How do PRP treatments work?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments involve drawing a patient's blood, using a centrifuge to process the blood so that only the enriched cells remain, and then injecting it back into the patient's scalp. Sports medicine has used PRP for years to treat injuries to the Achilles tendon, joints and muscles by stimulating stem cells. In the case of hair loss, the injected platelets prompt inactive or newly implanted hair follicles to enter an active growth phase, causing the hair to start growing again. Check out the picture below to see how the process works (Note: although this picture displays an older man, PRP hair loss treatments are suitable for younger men as well).
Who is a good candidate for PRP treatments?
PRP procedures have been shown to work for both men and women in the initial stages of hair loss. The best candidates are people who have only recently begun to lose hair.
PRP is suited for targeting androgenetic alopecia, the hereditary hair thinning that affects both men and women. Experts have suggested that PRP may also be effective for women with traction alopecia, hair thinning caused by too tight ponytails, and other styles that pull the hair out.
Though PRP treatments promise encouraging results for people suffering from hair loss, unfortunately, it's not suitable for every situation. For instance, people who have lost all hair cannot use this treatment, as it cannot help grow new hair on a bald area; rather, it can only make the existing thin hair thicker by strengthening the hair follicles. There is good news, though. The procedure is non-surgical, safe, and simple to perform. The recovery period is very short, offering extremely reliable and natural looking results.
Is there a recovery period after PRP treatments?
Since the treatment involves a safe non-surgical procedure, there is no need to restrict activity after a PRP treatment. In fact, you can shower, shampoo, and condition your hair normally just a few hours after the treatment. There's no reason why you can't go about your daily routine and participate in athletic activities. Some hair loss sufferers who have opted for PRP have reported some brief mild inflammation noticeable as redness/pinkness and numbness of the scalp. PRP is best used in conjunction with other treatments like laser therapy; fortunately, laser therapy treatments can also be resumed the next day.
Are there any recent studies on PRP?
According to research published in the online edition of the journal STEM CELLS: Translational Medicine, Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) may boost hair regrowth in people suffering from androgenetic alopecia. The study found that “after the third treatment, the researchers found that subjects experienced an average growth of 33.6 hairs per cm2 and an increase in total hair density of almost 46 hairs per cm2 in the areas treated with PRP” (Source). This study helps to confirm prior studies, which have suggested that there is a positive therapeutic effect of platelet-rich plasma injections on male hair loss. The evaluation of PRP as a hair loss treatment is critical because there is increasing demand for alternative options to hair transplantations.
Hair loss is a serious problem that plagues a large portion of the human population. With all the hair loss treatments being advertised in the market today, it is crucial to know and understand your treatment options to avoid wasting money and time. Although PRP is a relatively new treatment, the results are very promising, offering a new ray of hope for those with hair loss concerns.