Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is quickly becoming a popular and effective treatment for hair loss. Almost a decade ago, physicians began using prp to speed healing and promote cell growth at wound sites. The effectiveness led to experimentation, which eventually led to researchers to studying PRP effectiveness for combating hair loss. A study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery showed that a “significant reduction in hair loss was observed between the first and fourth injection.” Last year, in a Stem Cell Investigation article that studied PRP research and interviewed 117 people for their first-hand accounts concluded that “PRP therapy works as an elixir for hair growth, as it has action on almost all the essential components required for survival of [hair follicles].”
The studies reviewed by the team at Stem Cell Investigation included work that showed areas where PRP therapy can be effective dealing with hair loss and promoting hair growth.
• For people with thinning hair, PRP hair treatments can reduce the rate of hair loss
• Thin hair can regrow as thicker hair from the same follicle after treatment
• General scalp health can be improved, enhancing the results of hair treatments
• Once dormant follicles can be reactivated with treatment
• PRP treatments can take the place of or greatly reduce the reliance on daily drugs for hair loss
PRP Hair Regrowth Therapy vs Other Options
Setting aside results for the moment, PRP treatments have not shown major side effects to date. The risks associated with treatment are similar to any injection-based therapy: infection, site bruising, site scarring, among others. However, common drug-based therapies have shown to cause scalp irritation, dryness and itching, in the case of minoxidil, and sexual dysfunction, a known side effect of finasteride. With regards to results, while drug-based therapies have shown to be successful, the success is dependent on continued daily treatment. PRP therapies on the other hand have regrown and maintained hair based off a series of treatments over four to six months, and then two to three maintenance treatments a year.
The other popular treatment for hair loss is hair transplantation. Hair transplantation is particularly effective for bald spots. PRP cannot regrow hair from nothing, there has to be at least a dormant hair follicle. If a patient’s alopecia is extensive, the area needs to be “seeded” with transplanted hair follicles. Hair transplantation systems like the ARTAS Hair Restoration system combine the best of features of automation and a surgeon’s artistic eye to create natural appearing hairlines.
In fact, PRP treatments area often recommended in conjunction with hair transplantation as PRP therapy often gives the follicles “almost all the essential components required for survival,” as previously noted in the Stem Cell Investigation article. This combination approach offers large scale coverage of bald areas, overall thickening of the hair, and greater follicle retention.
Which treatment is right for you?
A lot depends on your goals and your hair as it is today. To get the most accurate information on your particular needs based on the results you’d like to see, request a consultation with Dr. Carney to discuss your hair restoration.