PRP injections trigger natural hair growth by improving blood supply to the hair follicle while increasing the thickness of the hair shaft.
Hair is an extension of personal expression, so it’s no surprise that treating hair loss is a high priority for those affected by alopecia areata (patchy hair loss). PRP injections have emerged as a popular treatment option for all kinds of hair loss with no adverse side effects, but how does this therapy stack up to traditional topical treatments?
What is PRP therapy?
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy for hair loss is a three-step medical treatment in which a person’s blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp.
Some in the medical community think that PRP injections trigger natural hair growth and maintain it by increasing blood supply to the hair follicle and increasing the thickness of the hair shaft. Sometimes this approach is combined with other hair loss procedures or medications.
Since the 1980s, PRP has been used for problems such as healing injured tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
PRP Therapy Process
PRP therapy is a three-step process. Most PRP therapy requires three treatments 4–6 weeks apart.
Maintenance treatments are required every 4–6 months.
Your blood is drawn — typically from your arm — and put into a centrifuge (a machine that spins rapidly to separate fluids of different densities).
After about 10 minutes in the centrifuge, your blood will have separated into three layers:
- platelet-poor plasma;
- platelet-rich plasma;
- red blood cells.
The platelet-rich plasma is drawn up into a syringe and then injected into areas of the scalp that need increased hair growth.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a substance that’s thought to promote healing when injected. Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot.
It also contains proteins that support cell growth. Researchers have produced PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it.
The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing. Because the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in the prepared growth injections, researchers think the body’s tissues may heal faster.
How do you prepare for PRP injections?
Generally speaking, there are few steps to preparing for PRP injections.
However, PRP can be injected in different ways. For example, sometimes a topical numbing lidocaine solution is applied to your scalp before injection.
Other times, a local anesthetic is mixed with the PRP to reduce any discomfort.
Before the procedure, it would be better not to eat unhealthy food and refuse from drinking alcohol to keep your blood clear to make extracted plasma even more efficient.
What is the recovery time for PRP injections?
When PRP is injected following injury, our doctor may recommend that you rest the affected area. However, these recommendations are more related to the injury and less to the PRP injections. Most people can continue their daily activities following PRP injections.
Because PRP injections are intended to promote healing or growth, you may not notice an immediate difference after receiving the injections. However, in several weeks or months, you may observe that the area is healing faster or growing more hair than you would have expected if you hadn’t received PRP injections.
Feel free to contact us if you still have any additional questions concerning your treatment.