There is no bigger "big-wig" than Oprah... and if you doubt that, all you need to do is check the cover of the Sep '13 issue of "O" where you'll find Oprah wearing a 3.5lb wig she calls "Wild Thang." Timed perfectly to appear in Mid-August, which is the AAD's 13th Annual National Hair Loss Awareness Month, Oprah covers everything you need to know about hair... and hair loss. On p152, there's a discussion about the significant psychological impact of hair loss and how it makes one feel, "What we could once bend (or straighten or color) to our will feels suddenly, terrifyingly beyond our control."
During my interview with the folks at "O" a few months back, we discussed medical treatments, surgical options, cosmetic 'quick fixes' as well as the future of hair loss treatments.
In the final article, a comprehensive discussion of the modern medical treatments for the most common type of hair loss: chronic, genetic, hereditary female pattern hair loss was included. "Three Good Bets" recommended are topical minoxidil, anti-androgen pharmaceuticals, and hair transplantation. At Bauman Medical Group, we've been prescribing these therapies and more for many years.
As far as Minoxidil goes, we recommend the prescription "Formula 82M" as an alternative to the more common over-the-counter Rogaine and generic formulations. Formula 82M is more powerful than the OTC minoxidil because is has a synergy of potent hair growth ingredients and penetrating agents in a proprietary formula. It also has far fewer side-effects than the over-the-counter versions resulting in superior hair growth, but also leaving hair manageable and scalp healthy without the gooey, sticky feeling.
Prescription anti-androgens like finasteride (Propecia) and spironolactone (Aldactone) can be prescribed off-label to postmenopausal women who have been tested for "high androgen sensitivity" using a quick, reliable genetic test. Done in minutes with a cheek-swab, the Androgen Sensitivity test can predict whether a woman is likely to respond to anti-androgen treatments, like Propecia, before she starts therapy. We believe that diagnostic and routine measurements with the HairCheck cross-sectional hair bundle trichometer is a critical step in managing the hair loss process and monitoring regrowth--in order to verify how well the treatment is working.
And, of course, hair transplantation is the most permanent solution to replace dead hair follicles with your own living and growing hair from the back of the scalp. Although we were excited to see the first-person account of the female hair transplant patient in Oprah's Magazine (p.153), we were disappointed to learn that she had the old-style linear harvesting (strip removal with stitches or staples in the back of the scalp) as opposed to the newer, less invasive FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) or "NeoGraft FUE" style of hair transplantation---which does not leave a linear scar. At Bauman Medical Group, our prominent female patients, like Anushka of Anushka Spa and Salon of Palm Beach, have had great public success with their NeoGraft FUE hair transplants.
"Instant (& Cheap) Gratification"
On p.153, according to Oprah, "instant gratification" can be found by using the Pantene AgeDefy Hair Thickening Treatment which is a styling spray used at the roots. AgeDefy Hair Thickening Treatment thickens existing hair-strand diameters by up to 10%, giving a feeling of up to 6500 more hairs. At Bauman Medical Group, we performed the blinded clinical trial for Pantene's AgeDefy product last year on over 100 women and found that over 90% were extremely satisfied with the results of the product, allowing them to have more styling options and more coverage of the scalp.
"The Future Looks Bright (And Very Full)"
PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is already being used to stimulate hair growth using a process which derives the treatment from your own blood. We have many local South Florida patients and others from around the globe coming to Boca Raton for the latest non-invasive hair growth treatment utilizing your own platelet-derived growth factors. A "lunch-time" procedure, PRP takes less than one hour in the office and may be combined with Extracellular Matrix products like ACell/Matristem and followed by the MicroPen microneedling device, similar to a facial-rejuvenation process made famous by Kim Kardashian when she had her "Vampire Facelift." At Bauman Medical Group, we've had some exciting results in both hereditary hair loss and other alopecia patients using "Vampire" PRP, some of whom were featured on a recent news story with NBC WPTV Palm Beach. We are also prescribing Latisse (bimatoprost) off-label for scalp hair regrowth as another topical treatment alternative to minoxidil. As I mentioned on p.153, hopefully by 2025 we will be able to multiply hair from a small biopsy to produce unlimited follicles for transplantation.
On the cover, Oprah wants everyone to "Have a Great Hair Day!" and with all the excellent hair loss information in this month's magazine, I'm sure many more people will do so!
For more information about the latest preventative and restorative treatments for hair loss prescribed by Dr. Alan J. Bauman, M.D., please visit http://www.baumanmedical.com