What is PRP for hair loss
PRP is plasma enriched with platelets, proteins, and growth factors. Platelets are components of blood together with red blood cells and white blood cells. Platelets are among the first cells to arrive to injury site in human body and they play major role in human body healing process:
- Participate in blood clotting mechanism
- Facilitate healing and cell growth
It is theorized that injecting platelets to body part with damaged cells can help those tissues to be rebuild and regrow. This is why plasma enriched with plateles (PRP) is commonly used for injections to damaged tendons, ligaments, muscles, skin and other tissues resulted from sports injuries to enhance healing process in those tissues. PRP used for skin is also known as “vampire facial”.
It is thought that alopecia or hair loss is partially due to damage to hair follicles responsible for hair growth, and so injecting PRP might help reverse the damage to hair follicles, stop hair loss, and restore hair growth.
Is PRP hair treatment effective?
According to several research studies in the last 5 years, there is some evidence confirming effectiveness of PRP injection treatments for hair loss as compared to topical or oral supplement treatments. It has been shown that PRP injection treatments slow down hair loss and make existing hairs stronger by increasing dimeter of hairs and density of regrown hairs.
The number for platelets in the plasma affects the effectiveness of PRP treatments. If blood from which PRP is derived has less platelets, then PRP treatment might be less effective.
PRP is equally effective for both male and female patterns of alopecia or hair loss. PRP therapy is also often recommended after hair transplant to sustain the results and encourage hair growth and strength.
PRP Hair Treatment Procedure
Preparation of PRP for hair loss injections consists of the following steps:
- A health care professional (MD, RN, NP) perform venipuncture and collects blood from client’s vein in the arm
- Collected blood in a vial is placed in a centrifuge where it is rotated for approximately 10 mins at a high speed.
- During centrifuge process, blood separates to red blood cells, white blood cells at the bottom of the vial, and plasma enriched with platelets, proteins and growth factors at the top of the vial forming golden coloured liquid – also known as “liquid gold”. This “liquid gold” is drawn into a syringe
- Health care provider then injects PRP into scalp areas with hair loss
The process, starting with consultation, followed by blood collection and preparation of PRP and finalised by injecting of PRP into scalp, takes around an hour. At least 3-5 treatment sessions are recommended.
How long does PRP hair treatment last?
PRP injection therapy is not curative for alopecia. It is more a maintenance therapy. Several treatments are normally needed, at least 3 to 5 to reduce hair loss and start hair regrowth process. Follow up PRP treatments every 3-6 months to maintain hair regrowth results of PRP therapy are usually necessary.
PRP Hair Treatment Side Effects
PRP is mostly composed of person’s blood components and so side effects of PRP injection therapy are very minimal and manifested mostly locally at injection sites:
- mild pain, tenderness, swelling at injection sites
- mild headache
- itching as a result of healing
- some bleeding and minimal bruising at injection sites
Before and after PRP Hair treatment
It is recommended to avoid certain medications 24-48 hours before and after the PRP injection treatment to minimise bruising and bleeding at injection sites:
- fish oil capsules or omega 3 supplements
- multivitamins as they may contain omega 3 And Vitamin E
- alcohol, especially red wine
- please eat your breakfast or snack before your appointment to prevent feeling lightheaded and dizzy due to blood draw procedure
If you take other blood thinning medications, you must consult your family physician about possibility of stopping those medications before PRP treatments.
Please make sure you wash your hair before your PRP treatment, do not put any lotions or substances on your hair before your treatment.
After you PRP treatment please make sure to avoid saunas, pools, direct sun to allow injection sites fully heal. Do not wash your hair at least 24-48 hours post treatment. If you want to wear head garment, make sure it is just washed and clean.
You can’t get PRP injections if you have:
- Abnormal platelet function or a low platelet count
- Anemia or low blood cell counts
- Any active infection
- Pregnancy, lactating.
You should only get PRP injections from a licensed health care professional.
*Individual results may vary.
Book your consultation today to see if you are a candidate for PRP hair loss treatment. Provide your full name, email, or phone number to contact you.