Platelet Rich Plasma

Published on March 2, 2017

Platelet Rich Plasma(PRP) offers patients a new way to utilize your own body’s innate ability to heal and repair to help with hair loss. PRP has seen a steady growth trend over the last 15 years for patients seeking a less invasive procedure for rejuvenation in several areas. It has been widely used by clinicians to accelerate wound healing, treat sports injuries and burns and as an adjunct to implant treatments in dentistry. For those concerned about hair loss, PRP allows regrowth of hair by stimulating your own scalp with your own blood tissue.

PRP with its abundant growth factors can be used to stimulate hair growth. Important growth factors include platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF) as well as others. These growth factors when released promote capillary formation, collagen production and overall tissue repair. PRP can stimulate the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicle. Inactive or sluggish follicles can be stimulated into an active growth phase. This includes hair follicles the have miniaturized due to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The treatment not only promotes hair growth but also strengthens hair follicles.

PRP has been shown to be helpful for both male and female hair loss. Ideal patients have thinning hair, but not complete hair loss or scarring. Patients should be committed to a long term process of not just a series of injections, but long term touch up treatments as well.

The process of harvesting your PRP begins with drawing a small sample of blood by one of our experienced staff. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge where the red blood cells are separated from the platelet rich plasma. This concentrated fluid of platelets and a variety of healing growth factors are then injected into the scalp. The PRP can also be spread over an area where microneedling has been done to create small tunnels in the skin for deeper diffusion. Typically, either a numbing cream is applied or a numbing agent is injected. Since it is your own blood from which the PRP is derived, there is no risk of rejection or allergic reaction. These stem cells help you to grow new collagen and blood vessels, resulting in repair and regeneration of hair.

A series of three treatments performed 6-8 weeks apart begins the process. Sessions typically take about an hour. Your first assessment is 12 weeks after the third treatment. Results can be seen by three month, but up to 12 months may be required to see the full effect. Long term touch up treatments are recommended every 6-12 months.

While PRP has been shown to be effective, this process is still new and studies are limited. The long term benefits of PRP are still being assessed. That said, it can be a great option for many patients wanting to reverse their hair loss. The first step to exploring this option is to meet with an experienced provider for consultation to evaluate if you are a candidate, discuss your long term goals and if appropriate create a treatment plan.

References

  1. Cervelli V, Garcovich S, Bielli A, Cervelli G, et al. “The Effect of autologous activated platlet rich plasma (AA-PRP) injection on pattern hair loss: clinical and histomorphometric
  2. Miao Y et al. Promotional Effect of PRP on hair follicle reconstitution.Derm Surg 39:1869-76, 2013
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