Have you noticed early signs of hair loss or hair thinning? Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) should be on your list of remedies to check out. Why? Because PRP treatments for alopecia, or pattern hair loss, has plenty of research to back it up, is the most effective of all known methods for restoring and thickening hair, and is non-invasive.
Not only can PRP help promote regrowth of healthy hair, it has the ability to make the hair you already have thicker and more vibrant. Many people who face the challenge of pattern baldness are turning to PRP treatment and seeing incredible results.
If you think PRP therapy might be the answer for you, it’s important to first understand the basic facts about the treatment. After that, spend time learning details about what PRP hair loss treatment is, what the research says, how it works, how effective it is in comparison with other hair restoration methods, whether it’s the right choice for you, and what to know before making the decision to go forward with a PRP treatment program.
What is PRP? Simply put, platelet-rich plasma is the super-concentrated plasma that has been extracted from your own blood and contains a high percentage of platelets. What is so special about platelets? These components of human blood are dynamic reservoirs of several key growth factors that enable your body to heal wounds, grow and create fresh cells whenever you need them.
Using these uniquely powerful parts of the blood, doctors are able to help your hair regrow by injecting platelet-rich plasma directly into your scalp to treat “androgenetic alopecia,” the scientific name for hair loss that occurs in adut women and men. PRP hair loss treatments require no surgery, no downtime, and don’t have any adverse effects.
Here’s a brief listing of the basic facts about PRP for hair loss:
- PRP stands for “platelet rich plasma,” a component of your own blood
- Hair loss can be effectively treated with PRP treatments
- The process has no negative side-effects and requires no surgery
- PRP treatment for hair loss has multiple scientific studies to back it up
- Treatments can grow new hair and thicken existing follicles
What is PRP Hair Loss Treatment?
PRP hair loss treatment is more commonly called “PRP hair restoration treatment” because that’s what the result is, restored hair follicles. All over the world, hair loss among aging adults is extremely common. In fact, in the U.S. it’s estimated that somewhere around 82 million people live with the reality of thinning hair, outright hair loss and the results of pattern baldness, or alopecia. In some cases, people who notice that their hair is starting to disappear begin to search for professional help.
In the past, there have been a few medical treatments that have been able to either reverse or slow down alopecia with prescription medications or surgery. The surgery is called a hair transplant and is quite different from the medication approach to restore hair or slow down hair loss. But there’s a major downside to the traditional treatments: they have major side-effects like extreme irritation or itching of the scalp, various forms of sexual dysfunction and very long recovery times.
For the newest method, PRP hair restoration, the side effects are minimal or non-existent for most clients. It is this lack of negative side effects, and a ton of fresh academic research in support of PRP, that has led to a sharp increase in the number of people seeking out this approach that uses a person’s own blood plasma to get significant results.
You might have already heard of PRP therapy for athletes, not in connection with hair restoration but to speed up healing after injuries. This is the way that platelet-rich plasma therapy first came into the public consciousness and into the news. For the past several years, doctors have been opting to decrease recovery time after sports-related surgeries, orthopedic operations and even plastic surgery procedures.
When athletes have joint injuries PRP therapy can mean speedy healing and recovery. In about the middle of this decade, some researchers and doctors began talking about how PRP could help with hair restoration.
Nowadays, many dermatologists use PRP treatment regimens specifically to restore and revitalize hair, and PRP remains an approved FDA treatment in orthopedics. The way the FDA sees it, PRP’s advantages are far greater than its risks, and doctors are able to use it for so-called “off label” treatments that are not orthopedic, like hair restoration for example.
If your doctor believes that a PRP treatment can help you, with hair restoration or anything else, they have the legal right to prescribe the treatment.
This acceptance by the medical community, and the fact that PRP has shown proven results for millions of adults who use it for hair restoration, is just one of the reasons that it’s one of the most in-demand treatments in the entire field of dermatology.
What Does Medical Research Have to Say?
Recent medical studies have offered plenty of support for the effectiveness of PRP hair restoration treatment. One study demonstrated that PRP is more effective than one of the best-known hair restoration methods, a 5 percent minoxidil solution topically applied to the scalp. A review of academic and medical literature found that in a majority of all studies, about 85 percent of the research indicated that PRP was entirely effective for restoring and revitalizing hair in adults who suffered from alopecia.
A European scientific journal reported that there appears to be an ideal amount of platelet-rich plasma for maximum benefit in treatment of hair loss and that PRP was an effective way to restore hair in adults who were facing the onset of alopecia.
Key elements of the current research on PRP hair restoration treatment is that side-effects are minimal or non-existent in most cases. From a client’s point of view, other obvious advantages include the low cost compared to other restoration methods, no need for surgery and the safety of the procedure.
