PRP Hair Treatment
PRP for hair loss is a relatively new approach, and the procedure is still very much in its infancy. Although, the early results suggest that these treatments may stimulate hair growth in men and women.
But it’s an entirely different process from taking a pill (like finasteride) or undergoing a hair transplant.
So, could a PRP injection be the right hair loss treatment for you?
What is PRP hair treatment?
In order to understand what PRP hair treatment is, we must first understand the role that platelet-rich plasma plays in healing.
Platelets are a component of blood, just like red and white blood cells. Think of them as the fire brigade of your immune system. Whenever you sustain a cut or wound platelets are the first to arrive to stop the bleeding and promote healing.
Plasma is the liquid component of your blood, consisting primarily of protein and water. This enables white and red blood cells, and platelets, to circulate throughout your bloodstream.
Platelet-rich plasma contains a wide range of proteins and growth factors that speed up tissue repair. As such, many researchers thought it might be able to reverse thinning and stimulate new hair growth.
Platelet rich plasma therapy has become a widely used method of restoring hair growth since then. Doctors also use platelet-rich plasma in cosmetic dermatology, and to treat injuries to muscles, ligaments, and a variety of other injuries.
Does PRP work for hair loss?
Research is ongoing to find out if PRP hair treatments are effective, but the results are promising.
In 2019, the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery published a systematic review of 11 separate research papers which included 262 participants in total, all of whom have suffered from androgenic alopecia.
According to the findings, the paper concluded that PRP injections reduced hair loss and increased the density of the hair follicles for the majority of participants.
However, the authors acknowledged that the procedure is controversial and their work was limited by small sample sizes and low quality of related prior research.
Another review published in the same year in Dermatologic Surgery analyzed the findings of 19 studies investigating platelet rich plasma for hair loss. These studies recruited 460 people in total. The authors consider the therapy a promising treatment for hair loss but highlighted that the effects can largely vary.
As long as there is no standardized protocol to administer injections, the authors believe that it is difficult to conclude whether PRP treatments are effective.
How is PRP hair treatment done?
PRP therapy is a complex process, that involves 3 stages:
1. Drawing your blood
A specialist will draw blood from your arm (or another easily accessible area of your body). While this may be slightly uncomfortable, it typically causes no pain.
2. Separating your blood
Once your blood is drawn, the specialist will insert the sample into a centrifuge that spins it at incredibly high speeds to separate the plasma. Three layers will remain after separation: platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma, and red blood cells. This process usually takes around 10 minutes.
3. Injecting PRP into your body
A specialist will draw the platelet-rich plasma into a syringe. They’ll inject this into one or more areas of the scalp affected by hair loss (e.g. the male hairline or crown).
It is a very careful procedure, with injections at approximately every centimetre over the balding area. This should trigger new growth that covers balding spots over several months.
Despite its complicated nature, the whole process usually takes just around 30 minutes to complete.
In most cases, patients need three PRP for hair loss treatments with four to six weeks between them. One study found that platelet rich plasma therapy increased patients’ hair follicle counts from 71 follicular units to 93 on average. However, further studies are required to gather more conclusive evidence to support the use of PRP for hair restoration.
PRP hair treatment before and after
PRP hair treatments may offer natural results and a drastic change for in the early stages of male pattern baldness.
Though consistency is key and individual results may vary, you can generally expect to see results within two to three months.
PRP treatment result – Source: magnifaskinmedspa.com
Thanks to the growth factors and nutrients in the platelet rich plasma, the procedure usually decreases shedding, stimulates regrowth, and increases the strength of the hair follicles.
However, PRP for hair loss should always be a part of a multifaceted program made up of several components for it to be truly effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
PRP hair Treatment
Hair regrowth with PRP injections is not a permanent solution for hair loss. The results of your initial treatment can be maintained by going to follow-ups every three to six months.
However, every case is unique so may need more or fewer treatments to maintain your hair growth.
The thought of having your blood drawn and then getting it injected to your scalp might sound like a scary prospect at first.
However, there are only low risks associated with PRP injections, and the procedure only causes minimal pain.
The healing is extremely fast and requires minimal (if any) downtime. It is recommended to take a hot shower after PRP therapy to enhance blood flow and circulation. You should avoid colouring or blow drying your hair for a few days after the procedure, as these activities may jeopardize the results.
To minimise the risk of complications and stay safe during PRP therapy, let the provider know if you’re on medication or supplements.
You may be advised to avoid PRP treatment if you:
- Smoke heavily
- Have issues with drugs or alcohol
- Take medication to thin your blood
You may also be refused treatment if you have:
- Chronic liver disease
- Hemodynamic instability
- Systemic disorder
- Low platelet count
- Thyroid disease
- Metabolic disorder
- Platelet dysfunction syndromes
- Chronic skin disease
- Infections (chronic or acute)
Please make us aware of any such issues before your session.
PRP hair treatment side effects
PRP therapy carries no risk of acquiring a communicable disease as only your own blood is drawn and injected into your scalp.
However, any process that requires an injection may lead to a number of potential side effects.
- Damage to blood vessels
- Injured nerves
- Scar tissue formation
- Calcification at injection sites
It’s also crucial that you let your clinician know if you have reacted badly to anaesthetic in the past.
PRP for hair loss is a simple, and relatively cost-effective option to treat thinning. Although it has sufficient scientific basis to be regarded as an effective treatment for hair loss, hair restoration using PRP is still very much in its infancy.
Although, given its outstanding safety profile and low cost, it is certainly a promising procedure for people suffering from thinning hair.