Hair Growth Treatments that Actually Work
by Natasha Mohr
However you define it – male, female, young and old – everyone wants good hair. But is there anything that really works?
There is still some serious debate according to Drs. Suneel Chilukuri, S. Manjula Jegasothy, Mark Rubin, Kevin Smith, Marc Darst, Candace Spann, Jeanine Downie, Vivian Bucay, Julie Woodward and Joe Niamtu.
In Houston, TX, Dr. Suneel Chilukuri shares his regimen that is leading to some great results. “I am finding remarkable results utilizing patient-rich-plasma (PRP) for hair growth,” he says. “I prepare the scalp for one month by pre-treating with topical Minoxidil and oral Viviscal Professional twice daily. If the patient is a man, I recommend finasteride 1 mg per day. Our patients are so happy with the results that they send in friends and family members.”
Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy also uses PRP though in a slightly different overall regimen. “For the last 6 months or so I’ve been doing PRP injections, commonly called plasma injections in women after telogen effluvium from pregnancy & those who have a family history of androgenic alopecia and are in the first stages of hair loss. I’m seeing about a 30% improvement in hair growth after 3 months, which mirrors the small amount of data on this topic.” She also added that, “the hair transplant surgeons in and around Miami are recommending and doing PRP before hair transplant surgery to improve its results.”
Dr. Mark Rubin, who practices in Beverly Hills, CA, has a different treatment plan for patients. “My favorite product for treating hair loss is 82M, a topical compounded prescription product made of 5%minoxidil mixed with tretinoin, a topical steroid and a natural 5-alpha-reductase blocking agent. This product is made using a proprietary technique that increases the solubility and stability of the Minoxidil making far more effective than a traditionally compounded 5%Minoxidil solution. The product was originally developed in Columbia and has been in use for almost 20 years.” It must be noted that Dr. Rubin is a member of the advisory board and part owner of the company, HairScience, which markets 82M and that he is proud that their product continues to help patients achieve their goals.
For Dr. Kevin Smith in Niagara, Canada, he relies on Rogaine and bimatoprost. “Proscar is too risky.” In his experience, “Lasers etc. are seldom effective enough to justify the hassle and expense.” He does concede that “Maybe PRP will turn out to be useful, but unless it REALLY works it will not be worth the hassle and expense.
In Charlotte, NC, Dr. Marc Darst likes to use “Regenesis, because it makes sense as a prostaglandin analog.”
We also know that hair thinning and loss is different in women than it is in men. Based her own on personal experience, Dr. Candace Spann (Las Vegas, NV) has developed her own treatment line for women with thinning hair. “According to the American Hair Loss Association, 50% of women will experience thinning hair by the age of 50. In my case, I was only 25 when it started. Like so many women who are affected by thinning hair, I was devastated by the hair loss, then devastated again when I discovered that every treatment on the market was developed for men and therefore was not helpful. In women, causes include, but are not limited to, genetic predisposition, thyroid disorders, autoimmune disease, styling practices, menopause, being postpartum, crash dieting, scalp inflammation, vitamin deficiencies, and stress. ReTress is a system that uses all natural active ingredients to focus on the underlying cause in some of these issues. It uses a patented modified biotin tripeptide to help improve nourishment to the follicles, a licorice extract to help calm scalp inflammation, an herb called apegenin to improve anchoring of the hair to the follicle, and a vitamin supplement to give sustenance to the follicle. It is also fragrance free to minimize scalp irritation, however it smells fantastic because of the combination of essential oils in the formulation. ReTress is safe for processed and color treated hair, and is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. In our clinical trials, 95% of ReTress users had significant or moderate improvement at the 16 week point regardless of age, hair type, or cause of thinning. It can also be used preventatively in women who are concerned, even though they may not be experiencing noticeable thinning.”
Dr. Jeanine Downie, Montclair, NJ, recommends a product that she uses personally and loves. “Nutrafol! I have been taking this for the past year and my hair has grown 2 1/2 inches, this is an unbelievable product!!!!!
In San Antonio, Dr. Vivian Bucay does carry several products for hair growth in her clinic, however, she does have one stand-out favorite. “I love Viviscal and have been taking it for over 2 years. Viviscal has the highest satisfaction rate with our patients. I like the fact that there are published clinical studies substantiating Viviscal’s efficacy as a hair growth supplement.”
Then there are those solidly in the camp of questioning all of it.
Dr. Julie Woodward in Chapel Hill, NC, responded with, “I’m not sure anything OTC really works- except for perhaps Rogaine.” But largely, “I think it is mostly wishful thinking.”
In Richmond, VA, Dr. Joe Niamtu points to himself as an example. He said, “Really… if there was something that worked, I would look like a guitarist from a “hair band” instead of Bruce Willis.”
And that is the long and the short (hair) of it.
Tell us what you think! What works for your patients?