hair loss treatment

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…]

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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.

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A press release was issued yesterday titled “Researchers Develop First Successful Hair Cloning Technique – Major Advancement in Hair Restoration” the subtitle reads ” Gary Hitzig, M.D. and Jerry Cooley, M.D., are the first medical doctors to successfully develop a hair cloning technique using a wound healing powder.”

For years we have been hearing about scientists and doctors working to clone hair, but up until now I was beginning to think I’d be in flying vehicle like George Jetson, before it would actually come to fruition. Aren’t I cynical? But hot diggity dog, it seems to have been done.

According to the press release, using the MatriStem MicroMatrix healing powder, doctors Jerry Cooley and Gary Hitzig have been able to actually to “create a technique that multiplies the number of hair follicles in an area that had previously stopped growing hair.

In an interview conducted yesterday between Spencer Kobren and Dr. Jerry Cooley, the following question was asked by Mr. Kobren, “What exactly is MatriStem? How is it made and what does it do?

Dr. Cooley replied:

“It is derived from urinary bladder matrix from pigs. Now it is a very specific anatomical layer that has basement membrane proteins as well as growth factors, and this material has an ability to actually stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. When there is an injury in the body it can follow one of two pathways. It can follow regenerative pathway, which doesn’t happen very often, or more likely it can follow a scar pathway. The body just fills in a defect with scar tissue, I think like spackle. Well this material stimulates the normal regenerative pathway to occur, the body’s stem cells are recruited to come into the area of injury and actually regenerate what used to be there, normal tissue

You can listen to the entire 20 minute interview on The Bald Truth website: http://www.thebaldtruth.com

While hair growth was not the original intended use for this healing wonder created by ACell, Inc, it seems to be a nice addition to the list of ailments it was suppose to be used for.

The magic pixie dust powder actually regrew (yes I said REGREW) a man’s finger! Watch the video below:

For more information on ACell and MatriStem visit:

acell.com

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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…]

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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…]

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Questions About Spironolactone – Ame

by admin on April 15, 2008

Questions About Spironolactone - AmeSo I went to a new derm, who diagnosed me with telogen efluvium AND androgenetic alopecia, for which he is going to prescribe me Spiro (sorry can’t spell the full name) and Minoxidil, however I told him about my misfortune with taking Minoxidil previously and he said well then just take the Spiro, 50mg (IMO I need 200, because I have less than a fifth of my original hair left). I appreciate that there is already a lot of info in this site with regards to Spiro, but can anyone specifically answer me these questions please?

1. Providing that it helped at all, how long did it take before it started
to work?
2. How well did it work/is it working?
3. Were there any unpleasant side effects?

Thanks
Ame

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Hi Ame,

I do take 200mg Aldactone (brand name for Spironolactone) so I can speak from my own experience having been taking it for about 8 years now. I think the easiest of the three questions for me to answer is the last one. The only side effect I noticed from taking the drug was that I seemed to get a little light headed, especially when I would stand up from a chair. The doctor told me that could be related to perhaps not enough sodium in my diet. Since Spironolactone is also a diuretic you do loose extra electrolytes since you go to the bathroom more frequently. I found that eating a pickle or sucking on a ketchup packet would instantly make me feel better. Actually as I am typing this I do remember being tired a lot as well, but taking in that extra sodium seemed to always do the trick and bring me back to life again. I speak in the past tense because I no longer experience any of these side effects and haven’t for many years. [click to continue…]

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My Story and What Helps - Karen's Hair Loss StoryHi, I started to lose hair about when I was 46. It freaked me out as one of my aunts wore a wig and my grandmother had very little hair. I went to a medical hair loss clinic and they said I had genetic hair loss and recommended hair transplants. I asked about taking finasteride (Propecia), which I had read helped men with hair loss and the doctor said no, it was not available to women. His assistant, however, said (when the doctor was out of the room) that they won’t give it to women due to pregnancy problems. I said I was menopausal and highly unlikely to have kids, but it was a no
go.

So I went looking for Hair Loss books and read as much as I could and found out that taking Saw Palmetto worked just as well as Propecia and without any side effects. It does the same stuff and can be enhanced with the use of a couple of other herbs. So I’ve been taking it ever since and my hair loss has really slowed down . I’ve stopped a couple of times and the hair loss increased – so I know it is working for me.

I take 160mg (standardized to contain 85-95% fatty acids and sterols) twice a day. I also take 300 mg of Biotin twice a day and that also seems to help. Both are available from a health food store and come in many brands. I take the cheapest Saw Palmetto. These supplements are often found in the section about men’s prostate health as they work for that too. Propecia was designed for prostate health and was then found, by accident, to also bring back hair growth lost within 2 years.It works on the androgen cycle which causes male hair loss and may also cause female hair loss. I don’t see a lot of research into female hair loss out there which is foolish as many of my female post menopausal friends are experiencing some hair loss now.

