SAN ANTONIO – Thinning hair is a problem millions of men and women face. There are lotions, creams, even transplants available to treat hair loss, and now there’s another option.
The answer to a fuller, thicker head of hair may just be in a person’s blood.
When hairdresser Chad Gunter's own hair started thinning, he was determined to stop it.
“It’s nerve racking. I've always had long hair, I've always had a lot of hair and so when it started thinning out I looked for a lot of different options," Gunter said.
He finally turned to Dr. Laura Bennack with Radiance Med Spa to try something new, called "PRP" or Platelet Rich Plasma Hair Restoration.
“We take the blood just like we do a blood draw, and we use a special tube that has a special gel in it and that isolates the platelets and growth factors, " Dr. Laura Bennack said.
After the blood is drawn, it’s placed in a centrifuge and spun for seven minutes where the platelets are separated from the blood.
“We then re-inject it into the scalp. That stimulates the follicles with growth factors to make hair grow,” Bennack said.
The PRP is injected into the scalp using a special syringe with three needles on it. The number of injections depends on the size of area treated. The process is done in three treatments done one month apart.
Chad Gunter started seeing results after the first treatment.
“After the third week, I started seeing some baby hair coming in. After the second treatment I really started to see a big difference. I just got a hair cut a couple of weeks ago and my own hair dresser said, ‘What are you doing to your hair? What's going on here?’" Gunter said.
Dr. Bennack said his results are not unusual and it works on both men and women.
"Men with male patterned baldness, where they are just beginning to see a little bit here and little bit back there are perfect for PRP and they are really going to see a good response. It is also perfect for women with thinning hair. The most dramatic results are on men and women who are at the early stages of hair loss," Bennack said.
The cost is $500 to $800 dollars per treatment and patients should return every 8 months or so after the initial three treatments for a maintenance treatment.
Gunter said the needles are a little painful but well worth it, because while he loves fixing the hair of others for a living he’s really happy to be able to style his own hair again.
"I've seen some really, really amazing results." Chad said.