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Hope for Alopecia

Aug 31, 2022 ● By Meena Malhotra, M.D.
A person holding a clump of hair that they pulled out of a brush.

Photo credit pexels-towfiqu-barbhuiya-9755382

Alopecia means thinning or loss of hair. Hormonal and genetic influences play a role in this process. Because the latter cause cannot be changed, treatment is mainly focused on hormonal blockages and stimulating the hair follicles back into the phase of growth.

Other than vanity, alopecia and hair loss can cause severe psychosocial stress. Optimally balanced hormones are one of the prerequisites for healthy hair, along with steady nutrition status. Adequate protein, plus vitamins D, B and iron are needed for the robust health of hair follicles. Many times hair follicles go into a dormant phase (telegen) due to hormonal fluctuations or weight change, and spend longer times in the shedding phase (exogen) than the growing phase (anagen).

Stimulation of hair follicles using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can bring them back into the growing anagen phase. This is essentially harnessing the body’s restorative capacity, and using those growth factors rich in PRP in the scalp to activate hair follicles.

Treating the scalp with PRP is a minimally invasive procedure which begins with a simple blood draw. Blood is processed using special technology, which is happening while a potent numbing cream is working on the scalp. Growth factors are harvested from the blood and injected back into the scalp, where they stimulate the dormant hair follicles, resulting in the emergence of new vellus/fine hairs, as well as improvement of hair quality, color and width. For most people, it can take three to six months to see full results.

Meena Malhotra, M.D., is the medical director and owner of Heal n Cure, located at 2420 Ravine Way, Ste. 400, in Glenview. For more information, call 847-686-4444 or visit