Tag Archive for: platelet-rich plasma

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Beard Hair Loss

Woo hoo! You got an enthusiastic “yes,” and your date is tonight. It’s time to get spiffy. So you pull out your razor, glance in the mirror, and just as you begin to lather up, you notice something strange. A tiny little circle where your beard hair is missing. Is that a bald spot? Was that there yesterday? Will my date notice? Will the hair grow back? Whoa, stop for a minute. Here’s the deal. Beard hair loss can often be treated, but the process takes time and requires a dermatologist’s supervision. Although you shouldn’t panic, you should seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further beard loss. Here’s what else you should know and why you shouldn’t ignore beard hair loss.  

Why is My Beard Hair Falling Out?

Let’s start with the basics. It’s important to understand why your facial hair is falling out. Most of the time, facial hair loss is due to an autoimmune condition called Alopecia Barbae.  The condition occurs when your body attacks your hair follicles, causing small, circular patches of hair loss. Alopecia Barbae is usually seen along your jawline, but it can affect any part of your beard. Hair loss can be isolated to one patchy area, or it can be widespread. 

If you’ve heard that having one autoimmune disease predisposes you to more, that’s true in this case. The same autoimmune disease that causes Alopecia Areata, which causes patchy round circles of hair loss on your head, causes Alopecia Barbae. People who have Alopecia Areata are more likely to experience Alopecia Barbae. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will see hair loss on both your head and beard. You can get one without the other. The condition is unpredictable, which can make management extremely frustrating. Having thyroid disease, diabetes, lupus, or psoriasis can also make you more susceptible to beard hair loss.  

Did I Miss the Symptoms of Alopecia Barbae?

How is it possible that you had a full beard yesterday and today you’re finding bald spots? Did you miss something? Could you have prevented the beard loss? Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to predict Alopecia Barbae. As a non-scarring form of Alopecia, there isn’t any redness, itching, or inflammation waving a red flag. There isn’t a way to know what’s to come until your bald patches appear.

Will My Beard Grow Back?

Yes, the hair on your beard may grow back. Alopecia Barbae is non-scarring, meaning that your hair follicles aren’t permanently damaged. Hair can regrow, sometimes spontaneously. Other times, treatment is required. To help boost hair growth all around, you can try to incorporate a hair supplement into your hair care routine. 

How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Alopecia Barbae?

Diagnosing Alopecia Barbae takes experience and skill. You definitely shouldn’t ignore beard hair loss. The condition’s distinguishing traits require a dermatoscope or biopsy to see. The first are small hairs that look like exclamation marks. They are wider on top than on the bottom near the hair follicle. Your dermatologist will also look carefully around the bald patch for signs of short vellus hairs. Vellus hairs tend to have a grayish-whitish color and a fluffy texture. Your dermatologist may also see small hairs that break off just underneath the skin. The hairs may look like small black, white, or yellow dots. 

Happy Head custom hair loss treatments are made for you and your unique hair loss condition and pattern. We base this formula off of your unique responses to our questionnaire and your consultation with your dedicated board-certified dermatologist. You shouldn't ignore beard hair loss when you have solutions to keep it.

What Treatment Options are Available?

If your beard doesn’t regrow on its own, your dermatologist can offer treatment options to help jump-start the process. No treatments are FDA approved, however, dermatologists commonly prescribe medications off-label. Treatment typically focuses on simultaneously calming the immune system and stimulating growth, so you may find yourself using multiple medications at the same time. Because everyone’s body chemistry differs, it may take some experimenting to determine the right mix of medications for you. 

Topical or Injected Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are often used as a first-line approach to suppress your body’s immune system. It may take time for your body to calm down, so be prepared for treatments to be spread over a few months.

Topical or Oral Minoxidil

You may be familiar with Minoxidil for regrowing the hair on your head. Minoxidil can also be safely used to stimulate beard growth. The treatment is often combined with corticosteroids and is a fast, easy, and accessible option for many men.

