PRP Therapy is the shot form of Platelet Rich Plasma, and a few years back, it was only used to heal joints such as knees, ankles, and tennis elbow, etc. Since the 80s, PRP therapy is deemed a feasible solution to counter injured tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
However, during the last 6-8 years, PRP has gained immense population as a wonderful way to treat hair loss. Not only this, but it also aids in growing new hair and providing strength to weak hair on your head.
Want to know more about PRP as a miraculous hair loss treatment for all those who had lost hope? Stay put.
What is PRP hair treatment?
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP treatment for hair loss is a multi-step medical procedure where a small amount of blood is drawn from the person’s own body. This blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the Plasma rich in Platelets.
In the end, it is then injected into the person’s own scalp using a thin needle.
The growth factors contained in the person’s own blood cells stimulate natural hair growth. PRP hair restoration process boosts the blood supply to the follicles and results in a thick hair shaft. Simply saying, you get healthy and strong hair.
PRP for hair growth can also be combined with other hair loss treatments and combinations to get the desired results.
How PRP Hair Treatment Exactly Works?
As we mentioned above, the doctor will draw blood from the patient’s body, and it will then be processed to extract plasma from it. Now, it is important to know why plasma is extracted and how does it benefit our hair growth. According to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Plasma, which is rich in platelets, is found in blood, and it promotes hair health and stops hair fall.
Once the blood is spun in the centrifuge and collected in the syringes, the experts inject the plasma in the scalp areas, which are affected by the hair loss. Normally, 15 to 20 injections of PRP are injected into the scalp in one session of PRP hair treatment, says Shilpi Khetarpal, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Khetarpal and Jeffery Rapaport, a board-certified dermatologist based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, say that the process may sound painful, but you don’t have to worry about the pain as needles are quite thin. There is no need for any numbing cream or spray.
How effective is it?
A 2019 report published in the journal, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, showed the findings of a team of researchers conducting a systematic review of the research on PRP hair restoration treatment. The entire analysis revolved around 11 research papers that had the data of 262 participants suffering from androgenetic alopecia. Most of these researches suggested that the PRP treatment for hair loss lowered the hair fall. Not only this, but this treatment also widened the diameter of the hair, meaning it strengthened them and increased the hair density.
Another systematic review published in Dermatologic Surgery in the same year examined the results of 19 studies on PRP treatment of hair loss. There were 460 people involved in these studies, and the researchers were of the view that a large majority of studies resulted in favor of PRP treatment, and not only it stopped the hair fall in people suffering from androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata but led to hair growth.
An additional review of clinical studies featuring in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology stated PRP to be a fantastic treatment for all those who are losing hair due to some specific reasons. Some experts noted that as different clinics and researchers make use of various preparations, sessions, the time between sessions and injection techniques to infuse PRP into the human skin, the results of this treatment may vary.
Results of PRP hair loss therapy
If you have opted for this treatment, you have chosen the right option. However, you shouldn’t expect immediate results from it like a head full of hair in one week or so. For ideal results, you will have to visit your doctor thrice a month to begin with, which is followed by appointment 4-6 months later.
This follows the normal hair growth cycle. After that, you will have to go for yearly maintenance or top-up sessions. In about 4-6 months, you will have improved volume and dense hair with growth where hairs were not growing. Those lucky ones who go for this treatment benefit from it for one-year post-treatment.
The entire treatment schedule is based on factors like the amount of hair loss experienced by the person, age, hormones, environment, and hereditary factors, etc. Dr. Khetarpal says that you may start seeing visible results at your third or fourth appointment.
Is this treatment painful?
Both the specialists say that you don’t need to worry about the side-effects of this treatment, which are quite minimal. Although the injecting of 15-20 syringes may seem painful, it actually isn’t. Dr. Khetarpal and Dr. Rapaport say that you might have to bear mild soreness at the injection sites, but you can still get back to your normal routine soon after the treatment.
There is no such pain involved, and whatever discomfort or itch you feel at the time of syringe penetrating your skin, it is easily tolerated. Mostly, there is no anesthesia applied. However, once the injection process is over, people may feel slight tightness and discomfort for 30 minutes, approx.
How often should a person go for these injections?
Remember one thing, PRP treatment will not cure the conditions that are responsible for hair loss. To overcome all the underlying conditions of hair loss and weakening, you may have to go through multiple PRP treatments to get desired results.
The number of sessions and maintenance treatments of PRP depends on the Doctor’s assessment of a person’s condition and the results based on their initial session. Once the hair loss is under control, the doctor may ask you to have a maintenance session of PRP injections every 3-6 months.
Who is a suitable candidate for this treatment?
Experts suggest that anyone facing hair loss is an ideal candidate for this treatment. However, people who have started experiencing hair fall recently respond best to it.
According to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Platelet Rich Plasma is a miraculous treatment suffering from androgenic alopecia. This condition is mostly referred to as a genetic type of hair loss and mostly affects the top of the head.
When we talk about women, hair thinning in them is noticed as a widening of the hairless area at the back of the head.
Side-effects of PRP hair loss treatment
PRP hair loss treatment is considered to be one of the safest treatments going around. The reason why it is one of the safest treatments is that your own blood is injected into the scalp. If the doctor makes sure that the equipment is 100% sterile and clinical environment is clean, then you are at no risk of side-effects like infection or developing a disease.
Because the treatment is based on thin syringes, you may be prone to small problems like:
- Injury to nerves and blood vessels
- Infection (if the equipment isn’t sterile)
- Calcification at the injection points
- Scar tissue
PRP Hair Treatment Pros and Cons
Some of the pros and cons associated with PRP hair treatment are as follows:
PRP Hair Treatment Benefits
- It is a non-surgical treatment and considered best for those who are scared of getting under the knife.
- There is no downtime associated with it, and it comes without any severe health risks.
- The entire procedure takes less than 60 minutes. You won’t have to sit for hours in the clinic.
- A study published in 2019 shows that PRP has shown exciting results for both the genders and resulted in voluminous hair.
- PRP treatment costs extremely less when compared with hair transplant surgery, a surgical option.
- This treatment is virtually painless, and you will get thicker mane and fullness on your head.
PRP Hair Treatment Side Effects
- The results associated with it aren’t permanent. To enjoy a thick and full head of strong hair, you will have to go through repeated treatments spaced at around 4-6 weeks to initiate the hair growth and stop hair loss.
- To stick with the results for a long time, you will have to go for maintenance treatment after every few months.
- The amount of improvement based on PRP injections is based on different factors like the amount of hair loss, space where hair loss is most, and when did the hair loss begin.
- Those people who have been bald for a number of years now and have large areas without hair may not get the best results when compared to those who have started experiencing hair loss recently.
Researchers have found that PRP hair loss treatment is an amazing way to overcome your hair loss and give you renewed hair growth within 3-4 months. However, you need to be regular in your sessions and make sure you don’t miss out on any top-up treatments.
Till now, there is some confusion on its effectivity and whether it is best for everyone or only for those who have recently started going bald. With the information and authenticity of knowledge available, we can say that people who have experienced mild to moderate hair loss in the recent past should consult a reliable doctor in their area and discuss their chances of getting their hair back and with it the lost confidence.