One of the most frequent emails I've received this year is from people asking about how my non-surgical hair thickening results from Dr. Cooley has turned out. I learned that a LOT of people are interested in my results because obviously people are always looking for new options in the follicular fight. Well, the wait is over so you can now see my non-surgical results at five months (which is early) and my thoughts on the experience.
Non-surgical blood based treatments for hair loss is a controversial issue and it has been since it was first discussed around 2008. Oddly, plasma based treatments in general has been around since the 1970's and before it's use was discovered for hair it had gained popularity in orthopaedics, dental and other medical specialities. I remember how it was being promoted early on which was not much different than how any other new technology is promoted in the hair restoration field. Some places were aggressive in marketing the procedure including some well known hair transplant doctors while others were more cautious in their approach. Dr. Cooley was one of the pioneers of PRP hair loss treatments and he was among the more cautious of its advocates in that he didn't promise the moon and was honest about the efficacies as he understood them.
Fast forward to 2016 and it has become clear that non-surgical plasma based treatments for hair loss have matured and there are basically three ways that they are marketed. One way is where you have clinics that throw the idea of these treatments around as if it is a sure thing; that it is a given that if you have non-surgical plasma based treatments, regardless of your particular situation, that you will have a noticeable and quantifiable improvement for your hair that will be a consistent replacement for other "proven" hair restoration techniques. The second way it is marketed is as a "freebie" to augment a hair transplant. This is more common in Turkey as I've seen numerous offers online where for €2.00 per graft you can get 4000 grafts AND they will give you a free session too. This takes advantage of, and even helps to perpetuate the myth, that all plasma based treatments are the same and that it is a standard protocol that all practitioners follow. You then have the clinics that tell you up front that not all are the same and that even with the best protocols there is no guarantee of success because the procedure is highly dependent on not only the protocol but the patient as well. Dr. Cooley falls into the latter of these three categories.
This is another reason why I love working with Dr. Cooley. My results, and my satisfaction with my results, only came about because of two reasons. First, Dr. Cooley's protocol came about through trial and error and research. He's used several different centrifuges and combinations of ingredients added to the mixture to come up with his current protocol which I can only now believe is effective. Second, he didn't oversell the procedure, and in fact, he aggressively undersold it by telling me he didn't even know if I'd see a difference. We targeted only the areas where we knew I had miniaturization occurring which was my left part line and the bottom half of my crown. My results are positive and I see them as positive only because I had realistic expectations and I was perfectly happy knowing I may not see any improvements at all. "Expect the worst but hope for the best" is how I look at such things and I am
In the grand scheme of things, my results are modest in that I can see an improvement, as can my hairdresser Linda, but it's not an earth shattering improvement which was not the goal to begin with. My part line this more narrow and less "gappy" as I call it and the bottom half of my crown, which wasn't bad to begin with, is now better. Dr. Wong did a phenomenal job with his surgical skills and I'm really glad I talked him into doing my last surgery. I had asked him to place hair in the bottom half of my crown as I knew I was going to start having my hair cut shorter on a regular basis than I had in the past. This had to do with changing trends socially but also with my age. In 2010 when I had my last surgery I was a week away from turning 40 years old and I thought it was time to tighten things up with my hair style to be a bit more conservative and I realized that with all the work done to the top half of my crown that the bottom half of my crown would be visibly thinner than the top half. The result was spectacular, of course, as I'd expect nothing less from Dr. Wong, but six years later there is always room for more:) I still have to be a bit careful when I style my hair but the good thing is that now I don't have to be quite as careful as before, and the improvements might not be finished. Dr. Cooley told me that the improvement timeline with my results should mirror the timeline experienced by hair transplant patients in that five months is still considered early for the final result and nine months is about the time that the result reaches maturity. More is always better with regards to hair, right? So how long can I enjoy these results? They don't last forever and the time between treatments varies from patient to patient. Dr. Cooley told me that the effects may start to diminish a year after the treatment or the effects could last as long as two years or more. I think he told me he had one patient that didn't need a refresher treatment for three years but I don't think that would be considered the norm.
I think it is safe to say that as of now, I'm officially a believer and a supporter of plasma treatments based on my own results that have been documented in my latest video. Remember, not all treatments are the same and if it is being given away for free with a hair transplant surgery it most likely hasn't any real benefit if you're even getting a legitimate treatment in the first place. If you can't see your own blood being spun in the centrifuge then you don't really know;)