Platelet-Rich Plasma Hair Restoration

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About 80 million Americans have male- or female-pattern baldness, and for many of us, hair thinning is a scary thought. New advances in the emerging use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, however, can help turn the process around and reverse hair loss or thinning.

PRP therapy utilizes tiny injections at the hair follicle of platelet-rich plasma to promote healing of damaged hair follicles and stimulate follicle activity to increase hair count and hair thickness. So what is PRP?

Our blood is made of two main components - red blood cells and plasma. The plasma contains water, electrolytes, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are integral to our body’s healing process. They contain many different growth factors and cell signaling substances that signal many different kinds of cells to grow, proliferate and migrate, thereby accelerating wound healing. In high concentration, platelets injected near hair follicles will release these substances and can thus help battle and reverse hair loss.

The Process

Hair restoration appointments begin with a standard blood draw from the patient’s arm. This tube of blood will be transferred to a centrifuge, where it will be spun to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. The bottom layer of the plasma contains a high concentration of platelets, which are then drawn off for injection.

PRP is directly injected into the site of hair loss in a meticulous process. Injections are made across the scalp at approximately every half inch over the area of thinning hair.

PRP essentially sends a message of “injury” to the skin and hair follicles, which, via release of growth factors and cell signallers, leads to an increase in cell repair mechanisms and follicle stimulation. The repair process results in hair follicles producing more hair that is both thicker and stronger.

What To Expect

The procedure takes anywhere between thirty minutes to two hours depending on the total area of hair loss that requires treatment.

Following the treatment, you can use cool air, ice packs and Tylenol to minimize any discomfort or pressure at the injection site. Bruising can occur but typically is barely noticeable and dissipates after one to two weeks.

Little, if any, downtime is required. I advise patients to refrain from blow-drying, coloring or processing their hair for 48 hours, but encourage warm showers to enhance blood flow and circulation throughout the scalp.

Results can first be seen within two to three months. The length of time necessary to see results is because of the body’s natural hair growth cycle. The first result will typically be decreased hair shedding, followed by hair regrowth that is stronger and thicker.

For best results, consistency is key. Treatments are typically performed once every 4-6 weeks for the first three months and then every three to six months after, depending on your response and results. Receiving treatments every three to six months on a long-term basis are optimal for continuing to stimulate the follicles that are associated with regrowth.

You may not qualify for treatment if you have the following:

  • Use of NSAIDs (aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, ibuprofen), turmeric/curcumin, or CBD in the last two weeks
  • Acute or chronic infections
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Liver or Skin Disease
  • Hemodynamic instability
  • Hypofibrinogenemia
  • Platelet dysfunction syndromes
  • Sepsis
  • Low platelet count
  • Thyroid Disease

Note: If you are ineligible for traditional hair transplant surgery, you may still be a candidate for a PRP hair procedure. In some instances, PRP hair loss treatments can be combined with traditional hair restoration methods.

Coming in for a treatment or have more questions? See PRP Pre and Post Treatment Information.