Platelet-Rich Plasma for Treating Hair Loss
Hair loss can be devastating to both men and women. Various genetic and environmental factors can cause hair loss. Environmental factors may include chemotherapy, diet, nutrition, stress, hormonal shifts, autoimmune disorders and various illnesses due to imbalances
Treatment options for hair loss include magical topical lotions and potions, prescription medication and surgical procedures. A revolutionary procedure gaining popularity utilizes a patient’s own rejuvenating properties. It applies the patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to the scalp after the process of microneedling. Microneedling is much less traumatic to the skin than dermal rolling or injecting the PRP directly into the scalp.
The patient’s blood is drawn directly into a special blood collection tube similar to that used for laboratory tests. The tube of blood is then placed into a centrifuge to allow separation of the red blood cells from the plasma. Multiple channels are created into the scalp during the microneedling process. Immediately after the microneedling, the patient’s plasma is applied onto the scalp. The microchannels allow absorption of the PRP into the scalp.
The plasma contains the platelets that are rich in growth factors that stimulate stem cells to promote a natural process of wound healing, resulting in repair and regeneration of cells. PRP can generate new hair growth and enhance hair transplant results for thicker, healthier hair growth. Unfortunately, for patients with absence of hair follicles, PRP will not likely stimulate new hair growth. Healthy hair follicles need to be present.
PRP to the scalp for hair loss is well-tolerated. A topical anesthetic is applied prior to the microneedling. A mild “sunburn” feel can be expected following the procedure. There may be minor pinpoint bleeding during the procedure, prior to the PRP application. Anti-inflammatories are not recommended since they may interfere with the natural healing process stimulated by the PRP. Multiple treatments may be needed before results are seen.
Combination therapies with PRP are being performed in various clinics, and we will continue to learn more about effective treatments for hair restoration.