A receding hairline, thinning hair… male and female pattern baldness are aesthetic concerns that usually require medical intervention to remedy. Other conditions like alopecia areata or scalp issues that affect hair growth can also benefit from certain prescribed therapies. Dr. Rubinstein, a facial plastic surgeon in the Hudson Valley area in New York and founder of Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC, specializes in three effective hair loss treatment options: laser light therapy, PRP hair restoration, and hair transplant surgery.
Why Undergo Hair Loss Treatment?
Hair loss occurs for a number of reasons. A person may have a genetic predisposition to thinning hair, also known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, depending on their gender. Hair growth on the scalp and body can also be affected by various conditions, such as alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune condition, as well as seborrheic dermatitis or folliculitis, which involve inflammation of the scalp. In certain cases, Dr. Rubinstein may work with other specialists to ensure each concern is addressed
A change in a person’s hair can cause a look of premature aging and detract from the attractive features of their face. Women often feel that their thinning hair affects their femininity. Hair loss treatments can restore the hair and create a more youthful appearance.
Often, people who are losing their hair may choose to cover it with a hat or cut their hair very short because they feel self-conscious with their looks. Oftentimes, through their attempts to conceal hair loss, they inadvertently draw more attention to it. By undergoing custom cosmetic treatments, patients can once again enjoy the hairstyle or haircut of their choice.
The Value of Hair – Scientifically and Societally
The hair on the head grows longer and in a higher concentration than the hair on the rest of the body. Though there are a number of theories as to why this is the case, the main health benefits of having more substantial head hair is sun protection and thermo-regulation, or temperature control. Because humans walk upright, the head is most susceptible to damage from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. In addition to creating a natural barrier to the rays, the hair also contains sweat from the head and prevents in from dripping into the eyes, which could serve as a defense mechanism when a person is exerted.
Aside from hair being a valuable addition to our anatomy, hair has been a part of human aesthetics since ancient civilization. Different hairstyles and colors provide nonverbal cues about a person’s status in society, occupation, and often their age. Hair continues to change with fashion trends and can dramatically improve a person’s looks. While many features on the face and body are permanently in place, the hair offers the easiest way to change one’s appearance. People who experience hair loss are unable to showcase the hair they feel best suits their looks.
Non-Surgical and Surgical Hair Restoration
Dr. Rubinstein is an expert in head and facial anatomy, and he has been reversing hair loss through cosmetic medicine for many of his patients. The doctor integrates proven clinical methods with the latest technology in the field. He combines his skills in science and his honed artistic techniques to create permanent yet natural results. Dr. Rubinstein may be one part of a patient care team comprised of other specialists such as dermatologists, immunologists, and primary care doctors. He may request the patient’s medical information from these doctors to better understand the cause of their hair loss.
Laser Light Therapy for Hair Loss
Cosmetic lasers provide an excellent option for treatments that can affect cellular growth below the skin without seriously impacting the upper layers of the epidermis. During non-surgical laser light therapy for hair restoration, the patient is fitted with a programmable cap-like device or hair helmet that emits low-level wavelengths (abbreviated as LLLT for low-level laser light therapy) to encourage hair growth. In a process called “photobiostimulation,” the rays are thought to improve hair growth at the cellular level. Medical experts believe that increased blood circulation of the area can improve hair growth in follicles that are not performing at optimal levels, though this process cannot revive dead follicles. Laser therapy can be performed as the sole treatment for hair regrowth or it can be performed following a hair transplant surgery to improve final results. This treatment will improve existing growth, curb future hair loss, and produce healthier hair from each follicle. Discovered in the late 1960s, this option remains available in select practices, with some versions available for home use. Treatment time and duration may vary among patients, but 15-minute sessions performed a few times a week for 2-3 months are often required to see results.
PRP Hair Restoration for Hair Loss
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) hair restoration is a non-surgical procedure performed in the setting of Dr. Rubinstein’s practice. First, the patient undergoes a blood draw to produce a sample that is then placed in a centrifuge to separate growth proteins from the remaining contents of the biological material. This platelet-rich plasma is then strategically injected throughout the patient’s scalp to provide nutrients where needed. PRP treatments can also be performed through an initial microneedling session followed by a topical application of the plasma. The plasma, which contains growth factors, prompts the follicles to return to their once-healthy state to produce hair, or higher quality hair. The procedure can be performed in about 30 minutes and will be scheduled once a month for about three months. Patience can maintain results by returning twice annually for PRP restoration treatments. This treatment can also be performed with Acell, a porcine-(pig) based product that encourages reparative cells and stem cell grown, or to enhance hair transplant surgery.
