Yesterday, I received the most advanced technologies for medical hair treatment that exists. Dr. Bauman Medical Group facility is the biggest Hair Restoration facility under one roof in the world.
And I got the golden ticket.
Dr. Alan Bauman and I have been in contact since I was first diagnosed with Alopecia and wrote my first blog. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackie-nguyen/my-hair-loss-and-depression-alopecia-areata_b_5846486.html)
We wrote a few times, but I was never able to fly out to his offices located in Boca Raton, Florida because being a broke actor in New York, meant no money for flights or treatment. However, currently I am touring with the National Broadway Tour of Dr. Seuss' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and our last city just happened to be Ft. Lauderdale, only 20 minutes from Dr. Bauman.
After contemplating my various options of treatment, I decided to go with what is known as Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment, better known as PRP.
This procedure is where they extract my own blood, separate the platelets and plasma from the red blood cells, then add a stem cell called Extracellular Matrix or ECM (like ACell or BioD). Once this fusion is done, they inject the blood back into my scalp, in hopes of releasing powerful molecules which have profound biologic effects on hair follicles and skin. This procedure is similar to what they do for burned victims and post-hair restoration surgeries. Wait, my own blood and stem cells?!Talk about advanced technology, people. Let me walk you through my amazing day of treatment!
Walking into Dr. Bauman's facility was like I had gone to Hair Heaven. Rooms upon rooms of the most advanced technologies, beautiful consultation rooms with Florida Palm trees in view of the windows, bright open space, a medical hair salon wing, a photography room set up for before/after pictures, complimentary food, sparkling water, relaxing music, I could go on forever!
Getting my head massaged and my follicles sanitized properly for the procedure!
This treatment was done in hopes of seeing some results in the next 3-6 months. For many of Dr. Bauman's patients (with Alopecia), they have seen a success rate of 80%. However, like many of us with Auto-immune diseases, we understand that there are never guarantees. I could lose all of my hair tomorrow, just because my body decides to attack itself again. Or, this treatment could totally work and I'll have a ponytail next year! The journey of someone with Alopecia is ongoing. My personal journey has only begun. As an actor, not having hair has been a difficult hurdle to jump, no doubt. I have tried everything under the sun. But I have hope.
What I gained from my treatment yesterday was not only knowledge of a technique that has not gained as much notoriety as it should, but also the love and compassion of a team that cares. This was an option unavailable to me a year ago, and now as I sit in recovery, I am full of gratitude.
I wasn't even aware PRP could be available to me until Dr. Bauman and I began our correspondence. Yesterday, I witnessed a man fulfilling his purpose. Because I am an Oprah die-hard fanatic, this is a lesson I've taken from her. Witnessing someone fulfill their purpose is to witness God's work. And damn straight, I saw that.
Dr. Bauman is undeniably passionate about his job. From cancer patients, to burned victims, to typical male patterned baldness, Dr. Bauman caters his knowledge and expertise to each individual battling with their hair loss. He knows hair, he loves hair, and he wants to make sure his patients are cared for. Hair God. I could not have been more honored to receive treatment.
Learn more about Dr. Bauman and his amazing work here: http://baumanmedical.com