PRP therapy for hair loss
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a non-surgical option to treat hair loss. It is suitable for both men and women suffering from thinning hair or from male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). This hair loss therapy is done by using the body’s own natural healing property and growth factors derived from patient’s own blood which potentially stimulates the thin hair to grow into thicker hairs in the balding scalp. The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive/dormant native hair follicles or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase. Patients with thinning, but not totally bald, areas would be the best candidates for this therapy as it can only make the existing thinning hair thicker by strengthening/stimulating the miniaturised hair follicles. The treatment not only promotes hair growth but also provide nourishment to the thinning hair follicles. It is a safe procedure with minimal side-effects.
Am I a Candidate for PRP therapy?
If you are suffering from initial stage of male pattern baldness (hair loss at the top of the scalp and a receding hairline particularly along the temples)
If you are looking for non-surgical option for hair restoration
If you are not eligible for hair transplant surgery or if you want to delay hair transplant surgery
It is not a suitable treatment if you have lost all your hair as it does not help grow new hair from dead follicles on a bald patch
It is also a not suitable treatment of hair loss if you have an active infection in the scalp, history of a viral infection, diabetes, any clotting disorder, or if you are on blood-thinning medications like aspirin and immune-suppressive drugs like cyclosporine.
The PRP treatment-
PRP therapy is generally used to treat thinning hair but it can also be used before or during hair transplantation surgery to improve graft survivability. The procedure takes 1-2 hours to complete depending the an amount of hair loss.
A small amount of blood is collected from the patient’s arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the RBCs and WBCs. The blood is processed so that the platelets are separated from the RBCs. The clear separated material is platelet rich plasma (PRP) that contains abundant growth factors and platelets and is collected in syringes which are now ready to be applied to the scalp.
PRP can be sprayed onto a recipient area during and after a hair transplant, may be applied to the donor incision, or injected directly into a balding scalp. To prepare the scalp for PRP application, a topical/local anaesthesia is applied for numbness into the treatment site; either the surgical site or on the portion of the scalp where hair loss has begun. After this, a special micro needling roller device called derma-roller is used which causes micro-trauma to the scalp that induces other healing and growth repair cells into action. The micro-needling or derma-roller uses 192 unique titanium needles that pierce into the skin and create micro wounds. After performing a derma-roller treatment the concentrated PRP is applied to the desired areas of the scalp where the platelet rich plasma and growth factors initiate tissue regeneration, healing and stimulate dormant hair follicles and encourage them to grow. It has the potential to stimulate the thin hair to grow into thicker hairs in the balding scalp.
How PRP helps in hair restoration?
PRP may stimulate hair growth by prolonging the anagen (growth) phase of hair follicles
It may protect the hair follicles against one of the possible main mechanisms of male pattern baldness: the death of dermal papilla cells in the hair follicle which leads to gradual shrinking and eventual disappearance of the hair shaft, a process called miniaturisation
The plasma which is rich in platelets and growth factors potentially stimulates the thin (miniaturised) hair to grow into thicker (terminal) hairs in the balding scalp
It may promote the growth of new blood vessels around treated hair follicles which help to stimulate new hair growth.
Downtime and recovery-
You can return to your normal activity almost immediately, but your scalp needs protection from the sun and excessive irritation. Deep massage to the treated area for a few days helps to stimulate and spread the PRP. Discomfort from the injections is expected during the treatment. Since it involves drawing out blood and multiple needle pricks, it may seem uncomfortable and scary but a numbing cream or local anaesthesia is used prior to the procedure to ensure less discomfort and minimal pain.
Risk and complications-
PRP therapy is a safe and effective treatment with minimal side-effects. Some temporary redness may be noticed at the treatment site which settles within a few hours. As this therapy uses patient’s own plasma to treat hair loss, there is no chance of any allergic reaction.
The PRP therapy results-
PRP can help slow down hair loss and may reverse thinning follicles by strengthening the dormant/weak ones. The treatment requires about six-eight sessions for best results in many cases. After the initial session of PRP therapy, the patient can use the derma-roller every day for about a month at home. At the Aesthetic Beauty Centre, we recommend 4-6 weeks interval between the sessions and some patients benefit from further treatment depending on the response. The treatments must be continued periodically to maintain any improvement. Results vary with each individual patient. The optimum results can be seen after three months of the treatment and you can notice that the hair gradually becoming thicker in the treated areas. The treatment not only promotes hair growth but also strengthens hair follicles. Patients usually notice a fuzz of hair after the third or fourth sitting.
At the Aesthetic Beauty Centre, your progress is reviewed on a regular basis through appointments with your doctor, Dr Ashish Dutta. But if you have any queries in the meantime, you should feel free to call us.