Minoxidil

This topical medication is thought to increase Nitric Oxide (NO). NO causes vasodilation of blood vessels that bring nutrients to the hair follicle. Additionally, Minoxidil promotes the growth phase of hair (anagen) and shortens the telogen (resting) phase. Minoxidil must be used forever since discontinuation can lead to loss of hair that was gained during therapy. Minoxidil cannot be used during pregnancy.

Finasteride (Propecia 1mg or Proscar 5mg ¼ of a tablet)

Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that blocks DHT- the hormone that causes hair follicles to produce thinner, weaker hair. Dr. Harper uses a specially compounded form of finasteride called FinPlus that contains Finasteride with added biotin, saw palmetto, horsetail, nettle astragalus, poria cocos, and rehmannia that boost the effectiveness of this medication. Finasteride must be used forever since discontinuation can lead to loss of hair that was gained during therapy. It may take as long as 6 months to notice benefits with this medication. Side effects of finasteride include erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, gynecomastia, chills, cold sweats, confusion, dizziness. These side effects usually occur with the 5 mg dose used for prostate issues, not the lower 1 mg does use for hair loss.

Spironolactone or Aldactone

This medication blocks androgen production that decreases the amount of DHT, the hormone that causes hair follicles to produce thinner, weaker hair follicles. This medication is commonly used in PCOS. Normal dosages are 50-100 mg and it may take 3 months to work. Once effectiveness has been established, hair can typically be maintained with a lower dose. Side effects include hyperkalemia, headache, fatigue, menstrual irregularity, and GI bleeding.

Progesterone

This hormone blocks androgen production that decreases the amount of DHT, the hormone that causes hair follicles to produce thinner, weaker hair follicles.

Low Level Light/Laser Therapy (LLL)

Red light therapy in the spectrum of 630-670 NM increases cellular ATP production that stimulates growth, extracellular matrix deposition and cell proliferation at the hair follicle improving hair growth as well as hair health. LLL decreases inflammation and increases blood supply to the scalp area. Hair follicles need to be present for this treatment to be effective.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

PRP contains natural growth and healing factors that accelerate tissue regeneration to enhance hair follicle function. In addition, PRP has been shown to stimulate stem cells to regenerate hair. Additional growth factors may be added to increase the effectiveness of this treatment.

Microneedling

A small hand held device allows 10,000 precise channels to be created through which PRP can better be absorbed into the scalp.

A-Cell

A-Cell is a cellular regenerator that activates and recruits stem cells that are critical for healthy hair growth. This product can be used with or without PRP.

Protein

Provides critical amino acid building blocks for hair growth including cysteine and methionine. Additionally, methionine is involved with the methylation process described earlier and cysteine is vital for glutathione production.

Iron

Iron will be given based on blood work. We use a special form of iron that is not irritating to the stomach and is non-constipating. Foods that can decrease the absorption of iron into the blood stream, include coffee, tea, and soybeans. Supplementing the diet with vitamin C can help the body absorb iron. It is wise to eat foods that are high in iron, including lean red meat, dried fruit, broccoli, egg yolks, lentils, spinach, and chicken.

Vitamin D

Vitamin will be given based on blood work. We use a special form of Vitamin D which contains Vitamin K- an additional nutrient that is important to keep calcium in the bones when taking Vitamin D. Vitamin D levels should be measured every 3 months as high levels of Vitamin D can be toxic. Additionally Vitamin D can be found in foods such as Salmon, mushrooms and grains.

Glutathione

This critical antioxidant glutathione is responsible for quenching oxidative stress and calming autoimmune inflammation.

Zinc

Zinc will be given based on the zinc challenge test. Additionally zinc can be found in foods such as lamb, turkey, pumpkin seeds and chocolate. Periodic testing for blood levels of zinc will be done. 30- 40 mg/day of zinc may be used for at least 1 year.

Multivitamin with Vitamins A, E, B complex and Omega-3 and 6’sA twice-daily dose of a complete multivitamin with the above nutrients should be taken for healthy hair as well as a healthy body. Additionally, B vitamins can be found in foods such as grains, eggs, and avocadoes.

Biotin

A component necessary for the production and maintenance of healthy hair. Biotin enhances hair growth, thickens hair fibers and diminishes shedding. It also plays a role in the overall health of skin and nails. Biotin is found in foods like egg yolks, liver, rice, and milk.

Other nutrients

Melatonin, Gingko (antioxidant), Saw palmetto (fatty acid oils and sterols), l-Lysine, and l-arginine

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