Medical Treatments for Hair Loss
PRP & PRF Treatment London
Platelet Rich Plasma and Platelet Rich Fibrin therapy, commonly known as PRP & PRF treatment, is a non-surgical technique to help promote hair growth and skin rejuvenation. PRP works by separating a highly concentrated plasma containing platelets and growth factors, all derived from your own blood. This treatment dates back many years, and has been proven to promote quicker tissue regeneration. The plasma solution containing PRF is then reinserted into the areas of need, allowing faster and strong regeneration of the hair follicles. All of our PRP therapies in London contain PRF, which results in a longer acting version of regular PRP treatment.
Finasteride, also branded as Propecia or Proscar, is currently the most effective FDA licensed drug for treating hair loss today, and has been since 1997. It has proven to slow, stop or even reverse hair loss in up to 81 % of men. The medication works by blocking the formation of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from testosterone, which has been identified as the main culprit for male pattern baldness. The medication’s benefits were stumbled upon by happy accident in the early 1990’s. It was originally approved in 1992 to treat enlarged prostate in men, where men with thinning hair showed signs of regrowth. In most cases the medication typically halts further recession, or vastly slows it down. The longer it is used the better. In each year after the first twelve months there continues to be an improvement.
Avodart (Dutasteride) and Propecia (Finasteride) are both enzyme 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors which greatly suppresses the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Whilst Dutasteride inhibits both type I and type II 5-alpha-reductase, Finasteride inhibits only the type II enzyme. As both isoenzymes are present in hair follicles, it is often believed that Dutasteride is more effective than Finasteride to strengthen, and possibly regrow hair.
Finasteride & Minoxidil Topical Lotion (Finoxidil)
Finasteride and Minoxidil lotion or spray (AKA Finoxidil) is a new topical treatment which combines the benefits of Finasteride and Minoxidil, the only two approved medications to effectively treat male pattern hair loss. The combination treatment may be an alternative to taking a regular Finasteride to slow down or stop further hair loss, and may prove beneficial to those who experience the rare side effects of taking Finasteride tablets orally.
Finasteride spray is also available as a standalone product to help reduce DHT in the scalp (Dihydrotestosterone) which is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness. Although it is a much newer treatment than oral Finasteride, its effectiveness is not as well established, although this may be useful as an adjunct to those taking a reduced Finasteride dose, or those using 1mg every other day to combat their hair loss.
Saw Palmetto tablets could be a herbal alternative to Finasteride or Dutasteride, or be used in combination with. Saw Palmetto berries may inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Research is thin, though one study has shown its ability to treat enlarged prostate in men, meaning the extract could potentially halt or slow down hair loss. The active components of Saw Palmetto, that block the enzyme, work in a similar way as Finasteride & Dutasteride.
Minoxidil, also known as Regaine solution, was also discovered by happy accident in the 1980’s, when the medication was initially used to treat high blood pressure. Many patients noted hair growth all over, hence why the solution was localised to the scalp. Minoxidil works by dilating the blood vessels, which promotes more blood flow to the follicles, thus creating healthier stronger hair over time. When used in conjunction with Finasteride for men, the two medications can be very effective, as they work in very different but complementary ways.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) as an adjunct to regular hair loss medication may further stimulate hair follicles to grow thicker and fuller over time. LLLT diodes emit low-power-coherent monochromatic red light to help stimulate hair growth. The main theory of LLLT works by stimulating the epidermal stem cells in the hair follicle bulge, thus shifting the follicle to the anagen growth phase again.
There are varying views on whether or not low level laser therapy is effective. Some believe low level laser therapy may benefit men and women experiencing androgenic alopecia (genetic baldness) and has been trialed to speed up hair transplant patient’s healing and hair growth, though more conclusive evidence is required.