Hair loss is no walk in the park, as millions of women and men can attest. It can have a serious effect on people’s lives and self-esteem and can be a struggle to deal with. For years, the only treatment options were meddlesome surgical procedures that were obvious, costly, uncomfortable, and downtime was mandatory.
But luckily, the medical community has discovered a successful new treatment, utilizing an already well-established technology to combat hair loss and thinning. Platelet Rich Plasma, also referred to as PRP, has been used in many medical treatments for decades, and doctors have found that PRP can also be used to encourage hair growth very effectively.
What is PRP Therapy?
PRP essentially uses your own blood to promote the growth of your hair! The way the process works follows like this: A blood sample is taken from the patient and put into a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge has the ability to separate the red blood cells from the plasma in the blood. Plasma has many platelets that have organic healing properties and several growth factors. The growth factors include platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) and insulin-like growth factor. These platelets encourage the growth of hair follicles, blood vessel repair, and collagen production. The PRP is then injected into the scalp hair follicles in the areas that have experienced hair loss and thinning. The PRP increases the growth phase of the follicle and gives more of a blood supply to the area.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The first course of treatment consists of monthly injections over three months. Following the first round of injections, it is suggested you do another treatment once every three to six months. The amount of treatments you need to undergo is dependent on many variables, such as the amount of hair loss, genetics, hormones, age, and other medical factors.
Results may vary from person to person
Does PRP Therapy Work for Hair Loss?
According to research, patients observe an increase in hair density and growth after three to four treatments. Typically, in the spots where they have lost hair, patients exhibit around 30-40% boost in growth. PRP works best when the hair loss has been recent. More things to think about are the quality of the PRP collection system that your doctor’s office utilizes.
How Does PRP Work?
Blood platelets release growth factors, such as PDGF, VEGF, EGF, TGF and insulin-like growth factors, and are thought to work on stem cells within and surrounding the hair follicles, stimulating the development of new follicles and promoting neovascularization .
Is the PRP Treatment Painful? What About Downtime?
The injection of the PRP may be accompanied by a feeling of slight burning or stinging, and patients typically only experience minimal discomfort. Patients can go back to their daily routines immediately following the procedure, and it is not necessary to have downtime.
Are There Any Side Effects?
There are some small side effects, such as risk of bruising your arm at the site where the blood is drawn. There is also a chance of bleeding or bruising when the PRP is injected into the scalp. But if it does occur, it is on a small scale and clears up fast. There’s no risk of allergic reaction since the treatment utilizes your own blood.
How Do I Know If I’m a Good Candidate for PRP for Hair Loss Treatment?
If your health is in good standing, you are presumably a qualifying candidate for this procedure. It is still necessary to have the consultation, because there are a few medical conditions that will conflict with the procedure, and the doctor can determine if you qualify by talking with you about your medical history, and any medication or supplements you may be taking.
Are There Other Non-Invasive Hair Loss Treatments Available?
There are some prescription medications that have been FDA approved to treat hair loss and hair thinning. These medications can have side effects such as allergic reaction, scalp itching, and sexual dysfunction in men. LED light therapy has also been shown to improve hair loss.
How Much Does PRP Treatment for Hair Loss Cost?
Each session can range from $500 and $1,000, depending on your specific treatment. Unfortunately, the procedure is classified as cosmetic, and thus is not covered by health insurance.
How Long Does Each Treatment Take?
Each PRP treatment session ranges from about 15 to 20 minutes. First, the blood sample is obtained and readied, then the PRP is inserted into the scalp.
How Do I Get Started?
We will set up an appointment with our professionally trained and award-winning Dr. Wright, who will speak with you about your options, the treatment, and will assess if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. Along with our knowledgeable staff, he’ll detail the process and expected outcomes for you, and clear up any questions you might have. Contact our office at 636-614-1665 to schedule a consultation today!
Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 Nov; 4(11): 1317–1323. Published online 2015 Sep 23. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2015-0107 PMCID: PMC4622412 PMID: 26400925 The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622412/
Giordano, Salvatore, et al. “A Meta-Analysis On Evidence Of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Androgenetic Alopecia.” International Journal of Trichology, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5803844/