Platelet-rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma treatments have been in the spotlight for many different applications ranging from sports treatments to hair loss therapy. During a PRP treatment, platelets are extracted from your blood, concentrated, and reinjected to stimulate growth. While PRP gets mixed results for other applications, research indicates that PRP therapy produces promising results for treating beard loss. (01)

JAK Inhibitors

Exciting breakthroughs have been made in the past few years using JAK inhibitors to stimulate hair growth among people with severe cases of Alopecia Areata. JAK inhibitors are immune-modulating medications that inhibit the enzymes responsible for causing your body to attack itself. Topical treatments or oral pills are prescribed based on a patient’s needs. At Happy Head, we create custom topical hair loss treatments that are made just for you and your particular hair loss needs. 


Anthralin, a topical medication prescribed to treat psoriasis is being used off-label to treat Alopecia Barbae. Although not much research has been conducted on the effectiveness of facial hair, findings indicate that the medication shows promise in treating Alopecia Areata. (02)


Diphencyprone has been used since the 70s to treat Alopecia Areata. Like Antralin, there’s limited research on the medication’s use for Alopecia Barbae, but it has demonstrated efficacy in treating Alopecia Areata. It is not unusual for dermatologists to prescribe the medication off-label to patients experiencing severe beard hair loss. 

What Else Can Cause Beard Hair Loss?

Keep in mind that neither Alopecia Areata nor Alopecia Barbae is common. A very small percentage of the population is affected. Some men are never able to grow a full beard. For them, sparse facial hair is normal. Stress, medications, poor diet, hormonal imbalances, and other factors can cause beard hair loss. So, before you assume the worst, check in with your dermatologist. There may be an easy fix to get your beard back into shape. 

What You Can Do About Beard Hair Loss (Besides Panic)

Beard hair loss is aesthetic, and fortunately, it doesn’t affect your overall health. That said, any alopecia can affect your self-esteem and confidence. While you wait for your hair to grow back, temporary fixes to camouflage the bald spots in your beard can make you feel better. While a close shave may not be your ultimate goal, it can bridge the gap until your hair grows back. Depending upon the size of the bald spot(s) you may also be able to use a little hair cover-up powder. Some creative guys have also found success experimenting with a fine point liquid eyeliner pen in a color that matches their hair. 

Stressed about patches in your beard? Don’t have a dermatologist? Can’t get an appointment for months? Happy Head has board-certified dermatologists licensed in every state who can advise you on your beard hair loss as well as scalp hair loss. Simply complete a brief questionnaire to learn whether you are a candidate for our topical Minoxidil or other hair loss treatments that can help regrow facial hair. We can even customize a formula just for you. You shouldn’t ignore beard hair loss when you can find a solution that’s easy to add to your daily routine. 


(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193229/

(02) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3314718/


Dealing with Bald Spots and Male Pattern Baldness

Whether it’s a slow realization or a sudden awareness, discovering that you’re losing your hair is a difficult event. Every hair on the pillow or on the floor of the shower comes back to haunt you, and you’re at a loss for what to do. Fortunately, there’s steps you can take to slow – or sometimes even stop – your hair loss.

What Causes Bald Spots?

Men don’t have the monopoly on bald spots; women can have them, too! Everyone is at risk for developing a bald spot at some time in their lives, for a variety of reasons. However, some people are at a higher risk than others. 

The most common cause of bald spots in both men and women is the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.  Both men and women produce DHT, but some people have higher levels of DHT than others. Male pattern baldness (MPB), also called androgenic alopecia, results from a combination of DHT and variation in the androgen receptor (AR) genes. Androgen receptors allow hormones like DHT to bind to them, and men with AR genes tend towards male pattern baldness. (01)

High levels of DHT can damage or shrink hair follicles, preventing hair from growing normally. The hair follicles most sensitive to DHT are located at the hairline and at the crown, which is why these areas are often the first to experience hair loss. And although DHT can also cause hair loss in women, 

But it’s not just DHT that can cause bald spots. Other factors that trigger hair loss are: (02)

  • Severe emotional stress
  • Physical stress or illness
  • Hormonal Shifts
  • Medications
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Age
  • Hairstyling 
  • Hairstyling products
  • Repeated physical trauma (tight hats or headbands)

The First Signs of Balding

If bald spots or male pattern baldness runs in your family, you’ve probably been on the lookout for hair loss for awhile now. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if it’s really a bald spot or just a bad hair day. Here are a few signs that you may be experiencing bald spots or male pattern baldness:

A Receding Hairline

Hair loss typically starts at the hairline. A receding hairline may occur so slowly that you might not notice it until you have something to compare it against. For example, you might spot your receding hairline when you start looking at old photos and see that your hairline looks  different today. Your hair loss may occur incrementally, making it tougher to see.

