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Male Pattern Baldness, Thinning Hair & PRP Treatment

According to current surveys, more than 50% of men above the age of 50 experience male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic or androgenic alopecia. Male pattern hair loss, thinning hair, a receding hairline, and other forms of balding are a common part of the aging process for men. Unfortunately, this can have negative effects on self-esteem and confidence, particularly in the case of early androgenetic alopecia.

Up until recently, the only options for hair loss treatment were daily medications such as topical minoxidil (Rogaine) or oral finasteride (Propecia). Though these treatments are beneficial, they require constant maintenance and can have some unwanted side effects. Thankfully, recent innovation in the world of dermatology has led to the use of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in hair regrowth treatment that requires no downtime and can successfully rejuvenate the hair follicles on the scalp.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy has become an extremely popular method of hair restoration treatment in the NYC office of Dr. Michele Green. This non-surgical hair loss procedure uses one’s own blood to to maximize growth factors at or near the treatment site, revitalizing cells in a procedure that typically lasts under 15 minutes. PRP injections have been used for a variety of regenerative therapy treatments, including for musculoskeletal and oral surgery procedures. It’s been used by basketball star Kobe Bryant for his right knee injury, as well as by Lebron James for hair restoration, among various other celebrities and athletes – including those with male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, and alopecia areata.

PRP treatment for hair restoration uses your own blood to ignite cell regeneration and growth at or near the injection site. Using a centrifuge, your platelets and white blood cells are separated out to create a serum with three times the normal amount of platelet concentration, which is then injected into areas of the scalp that demonstrate the most acute hair loss. This can help to reactivate dormant hair follicles, thus increasing hair count, hair thickness, and strength of the hair roots. PRP can also be used in conjunction with follicular unit excision surgery, helping to improve the quality of the hairs before they are harvested for a surgical hair transplant and promote the growth of new hairs after transplant.

GK 22 yo male before after PRP for hair 7 months MGWatermark

PRP treatment – 7 months before and after

If you’re suffering with unwanted male pattern baldness, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Dr. Green is an internationally known expert in hair restoration and PRP therapy. Contact our office today to learn if PRP treatment for hair growth is right for you.

What causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Though the exact cause of male pattern baldness is unknown, one primary cause is that of genetics, so those who have a family history of baldness are more likely to see signs of male pattern baldness. Male pattern hair loss is also associated with androgens, a sex hormone that is particularly tied into hair growth – thus the name androgenic alopecia.

PRP treatment for hair growth

Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a unique hair growth treatment that uses growth factors from your own blood in order to help develop new hair growth and improve cell proliferation and new cell development. PRP treatment has been explored extensively in the worlds of dermatology, plastic surgery, musculoskeletal healing and oral surgery due to its unique wound healing properties. In recent years it has been researched as a treatment option for hair restoration to wonderful effect.

DK PRP 7m TOP MGwatermark

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

The Platelet-rich plasma is a highly concentrated serum that contains platelets and white blood cells. These platelets contain proteins vital in promoting tissue health and regeneration. Each platelet is packed with growth factors that help to revitalize hair follicles, increase the amount of small blood vessels near the injection site, and improve hair growth. PRP’s growth factors are also an important part of stem cell differentiation throughout the body.

The PRP specific elements that improve hair restoration include:

  • Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF): Improves cell growth, as well as collagen and blood vessel formation
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2): Boosts the development of blood vessels and specialized cells
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1): Acts as a protein regulator of standard physiology in almost every cell in the body; also has helpful anabolic effects in adults
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF): Helps with blood vessel regeneration, as well as cell and skin formation
  • Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta (TGF-b): Specialized for growth matrix between cells, as well as bone metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF): Jumpstarts blood vessel formation

What is PRP therapy?

Using a sample of your own blood, platelets and plasma are separated out from more prevalent red blood cells via a centrifuge. The highly concentrated Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is then injected into targeted areas of the scalp in order to stimulate hair growth. Its initial popularity for rejuvenation was first developed with treatment for women, but has since been proven to be effective for men experiencing androgenetic alopecia or thinning hair.

JA Before and after 3 PRP treatment sessions 4 months apart BACK MGWatermark

3 PRP treatment sessions, 4 months apart

Is PRP Effective for Male Pattern Baldness?

So, is PRP good for male pattern baldness? According to all current studies, PRP is an excellent option for those dealing with male pattern baldness and thinning hair.

In several studies via the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and  Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, those dealing with hair loss who were treated with PRP injections experienced significant improvement in hair regrowth. A study in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery* on the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma found that PRP therapy led to localized improvement in hair growth, count, and thickness. Although wider studies are required in order for FDA approval, there is a large amount of medical evidence that PRP hair treatment is highly effective, and no severe side effects have been found.

