No one wants to think about the possibility of losing their hair. In reality, we all lose hair every day — an average of 50 to 100 strands. But with over 100,000 hair follicles on our scalp, the loss of 100 hair strands a day doesn’t make much difference in appearance.
However, when those numbers increase, our hair begins to thin. There are several reasons this can happen, as we’ll discuss below. There is one common thread in this for men and women: No one likes losing their hair.
Austin Cosmetic Medspa at Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery offers two non-surgical injectable treatments for hair restoration: Platelet Rich Plasma and Exosomes. Both methods help keep more of the hair follicles in the active growth phase, rather than allowing the hair to lapse into rest and then dormancy.
How Common is Hair Loss?
Although full balding is more likely in men, women are nearly as likely as men to have thinning hair. Most women experience this in their 50s and 60s, but it can happen at any age for different reasons.
- Genetics — For women, the primary cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. This is hereditary and affects about 30 million American women. Unlike men, whose hair tends to recede or become fully bald on the crown, women’s hair generally thins along the part line. Androgenic alopecia causes the hair follicles to shrink, leading to this thinning.
- Alopecia areata — This form of hair loss is more common in women than men. The immune system attacks the hair follicles, disabling them and causing small patches of hair to fall out.
- Medical conditions — Hair loss is common during pregnancy, with thyroid disorders, or due to anemia. Psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can also lead to hair loss in women.
- Stress — Periods of extreme stress or physical trauma (say from surgery or illness) can cause hair loss. Even dramatic weight loss over a short period can affect the hair.
- Hairstyles — Tight braids and cornrow hairstyles can lead to hair loss through what is known as traction alopecia. Even too much brushing and blow drying can cause hair loss. In these cases, the hair will usually grow back when the stress is removed from the hair.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for Hair Restoration?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used by professional athletes for a couple decades to help speed healing after injury or surgery. PRP helps stimulate the healing process, and is often used after laser skincare treatments.
PRP contains seven growth factors and healing mechanisms. Growth factors are the messengers in the body, signaling cells to perform various functions. That’s why platelets are so important for wound healing, as they initiate new tissue growth. By putting the healing power of PRP to work in the scalp, the growth factors help to “turn back on” hair follicles that have begun to spend more and more time resting.
The procedure for creating PRP is simple. We draw your own blood, taking a normal sample. This is placed in a centrifuge to separate out the red blood cells and concentrate the platelets and the growth factors. Now we have PRP. After performing a nerve block to the areas we will treat to ensure comfort, we then inject your own PRP into your scalp.
Then we let the PRP do its magic. Over time, it encourages the hair follicles to spend more time in the growth phase of the hair lifecycle. It also helps follicles that have recently moved into dormancy to return to growth.
Hair restoration with PRP requires a series of three treatments to start, each spaced four to six weeks apart. Depending on the severity of your hair loss, we may recommend additional treatments. Your results will be seen over the course of several months, as the dormant hair follicles are stimulated to grow again.
Austin Cosmetic Medspa by Christine Fisher MD
The Art and Science of Advanced Skincare™
- Known for advanced aesthetic medicine and skincare treatments that scientifically and safely create a natural-looking result.
- Providers have a combined 35+ years of experience in cosmetic dermatology and medical aesthetics.
- Treatments administered by Sandy Lanier, PA-C | Katie Bertling, RN, LE | Lara Montfort, BSN, RN | Jeremy Porche, CRNA | Rachael Davis, LE | Marta Zinyuk, BSN, RN | Kristen Woodard, FNP-C, AGACNP-BC
- Offers full range of medical-grade skincare products to improve skin quality and treat aging skin.
- 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of online reviews for non-surgical laser and injectable treatments.
What Are Exosomes for Hair Restoration?
Exosome therapy is the most effective injectable treatment for hair loss. It is similar to Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, but the hair restoration benefits provided by exosomes are often better.
Exosomes are extracellular vesicles derived from the stem cells involved in cell communication, a thousandth the size of a cell. Other cells respond to the messaging signals from the exosomes to help regenerate and regrow hair. Exosomes come from donated human mesenchymal stem cells in bone marrow. They are purified in a sterile filtering process for use in various regenerative treatments, including hair restoration.
Exosomes contain microRNA and an assortment of growth factors. They also have over one-thousand signaling proteins that promote functions in the body from regeneration to fighting inflammation and warding off potential tumor formation. In the scalp, exosomes awaken the hair follicles that are trending toward dormancy or have recently become dormant.
These are simple treatments. We perform a nerve block to numb your areas of thinning hair. We then inject the exosomes at shallow depth across those areas. From there, the growth boosting capabilities of the exosomes get to work.
Unlike with Platelet Rich Plasma therapy for hair loss which requires several treatments, exosome therapy is one treatment only. Results can be seen in as little as three months, with the most noticeable results seen in six months.
Are These Injections Painful?
We perform a nerve block to the scalp to ensure comfort with both PRP and exosomes therapy. We inject these materials into the scalp using a special syringe with three needles. The PRP and exosomes are injected at approximately every half inch across the area of thinning hair.
How Long Will it Take to Start Growing Hair?
These treatments first stem the hair loss. Most patients notice decreased hair shedding, initially. From there, new growth is usually noticeable after the first two to three months, with full results seen in six to twelve months.
Download Our Skin Care & Non-Surgical Rejuvenation Post-Procedure Care Guides
We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our skincare & non-surgical rejuvenation patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.