Perhaps this info might help someone else…
Karen

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Dear Karen,

Welcome to the site and thank you for sharing your hair loss treatment regimen that you’ve experienced success with. I often hear women say they taken biotin for their hair loss but I never really tried it myself. I do think I’m going to go to the vitamin store tomorrow and get myself a bottle. I looked it up on wikipedia and it stated that its uses are for “hair problems, cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis), and diabetes.” Under hair problems it says, ” [click to continue…]

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Know Of A Great Women's Hair Loss Doctor? Fave Them!I have received numerous emails from women who want to know if I know of any good hair loss doctors in their area. Unfortunately I don’t, but I think there are probably plenty of women who have found doctors they trust and believe are truly helping and listening to them. So I’ve decided to give women the opportunity to recommend their doctor should they wish to do so. I’m calling it “Fave Your Doctor” and you’ll notice I added a little button in the side bar.

What makes a good hair loss doctor? In my opinion I’d start with a doctor that doesn’t dismiss your complaints of hair loss and doesn’t demean the emotional implications it is having on your life. What else? Let’s see, a doctor that routinely treats women’s hair loss and has a lot of experience with the causes and appropriate treatments. A doctor that listens to your concerns about the recommended treatments and answers all your questions, providing you all your feasible options as well as explaining any possible side effect of those options. In my opinion the doctor should definitely order the necessary bloodwork to help diagnosis the cause of your hair loss.

You know when you see a doctor whether or not they are good, and you know when you have the itching urge to run out of the office screaming your head off because you simply can’t be heard. There are a bunch or qualities that make up a good doctor. I place a high importance on a good bedside manner because when you suffer with hair loss you feel so vulnerable and are reaching out for help, I want that vulnerability to be received with care and not with a stern “well it’s just hair loss, it’s not going to kill you.”

How does fave your doctor work?

It’s pretty simple. If you’ve had a good experience with a particular physician and think that he/she would be a great resource to recommend to another woman, please fill out the form here. Or click on this button from the sidebar Fave Your Doctor?Hopefully I’ll be able to compile a good size list of different doctors who treat women’s hair loss located throughout the county and in other countries as well.

I’d like to take it one step further, so in the form I’m asking if you would allow for another woman from our site to contact you via email to learn more about your experience. Either way, your email will not be published, and I completely respect your privacy should you not wish to be contacted. [click to continue…]

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Endocrinologist or Dermatologist - Which doctor whould I see for my hair loss?I must first clarify and make it known that I am NOT a doctor and cannot provide medical advice, the following post is merely my opinion based on my own experiences.

In answer to which doctor should I see for my hair loss, my opinion is that you should probably see both. Most doctors don’t know enough about hair loss as it is, so seeing doctors in different specialties may actually help you get a better, more accurate diagnosis. I am sure there are various conditions of hair loss that might be better served by seeing one more than the other. Perhaps a dermatologist would be better suited in determining if the cause was an infectious skin condition such as ringworm or scaring alopecia, and an endocrinologist may be better at diagnosing hormone related hair loss. The truth is, any doctor whether it is an endocrinologist, dermatologist, or general practitioner with a strong interest and knowledge in hair loss can make a proper diagnosis and work with you on the the treatment they think will produce the best results. The operative words here are “interest and knowledge.”

Try and find a doctor that seems to care about women’s hair loss, and understands the emotional devastation it causes. I don’t want my doctor to dismiss my hair loss, and I don’t want him/her to tell me it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, they he/she is not for you. If possible try and speak with the doctor by phone (believe it or not some doctors will talk to you on the phone first) and if the rules of the office don’t permit this then try and ask as many questions to the receptionist, such as, does Dr. X see a lot of women for hair loss? Does he order blood work? What does he usually prescribe for treatment? The reality of that last question is that their is no “usual treatment” every woman is different and hopefully the receptionist tells you something to that effect. I don’t want to see a doctor that prescribes Rogaine as his/her first line of defense even before making a proper diagnosis with blood work or any other necessary tests. I firmly believe you should not be walking out with a bottle of Rogaine the first day of your appointment. Sure the doctor can probably be able to tell if your hair is experiencing miniaturization, but what about the blood work to determine the causes? Rogaine may be the right treatment for you, but I’d like to know why. [click to continue…]

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As I write this I can barely see the screen becaue I am flooded with saddness. I rarely surf the internet anymore for help with women’s hair loss because I found that whatever I would find would only made me feel worse about myself, since I always ended up in the same place I started, only more confused. I don’t know what possessed me today to start poking around some old forums I used to visit frequently… I wish I hadn’t. I remember why I stopped going. I found a story of a woman who made the decision to stop taking her birth control pills and just ride out whatever shedding would ensue, and she said after two years her hair came back. (If you are confused about what I’m talking about read my hair loss story here) I always regretted getting back on the pill as part of my hair loss treatment, I always wondered if I left everything alone 8 years ago I would be back to normal today. I am so trapped, I can’t make that decision because I don’t have enough hair to withstand the enormous shedding that could happen from stopping taking a pill, I’m already shedding so much. [click to continue…]

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