Platelet-rich plasma for hair loss

As many individuals become older, hair follicle growth slows down quite a bit — or becomes dormant altogether. Even working follicles can become inefficient, causing the hair to become very thin. PRP (platelet-rich plasma) hair restoration is an option for hair loss patients in which growth factors are used to stimulate dormant hair cells into growing new hair. These growth factors are taken from the patient’s own plasma, making it a 100% natural procedure.

How does PRP stimulate the cells?

Our plasma is a goldmine of nutrients, vitamins, and growth factors that contain dozens of platelets. These platelets are the cells that help to clot the bleeding from cuts and scrapes, as well as repair tissue. Over a series of targeted PRP injections to the scalp, these growth factors increase blood flow in order to trigger inactive hair follicles to begin an active growth phase. For many, the end result is hair that is fuller, thicker, and healthier.

What happens during a PRP hair treatment

A PRP hair treatment involves two main parts: a blood draw and injections to the scalp. The first step will be the cleansing of your scalp, followed by the application of a topical numbing agent to keep any discomfort minimal. Next, a small amount of blood (about 1 to 2 ounces) will be drawn from your vein and placed within a device to separate the red blood cells and other impurities from the plasma. This is done so that the plasma we use contains the highest amount of growth factors.

Once this has been done, the plasma is then put into a syringe so that it can be injected directly into the scalp, where the growth factors immediately begin working to re-grow hair. Although the area will be numbed, you may feel some pressure during the injections. After the injections have been completed, your scalp may be iced (if needed). A standard PRP hair treatment takes approximately an hour and a half, but may vary depending on your specific case. 

Recovery

PRP hair treatments don’t require any downtime. Common side effects include scalp soreness/tenderness, swelling, itching, and/or pinpoint bleeding at the injection sites for a day or two. You may wash your hair normally, as long as you wait a few hours following treatment. However, you should avoid blow drying or dyeing your hair for at least two days following treatment.

Results

It’s important for those who are considering PRP hair restoration to understand that it’s not an instant fix; rather, it’s a gradual process that, for many, requires multiple sessions before results are apparent.

In addition, for some patients, maintenance PRP sessions are necessary to maintain their results, depending on the severity of hair loss. Typically PRP hair patients will begin to notice less hair loss, then with ongoing treatment, their hair begins to re-grow — becoming longer and thicker.

Every patient’s treatment plan will be different, but in general we recommend one treatment a month for the first 3 to 4 months, and then maintenance treatments every 3 to 6 months.

Candidates for PRP hair restoration

A very important factor for hair loss patients who are interested in PRP to understand is that the type of hair loss you have may not respond to this treatment. 

Hair loss is caused by many different things, and PRP may not address the root cause of yours. This is something that can be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Mentz. In general, PRP is most effective for those who have androgenetic alopecia.

Henry A. Mentz

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