Minoxidil can stimulate all hair, and the topical formulation is currently the only drug approved for treatment of female pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil can be a valuable retardant to hair loss even in cases where it does not appear to regrow hair.
Finasteride is used to treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines such as an alpha-blocker (doxazosin, Cardura®) to treat BPH.
Studies have shown dutasteride to be equal to and usually slightly greater in effect for hair growth as compared to finasteride. 2.5 mg dutasteride daily has shown a moderately higher growth than 0.5mg dutasteride daily.
Bimatoprost appears to work by increasing the growth (anagen) phase of the eyelashes, although some think it is by shortening the resting (telogen) phase. It increases the pigmentation of the eyelashes by stimulating melanogenesis.
Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin agonist used as a treatment to lower intraocular pressure for glaucoma. Lumigan is essentially the same solution as Latisse but is meant to be used as eye drops as in glaucoma patients. Latisse, as mentioned above, is only to be used to coat the upper eyelid margin.
Photobiomodulation (PBM)/ LLLT
Photobiomodulation (PBM), also called low level laser therapy (LLLT), is a treatment used to stimulate hair follicles to grow. It is often used in conjunction with other hair loss therapies. While some patients have seen a benefit, others have not.
There are many types of devices with varying energy output. Some devices may be purchased directly by consumers, and others are only to be used in the physician’s office. Despite a burgeoning array of such devices on the market today, important questions about dosing and efficacy remain unanswered. Consumers should be aware of these unanswered questions in order to make an informed decision.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma, also known as PRP, is a relatively new addition to the list of hair loss treatments. The theory is this that platelets store growth factors to help stimulate wound healing and tissue growth where it is needed. Blood contains platelets in varying concentrations.
If you take a patient’s own platelets and re-inject them into an area that needs healing and growth, the body’s own mechanisms will improve the regeneration of the tissue. PRP injections have been verifiably used to help the growth and healing of slow growing tissues like bones and teeth.
Microneedling causes the body to go into wound healing mode and growth factors are released to repair the skin. In turn, these growth factors have an effect on hair follicles. Concentration of applications and frequency of applications will be discussed, as well as the type of results clinicians are seeing. In addition, survey data from a recent PRP survey that ISHRS members participated in will be shared and discussed.