PRP For Hair Loss
Your platelets are the key to the blood’s healing powers. First, they are the critical component necessary to allow the blood to clot. Beyond that, blood platelets also play a role in actual healing, the mechanism being a number of growth factors. For over a decade, professional athletes have used concentrated blood platelets, known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), to speed the healing process after injury or surgery.
Now you can put the same healing capability and growth factors to work where you are losing hair. The Menkes Clinic offers PRP for hair loss. These treatments help our patients not only halt their hair loss, but also start regrowing new hair in the thinning areas.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is derived from a simple blood sample. The idea is to remove the red blood cells. What you have left is concentrated blood platelets and plasma — platelet-rich plasma. This is a powerful healing serum that includes seven growth factors. Growth factors are the messengers of the body, signaling cells to perform various functions. That’s why they are so valuable in wound healing and recovery from injury.
Recently, to the delight of those suffering from hair loss, it was discovered that the growth factors and healing qualities in PRP were able to kick start dormant hair follicles, returning them to the anagen/growth phase. This means that through PRP for hair loss treatment, areas where hair has been thinning could start growing hair once again.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRP for Hair Loss?
PRP is more effective if your hair loss is more recent. That’s because your hair follicles have more recently become dormant; they haven’t been dormant for years. It is easier to activate recently dormant, rather than long dormant, hair follicles.
If that sounds like you, then PRP for hair loss could be a great option to stop your hair loss and start regrowing new hair. But there are two groups who cannot undergo PRP for hair loss:
- If you have an underlying disorder such as thyroid disease or lupus. These conditions will continue to cause hair loss over time.
- If you are taking blood thinners, PRP is not as effective.
How is PRP Obtained and Then Used to Restore Thinning Hair?
For your treatment, we first take a sample of blood. This blood is then placed in a centrifuge that separates out the red blood cells. These are discarded. What is left is a mix of platelets and plasma. By removing the red blood cells, the remaining plasma becomes concentrated along with higher amounts of plasma with their inherent growth factors. To create PRP takes just 20-30 minutes.
Next, one of our doctors injects the PRP into your scalp in the areas where the hair is thinning. The PRP hair restoration injections are very shallow, so they are not overly painful.
How Many PRP Hair Restoration Injections are Necessary?
There is no “set” number of injections. The goal is to inject all of the PRP back into the scalp in the thinning areas. Generally, this includes dozens of injections across the scalp. If you have a larger area of thinning hair, you’ll receive more injections than a person undergoing PRP for hair loss with a smaller treatment area.
When Can I Expect to Start Growing Hair?
The first step is to stop the hair loss. This happens almost immediately after PRP hair restoration injections. Real hair growth is usually noticeable after the first two to three months. Studies have shown about a 30 percent improvement in hair growth in the thinning areas after four PRP hair restoration treatments.
Will I Need More Than One PRP Hair Restoration Session?
We recommend more frequent PRP hair restoration treatments initially, gradually transitioning to maintenance. We generally recommend hair loss patients have one PRP treatment monthly for the first three or four months. Depending on how you respond, follow-up treatments every three to six months are advised. Since your hair follicles are shifting towards dormancy, it’s a good idea to consider an ongoing maintenance program from there.
What are the Risks with PRP for Hair Loss Treatment?
There is little risk of any allergic reaction to the PRP because it is derived from your own blood. Still, there can be some lingering pain at the injection sites, a small risk of infection, possible bleeding and nerve damage. These PRP hair restoration risks are very small.
Will There Be Recovery After My PRP for Hair Loss Treatment?
You don’t need to restrict your activities. You may have some residual soreness, but you can control it with over-the-counter pain medication. You can shower and wash your hair immediately, but you should hold off blow-drying, coloring, or curling for one to two days after your PRP for hair loss treatment.