“PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma for hair regrowth is an in-office, non-surgical, autologous treatment derived from the patient’s own blood that can be performed in about an hour.”
Before going into the detail of the therapy, let’s talk a bit about the exact causes of hair fall that occurs in men and women in different ages.
Causes of hair loss in women
Hair thinning in women is heredity and can start any time after puberty. We also know that female pattern hair loss which is an androgen dependent hair loss in female affects typically over the vertex in a characteristic pattern, there are certain other causes of hair loss like post partum hair loss (after delivery of baby), post febrile hair loss (after chronic illness) and these can be strongly influenced by age, nutritional status, stress, medications, social/lifestyle factors, hair care products and more.
As hair follicles weaken and stop producing hair, hair loss occurs.
Causes of hair loss in men
In men we know that hair loss follows a very specific, progressive pattern that is passed on through heredity and is triggered by hormone-specifically dihydrotestosterone or DHT. As hair follicles miniaturize and weaken, coverage of the scalp diminishes leaving thinning or balding areas. Following statistics shows the alarming total number of Androgenetic Alopecia sufferers in comparison to total population in SAARC zone.
PRP hair regrowth treatments and their works
PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma for hair regrowth is an in-office, non-surgical, autologous treatment derived from the patient’s own blood that can be performed in about an hour. After the area of concern is identified, evaluated and measured, standardized medical photos are taken. Special gentle and sterile techniques and equipment are used to separate and concentrate the platelets and plasma from a small sample (2o to 30 ml) of peripheral blood.
A small sample of the prepared plasma tested in a hematology analyzer to measure and document the improved platelet concentration. Platelet contains growth factors and cytokines that have been shown to be responsible for stimulating and enhancing hair follicle function. The PRP may be combined with Extracellular Matrix (like ACell or BioD) for a stronger and longer hair growth result.
The scalp is prepared with antiseptic solution and anesthetic is used to completely numb the scalp for a 100 per cent painless procedure. Small injections of the PRP deliver the powerful platelet-derived growth factors into the skin at the level of the weak follicles. Electronic or manual micro needling may also be performed to get the result. A session of Low Level Laser Therapy is performed before the patient leaves the office.
The ideal candidate for PRP treatments for hair loss
PRP treatments is applicable for the patients with areas of “weak quality” hair growth on the scalp mainly due to Androgenetic Alopecia, where functioning hair follicles can still be observed, and patients with small areas of alopecia areata.
Risks and benefits of PRP treatments
PRP is a comfortable, in-office, non-surgical procedure that takes about an hour start-to-finish, and most of that time is spent in the preparation phase� meaning, the patient, is just relaxing! Most patients notice a brief period of inflammation during which their scalp remains somewhat pink and numb for a few hours. Swelling is rare (about 15 per cent of the time) and if it occurs is noticeable in the forehead on the next day. Any swelling takes about a day or two to resolve. Hair growth improvements can typically be measured in about three months, but it takes six to twelve months to visually “see” the difference in photos and in the mirror.
Patients with certain blood disorders or on certain medications are not candidates for PRP treatments. PRP is immunologically neutral and poses little risk of allergy, hypersensitivity or foreign-body reactions.
How long do the benefits of PRP treatments last?
PRP tends to improve hair caliber and hair growth for about four to six weeks, requiring multiple repeated treatments as often as every other month. When using ECMs like ACell or BioD, the effects of PRP have been reported to be stronger and last longer. On average, however, most patients will require their repeat PRP treatment after an average of one year in order to maintain the hair growth effects.
Downtime after PRP treatments
There is no activity restriction after a PRP treatment. Patients may shower/shampoo/condition their hair normally just several hours after the treatment and resume normal daily and athletic activities. As mentioned previously, some brief mild inflammation noticeable as redness/pinkness and numbness of the scalp may be present for several hours. No harsh chemical coloring or perming treatments should be performed for at least 72 hours. Use of topical hair growth treatments like Minoxidil or similar can resume the next day.