Revolutionary Hair Growth
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a standard procedure amongst injured athletes.
But researchers have found that it could also be beneficial to those suffering from hair loss. Premature Hair loss is a huge issue for men and women of all race, ages, and economic statuses. On average Alopecia Areata affects about two percent of the population, that’s approximately five million people in the United States.
What is the solution when extensions, creams, and pills do not work? PRP could be the restorative procedure of the future.
What is PRP Therapy?
Doctors first used PRP to help people heal after jaw and plastic surgeries. Examples of tissues that PRP has been used to include:
Ligaments can take time and be difficult to recover, which can make PRP an attractive option for some of those who have experienced injuries to this tissue group. Doctors have used PRP to reduce inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. This inflammation can lead to joints becoming painful and stiff.
How Does It Cure Hair Loss?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is not necessarily a “cure.”
It is a hair loss treatment that has been around since the early 2000s but hasn’t been proven to reverse hair loss indefinitely. Our blood is made of two main components red blood cells and plasma. Plasma contains white blood cells and platelets which are rich in growth factors.
If you’ve heard of The Vampire facial PRP is the same concept. Because the injection contains a high concentration of platelets, which can be from 5 to 10 times more than the untreated blood, doctors theorize that the platelets will speed up healing. The patient’s blood is drawn from your arm and collected in a tube. The blood is put in the centrifuge, separated into red blood cells and plasma, then injected directly into the scalp at a depth of the hair follicle.
Platelet Rich Plasma is then injected in the area of thinning hair, across the hairline at every half inch. Though there is very little pain involved in the procedure, an ice pack or cold air can be used to minimize discomfort.
Doctors typically administer injections monthly for three months, then spread them out over about three or four months for up to two years.
The injection schedule will depend on your genetics, pattern and amount of hair loss, age, and hormones.
Here are some side effects to watch out for:
Some people have soreness in the spot where we inject the PRP.
There’s always the risk of infection with any treatment that breaks the skin.
In a few patients, the body rejects its own PRP. This is very rare.
The needle we use to give the shot could hurt a blood vessel and cause a blood clot. Clot hardly ever happens because we use ultrasound to guide the needle. If it does happen, we will treat the blood clot.
Sometimes the skin around a PRP shot looks bruised.
How Does It Increase Hair Growth?
Doctors began using PRP in dermatology after researchers found that high concentrations of platelets in plasma cells help promote hair growth by prolonging the growing phase of the hair cycle, the anagen phase.
Your hair grows around half an inch a month, and faster in the summer than in winter. The growth phase, or anagen phase, lasts an average of 3-5 years, so a full-length hair averages 18 to 30 inches. At the end of the anagen phase, your hair enters the catagen phase. Catagen phase, A short transitional phase that lasts approximately ten days.
Lastly, your hair enters the telogen phase, a resting phase when your hair is released and falls out. The follicle then remains inactive for three months, and the whole process repeats. Each hair follicle is independent and goes through the growth cycle at different times; otherwise, all your hair would fall out at once.
Instead, you only shed a certain number of hairs a day – up to 80 hairs on a healthy head of hair.
Who Can Benefit From This Treatment?
Typically anyone experiencing hair loss can benefit from PRP treatment, but those individuals who are suffering from early hair loss tend to respond best. Women can experience rapid hair loss as early as their 30’s, while men can be affected as soon as their 20’s.
Unfortunately, if you suffer from any of the following you are not eligible for the PRP treatment:
A lack of nutrients can also cause it. When you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t produce the hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin carries oxygen for the growth and repair of cells in your body, including the cells that stimulate hair growth.
The thyroid is responsible for hormone production.
When hormone production is disrupted, specifically of hormones T3 and T4, it affects other processes in the body. This includes the development of hair at the root. Hair falls out and may not be replaced by new growth, resulting in thinning across your scalp and other areas such as your eyebrows.
Some Sexually Transmitted Diseases are known to cause hair loss.
Essential syphilitic alopecia has three types: the classic patchy “moth-eaten” alopecia (Figure), a generalized thinning of the hair, and the moth-eaten kind in combination with general thinning of the hair. Of these, patchy moth-eaten alopecia occurs most frequently.
The diffuse hair loss of essential syphilitic alopecia as the only manifestation of syphilis is uncommon. Cuozzo et al3 described two patients in whom the first sign of disease was alopecia.
What Does It Cost?
Costs for PRP treatment are reported to be between $500 and $2,000.
Insurance does not typically cover it because of the lack of evidence, so far, to conclusively prove that it works. Unfortunately, even if it were proven to work, it would be considered a cosmetic procedure, which is still not covered by insurance.
Also, costs can vary depending on location, facilities, and the expertise of the doctor performing the treatment. Often, a person will have multiple injections given 2 to 3 months apart, which could cost between $1000 and $6000.
Platelet Rich Plasma Treatments Are The Future
Many people have seen a difference in their hair after undergoing the PRP treatment.
Though it is a reasonably new procedure for hair loss, its become a ray of hope for those who suffer from excessive hair loss. Where pills, cremes, and foods have failed, this could work!
If you’ve undergone Platelet Rich Plasma, please leave your experience down below. The girls and guys need to know!