Reduction in hair thickness

Do you notice less hair on top? Does your hair feel different when you run your fingers through it? If your hair feels finer and more airy, then it might be due to male pattern baldness or hair loss.

Loss of hair at the crown

A growing crown area is one of the first signs of hair loss, especially male pattern baldness. Most people don’t look at the back of their head, so seeing differences in your crown can be challenging. Check your crown every so often using two mirrors to check for bald spots.

How Can I Manage Hair Loss?

Experiencing balding or male pattern baldness is tough, but you do have options. The following are steps you can take to slow down hair loss.

Surgical Treatments

Surgical treatments are typically reserved for advanced cases of balding or male pattern baldness. A hair transplant, for example, is an outpatient surgery that utilizes donor hair follicles. These donor follicles are implanted into sparse or bald areas, allowing new hair to grow. These implants, called follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE), leave little to no scarring. The donor follicles typically come from your own head, but the process still requires recovery time and post-surgical care. (03)

Because surgical options are invasive, there are contraindications that may keep some people from obtaining FUT or FUE treatments, like blood disorders or the tendency toward heavy scarring (keloids). Furthermore, surgery may result in adverse side-effects like swelling, folliculitis, numbness, and infection.  (04)

Scalp Reduction 

A scalp reduction is exactly as the name implies. To perform scalp reduction, areas of the scalp without hair are surgically removed, and the areas with hair are stretched to fill over the bald portions. If you’re wondering how much of the scalp can be removed, you might be surprised to find that scalp reduction can remove up to half of the scalp. 
The skin that’s meant to be stretched is prepared and loosened, prior to stretching gently. Scalp reduction may be combined with other treatments such as FUT or FUE treatments. Some people find the recovery period from scalp reduction surgery highly uncomfortable, due to a scalp tightness that lasts for a few months as skin adjusts. Hairline lowering surgery, for example, is a kind of scalp reduction surgery. To lower the hairline, the receding portion is removed and the portion with hair is pulled forward. (05)

Platelet-Rich Plasma

A procedure called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) uses an individual’s blood and separates out the plasma using a centrifuge. This platelet-rich plasma (hence the name) is then injected into bald patches and areas of thinning hair. The plasma stimulates growth and repairs damaged blood vessels, helping hair to regrow. Although effective, the PRP process is very involved, costly, and is the newest hair loss treatment option, therefore more research is still necessary to evaluate the ideal therapeutic levels. (06)

Non-surgical Procedures

Scalp micro-pigmentation creates the look of thicker hair through the application of pigmentation that appears like hair follicles. The process includes stippling a tattoo in small dots to mimic hair follicles. Men who have thinning hair or shave their head short are the ideal candidates for scalp micro-pigmentation. However, micro-pigmentation does not grow new hair, nor is it recommended for people with large bald spots or who have major hair loss and wish to regrow hair. (07)

Least Intrusive Procedures

Once you see the signs of male pattern baldness or bald spots, it might warrant considering the least intrusive method for managing hair loss. Medicinal treatments like minoxidil and finasteride are two FDA approved medications for hair loss. When used together, minoxidil and finasteride can slow – or even stop – hair loss and regrow hair. Better yet, when minoxidil and finasteride are customized for each individual, common side-effects can be avoided. 

Dealing with Bald Spots or Male Pattern Baldness: What to Choose?

How you manage your hair loss depends entirely on what’s best for your situation. Bald spots and male pattern baldness can be a distressing event, and making a choice isn’t easy. Talk to people you know who have opted for hair loss treatments and get some perspective. Determine what’s financially feasible and speak to professionals to evaluate with options that will work with your health and lifestyle. At Happy Head, we’re ready to answer any questions you may have about our hair loss products. Let’s talk!


(01) https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/symptoms-of-high-dht

(02) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/causes/18-causes

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547740/

(04) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547740/

(05) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24017989/

(06) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622412/

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382144/