PRP Therapy

PRP – Is It My Miracle?

by BW on October 28, 2014

**This post is from a fellow WHLP Member, “BW.” **

As many of you may know from the last blog I posted, I had been experiencing a Hell Shed. This was far beyond my usual seasonal nerve-wracking and it sucks but it’s manageable thing. This was my body went through a major physiological change (quitting smoking was my trigger this time) and here comes the Hair Dump. I went from having my pretty awesomely normal (short) hair in early June to quitting smoking on June 16 to start a crazy messed up put me back in my little black hidey hole ka-boom see ya hair thing by about a week later and I just couldn’t get it to stop. Like holy cow. Hair explosion for months and no end in sight. Sigh….. And yeah, I wear a wig most of the time anyway, but I don’t go to the gym in my wig. I really wasn’t planning on wearing a wig for my half marathon in November and honestly, it had gotten so bad that not only was I getting seriously depressed about it. I was also using Toppik at my front hairline just to be able to blend with my wig AND I had lost enough hair that my wigs weren’t even fitting well anymore. Oh my.

Yes, ladies, I had the Ultimate What You Don’t Want to Happen When You Are Wearing a Wig Experience. My wigs had gotten loose since I had lost SO much hair and I guess I hadn’t thought too much about it because once you get used to wearing hair, you just are way more relaxed about (maybe too relaxed in my case) and when I was shaking my thang all over the dance floor on a beautiful Saturday night in August, my hair fell off. Like on the dance floor. Like under someone’s feet. Yeah. WAKE UP CALL! I had lost so much hair that my wigs weren’t even fitting anymore. Remember that hidey hole I was talking about? Step right in.

I really started feeling stuck. I had begin hitting the Toppik bottle again (hard) while wearing my wigs and also while just going to the gym and stuff, and man, that stuff is truly amazing but I even needed it in the front for blending in my now strapped as tight as possible wigs. That just seems no bueno – now I need Toppik to even wear my wigs? Big sigh….. And as all hair wearers know, you gotta always have a back up plan. Or a forward thought. And I couldn’t find one. Where am I gonna go from here? What if I couldn’t make my current situation work anymore? [click to continue…]

{ 17 comments }

I’ve been meaning to update everyone on a few things, and here it finally is. I made a video which I will place at the end of this post. I’m a bit scatter brained in my video because I just had a crazy morning which threw me for a loop, so any rambling and/or incoherentness will need to be attributed to that :) The video is long, so I’ll update in a post too:

Getting Ready For PRP

I know many women are wondering if I still believe in PRP therapy or feel it is working for me, the answer is, yes. I continue to go to Florida to see Dr. Joseph Greco every 4-6 months because it’s something I think is a positive thing for my hair, I feel it’s safe and while there is some discomfort in the actual treatment, the benefits for me are worth it. It currently is the only thing I do for my hair and much to my relief I’ve finally rid myself from all the pills I was taking for my hair, which I never really felt great taking nor really knew if they were actually working to do anything helpful anyways. I’ve heard from some women that felt PRP did nothing for them, and others that felt it was awesome, it’s all so very individual. I’m going to continue doing it for quite sometime because other than having to take time for travel and for the bit of discomfort during the treatment, there are no downsides for me.

 

This was the final pill I took, ha.

Getting Off The Birth Control Pill Update

Last July I got off the little devil pill that I felt ruled and destroyed much of my life. I made quite a long post on this, which you can read here, and I feared what the aftermath of getting off this pill would do to my hair and body in general. I didn’t experience any major shed, but I’m attributing much of that to keeping up with the PRP. I don’t know if that’s actually the reason I didn’t have a major shed, but I feel it was a strong contributing factor.

The adverse effects I experienced in getting off the pill were pretty mild I think compared to what I thought would happen. I thought I’d implode or something, I felt the sky was going to fall and the bottom would drop out from under me, but alas it didn’t. Instead I had some insomnia, facial breakouts and bad cramps during my period. I could be missing a couple things, but nothing that is sticking out glaringly in my mind which tells you it wasn’t all that big a deal, it was a bigger emotional/mental deal than anything. My periods started up normally too, and regularly, which I was surprised about, I thought they would be erratic or not come for months or stick around for months at a time, but it was normal pretty much from the time I got off the pill, which was a very pleasant surprise. So everything is going well with the cessation of the pill.

