Lessons I learn in the consultation room…
I love being the lead consultant here. I get to meet so many different types of people; all ages, men, women and even some children, all from different backgrounds. I’ve also studied under one of the best hair restoration surgeons in the country for over three years now; as well as taken various scalp health courses along with alopecia training over the last seven years . I would consider myself to be very knowledgeable in hair loss causes, and solutions as well as prevention.
As time goes by, I have noticed some “trends” in the consultations when I speak to people dealing with hair loss… these are a few that stand out to me.
We all are guilty of it – spending hours on the world wide web, trying to find out as much information as possible – and then diagnosing our problem without seeing a professional. It is SO important to see a professional when it comes to hair loss- whether it be a dermatologist, hair loss specialist, trichologist, or hair restoration surgeon. I would recommend seeing someone who ONLY deals with hair loss or who advertises that they specialize in hair loss. There’s too many factors that can contribute to the cause – telling a physician your entire medical and family history is usually necessary.
-Low level laser therapy is not used enough-
Sometimes when people are diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia by a physician, they are told to go buy Rogaine, and that’s it. While Rogaine (minoxidil) is effective – there are other PROVEN and FDA cleared solutions to treat genetic hair loss in men AND women. While the list of treatments aren’t as long for women – it seems laser therapy is one of our industry’s best kept secrets. It’s safe, drug-free and effective. Every woman should at least know about it. And if a male doesn’t want to take finasteride or propecia – they should know about it too!
-PRP isn’t always the answer-
Platelet rich plasma seems to be everywhere now. While it is a great treatment for the right candidate, it appears to possibly be overused in our industry. It is a very broad treatment – so the screening process is very important. Our surgeon offers a PRP treatment that includes stem cells – this is crucial in seeing results. His process is different than most- combining the PRP with a product called ACELL, then injecting it into the scalp. THEN going over the scalp with a micro-needle. This process appears to be crucial!!
-Scalp biopsies and blood work aren’t done enough-
Some physicians will say a biopsy isn’t necessary – and for some clients it’s not. However it’s the only way to find out if the type of alopecia is scarring – which is a crucial factor when talking about re-growth. Also basic blood work is usually ignored – and it shouldn’t be by women. While genetics is the primary cause of hair loss in women – secondary factors include thyroid problems, Vitamin D and iron deficiency, and any other hormonal imbalances. All of these can only be seen by blood work/labs.
-There is too much dependence on products and supplements-
I’ve said it before and I will say it again – there is no magic lotion, potion or vitamin that will regrow your hair or stop hair loss. What you need first is ALWAYS an evaluation. Supplements – if any – should be recommended and/or purchased after a diagnosis. I recently had a young female who brought in two, gallon-size zip lock bags full of products (oils, supplements, etc.) that she had purchased because the internet recommended them. Turned out she was putting WAY too much oil on her scalp and it was actually causing the condition to worsen. So, get a DIAGNOSIS first!
-Just because your father didn’t go bald, doesn’t mean you won’t-
I don’t mean to scare anyone!!! But many people think “well both my parents and sets of grandparents have a full head of hair – so there’s no way I could have genetic hair loss.” It is NEVER a good idea to assume! It used to be thought that the hair loss gene was strictly from the maternal side, but now studies prove it could be from either side at any time. The genetic balding patterns of the family are obviously important but they shouldn’t be the only criteria used to make a diagnosis.
-Majority of clients don’t take advantage of our follow ups-
Androgenetic alopecia is the primary cause of hair loss in men and women – and unfortunately there us no cure. MEANING – it is a life-long battle. We include evaluations every 4 months for all our preventative hair loss treatments. Time and time again I will call clients schedule their evaluations and I won’t hear back from them. Take advantage of evaluations if they are offered at your hair restoration clinic!