How Does PRP Hair Treatment Work?
People who face the challenge of hair loss often read the research on PRP, find out how it can help them and are left wondering about the basics, like how the treatment actually works.
In other words, if you go into a clinic for a PRP session, what happens first, second and third? Millions of treatments have been done, so the answer to that question is rather straightforward.
As soon as you arrive in the clinic and complete the sign-in routine, you’ll be directed to a technician who will do a simple blood draw from your arm. After that, the technician will place the blood containers into a centrifuge and spin it at a very high velocity. This spinning is done to extract the platelets, which are separated from other components of your blood in the centrifuge. Once the spin is complete, the platelet-rich plasma, which appears in a visible section of the centrifuged sample, is removed and stored for use.
When you are ready for the procedure, the doctor will inject small amounts of the solution, which consists of platelet-rich plasma, PRP, into your scalp, focusing especially on the sections where the most hair loss is occurring or about to occur. In a typical session, you’ll receive about 20 injections.
The process is not painful but some people do report a bit of scalp soreness at the injection points, just as you would after a flu shot in your arm, but it subsides rather quickly. During the injections, there is minimal pain. Clients often say they simply feel “a little pressure” on their scalps.
In fact, because there’s no real pain involved, you won’t need any kind of anesthetic. After the half-hour session is complete, expect some minor tightness, maybe a bit of soreness in the scalp and nothing more. All those feelings will go away very quickly in most cases. What happens when it’s all over? Like many other medical procedures, you’ll need to wait for results. Don’t expect your hair to start growing on the way home, but you should begin to see solid results after a few months of regular sessions.
The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on several things, like how much hair loss you have already experienced, genetics, your age, your unique hormone profile, and several other physiological metrics. Many clients begin to notice new hair growth after about three sessions, which take place over a few months for the average person.
How Does PRP Stack Up Against Other Methods?
Currently, there are only two other approved ways that people can opt for medical hair restoration besides PRP treatments. They are finasteride and minoxidil, both of which have been on the market for many years. The problem with both is that the majority of users suffer various side effects. In addition, it’s necessary to keep taking the drug for hair regrowth to continue. Finally, there are highly inconsistent results from the use of these chemical drugs. To top it all off, they’re pricey as well.
What do many users of minoxidil and finasteride encounter? Dryness of the scalp, itching of the entire head and neck area, sexual dysfunction and other unpleasant side effects are just a few of the things listed on their labels. Those who wish to opt for a non-drug strategy usually opt for hair transplants, a rather extreme remedy that not only costs a lot but requires patients to undergo surgical cutting of the scalp and very lengthy periods of recovery.
Compared to the two drug treatments and transplants, PRP hair restoration offers the key advantages of no surgery, no drugs, minor side effects if any, lower cost, much quicker recovery times, and no need to continue taking medications that can lead to sexual dysfunction for years to come.
Here is a short summary of the comparison of PRP to other methods of hair restoration:
- PRP includes no surgery or drugs, ever
- Minoxidil and finasteride are pricey
- The drug treatments come with major side effects including sexual dysfunction and severe dryness of the scalp
- PRP is reasonably priced, unlike surgery and drug regimens
- Drug treatments require life-long prescriptions
- Results arrive quickly with PRP treatments but take many months with drug regimens
- Surgery can be risky and even dangerous for some patients
- PRP sessions last about 30 minutes and you can go about your business afterward
- Surgery is only appropriate for extreme hair loss
- PRP treatments can work for adults with any amount of hair loss
- PRP consultations are free and not time-consuming
Is PRP Hair Loss Treatment Right for You?
Everyone’s situation is different. Speak with one of the professionals at our clinic and find our whether a PRP hair restoration treatment can help. One thing you won’t have to worry about is drugs, surgery or sky-high costs. That’s because PRP sessions deliver results quickly with no major side effects, can be done in less than half an hour, and are 100 percent non-invasive.
If you suffer from pattern hair loss, or alopecia, speak with a specialist and find out the facts about what PRP hair restoration can do for your particular situation.
At our clinic, we make certain that every client has all the facts before going forward with a PRP hair loss treatment program. Even though the method is one of the most well-researched and clinically documented of all hair restoration strategies, it’s not right for people who suffer certain types of illnesses, for example.
Additionally, our expert staff members are ready to answer any questions you have about PRP regarding your own particular situation or type of hair loss. It’s always free to come in for a short consultation and find out whether PRP hair restoration is the right choice for you. Give us a call or stop by any time to get answers to all your questions about hair loss and how PRP might be able to change your appearance for the better.