Hair Transplant Surgery
The popular surgical method used to physically relocate hair from one area of the scalp to another is referred to as hair transplant surgery. Unlike older procedures where patients were left with hair plugs, the newer methods transplant a few hairs at a time creating a natural hair line. The procedure can be performed through different methods, primarily follicular unit transplantation (FUT or strip FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). During an FUT surgery, a strip of skin containing healthy hair follicles is removed from the back of the head where hair is the densest, and the follicles are extracted from the strip and individually implanted into thinning or bald areas of the scalp. The patient will have a permanent scar on the back of the head which can be concealed by hair growth or surgical scar revision techniques. An FUE procedure requires the use of a device that vertically punches out the hair follicle and surrounding skin to implant into hairless recipient areas of the scalp. Rather than taking hair from one area on the scalp, the procedure generally calls for a more random extraction process, effectively concealing the transplanted follicles. Depending on the patient’s requests and surgical results, this procedure may be performed one or more times to achieve the best results. The procedure is often paired with LLLT or PRP hair restoration to promote long-term follicle health.
Medications and Topical Treatments
Many patients who seek to restore their scalp to a full head of hair inquire about non-invasive options like over-the-counter supplements (DHT blockers, multivitamins, biotin and keratin) or scalp solutions (minoxidil), prescription medications (finasteride), and medical-grade topical treatments. While some of these options may be effective, they offer temporary results. Once a person discontinues the use of any of these products, the results will reverse. Medications and topical treatments are usually best used as complimentary measures following a more effective, long-term treatment plan.
The Consultation for Hair Loss Patients
Dr. Rubinstein can accept healthy patients who may benefit from one of the hair loss treatments his practice offers. During the first in-office meeting, the doctor will review the patient’s health history, including any conditions or illnesses that could preclude him or her from receiving cosmetic treatments. Prospective patients with active scalp infections and those who are immunocompromised may be future candidates once their conditions are medically controlled.
Patients may have performed some of their own research on hair loss treatments prior to the consultation and will have the opportunity to discuss which options interest them. Dr. Rubinstein and his highly skilled clinical staff will assess the scalp and existing hair and determine the best way to proceed to meet the patient’s aesthetic goals. As previously explained, a combination of hair restoration treatments may be prescribed. While LLLT and PRP hair restoration can improve hair follicle health, these non-surgical procedures will not benefit a patient who has lost all follicle activity. In the case of inactivity, FUT or FUE are better options. Dr. Rubinstein has teamed up with some of the leading hair transplant surgeons right here in the Hudson Valley.
Hair Loss Remedy FAQs
Typically, patients will not require any numbing medication to undergo LLLT, as the low-level laser does not typically cause discomfort. Because PRP hair restoration requires a series of injections, patients can request topical numbing cream or injections for a more comfortable experience. During the surgical methods for hair transplant, FUT and FUE, anesthesia options vary. Because FUT requires the surgical removal of a strip of skin, patients may benefit from local anesthesia combined with IV sedation to prevent movement of the head during the hours-long procedure. FUE is most commonly performed under local anesthesia, which creates a pain-free procedure where the patient is fully conscious during the 30-minute process.
The two types of surgical hair transplant are likely to cause more discomfort than the non-surgical methods, but this can be controlled by medication and other post-surgical efforts to minimize pain and swelling. The aftercare typically includes the placement of bandages over the donor and recipient sites, keeping the treatment site dry, and returning to Dr. Rubinstein’s office if removable sutures were used during an FUT procedure.
In-office surgical treatments may provide patients with permanent results, but the procedures alone do not address the cause of the hair loss. Additional loss is possible without a fully customized treatment plan to improve follicle health.
How do FUT and FUE methods vary?
During follicular unit transplantation (FUT or strip FUT), a strip of scalp containing a dense amount of hair (typically the back of the head) is surgically cut from the scalp. The scalp is sutured and the donor strip is dissected under a microscope to create slivers that contain the healthy follicles to be implanted. The scalp is then prepped with a skin-punching device so the individual hair follicles can be transplanted to the designated recipient site with fine tweezers.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) surgery is similar but a medical device is used to remove the donor hear. The device uses vertical punches to remove the healthy follicle for implantation elsewhere on the scalp. The harvesting process does not produce a lengthy scar, and the harvesting is performed in a more random fashion throughout the scalp. The hair grafts are surgically implanted into bald or thinning areas with a skin-punching device.
Introducing Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD of Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC has dedicated his practice to facial aesthetics. The top-rated New York surgeon is an expert in anatomy of the head and face, with extensive training in techniques to enhance every feature of this region. A preferred practitioner of the Hudson Valley area, the doctor also regularly treats patients who travel from near and far to see him. Dr. Rubinstein is dual board-certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Prospective hair loss treatment patients or those seeking another cosmetic service Dr. Rubinstein offers, can fill out the doctor’s Patient Contact Form or call his office at 845-863-1772.