Nothing says youth and health like a full head of luscious hair. Unfortunately, as we age our hair can thin and become dry and brittle. A number of medical conditions and prescription drugs can also negatively affect our hair, leading to embarrassing hair loss for men and women alike that lowers our self-esteem and has us reaching for beanies and baseball hats. At Refined Dermatology in Los Gatos, regaining your youthful appearance isn’t just about the quality of your skin (but that’s a biggie). Great skin can only get you so far when your hair is subpar. Want to find out how you can restore your hair to a luscious sheen? We invite you to meet Dr. Steven Swengel and learn about other services for men. We love working with patients in Los Gatos and greater San Jose and we invite you to get in touch with our office today by calling 408-384-3845.
Utilize your body’s own natural means of re-starting hair growth with platelets your blood already produces, concentrated, for an instant jolt of hair restoration magic. When you inject platelet-rich plasma into the scalp, it reactivates “sleeping” hair follicles. Everyone is born with an average amount of hairs per follicle, usually ranging from one to five. Thinning hair is often a decrease in hairs per follicle. This hair growth can be reactivated as long as the follicle isn’t “dead,” or at zero hairs per follicle.
Platelets are packed with growth factor proteins. They’re responsible for healing the body, and are instantly directed to an injury whenever an ouchie occurs. However, some parts of the body don’t naturally have the best blood flow. PRP therapy is used to help treat injuries in ligaments and tendons where blood flow is lacking, but you can also maximize the power of platelets by directly injecting them into desired areas—like hair follicles. Your blood is full of natural healing powers. Why not bottle them and direct them exactly where you want them to work their magic?
Each injection requires just one blood draw. Next, that blood is put in a centrifuge where it’s spun to separate platelets from the rest of the blood. Finally, the “platelet-poor plasma” is removed so you’re left with only the most powerful contenders. Platelets only last a short time outside of the body, so this procedure is fast and efficient. It can take a few weeks for results to begin to show. Patience and platelets are an incredible one-two punch that requires nothing beyond your body’s own growth factors.
Above: PRP Treatment For Hair Loss Before/After Photo*
Photos: Before Treatment / 1 Treatment / After Treatment
Need a little more help? Smart Grafts are minor surgical procedures that use state of the art tech, no scalpels, for a permanent* solution. FUE, or follicular unit extraction, is a process that transplants hair follicles from one place to another. Make use of the thick parts of your hair (most of us have them), and move that fullness to the places you need it most. No overnight stays or hospital Jell-O required.
With Smart Graft, you get a totally natural look using your own hair to fill in thin or balding spots. There’s minimal scarring, especially compared to traditional hair grafts. Thanks to these tiny micro grafts, there’s no risk of a linear scar (and no awkward explanations if you choose a fancy updo or buzz cut in the future). It’s all done in a single, fast, in-office procedure. In just five hours, you’ll get a fuller, luxurious head of hair—and some serious self-confidence. There’s virtually no downtime, and you’ll be able to wash your hair like normal in just a few days.
Smart Graft works at a microscopic level where one to four hair follicles are removed at a time and transplanted to the desired area. Thicker hair is usually found at the back of the head where you could stand to “donate” a few to thinner regions. It’s your real hair, just in the exact areas where you want it. You’ll see immediate results so there’s no wondering if the process is what you wanted. However, don’t be surprised when the follicles fall out as the new hair grows. There’s no waiting for results or wondering if the process is what you want. Customize your hair line, your thickness, and your results.
Smart Graft is coupled with PRP to encourage transplanted hair to root into the scalp forever*. These follicles can fall out in the first few months after treatment, but PRP can prevent excessive fallout. Refined Dermatology can create new hairlines, restore bald spots, and even place hair follicles in the eyebrows! Who needs microblading when you can have your real hair perfectly shaped as you wish?
It depends. Comfort levels vary based on the person for both PRP and Smart Graft. However, both procedures are much less painful than invasive alternatives such as a traditional hair transplant. All precautions are taken to ensure the process is as pain-free as possible. PRP is often described as “uncomfortable” in worst-case scenarios. However, injections are fast and the injection process is complete in under two minutes. Smart Grafts take much longer, but with topical and injected anesthetics, the most “painful” part of the process is usually waiting with anticipation to see your fantastic results!
Again, it depends. This can be a frustrating answer, but both PRP and Smart Graft procedures are customized for each person. But don’t worry, all fees are laid out and completely transparent during your consultation. Payment plans are available and HSA programs can often be utilized to help pay for treatments.
With PRP, once again it depends. There is no guarantee, and everyone responds differently to treatment. The only way to tell if PRP is effective for you is to give it a try. Some people see results with one treatment, others require more. Smart Graft is highly effective. In rare cases, follicles can reject their transplant. However, even when this does happen, it is highly unlikely that every follicle will reject.
Other hair restoration options include either invasive, painful, and scar-inducing traditional grafts or potentially dangerous topical treatments like minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine). PRP and Smart Graft are safe, effective, and utilize your natural body for results.
This is something that must be decided by your hair restoration doctor. Both men and women may be great candidates for PRP and Smart Graft. However, some disorders and diseases can mean that PRP won’t help with hair growth. If this is the case and the client has enough “spare hair,” Smart Graft may still be possible. However, a person does need to have enough hair for a micro transplant. There are also some medications, diseases, and disorders which can make a client a poor candidate for one or both procedures.
Preparation depends on which treatment you opt for. PRP generally requires that you avoid caffeine, certain medications, and raising the heart rate the day of the procedure. If you’re getting Smart Graft, you’ll want to wash your hair the day of the procedure because you will be unable to for a few days post-procedure. Your hair restoration doctor will provide you with a complete list of pre- and post-care instructions.
We work with many insurance companies, but hair restoration is usually considered an elective procedure. It’s unfortunately rare that insurance will cover all or part of these procedures. However, we are happy to work with you to customize a payment plan and/or charge your HAS account.
Needles are required in both procedures. Anxiety can be a real obstacle for many potential clients. However, transparency before and during the procedure as well as having a medical team skilled in patient safety and comfort can help you overcome this challenge.
Maybe your biggest complaint isn’t lack of hair, but too much of it. We’ve got you covered with the latest laser hair removal procedures. An average woman spends 72 days of her life shaving just her legs. Men spend an average of 45 days of their life shaving their face and neck. Get your time back with laser hair removal, one of the most popular services for men.
A lot of patients ask us what the difference is between hair loss and hair restoration. For hair loss, medical treatments may include medication, supplements, and topical solutions like Minoxidil (largely for alopecia patients). However, PRP and Smart Graft are cosmetic treatments designed for hair restoration. Not sure if you need hair restoration treatments or hair loss treatments? Schedule a consultation and find out by calling 408-384-3845.