Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)
Our blood consists of a liquid component known as plasma and 3 types of cells, red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. Platelets play an important role in forming blood clots. They also consist of special proteins known as growth factors which help with our body’s healing process.
Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is a high concentration of platelets and plasma. PRP contains 5 to 10 times the concentration of growth factors found in normal blood, therefore it has greater healing properties.
Hair loss from the scalp can range from mild thinning of hair to total baldness. It results from hormonal changes, stress, certain hair treatments, an underlying health condition, certain medications or hereditary. Hair loss is more common in men, although anyone can experience it. Most often, people experience a gradual loss that begins from the forehead or patchy bald spots anywhere in the scalp.
PRP Therapy for Hair Loss
PRP is most often used to treat arthritis or to aid in healing after joint surgery, but recently, it is being used to treat hair loss. The growth factors in the PRP stimulate the hair follicles and help promote hair growth.
Indications for PRP Therapy
PRP is indicated for the following:
- Women experiencing hair thinning after menopause
- Balding men
- Men or women experiencing hair loss for the last 5 years
Procedure of PRP Treatment
The procedure involves drawing a specific amount of blood from the patient. A centrifuge is used to spin the blood to separate the platelets and plasma from the remaining blood cells and to increase the concentration of the platelets.
The procedure may be performed under local anesthesia of the scalp where hair loss has occurred. A small needle is used to inject the PRP preparation into the skin of the scalp near the hair roots. Treatment usually involves 3 injections spread over 3 months. You may need multiple shots spread over a few years depending on the amount of hair loss, age, genetics, etc.
Complications are rare but may include pain, redness, infection or bleeding at the injection site.
The advantages of PRP therapy for hair loss include:
- Minimum complications
- No need for an incision as compared to hair transplantation
- Better results
PRP therapy may not be recommended if you take prescribed blood-thinning medications and have medical conditions such as thyroid disease, lupus, hepatitis and skin cancer.