Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss is a multistep medical treatment in which a person’s blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp.
It has been in use since 1980s. PRP has concentrated growth factors that have been shown to promote new hair growth, thicken thinning hair and increase the overall health of the scalp and hair. Sometimes this approach is combined with other hair restoration surgical procedures or medical management.
The use of PRP is a great treatment option for hair loss because it has a number of scientifically based articles showing its efficacy increasing hair count, hair thickness, and the growth phase of the hair cycle. PRP therapy has been gaining popularity around the world within the last few years.
Who it works for
Anyone experiencing hair loss is essentially a good candidate for PRP treatments, but those with early hair loss tend to respond best. PRP is best used for patients with androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning and loss that typically occurs along the top of the head. In women, this might look like a widening part with normal hair thickness at the back of the head.
The PRP Therapy Process
PRP therapy is a three-step process. Most PRP therapy requires three treatments 4–6 weeks apart.
Maintenance treatments may be required every 4–6 months.
Your blood is drawn — typically from your arm — and put into a centrifuge (a machine that spins rapidly to separate fluids of different densities).
After about 10 minutes in the centrifuge, your blood will have separated into in three layers:
- platelet-poor plasma
- platelet-rich plasma
- red blood cells
The platelet rich plasma is drawn up in syringe and then injected into the areas of the scalp that need increased hair growth.
The risks involved
It might sound scary (blood draws and needles?!), but for the most part, there’s no real risk associated with PRP. Because PRP therapy involves injecting your own blood into your scalp, you aren’t at risk for getting a communicable disease. Most patients get injections without any numbing, as there is minimal discomfort. However, cool air or ice packs may be used to minimize pain. In the event there is any discomfort, Tylenol after the procedure is also recommended. Bruising can occur but usually resolves within a week or two.Minimal downtime, if any, is needed.
Be sure to report all medications you’re on before the procedure including supplements and herbs.
When you go for your initial consultation, many providers will recommend against PRP for hair loss if you:
- are on blood thinners
- are a heavy smoker
- have a history of alcohol or drug misuse
You might also be rejected for treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with:
- acute or chronic infections
- chronic liver disease
- chronic skin disease
- hemodynamic instability
- metabolic disorder
- platelet dysfunction syndromes
- systemic disorder
- low platelet count
- thyroid disease
How much does PRP for hair loss cost?
- PRP therapy typically consists of three treatments in a 4–6 week period, with maintenance treatments every 4–6 months.The price typically ranges from $1,500–$3,500 for the initial three treatments, with one injection at $400 or more. Pricing depends on a number of factors including:
- your geographic location
- quality of equipment
- the addition of nutritive components