Support and treatment of hair loss
Causes and symptoms of hair loss
Hair loss, also called alopecia, is complete or partial baldness due to hormonal changes or physical or psychological stress. Hair loss occurs for many reasons. Some causes, such as hormonal changes, are considered natural, while others indicate serious health problems. Some circumstances are limited to the scalp, while others mimic disease processes throughout the body.
Androgenetic alopecia occurs in both men and women and is considered normal in adult males. It is also known as male pattern hair loss and can be effortlessly identified by the distribution of hair loss over the top and front of the head, creating a horseshoe pattern that shows the healthy skull across the head. Women suffering from androgenetic alopecia, on the other hand, have hair loss that extends mainly to the upper part of the scalp. This condition is believed to be due to a genetic predisposition that triggers the formation of various enzymes that convert testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is responsible for the shrinkage of hair follicles and can also lead to partial or complete hair loss.
Aloepecia circumscripta and areata describe those hair loss diseases that can fall out in gaps and are responsible for complete baldness. The exact cause is not yet known, but it is often triggered by a disorder of the immune system.
In many cases, circumstances that damage the scalp lead to hair loss. The first clue to the exact cause is the severity of the hair loss, whether it is absolute hairlessness (alopecia capitis totalis), irregular bald patches, thinning or hair loss limited to certain quarters. In addition, the condition of the hair and the underlying scalp plays a role. Sometimes only the hair is affected, sometimes the skin is obviously unhealthy.
Spotty hair loss in most cases is caused by fungal infections. This fungus glows under ultraviolet rays, which means that it is similar to the virus that causes ringworm and athlete's foot. Total hair loss can also be a result of chemotherapy administered during cancer. The hair falls out completely due to the toxicity of the powerful drugs used. To reduce the effect of the drugs on the scalp, one must always apply a pressure bandage around the head, just above the ears. On the other hand, such a procedure may not be advisable in the treatment of some cancers. A preliminary modern coagulant called GW 8510, which could stop chemotherapy-induced hair loss, has been under experimental testing since 2000.
What is the structure of the hair and what role does it play?
The hair can be divided into two parts: the hair shaft, which emerges from the scalp, and the hair root, which is located inside the scalp.
The hair is produced by the papillae and the hair matrix cells. The hair matrix also contains melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin.
The hair receives its nutrients from the capillaries. If the nutrients do not reach the hair due to poor blood circulation, the hair becomes thinner and thinner.
Hair papilla cells
These cells are located in the hair papilla. They help maintain the hair cycle. As the number of papilla cells increases, the hair grows thicker and healthier.
Hair matrix cells
These are the cells that surround the papilla and produce hair. Through repeated cell division, they grow into hairs, which then expand into hairs.
Types and mechanisms of hair loss
What is androgenetic alopecia?
AGA is an abbreviation for Androgenetic Alopecia, which means male pattern baldness.
AGA is a condition in which hair often falls out in adult men. After puberty, hair starts thinning at the hairline and top of the head, either from one side or the other. The main causes are generally considered to be heredity and the effect of male hormones. Hair loss progresses and is noticeable by thinning hair.
The male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) has been shown to play an important role in the development of AGA.
Normally, hair grows, falls out and grows back.
However, due to the effects of DHT, the hair cycle, the mechanism by which hair grows back, is drastically shortened so that hair falls out in short, thin strands without growing back completely, resulting in an altered skin appearance.
What is androgenetic alopecia in women?
There are several types of thinning hair in women.
"FAGA stands for "Female Androgenetic Alopecia." Women also have the male hormone testosterone in their bodies, but its concentration in the blood is only about one-twentieth that of men, and the secretion of estrogen, one of the female hormones responsible for hair growth, is also active.
However, when estrogen levels decrease due to aging, male hormones dominate, resulting in thinning hair and hair loss. This is the cause of FAGA.
Diffuse alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in women from middle age.
Diffuse alopecia is a female-specific condition caused by aging and poor nutrition of the scalp. It most commonly affects women in their thirties and older, with hair loss occurring evenly throughout the head, reducing volume and giving a flat, aged appearance.
In recent years, the number of women suffering from hair loss and thinning hair has increased rapidly, and the proportion of women suffering from this condition increases with age. If left untreated, the condition can progress to the point where the hair on the entire head thins and the skin of the scalp becomes visible.
