The average human loses 50 to 100 hairs every day. This is normal and usually not noticeable because your hair is replaced just as quickly. If it becomes apparent that you are losing your hair at a faster rate, you may be suffering from severe hair loss due to a medical or hereditary condition. This hair loss becomes noticeable when you lose more than your scalp can replenish. Bald spots or thin patches may appear in men, and thinning hair or a receding hairline may be present for women.
When this hair loss occurs, it lowers your confidence and self-esteem. Luckily, that can be repaired as newer and more advanced hair restoration treatments are steadily becoming available. This may be the case with the PRP treatments—and it may be the right solution for you.
Let’s go over what PRP treatment is, how it works, who this procedure is best for, and what this procedure could do for you.
What is the PRP Procedure?
PRP is an acronym for “platelet-rich plasma.” This procedure involves three easy steps. First, blood is generally drawn from the arm. Next, the blood is processed into a centrifuge which separates it into three different layers: platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma, and red blood cells. The platelet-rich plasma is drawn from the separated blood, and the rest is not used. The PRP is then injected into your scalp and hair follicles.
As you can see, this is a more natural way of inducing hair regrowth for non-surgical hair, as it uses only your own organic matter.
The PRP procedure is given typically three times every four to six weeks, and maintenance is done every four to six months to ensure that the hair loss stays at a minimum.
PRP therapy is relatively new to the world of medicine, and it is still being tested in clinical studies. However, this procedure is being proven more effective every day not only for hair regrowth but for muscle injuries as well.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
The plasma injected during the PRP procedure works to heal your scalp fast around the hair follicles. Plasma that is platelet rich, releases growth factors and stimulates healing by increasing the number of reparative cells in the affected area of your body. Growth factors are natural substances made by the body to fight aging or other damage. A study carried out on pigs shows that growth factors from PRP are highly increased in concentrated areas, more than is shown in native blood plasma.
In a scientific study conducted by certified dermatologists, 81% of patients with androgenic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness) who received the PRP procedure, were proven to experience a reduction in hair loss.
The PRP procedure has made headway in laboratory tests and suggests that it helps injuries recover faster in other areas of the body as well. This test conducted by orthopedic surgeons on rats found that PRP therapy does, in fact, have great potential to shorten recovery time from injuries.
Who Is PRP Treatment For?
While PRP treatment has the potential to produce positive results in many people suffering from hair loss, there are certain subsets of people that the procedure has benefitted more than others.
- PRP hair loss treatment is for both sexes. Many hair loss treatments are marketed toward men, but many women also experience hair loss.
- Those suffering from hair thinning and androgenetic alopecia, also known as male/female pattern baldness, are prime candidates for this procedure. Androgenic alopecia is a hereditary condition that affects about 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States.
- People who have recently begun to experience rapid hair loss may find this procedure to be effective. The longer the issue persists without being treated, however, the more difficult it is to repair.
On the other hand, the PRP procedure may not work as well for you (if at all) under certain conditions:
- You have underlying diseases causing the hair loss, such as lupus. This condition is chronic, and cosmetic therapy may not improve symptoms like hair loss over time.
- Your hormones are imbalanced, which may be due to thyroid disorders. This is generally treated with other medications instead of any hair growth treatment or procedure. These medications may treat hair loss.
- You are taking medications like blood thinners. Blood thinners reduce the efficiency of your platelets, and they won’t likely heal your scalp and induce hair regrowth.
What the PRP Procedure Can Do for You
If you are considered a prime candidate to undergo the PRP procedure, then this treatment could have multiple beneficial effects in the long run. What are these benefits? Let’s go over some of them.
- You may experience a loss of balding or thinning areas, and your hairline may begin to restore itself.
- Thin patches of hair on your head may become thicker and more voluminous.
- Your self-esteem may increase exponentially, as any problem areas may become less noticeable over time.
- The PRP procedure could have lasting effects with minimal maintenance so you can worry about your problems less.
What to Do if Planning to Pursue PRP for Hair Loss
If the idea of PRP therapy interests you, do not hesitate to pursue it by discussing the procedure with a certified dermatologist.
First, any underlying causes should be ruled out. Tests may be done to determine if any hormone imbalance is causing your hair loss. If this is the case, other medications may be enough to treat the problem without resorting to this procedure.
Next, you should inform your dermatologist about your medical history, any medications you take, and if you have a history of heavy smoking, alcohol abuse, or drug abuse. This will determine whether or not the treatment will be safe and effective for you.
If, after this, you are still a candidate for the PRP procedure, you should call your insurance provider to see if it will be covered or if you will be paying out-of-pocket. Since PRP for hair loss is generally considered cosmetic non-surgical hair restoration as it only involves PRP injections, some insurance companies may not cover the costs.