Let’s take a closer look at PRP Treatment for Hair Loss, what it entails and whether it might be an option for you if you’re struggling with thinning hair.
Click any section to go right to one of the topics.
One of the biggest dilemmas men and women face is losing their hair due to age and other factors. While pattern baldness is genetic, it doesn’t mean you have to live your entire life without the head of hair you want.
There have been magic potions and lotions on the market over the years that have claimed to have figured out hair loss and provide a quick fix. However, PRP hair treatment takes a longer and more scientific approach to address the problem.
What is PRP Hair Treatment?
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma treatment. It’s a medical procedure that has also been used in dentistry and for healing wounds.
The process is broken down into three steps. During the first step, the medical team will draw some blood from your body – your arm is a common place to get it from. The blood is then fed into a centrifuge that separates your blood into red blood cells as well as plasma.
One of those two plasma components is rich in platelets, which are used by your body to stem bleeding following an injury. The team will fill a syringe with this platelet-rich plasma and then injected into strategic places in the scalp. Platelets are filled with special proteins called growth factors that have shown to be effective for healing.
The injections are not considered painful and there’s no downtime following them. The appointments can be up to six weeks or so apart. There are also maintenance treatments that occur every six months or so following the initial treatments. The appointments themselves usually don’t take longer than half an hour.
A Brief History of PRP
While PRP is getting more popular, it’s not new to the medical world. Some sources will tell you it was first used in medicine in Europe about a decade ago. But others will note that the term PRP rose in the 1970s, and in the 1980’s it was used for the first time during open-heart surgery.
It has been gaining traction over the past few years in the world of dermatology as a way to address hair loss. It is still used to address sports injuries. Some famous athletes including Tiger Woods have used PRP therapy to get back on top of their game.
Does PRP Hair Loss Treatment Work?
Let’s get to the important question – does it work? This treatment is still emerging, so there’s not a lot of studies available about how effective it is. However, there has been some promising research on the topic from board-certified dermatologists.
A recent study on the subject aimed to decide whether PRP therapy for hair loss was effective or a myth. The study included 11 adult male subjects that weren’t responding well to other treatments. PRP treatment was administered into the scalp four times, each treatment two weeks apart.
The study team then looked at the success of the trial after three months. The participants did much better in the pull test (fewer hairs falling out from pulling) and the subjects noticed an improvement in their hair coverage. Not only the patients; the study leaders also measured an increase in hair follicles in targeted areas.
The consensus so far from experts suggest it is a safe and effective method of repairing hair loss. However, not everyone is a candidate for PRP therapy and should consult with someone qualified to make that decision. Hereditary hair loss patients seem to be responding well, experts add.
The treatment also apparently works better for those who have experienced recent hair loss, as opposed to those who have lost hair a long time ago and have dormant hair follicles.
Risks and Safety Precautions
The good news is that PRP therapy uses your blood, so there’s no risk of contamination from using donated blood. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some possible risks of PRP therapy.
For example, due to the nature of injections, there’s a chance that a blood vessel or nerve could get damaged. Infection is possible, and there’s also a chance of scarring. Calcification can be an issue where the syringe is injected.
Let your team know if you have a known allergy to anaesthetics, as they may be used during the treatments. You may be ruled out as a candidate for this type of therapy if you’re on blood thinners or you’re a heavy smoker. If you have been diagnosed with an infection or any disease (such as thyroid disorder or lupus), your team will also consider that when deciding if the PRP treatment is the best option.
Some illnesses may cause continuous hair loss, and therefore would make the patient ineligible for the treatment.
PRP is considered a better alternative to some other hair treatments, in particular, FDA-approved drugs that target hair loss. Side effects from these drugs can range from dry scalp to erectile dysfunction in men. Hair transplants are another option but may have longer recovery time.
What is the Cost of PRP?
This question comes down often to the clinic that you choose to administer your PRP therapy. However, the average pricing dictates that you’ll spend up to $3,500 for the first three treatments (some estimates are slightly lower.) That number can be as high as $1,000 or more for individual treatments.
Unfortunately, most health insurers consider PRP as a cosmetic procedure and therefore don’t provide any coverage for it.
PRP May Be The Solution For You
PRP hair treatment has shown promise for helping those who have lost hair due to pattern baldness and other factors. While it might not be for everyone, it’s a viable option if you’re losing hair and a candidate for the therapy.
It also has potentially fewer side effects than some of the other options including drugs and transplants. If you’ve tried other methods and they’re not giving you any results, then PRP may be the solution you’ve been waiting for.
To find out more about PRP therapy and other treatments, contact us today.
Before After Images
For more images visit our before after section.