It is important to treat the disease appropriately to restore healthy hair.
Support and treatment of hair loss
Dermatologists are trained in identification by sight. In cases of unclear disease, a skin biopsy is required, which involves taking small pieces of skin to examine under a microscope. A comprehensive evaluation then requires characterization and identification of the problem.
Biotin, vitamin B6 and specific supplements such as Provillus play an important role in maintaining healthy hair growth, as do copper, zinc and silica. Hair loss caused by trichotillomania, also known as hair pulling, requires behavioral therapy. If the hair loss is caused by stress, there are various therapies such as aromatherapy, yoga, muscle relaxation and biofeedback.
Another option is the hair replacement method. This involves surgical transplantation or weaving one person's hair into another person's hair.
The normal hair cycle
Hair is produced by hair follicles in the skin. Human hair does not grow forever. The cycle of hair growth and loss is called the hair cycle. This hair cycle is divided into three phases
This is the period when hair starts growing from the papilla. The duration of the growth phase depends on the particular section of hair. At the end of the growth phase, the hair stops growing and falls out.
After the growth phase, the hair stops dividing and stops growing. This period lasts about 3 weeks and about 1% of the total hair volume is in the transition phase.
The hair matrix cells stop dividing. Atrophy and keratinization of the hair follicles is complete. At the end of the resting phase, the hair papilla is formed again and the hair begins to grow. The old hairs fall out.
These three phases are repeated to produce hair.
PRP promotes an anti-apoptotic effect that reduces the number of apoptotic (cell killing) cells in this regressive and resting phase. In addition, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels around the hair follicle and the proliferation of hair matrix cells, promotes the differentiation of hair root stem cells and prolongs the growth phase of the hair cycle.
Treatment of hair loss with PRP
Autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
First of all, PRP stands for "Platelet-Rich Plasma", which is a plasma rich in platelets. Blood consists of a liquid component, plasma, and three cellular components, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In other words, the red and white blood cells are removed from the blood, and the result is PRP.
When a part of the body is injured and the blood vessels are damaged, the platelets produced by the endothelial cells of the damaged vessels collect at the wound site.
These platelets degranulate during the clotting process and release a number of cytokines, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which is present in the granules and promotes wound healing.
These cytokines have a variety of functions.
PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor)
promotes cell proliferation, angiogenesis and macrophage activation
TGF-β (transforming growth factor)
promotes collagen production
VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)
EGE (Epidermal Growth Factor)
Fibroblast growth factor
Insulin-like growth factor
The key to treating thinning hair and hair loss is to supplement "Growth factors" to restore normal hair growth signals after they have stopped. Growth factor supplementation is currently the most effective treatment for hair loss. Thinning hair can be caused by a variety of factors, including work and life stress and nutritional deficiencies, but they all have the same cause: a lack of growth factors that stops the hair growth signal.
Growth factors are a general term for proteins that promote the growth and differentiation of certain cells in the animal body. Years of research have shown that these proteins act as signaling devices between cells. When hair growth signals stop due to a lack of these growth factors, hair growth and regrowth also stops, resulting in thinning hair.
Treatment procedure of PRP hair therapy
After taking your medical history and health condition, the PRP treatment will be explained to you in detail. The doctor will check the condition of your scalp.
- First, the blood is collected into special PRP tubes
- The collected blood in the tubes is centrifuged. The blood cells are separated from the plasma (PRP extraction)
- Plasma (PRP) is administered to the affected area.
What kind of treatment is PRP therapy?
PRP therapy is a therapy in which the administration of growth factors is concentrated locally to take advantage of these effects.
Originally used to treat traumatic wounds and persistent skin ulcers to promote wound healing, it is now widely used in orthopedics and dentistry. In recent years, it has also been used in cosmetic dermatology as a rejuvenation treatment with collagen growth.
These are used to regenerate the hair on the scalp and promote hair growth. It has been shown to be effective in treating baldness in men (AGA) and diffuse hair thinning (FAGA) in women, but may not be effective for hair loss due to certain immune disorders (such as alopecia areata).
In some cases, patients have discontinued treatment with a particular hair therapy because they did not feel the effect. The reason for this is that many of them are not aware that their scalp environment is the cause of their problem. The key to hair growth and regrowth is to have an environment on the scalp where the hair can grow. PRP hair regeneration therapy is a treatment that uses the body's own "healing powers".
