New Treatments for Women’s Hair Loss
By Wendy Lewis, Glow Beauty Magazine
Hair loss in women is more common than you might think, but for many, it’s still very hard to talk about. Forty percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they turn 40, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Recent advances in treating female hair loss are making it easier for women to open up and seek treatment. GLOW sat down with Theresa Pinson, NP, a certified Aesthetic Consultant at Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery in New York City to find out more about female hair loss and new treatments for women’s hair loss.
GLOW: Why is female hair loss still so hard to talk about?
TP: Panic, anxiety, and fear are all common reactions as women begin to experience diffuse shedding resulting in thinning hair. Thick, luxurious hair correlates with health, beauty, and sexuality. Have you ever seen a Disney princess with thin hair?
GLOW: How does hair loss affect women?
TP: Color, cut, and style is a way in which we express ourselves as women. Those with thinning hair do not have this option because they live in fear that the next hair treatment will deem them “bald.” Women have also told me they were afraid and vulnerable that their hair loss would result in loss of their job or relationship due to the perception they are ill or just plain old.
GLOW: How is it different than male pattern baldness?
TP: In women, hair loss typically appears as diffuse thinning all over the head. The hairline does not recede. Women may notice that their part gradually becomes wider.
GLOW: Is female hair loss on the rise due to extensions and other harsh hair procedures?
TP: Traction alopecia is a form of gradual hair loss caused primarily by a pulling force applied to the hair. So yes, people particularly at risk for damage are women who choose to have hair extensions. Hair extensions are attached onto a person’s existing hair or scalp by weaving, gluing, or clipping it on, which in some women may cause little damage. However, for those with weak thin hair, the results can be a nightmare!
So the women who have fine thin hair who seek fuller hair with extensions are at risk. Women, especially those with colored or highlighted hair, have found it becomes brittle and can split and break, especially when using a ceramic straighter.
GLOW: What can or should these women do?
TP: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a great option for women ask the doctors l girl power: female hair loss loses out against prp who choose to use extensions as it helps maintain scalp health and keep hair strong. We harvest PRP by drawing blood, which is then separated and concentrated through a process called centrifugation. It is then re-injected into the scalp.
This procedure is done under local anesthesia to make it nearly pain free. A scalp roller with 1mm fine needles is subsequently used over the treated area to stimulate the stem cells within the PRP as well as to increase the blood supply leading to better hair growth. In the morning of the next day, the patient can shampoo as usual.
When used on the scalp, PRP, due to important growth factors, can “wake up” dormant hair follicles and begin the production of new hair. This therapy strengthens the existing hair, reduces hair fallout and is likely to increase the actual number of hairs by stimulating stem cells. Generally, hair shafts become thicker and look more lustrous and fall out is reduced within four to six weeks while new growth is likely in about four months. I generally suggest women come in for PRP treatments two to three times per year.
GLOW: Besides extensions, what else causes female hair loss?
TP: Triggers include a wide variety of physiologic or emotional stresses, nutritional deficiencies, and endocrine imbalances.
Finding the cause, or trigger, of the hair loss requires a thorough history and examination and will enable appropriate treatment.
GLOW: Are hair transplants an option for women?
TP: Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is an option for women who are exhibiting pattern baldness and have ample hair in their donor area. This method involves harvesting follicular units or groups of one to four hairs for transplantation. These transplants provide much more natural looking results than older methods. This should not be considered until underlying diseases have been ruled out.
GLOW: What role does PRP play with hair transplants?
TP: PRP has long been used as an adjunct to the FUE procedure. Here, the grafts are soaked in the PRP during the period between the dissection of the graft and engraftment to the site of hair loss. This increases the graft survival during and after the transplant.
GLOW: Why are you excited about the DS Labs product range?
TP: DS Labs provides a breakthrough hair support system with no side effects. Spectral. DNC-N is the first follicle treatment to employ Nanoxidil 5%, which stimulates the growth phase of hair follicles and suppresses dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the male hormone associated with thinning.
Another ingredient, Aminexil (diaminopyrimidine oxide), is captured by the roots and preserves the suppleness and elasticity of the tissues that surround them. This method of action helps to build new hair fibers that are thicker, denser, and stronger. The shampoo, Revita, comprises antiinflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-DHT agents that act together against follicular dysfunction. Revita also contains active ingredients to hydrate, feed, and stimulate hair follicles. I recommend washing your hair and leaving the shampoo on for ten minutes while in the shower each day, and then use the Spectral. DNC-N. I also recommend biotin, zinc, and fish oil for scalp health and to support hair regrowth.
Theresa Pinson, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, is a certified Aesthetic Consultant at Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery, in NYC. Theresa Pinson is a top expert in dermal filler injections, female hair loss, and a full range of antiaging treatments. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, she is also a sought after educator coaching physicians, physician’s assistants, and other nurse practitioners.