In the past Dr. Ben Connolly and Dr. Colin MacLeod have published their thoughts and insights on treating hair loss with PRP, here on the Cornerstone website. You can find How we treat hair loss with PRP, by the former, here and Treating hair loss with PRP, by the latter, here. Both could be considered as a general overview of the practicality and functionality of the treatment, but sometimes it’s just as important to take a closer look at what kinds of ailments make for a worthy PRP-treatment candidate as well.
That’s an important dialogue in general, given that everyone experiences conditions differently. Many of our patients experience their own unique symptoms and, as a result, require custom-tailored treatment plans and solutions for optimal results. In this case we’re looking into postpartum hair loss, a side-effect of increased estrogen levels that some new mothers may not think to seek out consultation or treatment for!
POSTPARTUM HAIR LOSS AND WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON
Your newly born baby is the apple of your eye, but mothers have plenty of hurdles to jump during those first 12 months and unfortunately, hair loss is one of them. The wealth of postpartum information out there to take in all at once can be overwhelming and nearly impossible to consume in full, which leaves many new mothers surprised when they find themselves losing hair. More problematically, many will attribute the change to increased stress levels, and may opt not to seek out a consultation for that reason.
What’s actually happening is this: pregnancy has inherently increased estrogen levels in the body, affecting many of the body’s normalized processes – some of which only become apparent after birth and once the effects have had time to mature. In this case, increased estrogen levels have prolonged the growth cycle of the body’s hair. This means that when those estrogen levels normalize postpartum, much more hair than usual enters the ‘resting’ stage, and then falls out.
Normally, the majority of the hair on one’s head is growing, while a very small amount is resting and proceeds to fall out normally. This resting hair, now lost, is replaced by newly growing hair and the process continues to cycle as such, which small increments of hair arriving at that resting stage and repeating the cycle. This amplified disruption to your normal hair growth and loss cycle can last for a full 12 months before correcting itself.
WHY PRP IS AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT IN THIS CASE
As effective as it is in treating gradual hair loss, PRP’s growth stimulants make it a suitable treatment for temporary, conditional hair loss as well. Throughout the process, platelets are at work regenerating stem cells in the hair, and are stimulating new cell growth as well. As Dr. Colin MacLeod lists in his article on hair loss and PRP:
Platelets are rich in growth factors, including platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), epithelial growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). These growth factors stimulate hair growth and tissue regeneration.
In this case, the longevity of the treatment is as important as its effectiveness. Some women report that the postpartum regrowth of their hair yields results that seem slightly thinner, and some go so far as to say their hair never returns to the same state as it once was. PRP treatments not only restore, but nurture the thickness and health of one’s hair, effectively restoring that sought-after volume.
From here, the most important takeaway is that there are solutions available to you to help smoothen this challenging transitional period. Cornerstone’s mantra is rooted in lifestyle decisions that promote health and happiness, and we work with new moth- ers every day to help get them there (check out our Healthy Beginnings Playgroup!) To set up a consultation or inquire about any of our treatments, don’t hesitate to call us or contact us online.