What is Hair PRP?
Hair loss is a frustrating symptom that affects millions of women in the United States each year. Whether you are suffering from genetic, postpartum, or unexplained hair loss, PRP hair restoration may be your hidden holy grail.
Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Anemia (especially Iron Deficiency)
Alopecia areata (autoimmune destruction of hair follicles)
What is PRP Hair Restoration?
Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) hair restoration is a non- surgical treatment used to stimulate the growth of hair follicles. This treatment maximizes the platelet- rich plasma (PRP) component of your blood to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. During this treatment, a small amount of blood (11ml) is drawn and processed through a unique centrifuge to isolate the platelet- rich plasma. From there, your unique PRP is re-injected into the thinning or balding regions of your scalp to stimulate blood flow and recruitment of key growth factors essential for optimal hair growth.
How does PRP work?
When platelet -rich plasma (PRP), is injected into the scalp during your treatment, it will enrich the hair follicles with nourishing biological components essential for healthy hair growth.
The injection of PRP locally to the hair follicles also has a systemic effect which will trigger the circulation of blood, nutrients and growth factors to the hair follicles. This recruitment can stimulate repair of damaged hair follicles leading to new, healthy hair growth.
Are you a candidate?
Unfortunately not everyone is a good candidate for this process, which is why it is important to consult with your doctor before undergoing any hair restoration procedures.
You are NOT eligible for the procedure if:
Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Platelet dysfunction syndrome
Local infection at the site of the procedure
Currently on antibiotics
Currently taking corticosteroids
Active Cancer Treatment
Currently Breast Feeding
How to prepare for your procedure
The goal behind PRP is to stimulate the body’s natural healing process by stimulating local inflammation, which is why it is important to discontinue all anti-inflammatory medications and supplements prior to your treatment.
Avoid the following for at least 1 week prior to your treatment:
NSAIDs (including Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Naprosyn , Aspirin)
Tylenol is allowed
Systemic Steroids (Prednisone, Dexamethasone)
Recent fever or illness
Gingko, Garlic, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Fish oil, Curcumin and other anti- inflammatory nutrients.
Can I Still Color My Hair If I Get PRP Treatments?
It is important to understand the role of chemicals and hair damage, switching to a more natural, less toxic hair colorant can be a great option during your PRP treatments. Refrain from coloring or chemically treating your hair 3 days prior to your PRP treatment. You can schedule your next color or chemical hair treatment no earlier than 2 weeks AFTER your PRP treatment.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The PRP hair restoration treatment is an in- office procedure that takes on average 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. The treatment begins with a blood draw extracted from the patient. The blood is then inserted into a high speed centrifuge, where it is carefully processed for 5-10 minutes. The high speed centrifuge allows us to separate the different components that make up your blood (red blood cells, platelet- rich plasma and platelet -poor plasma) based on weight. Because the platelet-rich plasma is heavier than the rest of your blood components, it can be easily extracted and separated.
Once extracted, the PRP is re-injected into the scalp using a multi- needle syringe. The multi- needle syringe helps diffuse the PRP in the targeted area and reduces the time it takes to complete the procedure. This technique is not only quick but leaves patients with few, if any, side effects.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
It is important to keep in mind that results vary from patient to patient however most patients require monthly PRP injections for 3-6 months.
Stimulating hair growth takes time which is why you will typically notice results after the first 2-3 treatments. Keep this in mind as it can be a time and financial commitment to complete this procedure. You will notice your hair is not shedding as quickly as well as you will notice new hair growth along the scalp. The treatment will also strength your existing hair follicles leading to strengthening of your hair follicles.
Common Side Effects:
It is common to experience slight bruising, redness, itching, soreness and slight swelling that may last 3-10 days following your procedure. If you experience chronic headaches, severe tenderness or bleeding call your doctor immediately.
Post- Treatment Care
PRP is a relatively non- invasive procedure that requires little down time, however, there are a few general rules to follow to maximize your results.
Refrain from touching or manipulating the treated area (s) for at least 8 hours after the treatment.
Avoid anti inflammatory medications including aspirin, motrin, ibuprofen and aleve after the treatment.
Avoid anti- inflammatory supplements including Gingko, Garlic, Fish oil, Cod Liver oil, Vitamin A and Vitamin E for at least 3 days to 1 weeks after the treatment.
If necessary, you can ice the injected area for 20-30mins after the procedure. However, our goal is to stimulate local inflammation so only use Ice is necessary for pain management.
Do not wash or take a shower for at least 6 hours after the treatment.
Avoid vigorous exercise, sun and heat exposure for at least 3 days after your treatment.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes for at least 3 days before and after your treatment.
Treat the Root Cause:
PRP hair restoration can be an excellent treatment for patients struggling with hair loss, however, it is important to remember that identifying the root cause of your particular hair loss is crucial in your recovery. For example, if your hair loss is due to iron deficiency anemia or a thyroid disease, it is necessary that your thyroid or Iron status be monitored throughout the procedure as your hair loss will ultimately continue until the root cause has been addressed. Working with an integrative doctor/ naturopathic physician is a get way to incorporate PRP as well as identifying your unique hair loss cause.
In my practice, I make sure all eligible PRP hair restoration patients are receive complete hormonal and biological evaluation to determine the root cause of their hair loss.