PRP has been utilized in hair restoration for nearly a decade. A growing number of small studies over this period have shown promising results in androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss). A recent meta analysis in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology of 6 such studies involving 177 patients concluded that PRP may be associated with increased number of hair and hair thickness improvement in the treated areas thus lending further evidence-based support to its use. PRP is still in the early stages of scientific research in hair restoration, however, and is not meant as a replacement of current FDA-approved therapies such as DHT blockers (oral finasteride) and topical minoxidil. These FDA-approved therapies are in fact often used as adjunctive to PRP as combination is felt to work synergistically in stimulating hair growth.
How does PRP work in hair restoration? PRP is a highly concentrated serum of platelets derived from oneâ€™s own blood. The power of PRP lies within the high concentration of platelets as well as growth factors released from those platelet once PRP is activated and administered. These platelet-derived growth factors exert their effects in the dermal papillae, the skin structure that provides nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle. PRP is felt to stimulate inactive hair follicles within the dermal papilla causing them to revert to growth phase.
How is PRP procedure performed?
The procedure essentially involves a 3-step process performed within a 30-40 minute office visit.
A small blood sample is drawn from the patient into a special test tube for PRP preparation
The blood sample is then loaded into a centrifuge and spun for a certain amount of time to separate the components, mainly Red Blood Cells, Poor Platelet Plasma and Platelet Rich Plasma.
The Platelet Rich Plasma portion which is straw colored serum is then drawn up into a syringe for injections into the scalp.
Are PRP injections painful?
As with any injection procedure there will be some discomfort. However, we use cooling spray device to anesthetize the injections sites on the scalp before the injections. This local anesthesia and oral anti-inflammatories minimize discomfort for majority of patients.
How often are PRP injections performed?
For optimal results we recommend having PRP treatments performed once monthly for 3 months and then every 3 months thereafter for maintenance.