Finding stray hairs in the drain or catching a glimpse in the mirror of a thinned patch on the scalp can spark fears of balding. We are constantly shedding hairs while others grow, but both men and women can develop an imbalance in this natural cycle leading to excessive loss of hair. This can result in a bald scalp and a decrease in self-confidence. Medical treatments for hair loss, including Rogaine and Propecia, have been used with good results, but these treatments can have side effects. While many therapies are in development, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for hair restoration has demonstrated incredible promise.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is harvested from an individual’s blood. The blood is drawn into a specialized tube which then undergoes a centrifugation process. The PRP fraction is separated out, containing a high concentration of both healing platelets and growth factors. The white and red blood cells are removed so they cannot dilute or destroy the concentrated growth factors. PRP is then applied topically on the skin or injected depending on the indication. Additionally, as this material is utilized in the same patient from which it is taken, it has a highly favorable safety profile with a low likelihood of a reaction.
In a recent review written by Dr. Sand entitled: “PRP for the Aesthetic Surgeon“, many uses for PRP are discussed. They include topical application to improve healing after skin resurfacing, injection into face to remove wrinkles, and injection into the scalp for hair restoration. In particular, the use of PRP for hair restoration has been studied by multiple global investigators and has shown excellent promise as a treatment for thinning or micronized hairs. High qualities studies have shown this product to thicken hair shaft size, improve hair quality, and increase hair density. This combined effect can lead to fuller, healthier appearing head of hair.
Patients who undergo this procedure can typically expect minimal discomfort, essentially no downtime, and high satisfaction. Harvest, preparation and injection of the PRP typically takes 30-45 minutes and you will generally be able to go back to your regular activities immediately afterward. A warm shower is encouraged later that night before sleeping. The injections are combined into a series of four, spaced at one month intervals. Following the initial set of injections, most patients will opt for a maintenance plan with repeat PRP injections every 6-8 months to help keep up their result. Maximal results are usually seen after the fourth injection, but results can begin to be seen after the first injection. PRP injections for hair loss are an excellent treatment option for both men and women.
If you are concerned about your hair quality or quantity, Dr. Sand is an expert in medical and surgical hair restoration and offers a variety of treatment options. Call (509-324-2980) or email ([email protected]) today to schedule your complimentary appointment!