Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Hair Restoration – PRP Therapy
PRP therapy (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a proactive therapeutic option for male and female patients experiencing hair loss. PRP is an exciting non-surgical therapeutic option for patients who require stimulation of hair growth for hair loss conditions. PRP is an all-natural medical procedure performed in physicians’ offices for hair loss or conditions causing hair thinning. Published medical literature from Europe and the United States confirms the safety of PRP therapy in hair restoration.
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
Human blood is comprised of mesenchymal stem cells and autologous blood products that contain essential and specific growth factors. PRP contains special cells called Platelets, that can cause growth of the hair follicles by theoretically stimulating the stem cells located in the Dermal Papilla as well as other structures of the hair follicle. These special Platelet cells promote healing, accelerate the rate and degree of tissue healing and regeneration, the response of the body to injury, and the formation of new cellular growth. Inside the Platelets there are many intracellular structures such as glycogen, lysosomes and alpha granules. These granules within the PRP contain clotting and growth factors that are eventually released during the healing and repair process. The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM THE PROCEDURE?
Blood is drawn as though you are having routine blood testing at your primary care physician’s office. The blood is spun in a centrifuge and the PRP is separated and removed from the rest of the blood. After centrifugation, the platelets and other vital growth proteins raise to the top of the tube.
Under a topical anesthesia, a special micro-needling roller device is used to stimulate the dermis of the scalp. This micro needling stimulation causes micro-trauma to the dermis, which induces other healing and growth repair cells into action. The highly concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into the scalp topically.
The PRP contains many growth factors that stimulate the hair follicle’s growth. PRP can be used pre-operatively, intra-operatively, or post-operatively. Our protocol recommends to use PRP for 3 consecutive months to stimulate hair growth.
THE SCIENCE OF PRP FOR HAIR
PRP specific cells that causes hair growth include:
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)—promotes blood vessel growth, cell replication, skin formation;
- Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta (TGF-b)—promotes growth of matrix between cells, bone metabolism;
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)—promotes blood vessel formation;
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)—promotes cell growth and differentiation, blood vessel formation, collagen formation;
- Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2)—promotes growth of specialized cells and blood vessel formation; and,
- Insulin Like Growth Factor – (IGF)—a regulator of normal physiology in nearly every type of cell in the body.
DOES PRP WORK?
While individual results vary and no guarantees of success can be made, preliminary studies indicate many patients respond to PRP therapy. Some hair restoration physicians apply PRP to the scalp for those patients who are not surgical candidates every three (3) to four (4) months. Other protocols will use PRP before or during surgery to insure graft survivability.
PRP is an emerging non-surgical based therapy for natural stimulation for thinning hair. Larger clinical studies are pending but the current medical literature contains numerous positive results. Although a few controlled studies exist, anecdotal and case reports are the primary sources reflecting success with PRP therapy.
WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE PRP TREATMENT?
Patients with history of heavy smoking, drug and alcohol use. Medical diagnosis such as platelet dysfunction syndromes, thrombocytopenia, hypofibrinogenaemia, hemodynamic instability, sepsis, acute and chronic Infections, chronic liver disease, anti-coagulation therapy, chronic skin diseases or cancer, metabolic and systemic disorders.
IS PRP FOR ME?
PRP has been used successfully in other medical and surgical disciplines for many years. The decision to use PRP is a personal decision and should be made after careful research, consideration and consultation with a physician. PRP is safe and natural because the procedure concentrates the good cells from your own body directly back into the area where it is needed. There is absolutely no chance of getting a blood infection from another human being. PRP involves using your platelets and it will not be rejected by your immune system.
Clinical trials are not complete and medical data is not yet published to determine the effectiveness of PRP therapy in hair restoration. PRP should not be considered a “cure” for hair loss and no guarantee can be made about its individual effectiveness. No claim of PRP efficacy in promoting hair growth can be made because there is no FDA approval that would allow such claims to be made.
CAN I USE OTHER MEDICAL THERAPIES CONCURRENTLY?
Absolutely. In fact, we encourage it and prescribe PRP therapy as a compliment to a nonsurgical approach for those patients who are not eligible for surgery or who want to delay hair restoration surgery.
In summary, PRP therapy offers a promising alternative for natural hair growth for those patients who are not candidates for surgery. It also is a beneficial therapy for surgical patients who want PRP therapy as a complimentary procedure at the same time hair restoration surgery with either automated FUE or the STRIP procedure. Although results will vary from patient to patients, PRP as a non-surgical option offers patients with miniaturization and hair thinning improvement in hair caliber and thickness.