Non-Surgical Hair Restoration: Understanding the Basics of PRP Therapy
Two-thirds of all men and nearly half of all women will lose a significant amount of hair as they age. Since so many people consider full, healthy hair a sign of youth and vitality, it’s understandable that hair loss can cause a significant amount of emotional distress. Knowing that others struggle with the same condition is unlikely to make hair loss any easier to accept.
While transplanting hair follicles to balding areas was once considered the only reliable method of hair restoration, with advances in medical technology, there are now a significant number of non-surgical options. The solutions are real. Many people, just like you, are regrowing hair with topical preparations, low-level laser treatments, and PRP hair restoration therapy.
PRP is not a medication. PRP treatment uses active growth factors in your blood to treat hair loss. Understanding the basics of PRP therapy could help you decide if this safe, non-surgical option could be right for you.
Understanding the Basics of PRP Hair Restoration Therapy
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. Platelet-rich plasma therapy has been used for decades to accelerate the healing of injured ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints. PRP therapy is shown to reduce pain and improve function. Cosmetically, PRP has been used to fade acne scars, stimulate collagen growth, and rejuvenate ageing skin.
PRP therapy is also shown to promote hair growth. When people lose their hair, the follicles don’t disappear; they simply become dormant. PRP treatment uses the active growth factors and cytokines in your blood to stimulate stem cells, rejuvenate thinning strands, and promote regrowth.
The PRP Hair Restoration Process
PRP is generally considered a safe and effective method of potentially reversing hair loss without surgery. PRP therapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in addition to other medical hair loss treatments to slow shedding, thicken hair strands, and improve hair quality. The procedure is relatively simple.
Your hair restoration clinician will draw a small amount of blood from your arm. The blood drawn from your arm is then run through a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the platelets from your blood. The highly concentrated platelets release essential growth proteins. After your blood is processed through the centrifuge:
- Your scalp is prepared with an antiseptic solution
- An anesthetic may be applied, but is not always necessary
- Platelets and growth proteins are injected into your scalp using a thin needle
- You can expect 15-20 injections per treatment session
While you can expect a PRP treatment to take up to an hour, most of that time is spent in the preparation phase. The injections themselves commonly take 5-15 minutes depending on the treatment area. Your hair restoration specialist will likely recommend repeating this process monthly for a minimum of three months.
What to Expect After PRP Hair Restoration Treatment
There is no downtime required after PRP treatment. You can shower, shampoo, and condition your hair as usual within several hours after treatment and continue with your normal activities. If you are also using a topical hair growth treatment, you can resume your application the very next day. Chemical processing and hair colouring treatments should be avoided for a minimum of 72 hours.
Since PRP therapy uses your own blood for hair restoration treatment, there is little risk of allergic reaction or hypersensitivity. Side effects are generally mild, but could include:
- A mild stinging sensation during treatment
- Slight pressure on your scalp
- Redness in the treatment area
- Minor bruising at injection sites
- Temporary scalp tenderness
Most people will see noticeable hair regrowth within 3-4 months. Gradual improvements could continue for up to a year. To maintain your results, your clinician will likely recommend returning for follow-up treatments every six to twelve months.
Clinical Research Supports the Hair Restoring Potential of PRP
While there is currently no cure for hair loss, PRP therapy is shown to slow hair loss and stimulate hair growth from previously dormant hair follicles. Those with mild to moderate hair loss are most likely to benefit.
Research suggests PRP treatments can yield noticeable results in as little as two months. Consider the following examples:
- Researchers conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled half-head study to compared hair regrowth in male test subjects 19-63 years old. Three PRP treatments were administered to each patient in 30-day intervals. Microscopic evaluation noted increased thickness of the epidermis and a slight increase in the number of capillaries around hair follicles in the treatment area. Average growth increased by more than 33 hairs in target areas with no side effects. There was also a significant increase in mean hair count after three months. Control (non-treated) areas showed a decrease in hair count.
- A study published in 2017 compared the results of PRP treatment to minoxidil 5% for restoring hair loss from alopecia areata. Ninety test subjects were divided into three groups. The first group was treated with a topical minoxidil solution, the second with PRP injections, and the third with a placebo. While the PRP and minoxidil groups both had significantly more hair growth than test subjects receiving the placebo, patients treated with PRP had an earlier response and a reduction in short vellus hair. Researchers concluded that clinical and trichoscopic examination revealed PRP injections were more effective than minoxidil.
PRP is shown to contain more than 20 types of growth factors. While the precise mechanisms triggering hair growth are not fully understood, PRP is believed to prolong the length of the active growth phase of hair follicles.
PRP Hair Restoration Could be Your Hair Loss Solution
While certain medical conditions, medications, and infections can cause hair loss and baldness, hair loss is most often genetic. Men commonly lose their hair in a distinct pattern (male pattern baldness) while women are more likely to lose hair evenly throughout their scalp.
If your strands are thinning, your hairline receding, or your reflection reveals more scalp than you are comfortable with, it’s likely quite reassuring to know that your hair loss need not be permanent. PRP hair restoration can increase the thickness of individual hair strands and reverse hair loss. Measurable results could be yours in as little as three months.
To determine if PRP hair restoration is your best option, in Cold Lake AB contact Ageless Living for a free consultation. We offer a significant number of minimally and non-invasive medical and aesthetic treatment options that are quick, painless, and evidence-based. With Ageless Living, you could reclaim your hair, regain your confidence, and live your best life.