All about PRP hair loss treatment
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP hair treatment is a medical procedure for tackling hair loss. The person has some of their blood drawn and processed, before it is replaced by being injected back into the scalp. The aim is to try and encourage hair growth by increasing blood supply to the follicles and to promote thicker hair. It can be suggested as stand-alone PRP therapy or as part of a combined approach using other hair loss procedures and/or medication.
What is PRP treatment for?
PRP treatment is used for treating people who are experiencing thinning hair or hair loss. It has also been used to help treat damaged tendons, muscles and ligaments, as well as in some arthritis therapies and cosmetic procedures. PRP for hair loss has been around since the 1980s and works best for people who still have functioning hair follicles that need a boost, rather than conditions resulting in completely dormant follicles. In other words, people male or female pattern baldness could see more encouraging results if they undergo PRP hair restoration therapy than others with different types of hair loss conditions.
PRP hair restoration is also not advised for people with diabetes a viral infection or anyone taking blood thinning medication. It can also prove unsuitable for heavy smokers, drinkers or drug users. Anyone interested in finding out more about the viability of PRP hair treatment and wondering, does PRP work for hair is advised to consult their doctor before taking the process any further.
PRP hair loss treatment process
The process of PRP for hair loss therapy must be undertaken three times for the best results to be achieved. Each procedure should be done four to six months apart for maximum efficacy and patient safety. There may be a further period of follow-up maintenance treatments, normally required every four to six months.
The process itself also requires three separate stages. At first, the person’s blood is carefully drawn, usually from their arm. It is placed in a centrifuge machine and spun to separate out the fluids making up the blood. The blood is then left to fully separate, which takes around ten minutes. It forms into layers made up of platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma and red blood cells.
The platelet-rich plasma is drawn into a syringe , checked for viability and injected into the scalp, focussing on areas where hair loss is more apparent. The plasma contains unique growth proteins that encourage and stimulate hair follicles to recommence healthy hair production. It also helps the skin on the scalp to rejuvenate, supporting better hair growth. Research into how effective PRP for hair loss can be is still ongoing, but many people have reported positive results.
PRP hair loss treatment side effects
As with any medical procedure, there are side-effects that can manifest themselves for anyone undergoing PRP hair loss treatments. The good news is that, as it is the patient’s own blood that is used, the risk of communicable diseases is far, far lower than any therapy requiring external fluids to be used. Some people may experience pain or discomfort in the treated area(s), which could present as an ache or soreness in the injection spots. This can be treated with a mild painkiller and the practitioner will be able to offer more advice. If the pain persists, or becomes more acute, the person should seek medical treatment straight away.
As with any procedure involving breaking the skin, there is as small risk of infection. This can be reduced by keeping the area clean, touching it as little as possible and resting for the first few hours after the process is completed. See a doctor if any signs of infection appear, which can include the area feeling hot or sore, redness, fever, chills or sweats. Watch out for allergic reactions too and seek emergency help if an allergic reaction is suspected.
PRP hair loss treatment results
PRP hair growth is a relatively quick and easy treatment, requiring less downtime than other hair restoration procedures. The end results will look more natural too, and should make a difference to the person’s appearance from as little as three weeks. Using a syringe to inject the PRP means that highly accurate results can be achieved and exact locations of thinning areas can be targeted with ease.
PRP therapy also stimulates collagen in skin, meaning that it can have good results on the condition and appearance of the scalp as well. Many practitioners use some topical arnica cream before applying the injections to reduce bruising. Patients can also apply an ice pack afterwards to help further with this. Most practitioners advise several follow-up treatments to achieve as good a result as possible and keep a closer eye on the recovery process.
The first step to take for anyone interested in finding out more about PRP hair loss therapy is to talk to their doctor, who will refer them on if they consider it a safe and suitable route to take.