PLATELET RICH PLASMA THERAPY IN HAIR RESTORATION
THE SCIENCE OF PRP
While PRP is in the early stages of scientific research in hair restoration, PRP is not meant to replace current FDA approved therapies such as DHT blockers and Minoxidil. But it is a promising non-surgical option for those patients with hair loss. PRP contains special cells called Platelets, that can theoretically cause growth of the hair follicles by stimulating the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicle. These special platelet cells promote healing, accelerate the rate and degree of tissue healing and regeneration, respond to injury, and formation of new cellular growth. The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase. Inside the Platelets are many intracellular structures such as glycogen, lysosomes and alpha granules. These granules within the PRP contain clotting and growth factors that are eventually released during the healing and repair process.
PRP specific cells that stimulate hair growth include:
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) – promotes blood vessel growth, cell replication, skin formation
- Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta (TGF-b)—promotes growth of matrix between cells, bone metabolism
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)—promotes blood vessel formation;
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)—promotes cell growth and differentiation, blood vessel formation, collagen formation
- Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2)—promotes growth of specialized cells and blood vessel formation
- Insulin Like Growth Factor – (IGF)—a regulator of normal physiology in nearly every type of cell in the body.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA HAIR THERAPY (PRP)?
PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy is a proactive therapeutic option for male and female patients experiencing hair loss. This innovative procedure is an injection treatment using the patient’s platelet rich plasma which is extracted from his/her own blood.
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
In the field of hair restoration, evidence supports PRP therapy as a promising treatment option to promote hair growth. Prepared plasma is richer in platelets than normal blood. The plasma contains growth factors which induce follicle stem cells to shift from a dormant state to an active state, thus starting the process of hair production. This therapy gives strength to existing hair, reduces hair loss and is likely to increase the actual number and quality of hairs by stimulating the stem cells.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM THE PROCEDURE?
Blood is drawn from the patient in our office. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge and the PRP is separated and removed from the patient’s whole blood. An anesthesia block is injected into several areas of the scalp so the patient does not feel any pain. The highly concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is administered in the areas of concern through a series of injections with a fine needle. No sedation or any medication is required. There is no downtime.
WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE PRP TREATMENT?
Patients with history of heavy smoking, drug and alcohol use. medical diagnosis such as platelet dysfunction syndromes, thrombocytopenias, hypofibrinogenaemia, hemodynamic instability, sepsis, acute and chronic Infections, chronic liver disease, anti-coagulation therapy, chronic skin diseases, cancer, metabolic and systemic disorders.
IS PRP FOR ME?
PRP has been used successfully in other medical and surgical disciplines for many years. The decision to use PRP is a personal decision and should be made after careful research, consideration and consultation with a physician. PRP is safe and natural because the procedure concentrates the good cells from your blood and injects them directly back into the area of concern. PRP involves using your own cells that are not modified or changed, and it will not be rejected by your immune system.
PRP should not be considered a “cure” for hair loss and no guarantee can be made about its effectiveness. Individual results vary with each patient. No claim of PRP efficacy in promoting hair growth can be made because there is no FDA approval that would allow such claims to be made.
WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?
This varies among individuals. Generally you will start seeing a benefit in three to six months. The maximum benefit is seen at twelve months. Improved hair appearance may last two to three years but then there will be a gradual return of the hair to its baseline without continued PRP therapy. This is why we suggest a series of three treatments (one every four months) to initiate the new hair growth, after the initial growth period dependant on the cause of hair loss. The benefits for hair growth may be prolonged with supplements or prescription medications.
CAN I USE OTHER MEDICAL THERAPIES CONCURRENTLY?
Absolutely. As a non-surgical treatment option, we recommend PRP therapy along with Minoxidil and DHT blockers or for those patients who cannot tolerate or have side effects with these medications.