Our blood is made of two main components, red blood cells, and plasma. The plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which are rich in growth factors. Growth factors, in a sense, play the role of messengers, signaling skin cells to function. In fact, they’ve been used in medicine to treat a range of health issues, including arthritis, signs of aging, etc. The good news for anyone with thinning hair, is that growth factors can help stimulate the activity of the hair follicles and promote new hair growth.
As with most procedures, there is a careful process involved in using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for hair regrowth, beginning with a standard blood draw from the patient’s arm. Next the tube of blood is put into a machine called a centrifuge, which spins the blood tube to separate out the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma, rich in platelets, is then injected directly into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles.
The process is meticulous — with injections beginning across the scalp, approximately at every half inch over the area of thinning hair — but typically, the entire procedure takes less than a half hour.
It might sound scary (blood draws and needles?!), but for the most part, there’s no real risk associated with PRP. Most patients get injections without any numbing, as there is minimal discomfort. However, cool air or ice packs may be used to minimize pain. In the event there is any discomfort, Tylenol after the procedure is also recommended. Bruising can occur but usually resolves within a week or two.
Minimal downtime, if any, is needed. We recommend a warm shower, as the hot temperature will enhance blood flow and circulation throughout the scalp. This means going a day (or two) without your typical hair maintenance (coloring, processing, blow-drying, etc.).
Who it works for:
Anyone experiencing hair loss is essentially a good candidate for PRP treatments, but those with early hair loss tend to respond best. PRP is best used for patients with androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the head.In women, this might look like a widening part with normal hair thickness at the back of the head.
For best results, consistency is key. Treatments are typically performed once a month for the first three to four months, and then every three to six months thereafter, depending on the individual patient’s response and results. Following this protocol, anticipated results can first be seen within two to three months.
PRP stimulates the patient’s immune system/stem cells naturally and “wakes them up” causing them to produce more collagen, which is what makes the skin more youthful. The plasma contains molecules and proteins that provide nutrients to the skin’s cells, so it’s the healthiest, most natural way to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars and other effects of aging. Microneedling with PRP jump-starts the body’s healing response – the PRP provides the skin with the resources it needs to stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.