As if the pandemic couldn’t get any worse, we are starting to see a most unusual, and most unwelcome, additional side effect — hair loss. That’s right — COVID-19 is now actually causing men and women to lose their hair. You may even be one of them, and you are not alone. A recent survey of 1,700 people shows that more than a third of those who contracted COVID-19 have experienced hair loss. The good news is, there is a non-invasive, completely natural, solution that is proven to work.
But first, let’s clarify a few things. The virus itself does not cause the loss of hair, but it’s more a side effect of stress and trauma. And if there’s one thing we can agree on, this whole pandemic experience has been emotionally and physically traumatic. Now we’re seeing the evidence of that (or lack thereof) on our scalps.
Fortunately, there is an effective solution for regenerating hair growth (and no, it is not Rogaine). Men and women who are struggling with thinning hair, whether due to COVID-19, any other type of life stress such as divorce, loss of employment, surgery, or other biological reasons, now have a solution, and it’s called PRP.
PRP stands for "platelet-rich plasma." Plasma is a component of our blood, which contains platelets. These platelets are important in the daily functioning of our bodies, from the clotting of our blood, to maintenance of vascular injuries and healing of soft tissue. But inside these platelets is so much more. They also contain growth factors, which serve several regenerative purposes — one of which is the production of new cells.
Typically PRP is used in orthopedics for soft tissue injuries. PRP treatments are proven to be effective in helping heal certain soft tissue components, whether it's a joint or a tendon. But research, including a randomized controlled trial conducted by Dr. Hooman Khorasani, shows that PRP can also be used to help regenerate hair growth.
It's pretty fascinating, actually. PRP is used as a cutting-edge hair loss therapy that uses the growth factors from your own blood's plasma to rejuvenate the hair growth on your scalp. Here's how it works:
Similarly to how you'd go to the doctor to give a vile of blood for your annual checkup, your cosmetic dermatologist will take a vile of blood for your PRP treatment. With a centrifuge and the help of a special kit, the plasma is separated from the blood in a manner to ensure a consistent amount of platelet concentration.
After isolating the platelet-rich plasma, the mixture is injected back into various parts of your scalp to stimulate hair growth.
The procedure is done in an outpatient setting 3 times over the course of 12 weeks. After scheduling a consultation, patients will visit Dr. Khorasani's practice for the first treatment. The entire process takes less than an hour, including collecting the blood, separating the plasma, and reinjecting it back into the scalp. The total treatment time is three sessions, four weeks apart. Reinjecting these growth factors back into the body has been proven to cause stimulation in cells in the scalp that help to regenerate hair growth.
Results are fast, too. By the third session it's common to see a significant difference. Depending on how much regrowth is needed will factor into how often patients need to come back for maintenance. Remember that this is not a permanent fix. Most patients come in every six months in order to maintain results. It's recommended that some patients come in more frequently if their hair is particularly thin.
Doctor’s Note: It is important to note that this treatment is only effective for patients who are noticing the early signs of thinning. It will not be effective if all the hair is already gone.
Other than that, PRP is a great solution for all types of hair, regardless of age, gender, or race. For men, specifically, hair loss happens at a much faster acceleration, so it's important for men to start the process as soon as possible.
Not only does Dr. Khorasani use PRP in his practice, he has also conducted one of the largest clinical trials at a major academic institution on the topic. In 2018 he completed a randomized controlled blinded study among 40 female subjects, 20 of whom were injected with PRP and 20 of whom were injected with a placebo. His research was an exact model of how he administers PRP in his private practice. The results: Majority of the subjects in the PRP group noticed improvement in hair growth. Furthermore, microscopic hair analysis showed improved hair density and thicker hair caliber in the PRP group.
PRP can be prepared at many different types of cosmetic dermatology offices. But Dr. Khorasani prides himself on the special type of kit that he uses in order to separate the plasma from the blood. While some cosmetic dermatologists and surgeons manually separate the plasma from the blood, Dr. Khorasani's kit has been proven to give consistent platelet counts in a clinical trial, ensuring that the concentration of platelets is uniform, which is important for even, effective hair regrowth.
"In my experience, the kit we use takes the human error out of it," said Dr. Khorasani. "A lot of practitioners, in order to save money and overhead costs, tend to try to do this manually. Some results are inconsistent. The kit we use takes the human error out of the equation."
The best part of PRP? It's about as natural as you can get. It truly is your body healing itself, with a slight boost from science.
"We are in the era where patients don't want to have anything synthetic. It all must be organic. Nothing should be foreign," added Dr. Khorasani. "This is a very good alternative for patients who believe this to be important."
Dr. Khorasani and his highly-specialized team look forward to working with you to transform your medical or aesthetic goals into reality. To request a consultation, message us securely, or contact Dr. Khorasani’s Manhattan office by phone at 212-210-2127. Also check out our Non-surgical Hair Restoration Page for more information!
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