Platelet-Rich Plasma

RWhat Is PRP?

The use of PRP is a great treatment option for hair loss that has been gaining significant popularity around the world in the last few years.  The procedure has become ubiquitous as part of hair loss therapy because it has a number of scientifically based articles showing its efficacy in increasing hair count, hair thickness, and the growth phase of the hair cycle.

The PRP Preparation Process

The procedure involves a careful process in which PRP is obtained from the patient, beginning with a standard blood draw from the patient’s arm.  The tube of blood is then put into a machine called a centrifuge, which spins the blood tube to separate out the red blood cells from the plasma.   The plasma, which is referred to commonly as “liquid gold” is the the target of our harvest.  The plasma, rich in platelets, is then injected directly into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles.

The meticulously done process involves injections across the scalp, approximately at every half inch.  over the area of thinning hair.  Typically the patient can expect the entire procedure takes less than a half hour.

Anyone that is experiencing hair loss can consider this procedure, but the earlier the hair loss, the better the patient tends to respond to the procedure. PRP is best used for patients with androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the head. In women, this might look like a widening part with normal hair thickness at the back of the head.

Risks of PRP Treatments

Obtaining a blood draw from the patient may sound scary, but actually, for the most part there is no real risk associated with PRP.  Patients can often get the injections without any numbing as there is minimal discomfort.  However, to make the experience more tolerable, Dr. Dishani uses a carefully placed nerve block on the scalp so that the patient can be comfortable.  The office also employs the use of ice packs to minimize pain as well as a specialized vibrating tool to ease patient experience.  In the event there is any discomfort, Tylenol after the procedure is also recommended. Bruising can occur but usually resolves within a week or two.

There is minimal downtime and the patient can usually resume usual activity.   We recommend a warm shower in the evening or the next day to enhance blood flow and circulation through out the scalp.  We also advise going a day or two without any routine hair care.

PRP Treatment Results

For best results, it is best to have some consistency with the PRP hair loss treatments.  Treatments are typically performed once a month for the first three months.  And then further treatment may be indicated, depending on the individual patient’s response.  Dr. Dishani recommends at least three treatments, one month apart to see changes.  “Its like taking care of your lawn –  experts recommend that it is done in three phases as well, ” says Dr. Dishani.  “We apply the PRP which acts as fertilizer for the scalp.”  The first result is usually a noticeable decrease in hair shedding. Then there is early regrowth and increased length of hair afterwards.  Maintaining these results usually calls for more than one treatment.

The first result that patients usually note is decreased hair shedding, followed by early regrowth and increased length of hair. The general consensus is that receiving treatments every six months to a year on a long-term basis are optimal for continuing to stimulate the growth factors and stem cells that are associated with regrowth and stop hair from falling out.  “As we age, our hair does naturally become thinner, so we have to keep in mind that the turntable is always moving in the opposite direction, even whilst we are improving a patient’s overall hair growth. ”

“As a physician, I believe that PRP should be part of multifaceted regimen to treat hair loss and thinning.  There are factors that may be able to be identified on bloodwork and treated together with PRP and other prescription therapy.”