Zoloft

Breakfast of champions? LOL and a supportive text from a dear friend of mine :)

Anxiety Update

I made an anxiety sharezie in Sept, letting everyone in on my oh-so more complicated than hair life pertaining to my dealings with social, generalized, phone anxiety and OCD oopsies. Anxiety has ruled my world for quite sometime. Second fiddle only to my hair loss, but once I figured out out to put my hair loss in check in my life, it became enemy # 1. I know several people had commented and emailed me on the topic of that post, and were surprised that I dealt with this because that doesn’t come across in my videos, and it wouldn’t. I don’t really have anxiety talking to myself LOL, that’s pretty much what making a video is to me, talking to myself and I do that all time anyways ;) It’s a solitary event. ha. [click to continue…]

{ 13 comments }

It’s been almost a month since I went to Sarasota, Florida to have my 8th PRP treatment with Dr. Greco. I used my last PRP treatment to aid in reducing any potential shedding that would occur as I got of the 200mg of Aldactone that I had taken, seemingly forever, and I feel it was successful in doing what I had hoped (thank god). I really didn’t notice any accelerated hair loss from getting off that pill, so I’m happier than a pig in you know what!

This most recent PRP treatment I had in July will be used to help me in much the same way to get off the birth control pill. My feelings about all that were shared in this post here.

Many women contact me with questions about this treatment, so I thought I’d bring along my camera to this visit and have Dr. Greco explain the process while he does the treatment on me. Of course upon watching the video back I realized I trampled on Dr. Greco (more than once) with my own thoughts as he was speaking, interjecting my questions or some other superfluous noun or verb here and there, but hey, I just had my head stuck with a needle a zillion times, give me a break LOL! I think I have a tendency in general to rush my thoughts out because I fear I’ll forget what I wanted to say before it gets said, I’ll work on that ;) [click to continue…]

{ 10 comments }

Several months back I had my 7th PRP treatment by Dr. Joseph Greco in Clearwater, Florida – I made a ridiculously long video when I was at the hotel about my reasons for continuing my PRP even though I now wear wigs full time. So I’m here today giving you a MUCH shorter video update along with including a little  history of PRP as it pertains to hair loss. A couple months ago I had seen a segment about PRP on television that I believe accidently gave credit to the wrong doctor, and I like to give credit where credit is due, so the history is below for everyone who is curious :)

[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

Just had my 7th PRP treatment with Dr. Joseph Greco in Clearwater, Florida. Despite the fact I never go out without my wig anymore, I am continuing this hair loss treatment and I discuss the reasons for that in this video along with rambling about this and that and this and that.

{ 12 comments }

Hello Everyone!

Recently I ventured back to Florida to have another PRP (platelet rich plasma) hair loss treatment with Dr. Joseph Greco. I went back at the 4 month mark, which is before the time usually recommended to patients. I did so because I was quite pleased with the results I saw, and I wanted to make sure I kept my hair in that happy state it seems to be in. After 10 years of hair loss, when you find something that helps, you pretty much jump all over it… or at least I do.

So round two begins….ding ding.

I arrived at the hotel the day before my appointment, ready, excited and pumped with anticipation to have this treatment done again. I had a lot less apprehension because I pretty much knew what to except. As some of you will recall, a big point of anxiety for me during the last trip, was exactly how much pain was involved in this process. Well thankfully that anxiety didn’t exist because I had already experienced the process and knew it was not that big a deal.

I slept like a baby, no nerves whatsoever, part of that may be attributed to the wine I drank that evening. Gotta love wine! I awoke the following morning and stepped outside on the balcony with my cup of coffee and was just in awe of how beautiful it was. It was an incredibly gorgeous day so I just soaked it all in.

An hour before I was to depart, I dialed the front desk to ask for a cab to pick me up. Before I knew it I was being whisked away by some crazy driver who seriously needs to re-evaluate her profession. I’ve never in my life had a cab ride quite like that before. I found myself bracing at every turn and frantically clutching on to the seat for dear life. And to make matters worse, she didn’t take credit cards! Every cab pretty much takes credit cards nowadays, but her machine was getting serviced (uh huh). So now I had to rummage through my purse (something resembling a black hole) to pull out dollars and quarters. Shockingly I had the cash. Yay for spare change!

