Propecia (generic – finasteride)
Finasteride is an oral medication taken daily that can help to stabilize, and in some cases, reverse male-pattern baldness. During hair loss, the hair-growth cycle shortens and the hair-shaft size becomes smaller. Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT makes hairs susceptible to the hair-loss process, so by blocking DHT, finasteride helps more hairs stay in the growth phase and have an opportunity to grow thicker. Visible signs of hair growth will take several months to appear with finasteride.
Rogaine (generic – minoxidil)
Minoxidil is a well-known product for topical use on the scalp and is beneficial when used in early hair loss. It can slow down hair loss and boost hair growth. Dr. DeFatta prefers to utilize the 5 percent formulation as long as it is well tolerated by the patient. The product comes as a liquid or a foam with equal efficacy and which formulation is used is a matter of preference and tolerance, as the liquid has been shown to carry a one in four chance of an allergic reaction or scalp sensitivity. Visible results can be seen as early as with three or four months of use.
Viviscal – Professional Strength
Most of us have experienced situational hair loss or shedding surrounding various life factors such as stress or temporary diets. Healthy hair growth requires a set of essential nutrients to be available in our bodies, and a disruption of this process can cause hair to cycle more frequently and lead temporary hair loss. Dr. DeFatta may recommend Professional Strength Viviscal in these cases, which is a supplement taken by mouth that uses a marine complex specifically patented to nourish thinning hair. Individuals with a shellfish allergy are not candidates to use this supplement, but others experiencing these types of temporary excessive hair shedding can benefit from Viviscal when taken for three to six months. If the results are insufficient or hair shedding becomes chronic, Dr. DeFatta can evaluate you for supplemental methods to treat your hair loss problem.
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet rich plasma, commonly known as PRP, is emerging in many medical fields as a tool to assist in tissue regeneration, wound healing, scar revision and skin rejuvenation. In 2006, it started to be utilized for treatment of hair loss in both men and women.
Our blood is made of two main parts: red blood cells and plasma. Plasma, the action ingredient in this treatment, contains white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are typically responsible for your blood’s ability to form a clot after a cut, but they also contain growth factors, which act as messengers to signal various cell types to carry out their designated function. When used in facial plastic surgery, growth factor-rich PRP helps repair blood vessels, promotes cell growth and wound healing, and stimulates collagen production for younger looking skin. In the case of hair loss, these messengers can be used to stimulate the hair follicles to start growing by prolonging the growing phase of the hair cycle.
During the treatment, a technician will draw a sample of your blood and prepare it by spinning in a centrifuge to separate out the PRP. Dr. DeFatta can then inject the PRP into the scalp where treatment is needed. Injections are typically recommended monthly for the first three months, and depending on the response seen, can later be spaced less frequently for up to two years. The injection efficacy and subsequent recommendations can vary based on your genetics, pattern and degree of hair loss, your age and hormonal status.
Though the idea of blood draws and needles might sound a bit scary, rest assured the procedure can be made very comfortable with our topical numbing techniques and pain reducers. It also carries little risk such as bruising at the blood draw and injection sites and minor-self-limiting swelling. Minimal downtime can be expected, other than avoiding your hair styling routine for a day or two while the area settles down.
Dr. Robert DeFatta has dedicated his entire 15-year career to the treatment of disorders and cosmetic concerns of the face, head and neck and his scope of practice includes revision of scars in any location from the neck up. When a scar is located in the scalp, it carries the added cosmetic concern of hair loss within the scar and can be challenging to address. Various types of scalp scars can result in this hair loss problem such as those from trauma, burns, facelift or brow lift surgery, and hair transplant donor site surgery. Dr. DeFatta may recommend improve the appearance of the scar by removing it, relocating/reorienting it, or disguising it to minimizing its prominence. He will tailor a treatment plan based on various factors including the scar’s size and location, associated hair loss pattern, your scarring potential and other medical and cosmetic considerations. Non-surgical solutions such as Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) can also be considered in some cases as a standalone procedure or in combination with surgery.
Prescription strength Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LaserCap
Laser therapy can be effective in both men and women and has no real side effects to consider. If your hair is thinning or miniaturizing, laser therapy can work to restore your hair. Often, Dr. DeFatta will use LLLT in combination with and to complement other therapies, such as minoxidil and/or finasteride, but it can also be an effective standalone method to treat hair loss.
Dr. DeFatta strives to offer the most effective technology available on the market and has partnered with LaserCap to offer every patient with thinning hair a practical option. The LaserCap must be prescribed by a qualified hair restoration specialist physician in order for this intense therapy to be used appropriately as a tool for hair loss treatment. Many over-the-counter laser models offer only 1/4 the dose of energy per treatment. Others do not offer true laser therapy but only light therapy, which has been shown to be far less effective.
The LaserCap home-unit device can provide an easy and cost-effective long-term solution for thinning hair. The device can be hidden under one of two hat types and should be worn approximately 20 minutes, three times a week to achieve noticeable hair-growth results. It is extremely convenient and can be worn during many of your normal daily activities such as driving, cooking, watching television, reading in bed or even walking. During a detailed consultation, Dr. DeFatta will discuss whether LLLT is an appropriate choice for your hair loss type and timing.
Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)
For some, procedural hair restoration is not an option or is not desired, and this is where scalp micropigmentation (SMP) can be an excellent option. SMP is a medical tattooing technique that can be used to camouflage hair loss by mimicking the appearance of individual hair follicles. It may be recommended as a standalone procedure or combined with other tools for various types of hair loss:
- To create the appearance of a full head of hair that is freshly shaven.
- To decrease the stark appearance of a scarred area (e.g., scalp trauma or surgical scar).
- To enhance the results of other techniques used to restore general hair density.
Dr. DeFatta has teamed up with Tanara Burdick, an accomplished and talented medical tattoo artist and owner of Eau Claire Body Care, for SMP treatments. During your consultation, you will receive a comprehensive hair loss evaluation that will take into account both your medical and cosmetic needs.