Amidst the race of life, career, and earning money, have you forgotten to pay attention to yourself? After a long time, one day when you spent some time in front of the mirror, did you realise that you have lost some hair, your hair is thinning, and you are becoming bald? You need not worry – the doctors have found a way to treat hair loss and hair damage with a non-surgical method – platelet-rich plasma therapy – a treatment originally developed to enhance healing in the wound and joint injuries. This page will brief you about platelet-rich plasma, and how it helps to treat hair loss.
ABOUT PLATELET-RICH PLASMA:
Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains white blood cells, red blood cells, vitamins, salts, and other substances. When the red blood cells are removed from the blood, the plasma is yellowish in color.
Platelets are the small cell fragments suspended in plasma, which help the blood to clot if there is any cut or damage to the blood vessel. These fragments also secrete growth factors that induce cell growth and proliferation, thereby promoting the healing process.
Platelet-rich plasma (or PRP) therapy is a therapeutic, non-surgical treatment for hair loss. This method involves withdrawing a small amount of the blood, placing it in a machine that segregates the blood into various portions, and injecting the plasma into the region with hair loss. This treatment is recommended for individuals who have just started going bald or who have thin hair.
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
The platelets can stimulate the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicle, thereby inducing the growth of the hair follicles. These platelets enhance healing, accelerate the rate and grade of tissue regeneration and healing, respond to injury, and facilitate formation of new cells. The main objective of using PRP for hair restoration is to induce the newly implanted or the inactive hair follicles into an active growth phase.
The platelets contain several intracellular structures, like lysosomes, glycogen, and alpha granules. The granules have growth and clotting factors that are ultimately released during the repair and healing process. The various factors in platelets that cause hair growth are as follows:
WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PRP TREATMENT?
PRP therapy is a safe procedure as the healthy cells from your body, which are not changed or modified, are injected into the area where it is required. Thus, there is no possibility of acquiring a blood infection from another individual. Also, these cells will not be rejected by the immune system. However, the decision to undergo PRP treatment is a personal one, and one should consult a physician and carefully research about the procedure before going ahead with the treatment. Moreover, PRP should not be considered as a “cure” for hair loss, and there is no guarantee that it will be effective for an individual.
The patients with the following factors are not eligible for PRP treatment.
PRP THERAPY PROCEDURE:
Like a routine blood test, blood is withdrawn from the body about 30 minutes before the procedure, using sterile syringes and transferred into the vials.
The blood is then spun in a centrifuge for a few minutes, and the components in the blood are separated. A specialised PRP system may be used to eliminate the granulocytes in the blood, which may hinder wound healing and tissue regeneration. After centrifugation, the plasma is separated into three parts – platelet-rich plasma, platelet-poor plasma, and red blood cells. The growth factors in the plasma are separated and diluted and used for injections.
An anesthesia block is injected into the scalp to numb the nerves and to avoid any pain. Then, the highly concentrated PRP is injected into the scalp. After the procedure, the patient’s hair is washed. As the patient is not under any sedation or medication, the procedure doesn’t affect his/her ability to drive or use any machinery.
Sometimes, PRP can be used before or during a hair transplant to initiate hair growth or to aid other treatments. PRP can also be used postoperatively.
Some patients prefer to undergo PRP treatment every 3 – 4 months, as early studies suggest that regular or six-monthly treatments can stimulate hair growth effectively.
BENIFITS OF PRP TREATMENT:
The reasons why PRP treatment is gaining popularity among the doctors as well as patients include::
SIDE EFFECTS OF PRP TREATMENT:
Though the side effects of this procedure are minimal, a few of them are:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Yes, PRP treatment can regrow about 30 – 40% of the hair lost, in both men and women. PRP stimulates the newly implanted or the inactive hair follicles to enter the active growth phase, thereby enhancing hair regrowth. These results can be seen after 3 months of the treatment.
According to research data, the effects of PRP treatment last for about 4 to 6 weeks, needing treatment once a month for 3 months. On an average, most individuals will need to repeat PRP treatment after 6-12 months to maintain the benefits of the procedure.
PRP therapy is an effective method to treat hair loss. About 30-40% of the hair lost can grow back after undergoing PRP therapy. Ideally, 6 – 12 months are required to visually judge the results of PRP, but some people can notice the results 3 months after beginning the treatment.
Yes, PRP is an appropriate option for people who have just started to lose hair. A study showed that patients had more number of mean hair and total hair density improved after undergoing 3 cycles of PRP.
Hair transplant is a well-known option for the treatment of hair loss and baldness. But some people opt for less invasive techniques like PRP to promote hair re-growth. PRP shows optimal results when used for treating the initial stages of hair loss, where the hair follicles in the scalp are in the inactive stages of growth. Sometimes, doctors prefer to include PRP treatment while performing hair transplant to boost the growth of hair.
PRP is the best treatment option for people who do not seek a surgical option to treat hair loss. Evidence suggests that about 30-40% of the hair lost regrows after undergoing PRP therapy. The results of PRP can be seen 3 months after initiating the treatment. PRP alone is recommended for initial stages of hair loss.
Yes, PRP is better than Rogaine. Rogaine is a topical solution (also available in the form of foam) used to treat male pattern baldness. PRP is effective in about 65% people, where is Rogaine is found to be beneficial in 40% of the people. Also, there are no side effects of PRP reported, as opposed to Rogaine that has several side effects, including stinging, burning and redness.
PRP contains various growth factors, which are injected to the scalp. These concentrated growth factors induce the growth of new hair, as well as thicken the thin hair. According to a study, PRP improved the number of hair and total hair density in the treated area, after undergoing 3 cycles of treatment.