PRP hair regrowth treatment – a promising new treatment?
PRP hair growth treatment is a new treatment aimed at stopping hair loss and regrowing thinning hair. PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) treatment is also used for treating other medical conditions such as injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which are common in sports.
In recent years, medical professionals started using PRP as a treatment for hair loss, since they believe it has the ability to heal damaged hair follicles and enhance their blood flow, and as a result restore normal hair growth in people suffering from male/female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). But does it really work? let’s find out.
First let’s understand what PRP is.
Platelet rich plasma is a component of the blood, along with white and red blood cells. One of its main functions is to heal wounds and cuts on the body. PRP also contains many growth factors and proteins which help speed up tissue repair after sustaining an injury. Because of this, doctors began treating various injuries with PRP injections, believing it will speed up healing.
And indeed PRP gained popularity among many patients, including professional athletes, who found it helpful in recovering faster from injuries. This led researchers to believe that PRP might also be effective as a hair loss treatment.
PRP as a hair loss treatment – How it’s done
The idea is that PRP can heal DHT damaged hair follicles and restore them to their previous healthy state, as well as stimulate new hair growth.
When a patient arrives at a clinic to receive PRP treatment for hair loss, blood is drawn from his arm. The blood is then put into a centrifuge to spin for about 10 minutes at a very high rate. This is done to separate the different component of the blood.
Once the spinning is stopped, a medical professional will extract only the platelets and slowly inject them with a syringe into the thinning areas of the patient’s scalp. The patient might receive a local anesthesia on the scalp prior to the injection, to prevent pain.
After the injection is done, the medical professional might massage and disinfect the patient’s scalp. The whole session takes no more than an hour, after which the patient can go back to his usual activities, although sports activities are not advised and washing the hair is not allowed for about 24 hours.
More sessions will be needed after a few weeks, and in fact in order for this treatment to be effective – maintenance sessions should be done once every 3-6 months. This is because PRP, like other hair loss treatments, is not a cure for baldness but rather a treatment, and is only effective while it is done.
Since PRP consists of a person’s own blood, this treatment is considered safe. Some side effects might occur, but they are not serious. Some of them may include scalp tenderness, swelling, mild pain, itching, and temporary bleeding at the scalp.
Does PRP really work?
The science behind PRP is limited so it’s hard to tell how effective it is. Most of the studies that have been done reported that indeed PRP treatments led to hair regrowth in those suffering from pattern baldness, as well as reduced hair loss and increased hair density and size.
However, since there is no standard protocol for these treatments, it is very hard to prove that this treatment is effective. Each medical professional uses different injection techniques, session intervals vary from patient to patient, and other factors vary as well.
Add to that the fact that these treatments are quite expensive, costing thousands of dollars(1,000$-3,500$) for the initial session series and hundreds for each injection, it’s definitely a treatment one should think about carefully before committing to.
My personal experience with PRP
I have had 6 PRP sessions back in 2014-2015 and from my own experience I can say that it does help regrow some hair and slow down hair loss, but it only works as long as you keep having these sessions. Also, it only helps if hair thinning is still at an early stage.
I haven’t had any sessions since then, and I can definitely say that my hair loss has worsened since. Perhaps I should have continued these sessions, having one injection every 4-6 months or so but that is water under the bridge.
I don’t know if PRP would help my current balding condition today, and I’m not sure if spending so much money to find out is worth it, since it is definitely a gamble.
Depending on your current pattern baldness stage, and how much money you are willing to spend on a relatively unproven treatment, maybe PRP could be a good treatment to add to your arsenal of hair loss treatments. I would first suggest you try conventional treatments such as minoxidil or propecia and add PRP if you want better results.
Despite being an unproven and relatively new treatment, many people claim PRP does stop hair loss and regrow hair (and it is quite likely), and PRP treatment is gaining popularity among men and women suffering from androgenetic alopecia. In fact, it is also common to get PRP injections at hair transplant clinics after a hair transplant procedure, to accelerate the growth of transplanted hair roots.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have any questions or comments leave them below.