Another stroke of the hairbrush, another handful of strands, and another visible patch of the scalp. If you are one of the 80 million U.S. adults dealing with androgenetic alopecia – male and female pattern baldness – this scenario probably sounds all too familiar.
Going bald can be brutal, especially from a self-confidence and social interaction standpoint. In fact, one study suggests that 29% of women with hair loss experience depression symptoms. Another reports that hair loss can create an “enormous emotional burden” for men.
But a new, natural therapy may offer more patients hope for hair restoration without surgery, pills, or topical ointments. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a novel procedure that uses your own blood platelets – a type of cell that helps with healing throughout the body – to reverse hair loss and grow new hair.
How does PRP work?
Though often associated with aging, hair loss can happen any time throughout adulthood. Balding occurs when the hair follicles, the small sacs that anchor individual hairs to the scalp, begin to shrink, allowing the hair to fall out.
In the world of sports medicine, doctors have used PRP to help heal muscle and tendon injuries. With hair loss, research suggests injecting the platelets found in a patient’s blood and activating growth factors can improve the blood supply to their hair follicles and increase the thickness of their hair shafts.
Before a PRP procedure, we will discuss realistic expectations with you. Hair regrowth will not happen overnight, and it is not guaranteed. We will also talk about lifestyle choices that can affect hair loss, such as quitting smoking and eating a diet fortified with vitamin D and iron – two nutrients that might support hair growth.
The full procedure takes less than 30 minutes. We will draw a sample of your blood, then spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets. Then, it will be extracted and injected into the balding areas of your scalp. Most patients report minimal discomfort, if any, and return to work the next day.
Patients will return once a month for three months for another injection, then once every three to six months thereafter.
The procedure uses your own blood, and risks are minimal. Patients who take anticoagulants and those with an active scalp infection, chronic liver disease, or a low platelet count should not have PRP.
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, essentially contains platelets that are key to stimulating hair follicles to generate hair growth. They mainly target the Dermal Papilla, which is a component of the hair follicle.
The platelets, when used to regenerate hair growth within follicles, promote healing and the formation of new cell growth. In addition, the platelets also accelerate the rate and degree of regeneration so that you can expect to see results in a timely manner. PRP is an ideal component of hair restoration because it is highly effective in stimulating inactive hair follicles, causing them to revert to the growth phase.
Is PRP effective for hair loss?
Today, some patients have PRP injection in conjunction with other hair loss treatments, such as medication. Most PRP studies report following up with patients for up to six months after their procedure.
PRP Therapy in our clinic works on the basis of restoring growth factors within the blood. Human blood contains mesenchymal stem cells and autologous blood products. These elements are essential to regenerate scalp tissue. Once the scalp tissue is regenerated, the hair follicles are able to produce the necessary hair growth.
Is PRP safe?
In terms of the safety of this product, PRP has been the topic of medical literature from both the United States and Europe. Not only is the product heralded as a revolutionary way to stimulate and restore hair growth, but it is also one of the safest cosmetic hair growth options on the market today.
It is still a very promising and realistic option for those that are grappling with hair loss.
The next important thing to consider about PRP is how the procedure is performed. The procedure is extremely convenient and non-medically invasive. To begin with, upon visiting the office, a medical professional will draw blood. Afterward, the medical staff will spin the blood through a centrifuge and the PRP is separated from the rest of the blood.
In order to spin and remove the PRP molecules from the blood, highly advanced gel technology is used. Once the centrifugation process is complete, the vital growth proteins from your blood are separated.
The second step requires that you be under topical anesthesia. A doctor will inject your scalp with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to enable the stimulation of follicles so that your hair can regrow.
For the most advanced results, some patients choose to have PRP therapy performed monthly for four months. This ensures that the hair follicles remain stimulated and that the hair growth is progressing as it should be.
Out of all of the products that you can find on the market today regarding hair growth, PRP is probably the most effective one. Of course, it is also important to understand that results are going to vary from patient to patient.
Candidates for PRP Hair Regrowth Treatment
The best candidates for PRP treatment are those that do not have a history of Telogen Effluvium or scarring Alopecia.
Is PRP therapy for you?
PRP Therapy is a great option for many men and women that are looking to restore their confidence and to regain a lush head of hair. Before getting PRP Therapy done, it is important to conduct careful research and to also consult with an experienced physician regarding your choice. Overall, this procedure is a safe and natural option for many individuals.