Can PRP Help with Hair Loss?
For many men and women, the thinning of your hair or baldness is just a right of passage into middle age. Most just resign themselves to the fact that their hair will never look as thick or nice as it did when they were younger. But does it have to be that way? Are there hair replacement treatments that actually work? Are they permanent or do you have to constantly have to reapply the treatment or therapy?
As a doctor who practices Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy such as Dr. Robin Unger can tell you, the best and most effective way to attack your hair thinning or loss is to start treatment as soon as your hairline becomes an irritation to you. There are several different routes you can go to fight this battle of thinning hair. These methods include:
- Minoxidil by Rogaine can help slow down or prevent additional hair loss. It really has not been proven to regrow previously lost hair. One study said there was evidence of some regrowth but it was not seen until about six to nine months of using the product.
- Another hair loss treatment recommended by dermatologists is Finasteride. This is an FDA-approved medication now available as a generic. This is a pill that you take one time a day. According to one study, almost two-thirds of the men who take this pill will see some improvements in the thickness of their hair over a period of time.
Both of these methods must be started before all the hair is gone; they are, in fact, preventative measures.
A therapy called platelet-rich-plasma, or PRP, is another way to actually regrow hair and it uses your own blood to do so.
Blood has two main components, plasma and red blood cells. Within the plasma are platelets and white blood cells, both containing growth factors. These growth factors are the ingredients that assist in stimulating hair follicles and help encourage new hair growth.
PRP is gaining in popularity as a means to treat hair loss because there are many articles that are scientifically based that show its effectiveness in increasing the thickness, growth phase, and hair count in its patients.
How Does PRP Work?
Platelet-rich plasma for use in hair growth is done by taking a small amount of blood from the arm of the patient. This blood is then placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood at a very high rate of speed. This spinning separates the plasma, which contains the platelets, from the red blood cells. The plasma, now rich in platelets, is injected into the scalp near the hair follicles.
The process can be very meticulous, with several injections necessary throughout the scalp to cover the area where the hair is thinning. Even so, this procedure usually will take less than 30 minutes.
There are minimal side effects. Minimal pain can be managed by Tylenol. There is no downtime necessary aside from not using styling products for a day or two.
Does it Work?
PRP works best for those with early hair loss. Both men and women with hair loss on the top of the head can see results.
It will take more than one treatment to achieve optimal results. At first, monthly treatments for three to four months followed by a treatment every three to six months. After that, it will depend on the results and the patient’s satisfaction. Results from PRP can usually be seen a few months after the first injections.