PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for Hair Loss & Androgenetic Alopecia: Does it Work?
The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has increased the amount of different specialties that it is being used in, ranging from oral surgery to orthopedics to dermatology. The question is does it really work? Six new studies were reviewed in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology which supports that PRP injections really does work for androgenetic alopecia – also known as Male & Female Pattern Baldness.
We have so many patients, both male and female, who suffer from hair loss. Until recently the only available treatments have been topical Minoxidil (Rogaine) or oral medications. Many patients do not want to take oral medications. For male patients, Propecia has been prescribed for several years to increase hair growth in male-pattern hair loss. However, many men are wary of taking Propecia orally because of the possible adverse reaction of sexual side effects that have been associated with the medication. Similarly, women have been prescribed oral medications based on hormonal or anti-androgenic therapies. We utilize both oral contraceptives and Spirinolactone to female patients who are suffering from female- pattern hair loss. However, many women are not candidates for these oral therapies or do not wish to take oral medications for hair loss.
PRP injections to scalp for hair loss, 3 monthly treatments
That is why PRP injections have become so popular. They are a safe and natural way to increase hair loss in both men and women. A small amount of your own blood is removed the same way you would have a normal sample taken for a blood test. The sample is spun down in a special PRP system and the cells are spun to a high concentration. The highly concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected by Dr. Green directly into the areas of the scalp where you are suffering from hair loss. No sedation or pain medication is needed for these injections and the entire process takes 30 minutes without any “down time” and minimal discomfort.
In the six studies that were reviewed in the March 14th issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, a significant local increase in hair number was observed after PRP injection and there were both increased hair number (percentage of hair growth) and an increased thickness in the quality of the hairs. PRP is gaining the scientific proof that we have clinically observed in our office with excellent results in stimulating hair growth.
The science behind PRP is simple, PRP contains blood-derived growth factors which stimulates your own body to promote new cellular growth. PRP specific growth factors include TGF (Transforming Growth Factor), VGEF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), FGF (Fibroblast Growth Factor) and PDGF (Platelet-Derived Growth Factor), interleukins, macrophages, keratinocytes, endothelial cells, lymphocytes, mast cells, among other cells, which induce collagen and proteoglycan synthesis for healthy cell production and repair of damaged tissues. These growth factors are what influence hair growth and restore hair follicles into an active growth phase.
Generally three sessions of PRP are needed, which are spaced approximately one month apart and Dr. Green personally performs all consultations and injections in her private Upper East Side, New York City office. Many patients do not want hair transplant surgery or pills to stimulate hair growth. If you are looking for a natural nonsurgical way to combat hair thinning and stimulate hair growth then PRP treatment might be the right choice for you.