Hair loss is an issue that affects millions of people in the U.S. Hair transplant surgery is an effective solution for some men and women, but it’s not always an accessible one. Thankfully, nonsurgical treatments such as hair stimulation with secretomes or PRP at my Los Angeles-area practice are providing faster, easier ways to stimulate natural hair growth over time.
In this blog post, I’ll provide a bit more information about secretomes or PRP hair restoration and how it can help you grow thicker, denser hair without surgery.
The Reality of Hair Loss
Hair loss affects 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. and starts as early as puberty. The risk increases by age; 50% of men and 40% of women will experience noticeable loss by age 50. The causes typically include genetic factors, environmental factors, hormones, autoimmune disorders, stress, medications, and pregnancy. Often, a combination of causes results in an increased likelihood of alopecia (hair loss).
Improved Nonsurgical Treatments
Nonsurgical hair restoration through FDA-approved drugs is much more accessible to most people than hair restoration surgery. Medications such as Minoxidil (Rogaine®) and Finasteride (Propecia®), however, aren’t always effective. Reasons include:
- The results often fall short of expectations.
- When patients stop treatments they usually experience an almost complete loss of the acquired hair.
- Patients quickly lose enthusiasm and stop following the treatment protocol.
- These medications can cause side effects that require monitoring and documentation. Learn more in this blog post.
Off-label treatments to manage hair loss emerged to make up for these shortcomings. In addition to the popular secretomes or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) approach, treatments using fat, cosmeceuticals, growth factors, dietary supplements, and low-energy laser or LED lights have also become effective options. The most recent option is to stimulate hair growth with a single injection of secretomes that contain more growth factors than found in platelets.
As a clinical investigator of the usage of secretomes, PRP, fat and its enhancement cells, and light therapy, I continue to advance the safety and efficacy of these off-label and FDA-approved treatments for all types of hair loss.
Secretomes or PRP Hair Stimulation Candidates
Ideal candidates for this approach are individuals who have just begun to notice hair loss, who lead healthy lifestyles, and who are fit. Once a significant amount of hair loss or thinning occurs, the opportunity to restore hair by nonsurgical means may be limited. In these advanced stages of alopecia, the only practical alternatives include the use of hair pieces or sessions of surgical hair transplantation.
Secretomes or PRP Risks and Benefits
The use of Secretomes or PRP has demonstrated effectiveness for male and female androgenetic alopecia. Although there is no guarantee full restoration will happen, most patients enjoy noticeably increased density and thickness of the stimulated hairs.
Secretomes are frozen in sterile vials of 1cc, 2, and 5cc volumes. Upon thawing for 5 minutes, the solution is ready for usage. Each vial can be further diluted on a 1:1 basis to provide a greater therapeutic volume for intradermal injections to the scalp. Since secretomes are composed of growth factors and cytokines from donor bone marrow stem cells, they are considered to be a cell-free solution. The production and single treatment with secretomes are under strict FDA guidelines and regulations. A recent publication reports the use of secretomes intravenously for the treatment of Covid-19 patients on respirators in ICU. A significant number of patients recovered without any complications or side effects. For further infomation, please refer to the section on Hair Restoration.
To obtain PRPs, a volume of your whole blood needs to be drawn from an arm vein. The whole blood is processed by centrifugation to obtain concentrated levels of platelets. Since you are the source of the platelets, there is minimal risk of infection, immunological responses, and side effects. Since PRP treatments require at least 6 sessions a year, the duration of sustained growth is still being investigated. Patients have the option of combining PRP treatments with FDA-approved drugs, dietary supplements, growth factors, and light therapy for optimal results.
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All cells normally secrete vesicles that contain their molecular messengers (growth factors, cytokines, RNAs) which influence the behavior of adjacent cells by regulating cellular proliferation, blood flow, immunomodulation, and inflammatory processes. In recent years, increasing attention has focused on the roles of extracellular vesicles in promoting normal physiological balance and regenerative repair. Secretomes are derived from stem cells in bone marrow, adipose tissue, placental tissue, and umbilical cord jelly, under strict regulatory guidelines and full compliancy of the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
In 2022, Dr. Sasaki published one of the first Investigational Review Board studies on the application of secretomes, as an alternative method, for hair loss. Moreover, the innovative topical application of these cell-free bioactive molecules are under study to alter the effects of microdermabrasion, microneedling, and laser-resurfacing when they are used to improve the signs of aging skin.
As President-elect of the Aesthetic Stem Cell Society, Dr. Sasaki is a recognized leader in stem cell research of adipose regenerative cells, platelet-rich plasma, and secretomes. Dr. Sasaki has published over 15 manuscripts on these ground-breaking applications based on Investigational Research Board oversight for patient safety and efficacy.
If you would like to learn more about how hair restoration with secretomes or PRP in the Los Angeles area can help you, please contact us using the online form or call (626) 268-4524 to request a consultation.