**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?
Enter PRP treatment. Or CRP treatment. I decided to give this a try. Why the hell not? I was seriously out of options for stopping this shed enough to even be able to wear the wigs I currently own and had already cut back the lace on both of them for blending. It’s try PRP and give it a final shot to hold on to enough bio hair to live status quo, or shave and buy a Gripper. Or two Grippers. I decided to try PRP with Dr. Joe Greco in Sarasota, which is about a 3 hour drive (boring but well worth every mile) from where I live in FL. I had made a conscious decision to stop all drug based attempts at controlling my hairloss years ago when I first shaved my head. I had spent enough on doctor’s appointments, drugs, serums and hormonally based treatments that did ZERO for me. I made a commitment to myself years ago that that $ was far better spent on hair. As in WIGS. But the idea of using my own blood to repair my hair? Well, that seems a little more realistic as far as a holistic cure. No drugs, no weird shit that was gonna make my boobs swell or give me zits and stuff (been there and done allllllll of that). Just my own blood.
Anyway, I really had a great experience with Dr Joe and his staff. They really couldn’t have been nicer and I had a very informative meeting with Dr. Joe before the procedure where he explained PRP and CRP (a newer version of PRP) and showed me lots of before and after pictures. It was all very informative but I was scared to death of the “hurts like a motherfucker thing” I had been told by a certain someone who has also tried this previously and I wish I had absorbed more of our meeting instead of probably looking like a deer in the headlights and just nodding and thinking positive thoughts and trying to calm myself as I was a little wired in anticipation of PAIN. After the consultation and explanation and also discussing my own personal situation with my hair and my patterns of shedding, we went into a procedure room and they brought in the plasma they had extracted from the blood they drew when I first got there. They got me settled in a reclining chair (think dentist) and told me they were going to start. So they start using this roll-y thing with needles (which obviously contained my own centrifuged-out plasma) and start moving it over the top of my head. And I’m sitting there gripping my arms around myself and bracing myself for a whole bunch of pain like “oh god, when does it start?” and suddenly they say, ok you are all done. WHAAAAAA? Where’s the pain? I’m not gonna say it was like being caressed with a sparkly feather while relaxing poolside and drinking champagne but I was so seriously prepared for being punched in the head with long needles that I was kind of in shock about the LACK of pain. Huh. Pain Schmain. Bring it on, baby. And to be clear, I also expected the procedure to be done on my entire scalp as I have diffuse but also focused shedding / thinning in a few areas, but no. They only do the top of the scalp. Finally, gravity has some usefulness physically. ?
I left there with a very cute super-softy hat I had bought just for the occasion and went on my pretty much merry way back to the hotel. I was told to wash my hair the following day and so yeah, my hair (underneath super-cute hat) was kinda crusty, but I couldn’t have cared less. I went out to dinner and sat outside to enjoy a beautiful Florida sunset in my super-cute and not seasonally appropriate hat and honestly, I cannot tell you how many compliments I got on that hat! Well, It probably did attract a fair amount of attention….. cute blonde walking around a swanky Florida resort with a black wool hat on in 90 degree heat…… ha.
Anyway, I slept in that hat. I got coffee the next morning in that hat and then I washed my hair. As expected after a roll-y needle device goes over the top of your head, I had a lot of hair come out that day. And even the next. But guess what? AND I AM BEING COMPLETELY 100% HONEST HERE – when I drove home the next day after the treatment (no hat) my hair actually looked better. I’m not joking. Not only did it look perkier but I seriously feel like that rolling needle thing kind of instantly destroyed the crazy, weird and numerous cowlicks I had developed in a particularly bad shed region on my left back side of my head. Ok, I lost a bunch of hair that first morning, but I’d been losing like that anyway and my hair already LOOKED better. FOR REAL.
GUESS WHAT – I had my procedure on a Tuesday (9/23) and drove home on Wednesday. On Friday, I flew to NYC for the weekend (with wig) and by Sunday, I was so comfortable with how my SHORT hair looked that I did not wear my wig home that day and I did not use Toppik. Holy crap. Since then, everything has been on the upswing. Not only am I completely impressed and amazed, but my husband is too. My shed stopped (like I said, wax on, wax off kind of thing) within a few days of the procedure and is growing in like I never had the highest hopes for. I have not used Toppik since just a few days after the procedure. My entire scalp, including my hairline and my dreaded right temple are filling in AND I haven’t even had to dye my roots. ! Like I said, my wildest dreams for this have been surpassed. My shed stopped, my hair is growing back in AND it’s growing back in BLONDE and not mousy brown / gray? Sign me up for more CRP.
I know this sounds over the top but I literally could not be happier. It just opens up new possibilities for me. I know that I will never have my original hair back. I have accepted that and I don’t even need it anymore. Would I like it? Sure. But I don’t NEED it. All I need is an answer to control the big sheds. If I can also have something within my reach to control my smaller, seasonal sheds then I am home free. And I know that even though I sound maniacally blissful, I know that you all understand what I am talking about. Hair shedding = awwwww fudgers. No eye contact in mirrors. What does the future hold for my hair and everything that else that it affects. And yeah, as we know, it affects a lot. Hair shed controlled or stopped = the sun shines, eye contact in mirrors might be re-established soon, one foot goes in front of the other when it needs to. Stuff gets done. Like I said, wax on / wax off.
Dr. Joe told me that the optimal time to see regrowth is actually four months. Well, I’m not even four weeks in and I am one happy customer. I’m already thinking ahead to when I will go back and maybe try and get ahead of my seasonal shed. I usually start seasonal shed in late spring so maybe a wee bit before that will be good timing to keep it at bay? I’m not sure yet. I also want to say that I have been hesitating on writing this blog so soon after treatment because like I said, the optimal timeframe to see results is supposed to be four months, but the total turnaround and progress I have had pretty much instantly is just too good NOT to share.
PRP is actually used to repair several areas of the body, including joints and can also be used instead of lab-created fillers like Botox and Juvederm. It seems like the wave of the future. And now that I see how it’s done and what the results are (oh man, gimme more hair!), it just makes sense. My husband is so completely amazed by what he has seen on my head in the last two and a half weeks, that he is looking into getting PRP treatment on his knees. It’s like that.
Anyway ladies, just wanted to share a positive update after my last KA-BOOM blog because the turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous to me and I’m growing hair over here like it’s my job. All smiles (and hair) over here.
This was BW’s first PRP treatment that she outlined in her story above. I have had 9 or 10 ( I lost count) of these treatments since 2008. I did create a video for others to learn more about the procedure here: https://www.womenshairlossproject.com/womens-hair-loss/8th-platelet-rich-plasma-therapy-prp-dr-joseph-greco/