical kinds of treatment available, such as various chemical treatments, hair transplant surgery and Low-Level Laser Therapy, also known as LLLT. Laser hair treatment is becoming more popular due to being non-invasive and the lack of adverse side effects, which can be an issue with many of the chemical treatments available. It is also cost effective as an ongoing treatment.
However, many laser hair treatments require the user to comb the laser through their hair for a quarter of an hour or more per session, at least 3 times a week. The problem here is that it is a little too random in terms of application for continued success. It also tends to become a burden on the user as 15 minutes combing through their hair quickly becomes a tedious process, discouraging continued treatment.
An alternative to these kinds of laser treatment is the innovative LaserCap™, a portable device that can be worn under a hat, and is therefore better able to regulate the proper amount of laser treatment for a given condition. In the case of thinning hair, especially in its early stages where the LaserCap™ performs best, the amount of laser treatment applied is critical, with 30 minute sessions 3 times a week proving to be the most effective. The nature of the LaserCap™ makes this, unlike other kinds of applicators, easy for the user to accomplish. Because the cap itself means that the treatment can be better controlled, the LaserCap™ is the most powerful Laser treatment tool on the market, whilst being one of the easiest to use. With no side effects there is no need to worry when deciding to give LaserCap™ treatment a try.
LLLT in general and the LaserCap™ in particular are particularly beneficial to the end user as they are clean and painless. In addition, the LaserCap™ takes up relatively little time, with no adverse effects and can prove to be significantly more economical than other forms of hair loss treatment, and represents an avenue of hair loss treatment well worth investigating.
I frequently get asked the question: Are there any “natural” products I can use for my hair loss? The answer is – it depends upon the cause of the hair loss.
For example, if the hair loss is related to iron deficiency anaemia, then foods with high iron content or iron tablets could help. Biotin (Vitamin H) deficiency has been correlated with hair loss but it is a very unusual cause in the general population. Vitamin H, Vitamin B6 and zinc are all essential nutrients for healthy hair but are not necessarily involved in a particular persons hair loss, so supplementing them may not be effective.
That said, products like Provillus that contain them, and saw palmetto, are not going to harm anyone suffering from hair loss. The unfortunate assumption is that these “natural” remedies, essential for healthy hair, are helpful in the commonest forms of hair loss in men and women: male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. There is NO evidence that these nutrients are involved in these conditions and therefore NO evidence they assist in balding or female pattern thinning.
There has been a lot of interest in low powered laser devices and their effect on hair loss. Recent research suggests that it has a stimulatory effect on hair follicles. This could be an effective secondary (i.e. additional) treatment for hair loss in patients who are balding or thinning. It certainly also may be effective in seasonal increased hair shedding (a moult).
However, the delivery system and amount of laser exposure is critical to the chances of success. A new device called the Lasercap, applies 224 laser lights continuously to the scalp in the comfort of your own home. It uses rechargeable batteries, can be worn under a cap or hat and can be used at your convenience. Suggested dosage schedules is 15-30 minutes every second day.
The major advantage of this device, compared to hand held devices, is that the correct energy level is continuously applied to the scalp. Hand held laser devices only apply energy for a very short period of time if used to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you would like to know more about this additional treatment for hair loss, please call our Sydney Hair Loss Clinic on 1800 685 399. The Lasercap can also be ordered directly from our Sydney Clinic.