If you’ve heard of vampire facials and PRP injections, you’re probably already familiar with the benefits of platelet-rich plasma. The popularity of platelet plasma growth factors is on the rise, especially since various studies have proven that injections of platelets can also contribute to hair regrowth for patients struggling with androgenetic alopecia.
Androgenic alopecia is a common condition that affects hair follicles and causes them to shrink. The condition is mainly seen in men and is often referred to as male pattern baldness. Up until recently, it was believed that patients with hair loss had to simply accept the condition, but PRP injections have managed to bring their hope back and allow them to fight against pattern hair loss.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
Before explaining how PRP injections can help with hair restoration, it is useful to understand how platelet-rich plasma works. Our blood contains red and white blood cells, as well as plasma and platelets. While plasma is the liquid substance of the blood, platelets are a type of blood cell. The role of platelets is to act fast when our body is bleeding and initiate the healing process.
Platelets are famously known for their clotting abilities, but their growth factors are also responsible for tissue regeneration and, more recently, skin rejuvenation and reduction in hair loss. When we are talking about platelet-rich plasma, we’re talking about blood that has a higher concentration of platelets than normal. Platelet-rich plasma cannot be extracted directly from our blood, but it can be prepared by a medical professional in a sterile environment.
What are the benefits of PRP injections?
The application of platelet-rich plasma in medicine and plastic surgery is no longer a secret. Medical professionals have used PRP injections to treat different musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, such as tendon injuries, as well as osteoarthritis pain and stiffness.
PRP injections have also been proven to do wonders for facial skin and are often used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, rejuvenate the skin, and deliver a more youthful appearance. They can be an effective treatment against acne scars and can reduce hyperpigmentation.
Due to its extensive benefits, plastic surgeons have seen an opportunity to use platelet-rich plasma as a treatment for hair loss. Since the procedure behind this treatment for hair loss involves the use of one’s own blood and plasma, PRP injections can be used to promote hair growth and even prevent hair loss. They are also believed to be an effective adjuvant in the stimulation of hair growth after hair transplantation.
How do PRP injections work for hair loss?
The specialist performing the procedure will first draw a blood sample from the patient. The blood will then be placed into a centrifuge that will rapidly spin the sample and separate the blood from the platelets. During the process, the platelet count will be boosted to deliver the healing platelet-rich plasma.
The extracted platelet concentration will then be injected into the patient’s scalp. The growth factors from the platelets will trigger natural hair growth, as well as improvement in hair volume. It is believed that platelets increase the blood supply delivered to the hair follicles, restore the normal hair cycle, and increase hair counts. Furthermore, PRP injections can contribute to increased hair thickness and overall hair volume.
The entire procedure lasts about 1 hour, but the treatment plan may include more than just one session. The PRP injections are particularly effective for types of hair loss caused by damage to hair follicles and can ensure an increase in hair density and become the engine behind active hair growth.
Following the procedure, the patient may return to their daily activities without downtime. Since PRP injections for pattern hair loss are not a cure for the condition, maintenance injections every 3 to 6 months are often necessary for hair loss treatments.