Hair loss can affect both men and women of all ages, for a number of reasons, such as health conditions, medical treatments, genetic heritage, or lifestyle effects.
Thankfully, these days there are many options available that can help hair loss sufferers to restore thicker, fuller hair or combat baldness patterns. In recent years, hair transplants have become very popular – thanks to endorsements from high profile celebrities, as well as improvements in technology and affordability.
One lesser-known hair loss treatment option that’s increasing in popularity and effectiveness is a procedure known as PRP, or Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy.
The use of blood plasma has had significant coverage in the news recently, as scientists investigate its properties as a potential treatment for those suffering from Covid-19. The theory is that plasma from those who have recovered from the virus could contain the antibodies that would help other sufferers recover.
It’s hoped that blood plasma could provide a much-needed and timely treatment to help Covid-19 patients, but how might plasma and particularly PRP Therapy help with hair loss?
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
To obtain Platelet-Rich Plasma, blood is taken from a patient and then treated to separate the plasma that contains the platelets using a centrifugal machine. This ‘platelet-rich’ plasma (PRP) is then injected into the area where improved healing or growth is required, eg the scalp.
Clinical studies have shown that the high concentration of platelets promotes faster rates of healing and encourages higher levels of growth. The PRP procedure has been used in clinical treatments for many years in various aspects of healthcare, originally used for blood disorders and facial surgery in the 1970s and 1980s.
PRP is also the procedure behind the so-called Vampire Facial that was popularised by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, as well as being the sports injury treatment of choice for prominent athletes like Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods.
In recent years, PRP has become popular as an effective hair loss treatment due to its effects in stimulating hair growth, rejuvenating hair follicles and extending the growth cycle of individual hairs, so that hair falls out less frequently and looks thicker for longer.
The PRP Procedure
PRP Therapy treatments are usually administered in short sessions in a day clinic, over the course of a few weeks. The precise details of how long the treatments will take and how often they are required vary depending on individual requirements. A consultation with a hair loss specialist will help you to understand what would be required in your particular circumstances.
PRP hair loss treatments require little or no recovery time, and because the procedure uses your own blood, there tends to be few side-effects or complications. These aspects make PRP a viable option for people who may not be suitable for more extensive hair restoration surgery, such as a hair transplant.
When to consider Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP essentially helps with hair loss issues in three ways: it stimulates new hair growth; it extends the growth cycle of the hair; and encourages thicker hair follicles.
So, it can be considered as an option to treat advanced baldness and thinning patches, as well as to boost the thickness of existing hair. It has proven to be particularly effective in treating male pattern baldness.
PRP is also considered to be effective in preventing hair loss or further baldness patterns. As such, it can be a good option to consider in the early stages of hair loss or at the first signs of thinning, as well as in advance of some medical treatments that can affect hair growth.
So, whether you have relatively new hair loss concern or longer-term issues, or even if you are concerned about future hair loss, PRP may be able to prevent further losses, thicken your current hair, and encourage new growth.
Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy right for you?
Although PRP procedures are far less invasive than hair transplants, they are still a medical procedure. Any considerations for this type of therapy must be done in partnership with a trained medical professional. If you are curious about how PRP might be a solution for your hair loss concerns, you can book a consultation with a reputable trichologist or hair clinic, who will explain its effectiveness for your individual circumstances, and whether it is a suitable option.
Although the science behind Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy is still in its early stages, many clinicians and patients have seen excellent results from this procedure. So, if hair loss has become a serious concern for you, it can be well worth considering PRP as one of the possible options available for rejuvenating your scalp and hair, and restoring new growth and thickness.