Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a well-studied effective treatment for hair loss. This treatment involves a blood draw where we then isolate the growth factors from your own blood and process them to what we like to refer to as “liquid gold”. This PRP chock full of growth factors is injected into sites of hair loss to kickstart hair regrowth as well as thickening of existing hair follicles. PRP is a great treatment option for both men and women experiencing signs of hair loss who have not had enough success with minoxidil (Rogaine) alone. The growth factors present in PRP help rejuvenate hair follicles into re-entering the growth phase as well as increasing blood flow to the senescent hair follicles to give you a fuller head of hair.
The initial series of PRP is meant to build up the local concentration of growth factors to your specific areas of hair loss. This involves having PRP injections 4 times within the first 6 months (separated by about 5 weeks). Afterwards, you transition to maintenance dosing with injections once every 3 months to continue to support your hair follicles and foster hair regrowth and thickening. The appointments take about 30 minutes which starts with a blood draw, followed by us using a centrifuge to isolate the growth factors, and then doing a series of quick injections to the areas of hair loss. The injections take only about a minute or so in order to minimize discomfort and to allow you to continue with your day. There is virtually no downtime after PRP injections to the scalp and we have many patients come during their lunch break and go back to work the same day. The biggest restriction is we advise to avoid strenuous exercise for about 12 hours after the injections to avoid any risk of bleeding.
After PRP injections, the scalp can be slightly sore for the next 12 to 24 hours. This happens most commonly after the first injection of the series but only some patients choose to take Tylenol, if anything. The following injections in the series are typically much easier with minimal soreness for only the next 30-60 minutes. To help make the injections more comfortable, Dr. Bovenzi uses a cooling blower set to negative 30 degrees to distract your nerves as the injections are performed. The nerve fibers that transmit temperature are the same ones that transmit sharp sensations and pain. These C-type nerve fibers can be distracted with the cooling blower to give you the most comfort without having to use any sticky numbing cream on your scalp.
Patients typically see results at the 6 month time point, since it takes some time for hair to grow. Approximately 85% of patients have a large enough response to continue treatments for their maintenance sessions once every 3 months. The remainder of patients may be candidates for hair transplantation to achieve their hair restoration goals.
If you have had a hair transplant, PRP is still a useful tool to help prevent any future hair loss and maintain the follicles you have.
There are multiple types of hair loss, and not every type is best treated with PRP. The most common type of hair loss, called androgenic alopecia, is ideal for PRP therapy. However, other types of hair loss caused by autoimmune issues or scarring, are better treated with other modalities like steroids. This is why it’s important to meet with Dr. Bovenzi to find out the best treatment for your specific pattern of hair loss.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hair loss, please reach out at your earliest convenience to meet with our facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration expert, Dr. Bovenzi for a complimentary consultation.