Genetic hair loss affects an enormous number of patients. 25% of men with Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL) note onset before age 21. By age 35, 66% of men experience hair loss and by age 50, 85% have hair thinning. Women are also affected by genetic and hormonally driven hair loss known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). In fact, FPHL affects more than 30 million women in the US alone. This process can be extremely distressing to men and women alike. Of all the treatments available, PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy is one of the most effective. Here’s what every person with hair loss should know about PRP and how it can fight hair loss.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is a concentrated injectable serum that consists of a patient’s own platelets. Unlike other treatments, PRP makes use of the body’s own unique healing system. To obtain it your provider draws tubes of the patient’s blood and puts them into a centrifuge to separate the platelet rich plasma from the other blood components. Then, the platelet rich plasma, stock full of growth factors, are injected back into the affected area. The treatment provides growth factors directly where they are needed to help the human body repair itself and encourage new hair growth.
The PRP Procedure for Hair Loss
As of the time of writing, there is no standard process for utilizing PRP therapy for hair loss. However, it almost always involves injecting the PRP into the scalp where it can promote healing and stimulate the hair follicles. In some cases, doctors or dermatologists may use tiny syringes to inject small amounts of PRP across the affected area of the scalp. Some doctors and dermatologists have found that combining PRP with microneedling – a procedure in which tiny needles are rolled across the scalp or skin to create tiny, almost insignificant injuries that promote cellular regeneration and repair – is far more effective.
What to Expect from PRP
Most doctors and dermatologists recommend starting with a series of three separate treatments to fight hair loss. This involves three separate office visits spread out over several weeks. Many individuals notice thicker, fuller hair after these initial three treatments, but some people may require more treatments over a longer period of time to achieve their desired results. Doctors also encourage their PRP clients to return six months after their last series of injections as this is when PRP-stimulated hair growth begins to slow down. There are no significant side effects from PRP therapy other than mild pain with the blood draw and injection of PRP into the scalp. If needed, topical numbing medication can be applied to help relieve this discomfort.
Does it Really Work?
Like any other form of hair restoration, different people will respond in different ways to PRP therapy for hair loss. The degree of hair loss can impact the efficacy of the treatment a great deal. Some patients experience significant regrowth; while others find that while they do not experience the regrowth they hoped for, the PRP slows or even stops further hair loss. If PRP alone does not achieve the desired results, it can be combined with other therapies for better overall results.
Platelet rich plasma is a great option for men and women across the nation who are battling hair loss. It is safe and, unlike hair transplants, it does not require any downtime. To find out if you are a candidate for PRP hair restoration services, schedule a consultation with your dermatologist today.