I walk into the office and am warmly greeted by the receptionist. I re-sign some forms and take my place in the waiting room chair. Not much waiting time before Dr. Greco appears and welcomes me back. I say my hellos to Val, his awesome assistant, and shortly after I’m in the chair getting my blood drawn. Like I mentioned in my first post, Val is a pro at drawing blood and there was no real discomfort there at all. [click to continue…]

{ 82 comments }

It’s been 3 months today since I received my PRP hair loss treatment with Dr. Joseph Greco last November 2009. I have been meaning to write my PRP update for quite sometime, but I wanted to wait until I was sure of what I felt my results (if any) actually were.

So rather than keep you in total suspense, I’ll start with a few self-imposed questions.

Do I think PRP Therapy has helped my hair loss? Yes
Do I think PRP Therapy has reduced my shedding? Yes
Do I think PRP Therapy has been the best thing for my hair since this entire mess started? Most Definitely
Has it done anything else? Yes, it has improved the quality and color of my hair
Will I do this again? You betcha, I’ll be on a plane within the next month for another treatment

Now with that out of the way, let me start by saying that ever since I had this done last November I have just felt better about my hair loss in general. Nothing works instantly, I know that,  but my mind was for the first time in a long time, optimistic that something positive could happen. So I essentially started to feel good right from the start, way before being able to actually tell if the PRP treatment did anything at all.  At times I have wondered whether or not my favorable results were a bit of a placebo effect, you know, all of a sudden thinking my hair is going to get better and tah dah it does. Whatever it is, my results are real, tangible and visible.

I noticed fairly quickly after receiving the treatment that my shedding reduced DRAMATICALLY, and since then it has gone up and down, but far less than before having the treatment done. My hair also just started to FEEL better and LOOK better. It seemed like some vibrance and pigmentation returned to my hair as well. After living with hair loss for 10 years, the color of my hair had faded as the miniaturization progressed. All I can say is “Hello color, I missed you! ”

Up until this morning I knew the following things, 1) my shedding decreased 2) the color improved and 3) my hair quality improved. Then this morning I scheduled a haircut with a woman who has been cutting my hair since 2005. I sat in the chair, she clipped on the apron, spritzed my hair with the water bottle and started to part the hair down the middle. Then she just looked closely at my head, then a little closer, as she leaned in she appeared to be slightly confused. With that final lean towards my head she said the most wonderful words, “You Look like You Have More Hair.” What? Let me say it again for all you ladies, in case you missed it, “YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE MORE HAIR.” Hot diggity dog, do my ears deceive me? Nope. She told me my hair looks thicker, and that I have tons of little baby hairs growing in all over the place. Well praise the lord and raise the roof, I have a happy dance to do.

I had to laugh because before she came over (I have my haircut at my house) my fiance said, “I bet you she is going to tell you that your hair looks thicker.” Ha! I’ll gladly take the “I told you so” on this one. He’s been telling me for over a month that he really thinks that the PRP has helped my hair loss. I felt it, I knew it, but I didn’t want to jump the gun in writing my update prematurely.

I feel confident in sharing my results now, and I hope it helps to give other women hope. I will continue to keep everyone updated as I go through more treatments.

{ 27 comments }

My PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy Experience

by admin on November 12, 2009

It has been quite a long time since a treatment has come along that I would entertain trying. That was until I started to hear more about PRP therapy. In my post titled “Is PRP Therapy a Viable Treatment For Women’s Hair Loss” I wrote that I was more of a “wait and see person,” but I thought… “What the heck?” I mean I really could not find a downside to trying it, and I have been reading really positive things about this treatment. I of course had concerns:  Will it hurt? Will it make my hair fall out more? Will it hurt? Will it hurt? Will it hurt? :)  I think the least of my concerns was that it would do nothing at all.  I felt it was definitely worth trying, and that the payoff would potentially greatly improve the quality of my hair and decrease the shedding. At this point of my hair loss life, that is really my goal – just to keep what I have. Early on in my hair loss, probably for the first 5 years, I prayed constantly for ALL my hair to come back. Now I think I could be happy with the hair I have left, if I knew it was going to stick around for awhile.

