Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a new “off label” treatment for hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata (‘spot baldness’) and androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss).
What Happens During PRP Treatment?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy can be broken down into three main steps.
Obtain Blood Plasma Illustration
Step One: Retrieve Plasma
Obtaining plasma, a component found within blood, is the main goal of this step1. This is obtained by removing a small amount of blood from your arm. The amount of blood needed is only a fraction of what is taken when you donate blood.
Activate Blood Platelets
Step Two: Activation of Platelets
Platelets located in your drawn blood are then concentrated. Activated platelets are used in PRP as they contain healing properties and growth factors. Growth factors can encourage hair growth as they help in the development of new blood vessels and can promote the survival of hair follicles.
Inject Platelet Rich Plasma to Scalp
Step Three: Injection
The last step of PRP is to inject these activated platelets into hair loss areas.
Advantages of PRP
PRP can encourage hair growth in a wide range of hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. PRP can be combined with hair transplantations or can be used as a solo treatment. No oral or topical medications are required to perform PRP treatment. PRP can help preserve hair grafts during hair transplants.
How effective is PRP?
The effectiveness of PRP on hair loss has been evaluated in numerous studies. In one such study, PRP treated alopecia areata patients achieved greater hair regrowth as compared to patients without PRP treatment.
How does PRP compare to other non-surgical hair loss treatments?
The effectiveness of PRP has been directly compared to other hair loss treatments. In a study, regrowth in PRP treated patients occurred earlier than minoxidil treated patients.
What Conditions Can PRP Be Used To Treat?
PRP can also be used in many different medical fields such as sports medicine, dentistry, aesthetics, hair restoration, skin rejuvenation and orthopedic surgery.
PRP has been reported to improve skin texture and skin elasticity. In a study of healthy patients, improvements in skin elasticity, smoothness, and scaliness were obtained after 3 sessions of PRP injections. In an additional study, PRP was reported to improve skin firmness and reduce facial wrinkling without altering facial pigmentation. These findings suggest that PRP can help reduce the clinical signs of aging.
PRP Treatment Improves Skin Quality
PRP has also been successfully incorporated into facelift procedures, increasing fat graft survival and encouraging stem cell growth. PRP in combination with fat grafts have yielded high patient satisfaction rates when used during facial lipostructure surgery. PRP has also been used in cartilage-related conditions, tendon disorders, meniscus-related conditions, and ligament disorders. Evidence collected across several sport injury studies suggest that PRP treatment can help injured athletics return to the field earlier when compared to control treatments such as placebo and rehabilitation.
Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Encourages Hair Growth
The platelets that are concentrated from plasma can also provide healing properties and growth factors that encourage hair growth. PRP has shown very promising results for hair loss patients. In a study conducted in 2015, hair loss regions of 23 patients were treated with PRP or placebo30. After 3 months, a higher hair count was found in PRP treated hair loss regions (a 33.6 hair increase) as compared to placebo treated regions (a 3.2 hair decrease).
Platelet Rich Plasma treatment vs. Minoxidil
Minoxidil is another non-surgical option available and is approved to treat both men and women. Minoxidil, as a treatment of hair loss, is only available in a topical format (solution or foam) which can contain skin irritants. PRP, on the other hand, is a non-allergenic procedure as activated platelets are created using a person’s own blood to encourage hair growth. Studies have also suggested that PRP may produce desired results faster than minoxidil treatment.
Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment + Hair Transplantation
PRP can also be used in combination with hair transplants. Hair follicles that are being transplanted are susceptible to dehydration and injury. Mixing PRP into hair graft storage solutions may help preserve grafts and encourage follicles to be in an active growing state. PRP treatment during hair transplants can also help to promote tissue repair and minimize scar formation.
PRP Graft Preservation Solutions
PRP can also be useful in follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedures. In FUE hair follicles are removed individually from the scalp during harvesting, this avoids the linear scarring created by the strip procedure.
Platelet Rich Plasma Tharapy – Frequently Asked Questions
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. PRP can be summed up in three main steps: • A small amount of blood is removed • Platelets are concentrated • PRP is injected
PRP solution contains platelets which break down to release growth factors and cytokines. These molecules interact with cells in hair follicle and surrounding tissues to activate a process that encourages: • Cell survival • Cell growth • Cell proliferation • Growth of new blood vessels • Stops cell death • Transition of hair from resting phase to growth phase
No. PRP treatments are used in a wide array of fields such as sports medicine, dentistry, aesthetics, hair restoration, skin rejuvenation and orthopedic surgery.
There are no major side effects that have been reported. Some temporary pain, discomfort and scalp sensitivity may occur. PRP is considered a non-allergenic procedure as the patient’s own blood is used.
You may notice an initial increase in hair shedding. This is evidence that the PRP solution is helping move your hair follicles into the next stage of the hair cycle.
The number of treatments required may depend on how severe your hair loss is. A consultation can help gauge the number the treatments you may require.
In alopecia areata, PRP treated patients achieved hair restoration results faster than minoxidil and triamcinolone acetonide treated patients. It has also been found that PRP treated patients are able to achieve hair regrowth earlier than minoxidil treated patients.
The anti-inflammatory properties of PRP may be of value to scarring alopecia patients however large scale studies using scarring alopecia patients have not yet been conducted.
At the hair transplant center, Delight Clinic and the (Dr. Ashit Gupta), we have obtained very good results with PRP as either a stand-alone therapy for hair loss or in conjunction with FUE hair transplants. If you would like more information please give us a call at +91-9990411335 or simply fill out the form below to sign up for a Free Consultation.