Platelet-Rich Plasma; The All-Natural Trend for Hair Loss Restoration
Hair loss is a troubling condition affecting the day-to-day lives of millions of Americans. While conventional treatments including over-the-counter shampoos, topical medications, oral medications, steroid injections, and light therapy may provide some relief they are not without continuous cost, consistent effort, and a multitude of side effects. Finally, there is a revolutionary new option available that utilizes your body’s natural resources to help re-grow your hair.
Platelet-Rich Plasma, also known as “PRP” is derived from your own blood. Yes, you heard that right. Other than red blood cells, your blood contains a variety of beneficial substances including white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Research has shown that injecting these substances into the scalp in a concentrated fashion has caused re-growth in areas of hair thinning. The best part? There are no major side effects.
How does it work?
Platelets, the tiny entities commonly known to assist in clotting your blood, also secrete important signaling molecules. These molecules include vital growth factors that help hair growth by encouraging hair to remain in “anagen phase” – the active phase of hair growth. These growth factors also promote a healthy environment for the hair to survive and thrive in.
In a recent research study, patients suffering from androgenic alopecia, commonly known as “male pattern baldness”, received PRP therapy on half their scalp, once per month, for three months. At the six-month mark, the patients were evaluated. Statistically significant improvement was seen on the treated scalp, specifically in regards to the amount of hair in active growth phase and the density of hair present.1 The evidence supporting PRP has not been exclusive to men either. A similar research study was performed using PRP compared to control subjects in female androgenic alopecia patients. Results showed a significant improvement in hair loss, rate of hair loss, and hair thickness.2
By now I’m sure you are wondering, “what does this involve?” The average patient requires PRP treatment once per month for a total of four months, however this estimate varies based off the extent of each patient’s hair loss. Treatment regimens are tailored to meet your specific needs. Keep reading for a detailed account of what to expect during your PRP treatment.
The blood draw: When you arrive for your PRP treatment, you will first have your blood drawn into a vial designed for this procedure. Typically, only one vial of blood is required however this may be adjusted based on the extent of your hair loss and your desired budget. You will remain in the comfort of your Dermatologists’ office for this procedure. We recommend you hydrate and eat a small snack prior to arrival if procedures such as this cause you to feel lightheaded or faint.
The processing: Next, your vial of blood will be spun in a centrifuge – a medical device that rotates products at high speeds. The centrifugal motion causes your blood to separate into its components. The red blood cells will be compartmentalized. The remaining plasma will be layered according to weight. Platelet-poor plasma is drawn off and disposed. Platelet-rich plasma has now been obtained.
The procedure: You will lie comfortably on a table while a provider injects your scalp with your platelet-rich plasma. This requires a few injections, however most patients find the procedure quite tolerable. You will then be free to continue about your day without restriction. Moving forward, we typically recommend 1 treatment per month for the first 4 months, then every 6 months thereafter.
We encourage you to contact Goodman Dermatology about PRP treatment as an adjunct therapy for your hair loss. It is important to find a Dermatologist who is comfortable with the procedure as it does require specialized training.
For more information or to set-up an appointment please contact Goodman Dermatology at (770) 754-0787.
(1) Alves, Rubina, and Ramon Grimalt. “Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study to Assess the Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma on the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia.” Dermatologic Surgery, vol. 42, no. 4, 2016, pp. 491–497., doi:10.1097/dss.0000000000000665.
(2) Puig, Carlos J., et al. “Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study on the Use of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Women With Female Androgenetic Alopecia.” Dermatologic Surgery, vol. 42, no. 11, 2016, pp. 1243–1247., doi:10.1097/dss.0000000000000883.