What to Know & What to Expect
Answers to Common Questions
- What is TrichoTestTM?
TrichoTest™ is a genetic test and the latest in personalized medicine to guide optimal medical therapy for patients with male and female pattern hair loss. This is a unique first-of-its-kind opportunity for our patients, as TrichoTestTM allows us to understand genetically what may be the cause of an individual’s hair loss and how to best treat it. A DNA specimen will be collected, a directed medical history will be conducted and a consent obtained. Once your sample has been shipped to the lab, an extensive analysis of your DNA will be performed. This will involve looking at 13 genes and 48 genetic variations related to the cause of your hair loss. Within several weeks, we receive a report with your results which our Nurse Practitioners and Dr. Epstein will analyze. You will then be provided with your results and an individualized treatment plan. Treatment options available include custom-compounded topical solutions, oral therapy consisting of the minerals, vitamins, and medications, and finally hair care products most likely to be effective in treating your hair loss. These treatments will be used with a higher degree of confidence as they will specifically address the genetic causes of your hair loss.
- Is TrichoTestTM or HairPersonalTM treatments covered by insurance?
Unfortunately, no. All hair treatments are considered cosmetic and thus, not covered by insurance. However, we will provide diagnosis codes for bloodwork and/or biopsies (if needed) to attempt coverage. The success of this depends on your insurance plan.
- Does sample collection hurt?
Not at all. The collection is done via a cotton tip swab that is rubbed on the inside of both cheeks for approximately 30 seconds. You will not have any discomfort.
- How do I collect my own DNA sample?
A collection kit will be shipped to you with all the instructions needed on how to effectively collect your DNA sample by simply rotating a swab along the insides of your cheeks. We may also assist you virtually in the process if you would like. Please let us know and we will coordinate a Zoom or FaceTime call to guide you.
- Where does the DNA sample go?
We can collect the sample for you in our office or we can ship a collection kit to your home for self-collection. After collection, the sample is sent to GX Sciences, a premiere biotechnology company/laboratory based in Austin, Texas.
- Is my DNA sample going to be safe?
Yes. Your DNA sample is collected by either a licensed nurse or yourself at home (with instructions and guidance provided) and packaged in sterile and biohazard containers. It is then shipped directly to the lab for safe processing and then the swab is destroyed.
- Will I get tracking information once I order the TrichoTestTM?
Yes. Once the order has been placed and payment has been made, you will receive tracking information for your kit. Once your sample has been received at the lab, we will notify you of its processing.
- I was given a prescription for blood work, where can I get this done?
Any laboratory that takes your insurance, usually LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics. You may also see if your local/primary provider can order these labs for you and you can send us your results when you have them.
- I just had my annual physical and had blood work done, will this suffice?
In general, annual physicals are not looking for vitamin deficiencies or hormonal imbalances, which are known areas that can contribute to hair loss. You may upload your most recent labs to your patient portal for review but more than likely you will be asked to obtain recent (within 3 months) and more accurate blood work to help guide your treatment plan.
- How do I get my treatment?
Depending on the results of our thorough workup, you may be prescribed a custom compounded formulation. If so, we will send this prescription to a designated compounding pharmacy. In other cases, we may recommend Over-The-Counter medications or vitamins, which we can send to your preferred pharmacy of choice. We may also recommend other medical therapies such as Laser Light Therapy, which we can coordinate to have shipped directly to you.
- Can I use any pharmacy?
If you work with a local compounding pharmacy for any other medical purpose, you may take your prescription to them.
However, more popular pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, do not have the ability to make compounded preparations.
- Why do I have to take pictures along the way?
Good pictures of your hair and scalp from different angles along the way are a great visual tool to track your hair restoration process. We recommend to get pictures before starting treatment, at the 1 month mark, and every 3 months after that until you reach the full year. Seeing the progress along the way helps us to continue treating you in the most efficient way possible.
- What should I do while I wait for my results?
The processing and analyzing of your specific genetic makeup takes time and thus the process can take 2-3 weeks for results. During this time, your providers at HairPersonalTM may give you individualized suggestions for other medical therapies, which can include vitamins, blood work prescriptions or recommendations on laser light therapy.
- How quickly should I expect to see results?
It is important to remember that each hair restoration journey is unique and there should be no expected result or time frame. Although at times reaching your hair restoration goals may be a slow and daunting process, it will be worth it in the end if you stick to our recommended regimens and plans. Most patients will begin to see results in 3 months.
- Can HairPersonalTM/TrichoTestTM help me avoid a hair transplant?
This is a difficult question to answer and highly depends on the type and degree of hair loss you have. In most patients, if a transplant is required, medical therapy through HairPersonalTM and TrichoTestTM can help to avoid shock loss, speed up regrowth and maintain your existing hair. The wonderful part about the HairPersonalTM team is that you are being treated by experts in both medical therapy and hair transplants, if needed in the future.
- What Electronic Medical Record system do you use and is my information safe?
Nextech is a state of the art electronic medical record system that is HIPPAA compliant. It allows you access to all your information via your own patient portal. This can include the ability to download or view your lab reports, biopsy reports (if needed), consent forms, referral documentation and upload your own progress photos all via your patient portal which can be accessed from your computer or phone via an app.
- Can I come into the office if I am local?
Although HairPersonalTM is a virtual hair loss and medical therapy clinic, we encourage our patients to come in person at least once, especially if you are local to Miami, FL, so that we can get an in-person view of your hair/scalp and perform any necessary in-person tests such as a dermoscopy if needed. Besides that, the majority of patient interactions will be virtual via telehealth.
- Will someone be available for me if I have questions or concerns along the way?
Yes, you may contact us via email or phone call at any time throughout the process and we will be happy to assist you as best we can. Nicole (Patient Coordinator) and Andrea or Lidia (Nurse Practitioner) will be main points of contact for any questions or concerns you may have.
How to Videos
Watch Swabbing Instruction Video
Watch Dermascope Instruction Video
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