Dr. Green has even conducted her own study on the efficacy of PRP therapy for hair restoration, due to her incredible success in hair regrowth treatment. Read about a PRP hair treatment case study in Men’s Journal featuring Dr. Green

*source: J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2014 Apr-Jun; 7(2): 107–110. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.138352

Can PRP Stop Male Pattern Baldness?

PRP treatment is an excellent way to revitalize hair follicles on the scalp, increasing the ability for these follicles to produce new hair growth. As PRP treatment improves hair growth and activates an increased number of hairs on the scalp, it can reduce and reverse the signs of male pattern baldness. Though there’s no cure for male pattern baldness at this time, therapies such as PRP injections can help to stave off the signs of balding or thinning hair.

AD 32yo male before and after PRP x6 sessions Photos 14 months apart MGWatermark

6 sessions of PRP, 14 months

PRP can also be used with other hair procedures to maximize results, and typically patients will engage in  three sessions are scheduled 4-6 weeks apart. As all current non-invasive hair regrowth solutions require maintenance treatment, a natural hair loss pattern may resume after the one-year mark. In order to maximize the progress of hair growth, patients typically opt for maintenance PRP treatments either annually or semi-annually.

Does PRP Reverse Male Pattern Baldness?

PRP is designed to reverse the appearance of thinning hair, receding hairline, and other signs of hair loss. However, it’s best for patients who are experiencing signs of early male pattern baldness. PRP treatment is designed to help improve the health of hair follicles to increase hair growth, but if a hair follicle is already dormant, it is unlikely to be restored.

PRP hair restoration is often also associated with stem cell hair restoration too, since PRP can stimulate the hair follicles in order to achieve regrowth. The treatment procedure aims to grow thin hair into a restored thickness. As a result, the procedure is ideal for males who are experiencing thinning hair and starting hair loss – as opposed to males with complete bald areas. A good rule of thumb is to examine the texture of the hair: if the skin is smooth, it’s unlikely that PRP will cause the hair to regrow in those areas of the scalp.

PRP Hair treatment before and after photos

Male with PRP treatment for hair – 4 months

How does PRP work for male hair loss?

If you’re wondering how does PRP work for male pattern baldness, the process is quite simple. First, you’ll meet with Dr. Green for an initial consultation to discuss your medical history and examine your scalp and hair. Dr. Green will work with you to explore all possible hair growth treatments available, and together you’ll be able to develop a hair restoration treatment plan.

For the PRP treatment itself, you’ll come into the office and a small blood sample will be taken and placed into the centrifuge. As the centrifuge develops the platelet-rich plasma, a topical numbing cream will be applied to the scalp in order to minimize any possible discomfort. Once Dr. Green has prepared the PRP injections, she will carefully apply them to the most acute areas of thinning hair. The process in total takes around 30 minutes, and you can continue normal activity throughout the day. However, Dr. Green recommends that you avoid intensive exercise the day of the procedure, and that you wait to wash your hair until the next day.

What is the cost of PRP treatment for male hair restoration?

Treatment sessions and price range depending on how much restoration is needed. PRP procedures can also be combined with other procedures such as microneedling or hair transplant surgery. Every case of hair loss is unique, so it is best to review all of your medical history and options with Dr. Green at the time of your consultation.

Are there any potential side effects to PRP Treatment?

Some temporary inflammation or tenderness may occur after the injection procedure is complete, but this usually lasts less than 24 hours. Dr. Green administers all injections for PRP hair treatment, and the safety and satisfaction of her patients is her top priority.

48 year old treated with PRP for Hair Loss, after 4 treatments

What options are available for male hair loss treatment?

When it comes to male pattern hair loss treatment, there are a few options available. A common topical treatment is that of minoxidil (Rogaine), which requires daily use. The treatment is effective for hair regrowth, but can have unfortunate side effects, such as unwanted areas of hair growth and weight gain. Another common treatment is oral finasteride, but this also has a risk of unwanted side effects, including sexual dysfunction.

PRP treatment is considered to be an an innovative approach to treating male pattern baldness, as there is no downtime to the procedure and it has very mild side effects, if any. PRP treatment is also frequently paired with the use of hair transplant surgery in order to strengthen cells and increase hair growth.

If you’re hoping to delay male pattern baldness and reverse the signs of hair loss, PRP treatments may be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Dr. Michele Green is an expert in New York City in cosmetic dermatology, hair loss, PRP, and hair and skin rejuvenation. Contact Dr. Green to schedule a consultation today at (212) 535-3088 or contact her online.

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