Curly or straight, long or short; who doesn’t like a full head of hair. But hair loss is a reality and certainly not a pleasant one.
Many treatments have come and gone for preventing hair loss and growing beautiful hair. Herbal remedies, allopathic medicines, natural supplements, and lots of alternative treatments. Many of these methods have shown notable benefits in managing the hair dilemma, some with significant side effects. One of the popular methods, around for a couple of decades, is PRP hair growth therapy.
PRP for Hair Loss
PRP or Platelet-rich plasma therapy is one of the promising therapies for hair loss. It has gone through quite a few trials and developments in the last few years.
PRP utilises a natural, human-derived resource to boost the physiological processes of healing and growth. Read on to learn more about PRP and its advantages.
The Science Behind PRP
Platelets are essentially a constituent of human blood; the other components are red blood cells and white blood cells. Platelets are responsible for clotting and wound healing. They are the first responders of injury anywhere in the body, and are full of elements or factors necessary for cell repair, cell growth, and wound healing.
PRP is prepared by centrifuging blood at high speed to separate the components. The platelets are concentrated up to 5 times in PRP compared to blood.
PRP not only provides factors to promote growth and repair directly to the hair follicles and scalp cells, but it also delivers to them vital and restorative nutrients. Some of these are already present in the prepared plasma and some are added to its value.
When this plasma is injected into a damaged or under-productive area, the platelets break down to release the factors, enhancing the growth and repair in the area.
So, technically speaking, PRP utilises non-toxic, natural healing stimulant to the scalp for promoting hair growth. Researches have proven that PRP increases the hair count, improves hair thickness, and enhances the growth phase of hair follicles, particularly when compared to other hair growth treatments like minoxidil.
PRP Is Not Only For Hair
Since PRP is a natural healer, it has also shown benefits in the injuries of muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin, and joints. The growth factors trigger the healing and repair process making PRP a fast, comparably painless, and minimally invasive intervention for such injuries.
Who Is It For:
Anyone suffering from hair loss, hair thinning, and reduced hair growth can benefit from PRP. Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is also a target for PRP treatment. Typically, PRP is ideal for symptoms of early hair loss, widening of part, thinning hair at top of the head, and age- and genetics-related shrinking of hair follicles. PRP has a minimal and unproven role in other types of hair loss like scarring alopecia, alopecia areata and stress-induced hair fall.
The first steps include analysing the problematic area, discussing the treatment plan, and maybe taking medical-grade photos for future references. Then blood is drawn and using a centrifuge machine, it is spun at a high frequency that splits up its components. The platelets are extracted from the centrifuged blood using a syringe.
Using sterile techniques, this plasma is injected in small quantities into multiple areas of the scalp. Sometimes, a local anaesthetic is applied before injecting to numb the area and reduce inconvenience. Microneedling and laser therapy are occasionally used to enhance the absorption of the plasma at the end of the session.
For best results, consistent treatment is recommended. Sessions are held every month for the first four months and then once every three to six months depending upon the response. After a year, maintenance therapy is done by single sessions yearly.
The results start appearing within the first three months as decreased shedding, early regrowth, improved hair texture, and increased length of hair. Full effects are visible 6-12 months after completion of the last sessions.
Sometimes, a warm shower is suggested to enhance the blood flow to the scalp after the procedure.
PRP is made from the person’s blood, making it the least possible from allergic reactions and other adverse effects. Minor risk of infections and irritation may be present on the scalp for sometime after the procedure due to manipulation.
Ice packs and an OTC pain-managing pill like Tylenol are recommended as post-procedure care. Some patients experience redness of hairline and swelling of the scalp which appears in 24-48 hours and resolves over the next few days; while the needle bruising also resolve takes a few days. In case of sharp pain or intense pain, contact the doctor.
PRP is not advised for people who are anaemic, have cancer, bleeding disorders, autoimmune diseases or an existing infection.
Androgenetic alopecia is best treated with a multidisciplinary approach. Balancing the hormones and boosting hair growth are counselled along with PRP. These include medications, such as spiromide and finasteride; and hair treatments, like minoxidil and hair follicle transplant, etc.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a low risk and minimally invasive procedure for hair loss. It utilises the healing and repair component of blood, platelets, for the treating the hair thinning and reduced hair growth. It is particularly useful in Androgenetic alopecia and is generally well tolerated due to the use of non-toxic, natural products. While the majority of hair loss sufferers have their condition improved by PRP, some conditions of hair loss require multi-faceted approach for best results.