By regenerating the cells themselves and regulating the scalp environment, you can expect a therapeutic effect that cannot be achieved with other treatments. There are many ways to treat thinning hair and the most appropriate treatment will vary from patient to patient
Features of PRP hair regeneration therapy
- By using the patient's own platelets, the risk of side effects is reduced.
The platelets needed for PRP hair regeneration therapy are obtained from the patient's own blood. Since the procedure is performed using the patient's own body cells, there are no side effects to worry about.
- The procedure can be performed in a short amount of time on the same day, and there is almost no downtime.
PRP hair regeneration therapy is a very simple procedure to perform, requiring only an injection into the thinning hair area and a blood draw from the patient. The treatment takes about 1-2 hours from blood draw to anesthesia.
- Long lasting and natural hair growth
Once injected into the scalp, PRP works slowly by releasing a variety of growth factors in the scalp that improve thinning hair.
While the effects vary from person to person, they do not disappear completely, and treatment can continue slowly over time.
This means that there is no sudden increase in hair growth, so you can treat thinning hair naturally without feeling uncomfortable.
The potential of regenerative medicine for hair follicle atrophy
Platelets contain different types of growth factors (cytokines) that are able to stimulate cell growth and tissue activation. Due to the combined effect of these factors, PRP can be injected into the tissue to improve scars and treat thinning hair. In particular, it has an "anti-apoptotic" effect on hair follicles: The anti-apoptotic regulators activated by PRP prolong papilla cell survival during the hair cycle.
This means that PRP can prevent the death of hair-bearing cells, extend their lifespan, promote the differentiation of hair root stem cells, and prolong the growth phase of the hair cycle. Since PRP hair growth treatment uses your own blood, there are no allergies or side effects, and it is much safer than other hair growth treatments.
PRP therapy is also effective for thinning hair in women
There are different types of hair thinning that occur in women. Women have about one-twentieth the level of male hormones in their blood, which can cause hair thinning similar to AGA in men. Unlike androgenetic alopecia (AGA), the thinning of the hair does not occur locally, but as a general thinning of the hair. Diffuse alopecia is the most common form of thinning in women after middle age. It is caused by an age-related nutrient deficiency in the scalp, which leads to a reduction in the overall volume of hair and thinning of individual strands. If left untreated, the condition can progress to the point where the skin becomes visible. To restore healthy hair, it is important to treat the disease accordingly.
For which persons is PRP not suitable?
- pregnant women
- allergic to anemia sodium citrate hydrate
- poor bone marrow function
- malignant tumors
- viral diseases
- Renal dysfunction
- Autoimmune and collagen diseases (rheumatism, SLE, Graves' disease, dermatomyositis, etc.)
- Abnormal thyroid function
- in case of fever
- Diseases caused by abnormal platelets (e.g. septicaemia)
- Liver dysfunction (chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis)
- HIV infection
- Allergic and other scalp diseases
- Portal hypertension
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- If you have any other allergies, please let us know.
- If you are allergic to any of the above substances, please let us know.
- Alopecia areata should be treated in the first instance by a specialist dermatologist.
- If you are a smoker, please refrain from smoking as it may interfere with the effect of the treatment.
Risks and side effects of PRP therapy
Since the patient's own blood is used, it is unlikely that any allergies will develop. However, there is usually no risk with medical treatment.
There is also a possibility of infection if the treatment area is not kept hygienic. The results of the treatment may vary from person to person.
Since the treatment involves injecting the body's own cells, allergic reactions are unlikely, although in rare cases swelling and redness may occur for more than a week.
The scalp may bleed, usually the doctor will try to stop the bleeding. The bleeding usually stops within a few minutes.
In some cases, the redness may last for several hours after the scalp is injected.
The area where the blood was drawn will be marked for several hours.
Unfortunately, if the hair follicles have disappeared, the treatment is not effective. This treatment is recommended for people with fine or thin hair.
For some patients, it may be difficult to achieve the desired results.
Precautions after treatment
Please do not wash your hair on the day of treatment.
Avoid heavy physical exertion, sauna, bathing and alcohol consumption on the day of the treatment.
One week before and after the treatment you should not dye your hair or have it permed.
The application of topical products on the scalp is allowed from the next day.