What is PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Therapy?
To understand what PRP Therapy is, let’s first talk about blood. Don’t faint, we’re just talking about it. You won’t see any pictures. In addition to plasma (the liquid portion of your blood), your body’s blood contains white and red blood cells and platelets. Platelets contain something called “Growth Factors.” Growth factors are proteins that regulate cell growth and division.
Doctors discovered that separating out and concentrating platelets from your body’s own blood plasma and inserting them at injury sites such as muscle tears, tendon and ligament tears, or joint issues, dramatically accelerated the healing process for the injuries.
PRP as a Hair Loss Treatment
Recent studies have shown that PRP Therapy is also very effective in reversing hair loss. This is great news for both men and women looking for a hair loss remedy that works. To understand why this works, you need to know why we lose our hair.
Hair Loss in Women
Almost 40 million women in U.S. are affected with thinning hair. Heredity is the main factor for this loss and can be influenced by nutrition, age, illness, medication, chemicals or other factors. Most women notice hair loss beginning in their 50s or 60s, but it can occur at any time after puberty.
Hair Loss in Men
Similar to women, the loss of hair in men is most commonly caused by heredity. Male-pattern baldness (aka Androgenic Alopecia) is the term most associated with this hereditary condition. As certain men age, their hair follicles gradually reduce in size. This causes each subsequent hair to be thinner than the last. Additionally, each new hair grows for a shorter period of time than the normal three years. Eventually the hair does not grow far enough to reach the surface of the skin.
How PRP works in hair restoration
As mentioned above, Platelet-Rich Plasma contains growth factors. When injected into the scalp, these growth factors help to stimulate the scalp’s stem cells, which in turn produce new tissue, allowing the hair follicles to re-enter the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. Once in this phase, the hair follicles can begin to produce hair once more.
What does the PRP hair growth treatment involve?
PRP Therapy for hair loss is an in-office procedure that typically takes an hour. First, we’ll examine the affected area to determine if the cause of your hair loss is one that can be treated with PRP. We’ll take a small sample of your blood and use specialized equipment to isolate and concentrate the platelets. The scalp is then prepared by cleaning it with an antiseptic solution and a special anesthetic to numb the area. We’ll then apply small injections of the PRP into your scalp.
PRP for Hair Loss FAQs
Is PRP Therapy painful?
Patients can expect mild to moderate discomfort during this treatment. We apply a local anesthetic to minimize any pain you may feel during the procedure.
How long does it take for results to appear? How long does it last?
Over the first three months, you may notice are that your hair is shedding as much as it once was. From 4 to 6 months, you may start to see some new hair growth. After the first 2-3 treatments spaced at 3 month intervals, we recommend a treatment at least every year to prevent further thinning.
Who performs the injections?
Dr. Norcom will perform your PRP injections for hair loss.
What is the cost of PRP therapy for hair loss?
The cost per treatment is $800 or a package of 4 $2800. This includes drawing your blood, processing it in a special type of centrifuge that separates the platelets from the rest of the blood, and the injection procedure.
How long does the treatment take?
From start to finish you will be in our office about one hour.
What is the earliest I should expect to see results from PRP injections for hair loss?
This depends on your age and how long you have had thinning, but most people will see some result within 6 months, although sometimes it takes longer.
Are there some patients with genetic hair loss that don’t respond to PRP injections?
Yes, unfortunately, a small percentage of patients have hair follicles that don’t respond. The best candidates have seen recent thinning of the hair, but PRP can work in patients with longstanding hair loss as well.
Are there any side effects from the treatment?
Mild redness and swelling at the injection sites can be expected. This resolves in a few days. There is the rare risk of infection from any injection, but treatment with antibiotics would be promptly utilized if this unexpected side effect occurs. We use sterile technique and skin preparation to prevent infection and we’ve never had a patient have an infection from PRP.
Will I need to use other hair loss medications while being treated?
Most hair loss physicians, including myself, recommend use of Rogaine topical medication while being treated. Rogaine can be obtained over the counter without a prescription. If you have high blood pressure, or take other blood pressure medications please discuss this with me prior to using Rogaine.
Do I need a medical evaluation prior to being treated with PRP for hair loss?
Yes, the first step is a discussion of your hair loss history, your general medical history, and then examination of your skin, scalp and hair. Some patients need blood tests to rule out metabolic or hormonal causes of hair loss, but most don’t.
Will PRP treat every type of hair loss?
No, PRP will only effectively treat what is called androgenetic hair loss, which is the most common type of hair loss in men and women. If we find that you have another type of hair loss we will either treat you differently or refer you to a physican that can treat you.
Should I improve my nutrition while receiving treatment?
Yes! I will recommend supplements that can help skin health and hair growth and you should optimize your diet to give the PRP the best chance of helping as much as it can.