New technology gives women with thinning hair more treatment options

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When faced with hair loss, women traditionally haven't had as many treatment options as men. But according to experts, recent technological advancements have given women more options to help regrow their thinning tresses.

Aryln Stern experienced this firsthand - just 10 months ago, she had visible patches of missing hair. "It was incredibly devastating," she recalled.

Stern's doctor recommended that she try a new product containing Minoxidil, a hair regrowth medication that is available over the counter.

Within months, Stern said she saw results.

"Little by little, all of the sudden, follicles are really coming in and it just began to really grow out," she said.

Stern's treatment, which cost about $30 per bottle, is just one of several options for women with hair loss. And the number of treatments is growing.

One of the newest therapies is Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP.

Sharon Eckhart, who has experienced hair shedding, pays about $1,400 per PRP session and gets the procedure done every six months.

"It's cumulative so each time I have it done the results are better and better," she said.

The procedure involves taking platelets from the patient's own blood and then injecting them back into their scalp while the patient is under anesthesia. The goal is to regenerate blood vessels to the follicle.

"We see about 80 percent have a positive result. Within two months, we can reduce shedding to a normal level," said Dr. Joseph Greco of Greco Medical Group, which specializes in hair restoration. "It takes about a year for reversing the thinning."

There are also high-tech devices that patients can use at home, such as a low-level laser helmet or comb, which can range in price from $300 to $700. Doctors say that patients utilizing at-home treatments such as these need to make sure the device is FDA approved and used only as directed.

Although there are surgical options available, experts say only about 13 percent of hair loss surgeries are performed on women because transplantation does not help thinning and shedding, which are common complaints from women.

Both Stern and Eckhart said they are happy with their results and that the time and money spent was worth it.

"I don't care about the amount of money I've spent. It's been very worth it for me because I have my hair back," Eckhart said.
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