You look in the mirror and see less and less hair. Your comb reaches your scalp much easier than it once did. If you’re a man, this is an awful feeling. If you’re a woman, it’s much worse. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stimulate your hair to grow again?
You may have tried prescription medications, but they didn’t work. You didn’t like taking those drugs because there were awful side effects. What if we told you there’s a revolutionary new treatment that requires no drugs or surgery?
There is such a treatment. Some studies show it’s far more effective than hair growth prescriptions. It must be a quack treatment, right? Well, if you consider medical authorities like the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins quacks, you may be right. Of course, those institutions aren’t quacks and they are offering PRP hair treatments.
Here, we’ll answer the following questions.
- What is PRP therapy?
- What conditions does PRP treat?
- How does PRP therapy work for hair growth?
- Are PRP hair treatments effective?
- What can I expect from PRP hair treatments?
- How does PRP hair treatment compare to other hair growth options?
- Are there any risks with PRP hair treatments?
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
PRP is the new wonder therapy that treats many conditions. It has been used to help patients recuperate from surgery since the late 1980s. Over the past decade, doctors have found many new uses for PRP therapy. Some doctors claim PRP therapy can help prevent cognitive decline in the elderly. They may be right, but at the moment there’s insufficient data to prove it.
Johns Hopkins lists PRP as a treatment for:
- Orthopedic injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Post-surgical recovery
- Hair growth
Johns Hopkins considers PRP treatment for skin rejuvenation as an unproven treatment. But thousands of people are happy with their results from PRP anti-aging skin treatments. It’s a famous medical school and a hospital. As such, it takes a conservative approach with new treatments. It’s this conservative approach that should tell you something about its endorsement of PRP for hair growth.
There are ongoing studies to determine if PRP is an effective treatment for cognitive decline and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
As you can see, PRP is an amazing therapy. But what is it? How can it treat so many conditions? You will not believe how simple it is. The source of the treatment is amazing too. Supply chain issues have delayed many prescription drugs over the past couple of years. You don’t have to worry about that with PRP because the source of the treatment is your arm.
That’s right. Your clinician draws a small amount of blood from your arm and injects part of the blood back into you. There’s another relatively simple piece to the puzzle. A technician places your blood into a centrifuge. This separates the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from other plasma and the rest of your blood.
Platelets cause blood to clot when there’s an injury. Regenerative medicine specialists learned that plasma that’s rich in platelets can speed the body’s own ability to heal itself. That’s all PRP is — a way to enhance your own plasma and then inject it back into you to aid your body in healing itself.
PRP is used to treat so many conditions because your body has many self-healing capabilities across its different organs. Without these capabilities, we would all be in the hospital non-stop.
In the past few years, we’ve found more and more areas where PRP can amplify the body’s healing system — including the skin and hair follicles. Your body fights the symptoms associated with aging and other conditions. PRP aids your body in this fight.
How Is PRP Used in Cosmetic Treatments?
Some cosmetic treatments stimulate your body’s injury repair capabilities to reduce scarring. They do this by causing microinjuries. An example is microneedling where a tiny needle punctures the face is several areas. These treatments are sometimes mixed with PRP therapy to amplify healing effectiveness. This is sometimes called a vampire facial.
Another treatment is the vampire facelift. Vampire facelifts involve dermal fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane working with PRP therapy. Also, as with many other surgeries, PRP speeds healing during recovery from many cosmetic surgeries.
How Do PRP Hair Revitalization Treatments Work?
Aging damages your hair follicles just like the rest of your body. Your body fights it, but eventually, age takes its toll. The trick is not to let aging win too soon.
PRP therapy aids your body in its efforts to repair damaged follicles. The platelets secrete growth factors that promote cell growth and regeneration. The result is that hair grows again.
Are PRP Hair Treatments Effective?
Prescription drugs require large clinical trials to gain FDA approval. These trials are extremely expensive and are one way pharmaceutical companies try to justify the high cost of prescription medications.
It’s difficult to fund a large clinical trial with PRP since you are the drug company! Your body makes the drug — your own blood. A centrifuge is all that’s needed to retrieve the PRP from your blood. An expert clinician injects the PRP into the right parts of your scalp.
So, there isn’t a large study proving that PRP helps with hair growth. But, the good news is there are several smaller studies proving its effectiveness.
A 2014 study from India showed a 30% increase in hair growth after three months. These patients had no hair growth after six months of treatment with the standard prescription hair growth drugs. The researchers noted the high satisfaction among the patients in the study.
A study from Italy found similar results. A 2019 study by the Mayo Clinic found results supporting PRP’s effectiveness in treating hair loss. But the most important evidence of all is the thousands of satisfied patients around the world that have their hair again because of PRP hair growth therapy.
What To Expect During Your PRP Hair Revitalization Treatment
Your PRP hair revitalization treatments take 30 to 60 minutes. You’ll have blood drawn. A technician then puts your blood through the centrifuge before the procedure starts. Your clinicians will administer a local anesthetic to ensure you feel no discomfort. Most PRP hair treatment patients are in and out of our Woodland Hills, CA office within two hours.
What To Expect After Your PRP Hair Treatment
Approximately 20% of patients have some bruising immediately after the treatments. But that goes away within a few days. You may feel some pressure at the injection sites, but again, that quickly goes away. The Cleveland Clinic reports there are virtually no side effects from PRP hair revitalization treatments.
You won’t see immediate results. You’ll notice some new hairs within two weeks. But it takes three to six months to see the full results.
You’ll need periodic booster treatments for the first few months. The intervals between treatments depend on the following factors:
- Your age
- The extent of hair loss
The recommended treatment schedule is usually four to six weeks apart for three to four months.
After the initial treatments, you’ll need maintenance treatments. Some patients only need maintenance treatments once per year. Other patients need treatments as often as three or four times per year.
How Does PRP Hair Revitalization Compare to Other Hair Loss Treatments?
There are prescription hair loss treatments on the market. These include minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine) and finasteride (brand name: Propecia). Both have side effects that many patients can’t tolerate. Minoxidil causes a dry, itchy scalp. We know Propecia causes sexual dysfunction in men. Patients must take these drugs regularly or they will not work. Because of the side effects, many patients give up on these drugs.
Hair transplants are skin graft procedures. As with any surgery, there’s a risk of complications. It takes 8–12 months to see the full result. It’s also very expensive. The Mayo Clinic advises patients to try other hair loss treatments before resorting to surgery. Doctors often use PRP with hair transplant surgeries to help patient recover and to boost hair growth.
When Is PRP Hair Treatment a Good Option?
Don’t wait too long. PRP is often not effective for long dormant hair follicles. Like many conditions, it’s best to catch pattern baldness early. Patients that are already completely bald may have surgery as their only option.
PRP Isn’t the Best Option for Some Patients
If you’re on blood thinners, you’ll need to discuss that at your consultation. Blood thinners can make your platelets less effective in fighting hair loss.
Some underlying disorders like lupus or thyroid disease may mean you’re not a good candidate for PRP therapy. If you suffer from a chronic illness, it’s important for your clinician to know so they can advise you on the effectiveness and safety of PRP hair treatments.
Are you ready to stop your hair loss? Ready to see hair again when you look in the mirror? Contact us today to come in for your free consultation at our Woodland Hills, CA office. Our clinicians will examine you and work with you to create the best treatment plan for you.
All you need to do is click the “book now” button at the top right of your screen to set your appointment. Or call us at (818) 446-6111. We look forward to helping you restore your hair.