What Is PRP?
Plasma is a component of blood. It is primarily composed largely of water and protein, and acts as a medium for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to circulate throughout the body. Platelets, which are also known as thrombocytes, are blood cells that cause blood clots and other necessary growth healing properties. Platelet activations play a key role in our body’s natural healing process.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tissues, and hair follicle and promotes our natural healing and repair process. PRP injections are usually prepared by taking around 25-30cc of your blood, and running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. These concentrated platelets and then separated from the whole blood and injected directly into the scalp superficially. This releases the growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells that your body produces.
Does PRP Work For Hair Loss?
No methods can ensure 100% effectiveness; however PRP has shown promising changes/ improvement for hair growth. PRP has shown promising results in addition with other medications to promote healthy hair growth.
A research was conducted in 2019, regarding a systemic review of research in PRP as a treatment for hair loss. Their analysis focused primarily on 11 research papers that included a total of 262 participants with androgenetic alopecia. Based on the results obtained, most of the studies found that injections of PRP aids in reducing hair loss, and increased the diameter of hair and the density of hair growth.
In another review on 2019, examination finding of 19 studies investigating PRP as a treatment for hair loss. These studies had cumulative patients of 460 in total. In conclusion of these review, a large number of studies reported that PRP treatment led to hair regrowth In those with androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
How Is The Procedure Done?
- 25 to 30cc of blood are drawn from a vein in your arm.
- Blood sample is centrifuged for 10 minutes with an RPM of 5000.
- Centrifuge spins the blood separating the blood components.
- Platelets are extracted and placed in a syringe.
- Area of interest in the scalp is given a topical numbing agent.
- Multiple superficial injections are given in the scalp with PRP loaded syringes.
The entire procedure will take 45 minutes to an hour. Usually a minimum of 3 sessions will be needed with an interval of 6 weeks per session to obtain the best results. After receiving PRP injections, patient can resume their normal daily activities as usual.
How Long Does PRP Last In Our Body?
PRP does not reverse the patient’s existing medical condition that causes hair loss. For these reasons, a patient will require multiple treatments over a period of time to maintain hair growth results. Patients will also be prescribed medications to aid in hair growth and to treat androgenetic alopecia, such as topical minoxidil (Regaine) and oral finasteride (Propecia).
Usually after 3 sessions of PRP over the period of 18 weeks, your doctors will re-asses your hair growth pattern. Your doctor may suggest having a maintenance injection every 3 to 6 months depending of the severity of your hair loss.
What Are The Common Side Effects?
As the PRP solution consists of your own blood components, there are few risks of a reaction to the solution itself. The most common side effects that patients will have following PRP treatments are:
- Mild pain over injection sites,
- Scalp tenderness
- Mild swelling that will subside over time
- Rarely headaches
- Temporary bleeding over injection sites.
Usually these symptoms are mild and will require only symptomatic reliefs. These symptoms will subside within 48 hours post treatment.
How Do We Prevent Hair Loss?
Eating a nutritious diet and keeping stress levels low can help prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth. Regular exercise can increase blood flow throughout the body and may reduce the incidence of hair loss.
In addition to this, other common ways to encourage hair growth are;
- To limit using hair accessories that can cause hair breakage, such as hairpins, clips, and rubber bands.
- Avoiding styling products that can damage and break the hair, such as blow-dryers set to a high heat, straightening irons, and curling irons.
- limiting the use of bleach, relaxers, and hair dyes
- When the hair is wet, avoiding brushing it or applying plastic or rubber hair ties.
- avoiding excess shampooing or brushing
- Treating the hair as gently as possible can help preserve it and minimize the rate of hair loss.
Visit us at DTAP Clinics for management of hair loss.