So the PRP Journey begins. I flew to Tampa, Florida to have this done with Dr. Joseph Greco. The night before my treatment I went out and had a few drinks, not sure that is proper night-before-treatment protocol, but hey, I needed to relax!

The morning of the treatment I awoke quite early and simply couldn’t get back to sleep. I had PRP jitters. All my nerves really centered around “pain.” How MUCH pain would be involved?

I took a cab over to the doctor’s office and waved the driver goodbye, thinking… “wait come back!” I still was having my concerns about whether or not I could go through with it. I scan the office numbers on the glass window doors of the building complex and finally happen upon 113. I walk in and am welcomed by a bubbly blond hair receptionist, soon enough I’m filling out the patient forms. It isn’t long before the doctor walks out to greet me. We go into his office where he explains what will be happening, and also how PRP works. For all I know he was explaining the rise and fall of the roman empire. I must admit I felt a little bit like one of the students in Charlie Brown listening to the teacher, and all they can hear is “Wah wah wah wah.” I was too anxious to be in a learning mode. I expressed my concerns about PAIN and he reassures me that it really wouldn’t be bad at all. I still had my doubts. But, by that time I am fully committed to having this treatment done.

I am taken into the room where the treatment will be done and introduced to Dr. Greco’s assistant Valerie. Fist step of this process is to have my blood drawn. Now THAT I knew I could deal with. I’ve had my blood drawn a zillion times. No problemo. Valerie happens to be really good at it, and finds the vein the first try, no pain. I’ve had people draw my blood where they seem to use me as a pin cushion. But Valerie is no doubt a pro at this.  The blood is drawn, and they then take it into another room where they then spin the heck out of it in a centrifuge to obtain the platelet rich plasma. I sit in the reclined dentist like chair, thinking about, you guessed it… Pain… is this going to hurt?

I’m not sure how long the spinning process took, perhaps 15 minutes. Now the numbing process begins. My head is numbed using small injections of lidocane around the perimeter of where the treatment will take place. I forgot to mention that while my hair loss is diffuse all over, the doctor only treated the top portion of my scalp because he stated that there is platelet migration downward. [click to continue…]

{ 36 comments }

So the hot buzz on the hair loss street is that there seems to be great potential in treating hair loss with a new treatment being offered called PRP therapy. Well PRP therapy itself isn’t new, but the usage in treating hair loss is.

So what is PRP therapy anyways? If you are like me, you probably thought it sounded like the latest hot stone massage technique being offered at the spa. “I’ll have the mani/pedi and the PRP Therapy.” :) Well not quite.

So If That Isn’t It, What The Heck is PRP Therapy?

PRP stands for “Platelet Rich Plasma,” and it has been used by hospitals and during various surgical applications since the 1970s. In more recent times it has been used in sports medicine and orthopedics to assist and accelerate the recovery from injury.

How Does It Do That?

When concentrated platelets of a person’s blood, which contain proteins and other particles are injected into the injury site, it helps to trigger the body’s ability to grow new soft tissue or bone cells to repair muscle.

Ok, Great, So How Is That Gonna Help My Hair Loss?

According to North Carolina hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Jerry Cooley “PRP involves the application/injection of plasma that has about 5X the amount of platelets as in circulating blood. The platelets secrete numerous growth factors, including PDGF and VEGF, both of which have been shown to have positive effects on hair growth. So it is reasonable to think that PRP would not only help wound healing but also hair growth.”

While several doctors are beginning to treat their hair loss patients with this new treatment, the credit goes to Florida doctor, Jospeh Greco Ph.D as being the first to use PRP therapy in the treatment of hair loss in an attempt to reverse the effects of thinning hair.

What Is PDGF and VEGF?

PDGF stands for “Platelet Derived Growth Factor”  PDGF is one of the numerous growth factors, or proteins that regulate cell growth and division. In particular, it plays a significant role in blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), the growth of blood vessels from already existing blood vessel tissue.

VEGF stands for “Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor.” VEGF is a chemical signal produced by cells that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. It is part of the system that restores the oxygen supply to tissues when blood circulation is inadequate. [click to continue…]

{ 12 comments }