Hair loss can be an emotional thing to deal with.
For women going through hair loss, it can be especially traumatic. Doctors say it can cause depression and anxiety at much higher levels for women than men.
But a new procedure called PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, is helping women with hair loss regrow their hair and regain their confidence.
Team 12’s Mike Gonzalez met a Phoenix woman who tried everything to fight her thinning hair line.
About a year ago, 43-year-old Robyn Boyko started losing her hair -- and her hope that it would ever grow back.
She was on vacation with her husband and had been hiking when he noticed her scalp was red and sun burned.
"He said, 'Wow, you're really red,' and that's when I noticed I was thinning. It was traumatic," said Boyko.
"I'm not that old and it was stressful," she said, adding that she tried over-the-counter methods and hair growth treatments online.
Nothing worked until she met Dr. Alexandra Mayer, a Phoenix based naturopath who specializes in hair restoration using the PRP treatment.
It uses a patient’s own blood to help restore hair follicles. Three sessions of the treatment cost about $3,000.
Mayer says hair loss in women can be genetic, but more often it starts with certain vitamin deficiencies.
“You also have to think about nutrients like Vitamin D, Zinc, Iron. So Iron deficiency, but in particular ferritin, which is the storage form of Iron, is one of the...things I see with women who have hair loss,” said Dr. Mayer.
How the process works is simple: A patient’s blood is drawn and put into a centrifuge, which separates red blood cells from white blood cells.
Then the blood is run through a platelet counter. “We can test your platelets ahead of time and draw the exact amount of blood we need and get the exact concentration that researchers say is effective for hair loss,” says Dr. Mayer.
The blood is then injected into a patient’s scalp over three sessions in 6 months.
“I always tell my patients between the first and second treatments I will see results, but they won’t usually see them until the second or third treatment,” said Mayer.
For Robyn Boyko, the treatment has been life changing. She says her hair is back and so is her confidence.
"(Mayer has) helped with more than hair loss. She helped me with my hormones and a lot of larger issues I had. I have so much more energy and feel so much better,” said Boyko.