Nerd Alert: Cool Science Behind Powerful PRP Injections for Hair Restoration

 

Have you heard about the incredible healing powers of platelet-rich plasma, or PRP? This innovative treatment encourages natural growth and regeneration. Thanks to medical science, we now have a better understanding of the vital role these platelets play in helping your body recover from injury. 

PRP has up to five times the number of platelets available in normal circulating blood. PRP has been in use in dentistry, wound healing, skin grafting, orthopedics, and sports medicine for the past few decades, and its applications continue to expand. Today, PRP injections have begun revolutionizing the world of hair restoration treatments.

 How Does PRP Treatment Work?

Blood consists of two primary components: red blood cells and plasma. Plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which are rich in growth factors that can help stimulate hair follicles and prolong the growth stage of the hair cycle. When used for hair loss, PRP encourages dormant follicles to enter an active growth phase.

PRP treatments for hair loss are not only an all-natural solution, but a medically and scientifically backed option as well. As an effective, minimally invasive therapeutic option for patients who are experiencing hair loss, PRP injections have shown remarkable promise in improving hair growth and increasing both hair count and hair thickness. 

PRP treatment for hair loss begins by drawing blood from your arm, just like you would expect when you donate blood. Next, a machine called a centrifuge rapidly spins the vial of drawn blood to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. Then, your doctor will inject the extracted PRP into your scalp at the follicular level.

 Who Can Get PRP Hair Loss Treatment?

Almost any male or female patient with hair loss concerns is qualified to get PRP injections, but people with more recent hair loss tend to respond better. That’s because it is more of an “uphill battle” to reactivate hair follicles that have remained inactive for a long period.

PRP also works well for both men and women who have androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the head. We do not recommend PRP therapy for hair loss to people who have an illness such as lupus or a thyroid problem, as these conditions will continue to cause hair loss as time goes on. Finally, note that if you are taking blood thinners, your platelets will be less effective, which can adversely affect your results from PRP therapy.

Risks and Recovery for PRP Injections

While it might sound extreme to use plasma to stimulate hair growth, the procedure is safe and has virtually no side effects to worry about. Since PRP comes from your blood, there are no risks of biocompatibility issues or an allergic reaction.

Most patients do not require any anesthetic or sedation during the treatment, reporting only a sensation of mild pressure at the injection site. If you experience any discomfort after your treatment, you can manage it with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil. Mild bruising may be another side effect, but it usually resolves within the first two weeks or so.

The treatment also takes little to no downtime for recovery, and most patients can go back to work the same day, if they choose.

Your Results of PRP for Hair Restoration

Though outcomes vary, it takes most people between two and three months to notice an improvement after PRP therapy for hair restoration. The first result patients usually notice is decreased shedding, followed by regrowth and increased hair length.

A regular treatment schedule is essential for preventing hair from falling out and continuing to stimulate hair regrowth. PRP injections typically take place monthly for three to four months, and then every three to six months for up to two years afterward. The injection frequency will depend on your unique results, in addition to factors such as age, hormones, genetics, and the pattern and extent of your hair loss.

While PRP can create excellent results on its own, it can also help promote hair growth before getting a hair transplant procedure, if you decide to take that step. Under a doctor’s supervision, PRP can be part of a multi-stage approach to reversing hair loss, including medications such as finasteride and minoxidil. 

Ask Us About PRP for Hair Loss Today

If you’re tired of hiding your thinning hair with hats and wigs, contact us to learn more about whether PRP injections are right for you.

How Does PRP Work to Restore Hair?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), is concentrated blood plasma which contains a much heavier concentration of platelets than normal (about five times as much). Platelets are blood cells which aid the healing of wounds by promoting the blood to clot. PRP has been an active ingredient in medicines for the last twenty years.

The potential which PRP has for treating hair loss is revolutionary and has become of keen interest in aesthetic medicine.

The injection of PRP is a procedure which uses the body’s blood to generate healing. Doctors may also incorporate its use as a procedure for thinning hair, to transplanted hair, or to promote healing. There have been many patients who have benefitted from this procedure.

PRP and Hair Loss

When hair follicles or hair roots are healthy so is hair growth. These hair follicles’ health depends on the nutrition they receive from a healthy blood supply. By introducing Platelet-rich plasma where hair follicles are damaged or unhealthy, it enhances the ability for the body to heal these follicles naturally. Many doctors believe PRP can stimulate the growth of hair follicles and prevent hair loss.

What to Expect

PRP is a three stage process.

The first stage is to extract blood from your body and prepare it for injection. This process is very similar to having a routine blood test. A nurse will take your blood and then place it in a centrifuge to separate its components. The method will produce a concentrated amount of platelet-rich plasma which is ready to be applied to the scalp.

Next, the scalp needs to be stimulated to activate a wound healing process. Before stimulation, a topical anesthesia is applied to the scalp where the treatment will be administered. A micro-needling roller device is passed across the areas to be treated to induce the healing process. This microneedle uses 192 titanium needles which pierce the skin and open tiny wounds. Once the wounds have been created, the highly concentrated PRP is injected into the scalp immediately. A special dressing is then applied to the scalp, and photodynamic treatment is administered to the injected area to aid the effects of PRP. There will be mild discomfort during the treatment, but you can return to normal activities almost immediately. The scalp will have to be protected from the sun.

The benefits received from PRP are:

  • Generate new hair growth
  • Thicken thinning hair areas
  • Make transplants grow thicker and healthier

Suitable Candidates

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for PRP treatment. Patients who have the following issues are not suitable candidates.

  • Active scalp infection
  • History of viral infections like shingles or diabetes
  • Patients on blood thinners
  • Patients on immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine
  • Patients who have complete follicle loss

Recovery

The entire procedure lasts from one to two hours depending on the quantity of hair loss. Since a wounding process was started, there can be mild discomfort at the site where PRP is injected.  Patients are advised against taking anti-inflammatory medication because it may interfere with the natural healing process. Multiple treatments may be necessary before optimal results are obtained.

For a consultation for PRP, contact Ritacca Plastic Surgery Here.