I am suffering from thinning hair, is the new procedure called ACell + PRP really work?
Doctor Answers 4
Hair loss -- PRP, Progesterone, Viviscal, Rogaine, Finesteride
ACell and PRP combination stopped pattern hair loss in over 99% of our patients - vast majority only needed one treatment
Thank you for your question. You have thinning hair and ask if this new procedure with ACell and PRP really works.
I can certainly give you some information about this “new procedure”. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I have been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years, and I’m the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers where we perform non-surgical regeneration of hair for both men and women with thinning hair using ACell and PRP. So I’ll give you some understanding of how we developed our treatment, and a sense of the benefit.
ACell is a type of extracellular matrix used for wound healing, and derived from pig bladder The use of ACell was first introduced during hair transplant surgery to improve the survival of hair grafts, and to improve the healing of the donor area where hair is harvested. A side-effect was thinning hair occasionally appeared to get thicker. This was going back several years, so at that time I started to ask a different set of questions. What I wanted to know was if someone has thinning hair, are we in fact helping them more by figuring out the best way to deliver Acell PRP without doing a hair transplant. In other words, if you had a certain population of hair, chances are if those hairs got thicker, then conceptually, you will get better coverage than you can with a hair transplant.
Over several years, me and my team in my practice developed a system and a process. We looked at: dosing, different types of hair loss, different ages, and different patterns of hair loss. Over time, we developed an algorithm which we refer to as Hair Regeneration.
Now people come to us from all over the world to have this treatment. We developed TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers as our first effort to see if we can bring this process closer to people who can’t get to us.
There is some confusion about the treatment right now, but I’m also very happy about the growing awareness of the ACell and PRP. When I was first did this as a standalone procedure, there was a lot of resistance from people doing hair transplants who felt financially threatened by the procedure, and people who were suspicious about how well it works, so they suspected results were illustrated. Over time, we were able to organically prove with a large volume of patients and with people coming to us from all over the world for the treatment, so it became difficult to refute the potential benefits of ACell and PRP.
The challenges we faced in the development were in proper dosing, delivery, and dealing with the challenges of inflammation, shock loss, and hair shedding, but at this point, we have systems in place. To answer your original question - in our hands, in our practice, it has been extremely successful, and is our first line of treatment.
Results from Hair Regeneration can potentially exceed the volume correction and the volume impact of not just one but two hair transplant surgeries. This is not a perfect procedure because the limitation is the inventory of existing hair follicles, so if you come to us completely shiny bald and want to see more hair, a hair transplant is likely more appropriate. However, as long as you have hair, even if you consider hair transplant at some point, stopping the progression of hair loss is critical. For 99% of men and women with thinning hair, we’re able to stop progression of hair loss, reactivate hair that has not been growing because of a prolonged sleeping phase called the telogen phase, and induce the shed of thinning hair so thicker hair grows in its place.
For the treatment protocol, the majority of patients were treated with only one injection session, and we have over 5 years data to back its effectiveness and its long-term benefit. A select group of patients with very advanced hair loss are reevaluated in 15 months and do another injection, so it is customized to the individual and is not a one size fits all procedure.
One of the challenges we face in order to scale this procedure is to properly train other doctors as well as staff in how to implement this procedure. I always tell our patients who want to learn more about this is that it’s not like dosing like you would in Botox™, or like you would with a filler. You actually need an understanding of the biologic response and a long view of treatment. There isn’t an immediate response - everyone has their own type of growth cycles, so everyone responds on their own timeline. Sometimes I compare it to building muscle by going to the gym not everyone gets the same result, so their program has to be customized to them.
I think you have enough information to decide if this is worth pursuing. I can state as probably having the most volume of patients who underwent ACell and PRP treatment that it is a very promising treatment. In light of the current concerns about the long-term sexual side-effects of finasteride, for men it has been a great option. Even more significantly, it has been a great alternative for women. For men, there’s a certain percentage of men who can also get transplants, but since women have a more diffuse hair loss, they are typically not good candidates for hair transplant, but 99% of the time, they are good candidates for Hair Regeneration. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question.
PRP with ACELL can always benefit thinning hair although I would suggest seeing a specialist to see your candidacy, health history, and what stage of hair loss you are at. All of these are a factor or what you may need.