WXTX Special Report: Fighting women's hair loss

WXTX Special Report: Fighting women's hair loss

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM/WXTX) – Thinning hair can be tough to handle, especially for women, which make up 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers.

Women haven't always had as many treatment options as men, but we found there's new hope on the horizon.

Experts say new hair loss solutions are making a difference.

Visible bald patches with no hair is what Arlyn Stern's head looked like about 10 months ago.

"It was incredibly devastating," Arlyn said.

But now she has a full head of hair!

Arlyn's doctor recommended she try a new product made for women containing five percent Minoxidil, a topical over the counter medication that promotes hair growth.

"Little by little all of a sudden follicles are really coming and it just began to really grow out," Arlyn said.

Experts say this $30 bottle is just one of the latest options for women with hair loss, and the number of treatments is growing.

"This is an exciting time for research breakthroughs," said dermatologist Dr. Shani Francis M.D.

Rachel Adkins with the Hair Wellness Group in Columbus says the holistic approach works for her clients.

"A lot of people are looking for safe and effective alternatives and that has proven to be very helpful because we work in harmony with the body, not against the body," Adkins said.

Adkins says there are a number of reasons why some women suffer from hair loss including poor nutrition, high stress levels and medications.

But to get that full head of hair some women will pay hundreds for positive results.

One of the newest therapies is called "PRP" or "Platelet-Rich Plasma."

Sharon Eckhart, who suffers from hair shedding, pays about $1,400 a session for the procedure every six months.

"It's cumulative so each time I have it done the results are better and better," Eckhart said.

This centrifuge concentrates platelets from Sharon's own blood. Then, under local anesthesia, it's injected back into her scalp.

The goal is to turn on stem cells and regenerate blood vessels to the follicle.

"We see about 80 percent of the patients have a positive result," said hair loss expert Joseph Greco, Ph.D. "Within two months, we can reduce shedding to a normal level. It takes about a year for reversing the thinning."

Hi tech devices, experts say, are also making a difference when combined with other therapies.

Adkins uses a low level frequency device to gets results and topical treatments as well.

"We're using a very awesome technology that really helps clients determine what they're body prefer when it comes to wellness products and we're trying to couple that with certified therapeutic essential oils that has been a key instrument in our program," Adkins said.

There are surgical options too, but only about 13 percent of hair loss surgeries are done on women.

"The main complaint for females is thinning of hair and shedding of hair," Greco said. "So hair transplantation, while it's very effective with females, it's not going to do anything for thinning and shedding of hair."

Both Arlyn and Sharon say they're grateful they found these new treatments, and leaving those bald patches behind has been worth every penny.

"I don't care about the amount of money I spent," Eckhart said. "It's been very worth it for me because I have my hair back."

Join the conversation on social media by using #FightingWomensHairLoss.

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