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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Hair Restoration

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Hair Restoration

The healing effects of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments have been successful in treating osteoarthritis, tendon injuries and a variety of other medical conditions. While not yet approved by the FDA for hair rejuvenation, today’s advances in medical technology have made it possible to use PRP as an effective hair growth treatment as well. PRP supports healthy hair follicles and boosts hair growth, and here at the Vein Care Center, we have seen significant improvement for our patients. Read on to see how the Vein Care Center in Ohio uses PRP treatments to reverse hair loss and jumpstart the hair growth cycle for our patients in Lima, Celina, Bluffton and beyond.

The First Signs of Hair Loss

Signs of hair loss can develop in people of all ages, from the teenage years to those in their 30s and beyond. While certain medical conditions can cause hair to thin, hereditary factors are more often the primary cause. This type of loss is known as male or female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. Symptoms of male or female pattern baldness can vary from person to person, with some people experiencing gradual balding over the course of decades, while others see hair thinning at a faster rate over a few short years.

The first signs of hair loss can take occur in different ways. Common symptoms might include:

  • Noticeable hair loss after hair brushing or showering
  • A hairline that recedes gradually
  • Patches of baldness or thinning hair

hair restoration before and afterRather than putting off your search for a solution, your odds of correcting the problem increase dramatically when you address hair loss at the first noticeable symptoms. For this reason, PRP treatments produce the best results for people who are just starting to lose their hair and have not yet experienced significant areas of baldness. In patients that have already experienced hair loss for a while, significant improvements may still be seen with PRP hair restoration, but more sessions may be required.

What is PRP Treatment?

Platelet-rich plasma is a treatment that uses platelets and plasma from the patient’s blood to heal different areas of the body. Blood platelets naturally prompt the development of new connective tissue, while stimulating blood circulation, healing and collagen growth. These platelets are rich in essential growth factors and nutrients, which accounts for their healing and restorative properties.

PRP is commonly used to treat injuries involving the bones, ligaments and tendons. Recent advances in PRP preparation methods have made it possible for this therapy to be used in cosmetic and hair loss treatments as well. PRP therapy can strengthen damaged hair follicles, stimulate blood circulation and promote hair growth, which is precisely what the scalp needs to resume regular hair growth cycles. Because the PRP is derived from the patient’s blood, PRP will not cause any allergic reactions or responses, making it a safe and effective hair rejuvenation treatment.

Why it Works

A typical scalp has about 80-90 percent of follicles in the active growth stage at any one time. Over time, hormones in the body known as androgens may begin to increase, which can shorten the growth cycle inside the follicle. These changes also lead to hair strands that are thinner and shorter than previous strands. When those thinner hairs do shed, it takes longer for new hair growth to take their place. The process results in noticeably thinner hair and the appearance of bald patches on the scalp in some cases.

The process of androgenetic alopecia is similar for both men and women, although the patterns of thinning can be somewhat different. Women typically notice a widening part first, while men start to see a receding hairline. Over time, follicles can stop producing hair altogether as they become dormant or “fall asleep.” When PRP is administered, the rejuvenating properties of the plasma “wake up” sleeping follicles so they can grow hair once again. Follicles that are still functioning, but at a much slower rate, get the boost they need to perform more efficiently.

Because androgenetic alopecia similarly affects both men and women, the addition of PRP also provides equal benefits to both genders. Both men and women can see increased hair growth over time. The hairs that begin to sprout may also be thicker and longer than previous strands, producing a fuller head of hair overall.

Is PRP Right for Me?

PRP hair restoration is recommended for men and women that are diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia, which is typically due to genetic factors. Before treatment, all patients will be required to have blood work done to ensure there is no underlying cause behind your hair loss, including hormonal imbalance, anemia, or thyroid dysfunction, which would prevent the treatment from benefitting you. In addition, if another cause of the hair loss can be identified, treatment of that condition may bring on the positive results regarding hair regrowth and thickening.

PRP hair restoration produces optimal results in patients that have started to notice thinning areas on the scalp but have not yet experienced balding. At this point, hair follicles are usually still active enough to respond well to the addition of platelets and begin to perform more efficiently after the procedure. We encourage you to visit our office at the first sign of hair loss, so we can make an accurate diagnosis of why the loss is occurring and provide the most effective treatment for you.

What Can I Expect from the PRP Hair Rejuvenation Procedure?

The PRP procedure begins by drawing one or two syringes of blood from your arm. The blood is placed in a centrifuge that separates and prepares the platelet-rich plasma substance. The platelets are prepared for injection, while we apply a topical numbing cream to your scalp to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.

The dermal structure of the scalp consists of multiple layers. The topmost layer, called the stratum corneum, is comprised of oils, dead skin cells and keratin, a protein-based substance. One of the stratum corneum’s primary purposes is to prevent foreign microbes from passing into the deeper layers of the scalp, which it does quite well. This shield that the stratum corneum creates also makes it difficult for hair growth treatments to work, especially topical therapies. This protective barrier is reason injections of the PRP are a preferred method of administration to achieve the best results.

Delivery through injection, rather than merely applying the PRP on the scalp, allows the platelet-rich plasma to penetrate the scalp at a deeper level where growth factors can best repair hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. With a tiny needle, the PRP is carefully injected into the areas where rejuvenation and hair restoration are most needed. You will feel little discomfort during this process, thanks to the topical numbing cream. The entire process typically takes an hour or less to complete, and you can return to your regular activities right away.

What Can I Expect After My PRP Hair Rejuvenation Procedure?

PRP hair rejuvenation treatments are minimally-invasive, which means you can undergo your procedure without significant disruption to your daily routine. Most patients head back to work or other activities as soon as they leave our office. You might notice some mild swelling or bumps at the injection sites, but these side effects should not be noticeable to others.

Some patients also experience some scalp soreness or a headache for the first day or two. Our patients usually find sufficient relief with the use of over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. All side effects are typically relatively mild and short-lived and should not restrict you from performing any of your usual tasks. There will not be any restrictions on your activities following your PRP hair restoration treatment.

What Results Can I Expect?

prp hair patient

Before PRP treatment (left) and three months after one treatment (right).

PRP treatments can help your hair follicles to grow thicker, longer and healthier hair, but this process doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, growth will proceed along the same cycle that it usually would. The difference is that your scalp now has the blood supply, nutrients and growth agents needed to produce healthy hair growth. Over time, regenerated follicles will begin to grow new hair, giving you a fuller mane in the months following your treatment.

Ultimately, PRP hair restoration treatments promote hair growth by strengthening hair follicle structures. Because it is a process, Dr. Aggarwal recommends patients receive a series of three treatments on a monthly basis, and then a single treatment every six months to achieve optimal results and ensure continued hair growth. Most patients will see noticeable results after the first three treatments.

Is PRP Hair Restoration Right for Me?

For PRP to be effective, living, active hair follicles must still be present on the scalp. The higher the number of active follicles present, the better the results. For this reason, it’s especially important to take action at the first sign of thinning hair. This doesn’t mean individuals who have advanced hair loss can’t benefit from this treatment. Under these conditions, it will take considerably longer to see noticeable results and more procedures will be needed to achieve an optimal outcome.

Taking immediate action to stop hair thinning offers the best chance of reclaiming a healthy head of hair. Call the Vein Care Center today at 419-227-4472 to schedule a free screening appointment. Dr. Aggarwal and staff have ample experience in treating hair loss conditions and can answer any questions you have about PRP hair rejuvenating treatments.

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