Hair growth has been reported with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections which utilize many injections into the scalp and doctors are now doing this wold wide to induce hair growth where there is great need for it. I have been hesitant to accept this treatment because there are no good studies that prove it works. Maybe it does in some people, but clearly not all people, so that is the problem.

Nicole E. Rogers, M.D. reported (in the Hair Transplant Forum, January/February issue, on some research done in India where doctors used a roller micro-needling technique to produce multiple wounds in the scalp to see if it grew hair. Each session lasted 20-25 minutes. These treatments were given every week for 4 weeks, then every other week for 11 sessions for a total of 15 sessions. At the end of six months, three patient reported a greater than 755 increase in their hair. The forth patient reported a 50% increase in his hair. At the end of 18 months, all patients reported that they maintained their new hair.

It was interesting to note from Dr. Rogers, that PRP is like the micro-needling. So I ask: Is is easier and less intrusive to do micro-needling with a roller rather than PRP?

So like any good capitalist, I went on to the Amazon website and found you could buy a dermaroller which essentially does the same thing as I discussed above, for under $20. Of course, you cold come to my office and I could charge you $1000 for each 20 minute needle treatment, but you won’t get a dermaroller to take home to try to save you the money the next time (the material I wrote here on the dermaroller is written to be funny, of course). Is this Black Magic?

CDC recommends young women avoid alcohol unless they are using contraception

USA Today (2/2, Szabo) reports, “Women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol unless they’re using contraception, federal health officials said” yesterday. “‘Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,’ said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Schuchat pointed out, “About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.”

The Washington Post (2/2, Izadi) reports in “Health & Science” that “an estimated 3.3 million women who drink are sexually active but not on birth control,” according to a CDC report released yesterday. In addition, “three out of four women who want to get pregnant don’t stop drinking alcohol when they stop using” contraception. The agency “warns that consuming alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders,” and “there is no known amount of alcohol that’s safe to consume while pregnant.”

Hair transplant surgery, or in fact any surgical procedure has the potential to harm a fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy. For women who have such surgery and are not on birth control pills, they should get a pregnancy test BEFORE undergoing any such type of surgery to avoid miscarriages or other fetal problems.

I spent about an hour tonight on youtube reviewing a Denmark based hair stem cell clinic with other offices in Europe (  I watched three videos about a half an hour each. What I saw was flamboyance with 8 star offices. One office was based in a castle,  very impressive spokesperson, communicative in multiple languages including English, and lots of fluff. When it got down to the reality of what they were doing, it was FUE, plain and simple. It was a limited procedure that they demonstrated, and despite the claims that they were extracting stem cells and that one hair would produce two, and two would produce forr and so on, the reality of what my professional eye was seeing was nothing more than a limited FUE procedure with no stem cells other then those normally found in an FUE graft and no cloning. I am asked many times about Dr. Gho’s stem cell technique and heretofore, have not commented on it.  I teach my patients a very basic principle about balding, that there is a limit to the amount of hair that one has. Short of an act of God, no doctor has yet gotten two healthy hairs from one, four hairs from two and so on. Somehow, Dr. Gho did not look like the God I know. People with advanced balding patterns must have limited goals. What I saw were a few patients who could never achieve any sense of reasonable results for the balding patterns they showed and with the number of grafts that were offered. I know that pomp and fluff sells and the dream of hair transplant patient world-wide is to have either stem cells or cloning solve their hair shortage problem, but I would suggest that readers of this blog follow the old adage that ‘let the the buyer beware’ and let it be a guiding principle for everyone looking into hair transplantation. I must be lucky because most of the patients I see, educate themselves about this hair restoration process and would never fall for scams. When patients just don’t know, I push them to get educated and this is why the editors write this blog, to educate our readership.

This type of complaint is not totally unheard of. Shrinking of the testicles after taking Propecia for one day is an impossibility, yet some people have reported this before. It is a reflection of a condition called Body Dysmorphic Syndrome (BDS) and we see similar things reported by some patients some of the time. It is not that these patients don’t really believe it, but their reality is different than most people’s sense of reality. I have also heard of one patient who reported taking the first dose of Propecia and an hour later, reported he was impotent. This again, is highly unlikely and is a psychological reaction to what some people read on the internet and the suggestive power of these words to their psyche.