Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to improve collagen production in the skin of the face for a more youthful appearance. It was a technique used to combat the manifestations of aging like wrinkling. The term Vampire Facial actually makes sense since the procedure relies on extracting platelet-rich plasma from blood to give a young and youthful appearance.
While PRP treatment has been in practice for over 30 years, it’s now being used to treat hair loss too. The same concept of using plasma rich platelets extracted from the blood applies, but instead of injecting PRP into the face or collagen-rich areas like ligaments, it will be injected into the scalp.
The Process of Using PRP as Hair Loss Treatment
First of all, blood will need to be drawn so that PRP can be extracted from it. You won’t be receiving someone else’s blood so the blood will have to be extracted from you, usually from your arm. It’s quite simple and you’ll only feel a slight prick as the needle pierces your skin. It’s the same as drawing blood for any other blood test you might have had in your life. You can apply ice to the site where the blood was drawn afterward to decrease pain, but that probably won’t be necessary.
Once your blood is drawn, it’ll be put in a centrifuge. A centrifuge is a machine that spins really fast in order to separate the different components of blood. Blood has many elements including red blood cells, white blood plasma, and plasma which contains the platelets. They’re all mixed together though, so a centrifuge will separate them so PRP can be extracted for use.
PRP is inserted in a syringe to be injected into your scalp at the level of hair follicles. PRP should encourage hair growth by stimulating your hair follicles and improving their health. While it may seem like injecting PRP into your scalp would take a long time, it actually takes less than 30 minutes most of the time.
After your session is over you should follow your doctor’s instructions on what to do for the following few days. Some doctors recommend that their patients take a hot shower to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, but you should still consult your own doctor about this first.
Number of Treatments
PRP therapy for hair loss isn’t a onetime thing. You will need a PRP session every 3-4 weeks so basically once a month for 4-6 months. After the first 6 months are over, you’ll need a session every 3-4 months. So, one session per month for 4-6 months, and one session every 3-4 months.
Consistency is very important so make sure you don’t skip any of your scheduled appointments. You most likely won’t see results for the first few weeks. Results will only become noticeable after 2-3 months so you’ll need to have at least 3 sessions first.
Candidates for PRP
Almost everyone with hair loss qualifies as a candidate for PRP. Androgenic hair loss like male pattern baldness will particularly benefit from PRP therapy. For men, this involves hair loss at the top of the head while for women it usually involves hair loss at the back of the head. Some say that the effects of PRP in restoring hair loss are most prominent in those in the early stages of hair loss, but there’s no clear cut-off. In fact, people in various stages have benefitted from the procedure.
PRP Side Effects
Rest assured that there’s no way you can get a disease transmitted through blood via PRP. This includes diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. You will be receiving your own blood so the risk of transmission from someone else is zero.
PRP isn’t free of side effects though. Your scalp might end up being infected if it wasn’t properly cleaned before the procedure or aseptic techniques weren’t followed. Other side effects include injury to nerves or blood vessels as well as the formation of scar tissue.
If you had a previous reaction to anesthesia you should inform your doctor. Anesthesia is involved when PRP is injected into your scalp and if you’re allergic to it then this could lead to a serious reaction.
Reasons You Might Not Receive PRP
PRP works for almost anyone with hair loss including men and women. It’s a simple procedure with very few risks and side effects. Unfortunately, certain diseases or medications might make your doctor recommend that you do not receive PRP.
Blood thinners, heavy smoking, and alcohol or drug abuse will likely interfere with your benefit from PRP and your doctor will recommend against PRP if your medical history involves these things. This will come down to your doctor’s assessment so make sure to tell the truth when answering his or her questions.
Some diseases that have an impact on your blood and plasma will make hair restoration with PRP almost impossible. In such cases, you might be rejected from PRP treatment altogether. These diseases include cancer, serious infections, chronic liver or kidney disease, hypofibrinogenemia, platelet dysfunction, low platelets, thyroid disease, and systemic diseases.
The price of PRP varies according to where you’ll be getting it, the equipment, and the experience of your physician. A single injection usually costs at least $400 so you can expect to pay about $2,000 for the first few months of PRP.
PRP is a great solution for those suffering from hair loss especially considering how it’s minimally invasive. Only blood is drawn from your arm and then injected into your scalp. It’s also a suitable option for both men and women suffering from baldness or hair thinning.