Innovations in Hair Restoration
Hair loss is a common problem affecting both men and women today. The problem has been traditionally treated with medications or surgical hair transplant procedures that restore a fuller head of hair. However, an innovative approach to hair restoration using cells from the patient’s own blood is now being used by some physicians with excellent results.
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma, which is a concentrated portion of blood plasma that aids in wound healing. PRP has been approved by the FDA for advanced wound healing and has been used in this capacity for more than 30 years. It has also been used as a medical treatment in sports medicine, oral surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery, Injections of PRP to turn back signs of aging on the face, known as a “vampire facial” have been made popular by celebrities like Kim Kardashian that swear by the procedure.
PRP and Hair Loss
In preliminary studies, PRP has also been shown to stimulate hair follicles, leading to regrowth of hair in some patients suffering from androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. Contrary to the name, women can also suffer from androgenic alopecia, but the patterns of hair loss differ somewhat between men and women.
While PRP is a relatively new option in hair restoration, it has shown promise in patients that have not responded to other types of hair loss treatments. PRP may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments, including hair transplants, to enhance the results of those procedures. The treatment works best on patients with areas of thinning hair and is not recommended for those that have experienced complete hair loss.
While PRP is still in the very preliminary phases in treating hair loss, early studies on PRP as a hair restoration treatment have been promising. A study conducted in 2012 in the International Journal of Trichology found that PRP treatments were a “safe, cheap and non-allergenic” treatment that could be used in combination with other hair restoration procedures. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery found PRP therapy to be a “simple, cost-effective and feasible treatment option for androgenic alopecia.”
About the Procedure
PRP is a non-surgical option for those wanting an effective hair restoration treatment. The procedure begins with a common blood draw from the patient’s arm. The blood is placed into a centrifuge to separate the PRP from the rest of the blood. The PRP is then injected into areas of the scalp, using a local anesthetic first to ensure patient comfort during the procedure. PRP treatments usually take around 45-60 minutes to complete. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, most patients are able to return to regular activities as soon as treatment is completed. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided until at least the day after treatment. Patients will require more than one PRP treatment session to achieve the best results. We typically recommend 3-4 treatments spaced approximately 1-2 months apart. Results of PRP usually start to become evident 3-6 months after the first procedure. Once results are achieved, you will need to schedule additional PRP treatments once or twice a year to maintain positive results.
PRP is a revolutionary option for those looking to restore a fuller head of hair. If you are interested in learning more about PRP, contact Madnani Facial Plastics at 212-203-8591 or 631-318-4008 to schedule your private consultation with Dr. Madnani today.