PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for Hair Loss
PRP is an exciting treatment option for hair loss. A number of scientifically based articles has shown its efficacy in increasing hair count, hair thickness, and the growth phase of the hair cycle. Just as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) has been used for years in sports medicine for direct injection into injured areas to heal tendons and accelerate collagen production, it is used similarly in skin and hair care to kickstart the body’s natural regenerative processes (see Microneedling with PRP for the use of plasma to facilitate a glowing, youthful complexion).
What is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for Hair Loss?
A tube of blood is drawn from your arm, and immediately spun down in a centrifuge to isolate the plasma, rich in growth factors, platelets and nutrient-rich proteins. Your dermatologist then injects the plasma directly into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles. The process is meticulous — with injections beginning across the scalp, approximately at every half inch over the area of thinning hair. The growth factors in your plasma play the role of messengers, signaling hair cells to function, stimulating the activity of the hair follicles, and promoting new hair growth.
Who is a good candidate for PRP Injections for Hair Loss?
Anyone experiencing hair loss is a possible candidate for PRP treatments, but those with early hair loss tend to respond best, according to studies. Some studies have shown that PRP is best used for patients with androgenic alopecia: a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the head. In women, this might look like a widening part with normal hair thickness at the back of the head.
How long does a treatment take?
Your blood draw will be just before your treatment, and it takes about 10 minutes to prepare the tube of blood for extraction of the plasma, rich with growth factors and cytokines. The treatment itself takes about 15-30 minutes.
What is the downtime?
Downtime is minimal. You may want to forego any coloring, processing or blow-drying for a day after your treatment. Sometimes bruising can occur but usually resolves within a week or two.
What does a PRP for Hair Loss treatment feel like?
Patients experience very little discomfort. In the event there is any discomfort, Tylenol after the procedure is recommended.
How many PRP treatments will I need? When will I see results?
Treatments are typically performed once a month for the first three to four months, and then every three to six months thereafter, depending on the individual patient’s response and results. Following this protocol, anticipated results can first be seen within three months. Though there are almost no restrictions to PRP use, not all patients respond with full satisfaction. Some patients may not see enough effect from PRP injections alone, which is why it is often recommended in combination with other modalities. Many patients will experience an increase in the thickening of existing hairs, a reduction in hair falling, and a reversal of thinning which improves density.