It’s also possible that some of Harklinikken’s users are women whose hair would have grown back even if they’d done nothing. Many women who arrive in a dermatologist’s office with prior diagnoses of female pattern hair loss actually have what’s called telogen effluvium. That’s a period of acute shedding of hair — meaning up to 60 percent of hair — three months after a triggering event like pregnancy, significant weight loss or starting or stopping hormone medications.
“Once that hair has stopped shedding, it does regrow, at a rate of about a centimeter a month,” said Dr. Senna, who suffered from the condition after each of her pregnancies. She shares photos of herself with patients, to show she can sympathize. In one, her entire frontal hairline clearly is growing back in. “If I’d used a treatment, I would have thought it was a miracle drug,” she said.
Users of the extract say that one of the strengths of Harklinikken is that it doesn’t claim to be a miracle.
“It wasn’t: ‘You’re going to get a full head of hair,’” said Jon Centella, 35, of Apollo Beach, Fla., who started seeing peach fuzz after four months. “It was: ‘We’ll give you 30 percent,’ and that’s what made me comfortable enough to give it a shot.”
New Treatments for Thinning Hair for Women
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After 20 years of trying every drug, supplement, diet and procedure for hair loss — including driving four hours twice a week for laser therapy — Lina Telford, a graphic artist, gave up on her “comb over” (her description) and shaved her head. From then on, she alternated between a $1,500 wig and a $4,000 wig.
“When you hear people complain about having a bad hair day, you almost can’t bear it,” she said. “You’re like, ‘Honey, you have no idea.’ ”
In February, though, Ms. Telford, 46, flew from her home in London, Ontario, to Sarasota, Fla., for a new $1,400 hourlong treatment known as platelet rich plasma (P.R.P.), which is said to stimulate dormant hair follicles. The procedure involves drawing blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to extract the plasma, adding various nutrients (like more protein), then injecting the resulting mixture in one-inch intervals in a grid on the top of the scalp, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic.
Like the long-suffering friend who inspired her to undergo the procedure, Ms. Telford quickly saw an improvement in her hair. New hair growth usually take at least four months, but at the two-month mark, she has already spotted some baby hairs. “Not a gazillion,” she said, “but it’s a start.” She’s planning to return for follow-up treatments every six months, and has high hopes of ditching the wigs and wearing her hair in a pixie.