One growing trend for remedying hair loss is PRP therapy. You may have heard of it, or you could be reluctant to believe the claims of the amazing benefits with little chance of side effects. You might not know if PRP treatment works or if it is even safe because it is not yet widely performed by dermatologists.
We are here to answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. Let’s talk about the following:
- What PRP therapy is
- How it works
- Success stories from past patients
- Any side effects that may present themselves in some patients
- The risks associated with PRP therapy due to medical conditions and lifestyle choices
- The cost breakdown of each procedure
What Is the PRP Procedure?
PRP is an acronym for “platelet-rich plasma.” The procedure done to extract and inject this plasma comes in three steps:
- Blood is drawn, most likely from your arm like a regular blood test, and would usually be carried out in a doctor’s office.
- Your blood is spun in a centrifuge in order to separate it into three layers: platelet-poor plasma, plasma that is rich in platelets, and the red blood cells.
- Only the platelet-rich plasma is drawn into a syringe and injected into your scalp and follicles.
How the Procedure Works
The platelet-rich plasma injected into your scalp and follicles which activates growth factors, natural substances in your body that form beneficial collagen—the same ingredient in high-quality anti-aging serums.
Past Success Stories (Case Studies)
If you are worried about the efficacy of PRP for hair, read over these case studies in which PRP has been a success. You will find that, overall, past patients have been very happy with the results and have reported thicker, fuller hair with stronger roots and faster growth.
- You may have initially believed that only men could experience hereditary baldness, known as androgenic alopecia or male-pattern baldness. What is less commonly known is that women can also experience this same hair loss condition. Luckily, PRP therapy has shown to be effective for women as well. In this study, 30 women were enrolled in a clinical trial for the PRP procedure. In one area, they were given the actual injection. In another, they were given a placebo. The area in which the PRP injection was given was shown to be markedly improved after the treatment cycle ended. (For more information about this trial, click here.)
- In this particular case, seven men and three women underwent PRP injections for hair loss. At the end of the cycle, the diameter of the hair growth had increased by 27.5% in men and 31.3% in women. (For more information, click here.)
The Risks Associated with the PRP Procedure
PRP promotes hair regrowth as opposed to a full hair transplant and has been mostly safe for patients. However, as with any medical or cosmetic procedure, there are some risks that come with pursuing this therapy, so it is best to proceed with caution. Disclose with a dermatologist whether any of these apply to you. If so, other treatments may be more effective.
The lifestyle you choose affects whether or not you will be able to undergo this procedure and see positive results. The lifestyle factors that may disqualify you for treatment are:
- Regular or heavy smoking
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
Anyone suffering from certain diseases, disorders, or other medical conditions may not be suitable candidates for PRP therapy. These conditions include:
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic skin disease
- Metabolic disorder
- Thyroid disease
- Low platelet count
In these cases, other treatments may be more effective for hair regrowth. PRP therapy would not likely produce any positive results because your platelet count is too low. The injections would not trigger the growth factors needed for the successful restoration of hair.
If you take blood thinners as part of your medication, you are not an ideal candidate for the PRP procedure. Again, this is because your platelet count will be lower than needed to produce beneficial effects.
Potential Side Effects of PRP Therapy
Any medicine or medical procedure has the potential to produce negative side effects to a patient. The most common of these when it comes to PRP are:
- The development of scar tissue in the area near the injections
- Injury to the nerves
- Injury to blood vessels
- Mild nausea
Local anesthesia will be applied to numb the skin during the procedure, and some patients are allergic to the ingredients in certain anesthetic substances. If you have had a bad reaction before, be sure to tell your dermatologist prior to the procedure. This will minimize the risk of negative side effects.
The Cost of PRP Injections
The looming question on your mind is probably what the price of this therapy will be. This is a big issue for many, but being informed can help you be prepared when the time comes to undergo treatment.
As you are most likely aware, no medical or cosmetic procedure is inexpensive. There are varying factors that change the price, but we will break it down in the best way we can.
One injection can cost anywhere from $400–$1300. It depends on the quality of materials used and where you go for treatment.
You need three injections every month to a month and a half until the main cycle is complete. Afterward, you will need a new course of treatment every four to six months. This is because you must have regular maintenance injections to ensure that your hair continues to grow without thinning or falling out entirely.
The total cost of each set would likely be in the range of $1,200–$4,000.
It is important to remember to check with your insurance company before pursuing this treatment plan. Some companies will not cover the cost of the procedure because it is considered cosmetic only.
If you discuss the cost with your insurance provider beforehand regarding the hair loss treatment to stimulate hair growth for hair thinning and alopecia, you won’t be blindsided later. By doing this, you will have time to save up before the treatment starts. With PRP for hair loss, less stress yields more hair growth, even without PRP injections.
PRP hair treatment is one of the fastest growing hair restoration treatments currently available on the market and is likely only to become more popular with time.