Botulinum toxin and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) are two treatments used by Johannesburg-based aesthetic practitioner, Dr Reza Mia, to treat balding hair.
Says Dr Mia: “It is important to understand that baldness is not a medical disorder. Rather, it is a condition by which the hair follicles under the scalp shrink to the point where they can no longer produce replacement follicles. Since each follicle typically regenerates every 2–6 years, baldness is a slow but continual physiological process that results in patches of baldness on the scalp connecting with other patches to form a hairline.”
Dr Mia notes that sweating in the scalp increases the damage to the hair follicles. He continues: “Botulinum toxin reduces and prevents sweating in the areas and such injections, paired with injections of vitamins (cocktail mixture) are generally known to encourage hair growth and appear to improve the tissue environment surrounding the hair follicles by decreasing scalp tension and improving blood flow.”
Treatments for balding hair could be either medical or surgical. There are surgical options for treating baldness such as hair transplantation. Surgical alternatives are considerably more expensive than botulinum toxin injections or prescription medications. For this reason, more and more patients are looking into botulinum toxin hair replacement.
Explains Dr Mia: “Botulinum toxin has been used safely and successfully in ophthalmology for over 15 years and for wrinkle therapy for almost 10 years. It has even been approved by the FDA for neurological disorders and some cosmetic use. In the amounts used for botulinum toxin hair replacement treatments/ vitamin hair replacement treatments, the typical side effects are temporary and localised to the area of injection. However, medical treatment is not an exact science and the degree of the improvement is variable. Typical side effects of the scalp treatments were those normally linked with botulinum toxin injections are temporary swelling, bruising, pain, etc.
PRP Hair restoration treatment
In a PRP treatment, the use of a person’s own blood platelets enhances hair growth. Dr Mia uses PRP treatment for hair loss, or to improve the recovery and results of hair transplant surgery. In the field of tissue regeneration, research is continuing to progress regarding the use of PRP’s ability to stimulate stem cells, improve wound healing, and rejuvenate skin and hair follicles.
Dr Mia uses the FDA approved Celluvance PRP process to separate and activate PRP for use as a stand-alone therapy or in conjunction with hair transplantation.
Initially, patients would return for three treatments over three months. It typically takes another three months to measure the improvements. Over time, the course of treatment may need to be repeated depending on the patient’s response to therapy, hair loss condition and goals. Additional treatments with PRP may be necessary in order to maintain the desired results.