Hair Loss: Causes, Clinical Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

While hair loss is one of the most visible medical conditions, the pain is silent, invisible, and overwhelming for many people. There are several underlying contributors to hair loss. A variety of factors can cause hair loss— from nutritional deficiencies to stress. However, the feelings of self-consciousness can be the same regardless of why your hair is thinning. Fortunately, there are lots of options for hair regrowth. If you're experiencing balding or have noticed thinning hair, it's important to learn what you can do to deal with it.

Meet the expert

Dr. Reena Jogi is a dermatologist who specializes in PRP Hair Restoration in Houston, Texas.



The clinical term for hair loss is called "alopecia" is the medical term for hair loss. This is a general medical term used to describe any kind of hair loss. Hair loss can occur for many different reasons, including: 

  • Age 
  • Hormones
  • Cancer treatments
  • Medications 
  • Hereditary factors 

Clinical Diagnosis: Types of Hair loss 

There are many diagnoses related to hair loss, including: 

  • Alopecia areata - This is one of the most common forms of hair loss. It’s an autoimmune disease. With this disease, the person’s immune system attacks hair follicles resulting in hair loss. It can affect men and women. 
  • Scarring alopecia - This is an inflammatory condition that results in permanent hair loss. 
  • Telogen effluvium - This occurs when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. If the number of hair follicles producing hair drops significantly, it results in shedding or hair loss. This condition is common after surgery. 
  • Androgenetic alopecia - Male or female pattern baldness. 
  • Centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) - Characterized by inflammation of the scalp, scarring. Results in permanent hair loss. 
  • Lichen planopilaris (LPP) - A progressive inflammatory disease that results in permanent hair loss over time. 
  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA)- A slowly progressive inflammatory disease characterized by permanent hair loss. 

Finding the right treatment for hair loss begins with getting the correct diagnosis. To get an accurate diagnosis, it helps to see a dermatologist. These doctors have in-depth training and knowledge about hair loss and can make the correct diagnosis.

What Can a Dermatologist Do for Hair Loss?

Many people assume that hair regrowth is impossible. However, a conversation with a hair loss expert can open new horizons for getting back to who you were before the hair loss.

There are many treatments for hair loss and treatment plans can vary based on why a person is experiencing hair loss. Treatments for these conditions have typically relied on topical medications, oral medications, and injections.  One of the most effective treatments is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). 

PRP for Hair Loss: What Makes This an Option Worth Exploring?

Many people have heard of PRP in contexts other than hair restoration. PRP injections have been used by professional athletes for decades to help heal tissue following injuries and strains. PRP injections are helpful in tissue healing because they speed up cellular production to create "new cells" in places that are slow to heal due to scarring. In recent years, PRP injections have become wildly popular in mainstream medicine for use in treating tissue injuries, scar healing, post-surgical healing, and surgery prevention. There's actually a PRP facial that uses a person's own platelet cells to ramp up collagen production to "turn back the clock." What's known about platelets following decades of using them in wound healing and regeneration is that they accelerate healing.

Why is all of this important when talking about platelet-rich plasma for hair loss? The same mechanisms of PRP that can rejuvenate tissue cells may also be able to rejuvenate follicles for natural hair regrowth without surgery or medications. The big benefit of PRP is that a person is using their own platelet-rich plasma that has been sourced from a blood draw. This reduces the chances of infections or complications. Following a 2015 randomized placebo-controlled study on the effect of platelet-rich plasma in hair regrowth, researchers found that patients treated with PRP had significantly increased hair regrowth.

How Does PRP for Hair Loss Work?

Blood comprises red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. The platelets in blood are responsible for cell growth and regeneration. Platelet-rich plasma has roughly five times the platelets of regular blood. Before PRP treatments, placements are separated from the rest of the blood in a centrifuge to create a concentrated product that can be injected at the site of hair loss. Platelets are injected deep into the scalp to reach the deep part of the hair follicle to stimulate cells called dermal papilla cells that play essential roles in hair growth.

Many patients find PRP treatments to be very convenient. There is no downtime required. A patient is free to immediately resume daily life following PRP treatments. What's more, there is never any need to conceal the head following PRP sessions because this is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that doesn't leave behind any telltale signs that treatments for hair loss are going on. 

A significant benefit to PRP is that there is no need to use surgery, hormonal treatments, or other methods that try to "trick" the body into growing hair. A PRP injection simply uses a higher concentration of platelets that a person is naturally producing in their own body to "awaken" hair follicles. Each session takes roughly an hour. Many patients require several sessions to see their desired results. Due to the fact that cellular regeneration is a process, it may take several months for results to be seen. 

What Is the PRP Hair Treatment Success Rate?

Various studies have found that PRP is an effective treatment for hair loss. A 2019 study examined the difference between minoxidil (Rogaine)and platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) treatment on a type of hair loss called androgenetic alopecia. One group in the study used minoxidil while the other received PRP injections. In this particular study, PRP was much more effective than Rogaine for hair loss.  

PRP Doesn't Necessarily Have to Be Used Alone

The non-invasive nature of PRP makes it perfectly safe to use in conjunction with other hormonal treatments for hair loss in most cases. Some studies indicate that PRP may be the most effective when used in conjunction with other treatments. Someone who is investing time and money into traditional treatments for hair loss may want to consider using PRP treatments to bolster the results by creating the right conditions for growth through increased cellular regeneration at the site of hair loss. 

It's also important to note that PRP is not necessarily considered a "permanent cure" for hair loss. While there is no cure for hair loss, PRP can be a long-term treatment that helps people enjoy regrowth using a natural, non-invasive method. Most people who see success following PPR for hair loss treatments need additional treatments to maintain their positive results. Of course, this is also true of anyone who finds success with the mainstream medications for treating hair loss that is available today.

Is PRP Hair Treatment a Good Option for Every Type of Hair Loss?

Platelet Rich Plasma can be used to treat hair loss from a variety of causes. However, it is not right for everyone. That’s why it’s so important to schedule an appointment with a hair loss expert. A dermatologist will conduct a full evaluation that examines the underlying causes of hair loss. They will then talk with you to help you decide whether or not PRP is the right choice for you. 

Final Thoughts on Hair Loss Treatment

No matter your gender or age, dealing with hair loss can be discouraging. However, the good news is that there are many options for thinning hair, including platelet-rich plasma for hair loss, which is an excellent treatment. Contact Dr. Reena Jogi in Houston, TX to learn more about your options. 

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