Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Hair Restoration
At Blume Skin & Body, we have been performing PRP for hair loss as a proactive therapeutic option for male and female patients experiencing hair loss. PRP is an exciting non-surgical therapeutic option for patients who wish to stimulate the hair follicles for improved hair regrowth.
Recent scientific research and technology provides the medical community with new understandings of wound and tissue healing. As a result of these scientific studies, we recognize PRP is an all-natural autologous medical procedure performed in physicians’ offices for scalp, skin, and hair stimulation. The theory for hair growth is that the patients’ platelets are injected deep into the scalp to the depth of the hair follicles. The platelets are thought to stimulate the dermal papilla cells that contribute to improved hair growth.
In a recent study published in Dermatologic Surgery, physicians in Korea published data supporting the clinical application of PRP in hair restoration.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport, MD, PA
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
Human blood contains mesenchymal stem cells, and autologous blood products that contain essential and specific growth factors that assist in tissue regeneration and healing. Published medical literature from Europe and the United States confirms the safety and use of PRP therapy. It has been used as a medial adjunct therapy for over two decades for skin and wound healing. PRP therapy has established itself to be effective as a medical treatment modality in the specialty fields of oral surgery, neurosurgery, plastic and cosmetic surgery, sports medicine and orthopedics. It has been used extensively in these specialties for the last twenty years with generally positive outcomes and success. In the field of hair restoration, evidence supports PRP therapy as a promising treatment option to promote hair growth. No claim can be made of its efficacy. But it is a promising non-surgical therapeutic option for those patients with hair loss.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM THE PROCEDURE?
Blood is drawn in our office as though you are having routine blood testing at your primary care physician’s office. The blood is spun in a centrifuge and the PRP is separated and removed from the rest of the blood.
The PRP is taken from your body and is specially prepared by spinning down the blood cells to a high concentration. We use the Eclipse Gold PRP System. It is a closed sterile system and the platelets are concentrated to 3X the normal blood values. The system eliminates granulocytes which hurts tissue regeneration and wound healing. The highly concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into the scalp. The patient’s hair is then cleansed and the patient may drive home without any assistance. No sedation or any medication is given during the procedure to inhibit the ability to drive or use machinery.
PRP contains many growth factors that stimulate the hair follicle’s growth. PRP can be used preoperatively, intraoperatively, or post operatively. Some patient’s chose to have PRP performed every three (3) to four (4) months as early data suggests regular or semiannual PRP treatments that may stimulate hair growth.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport, MD, PA
THE SCIENCE OF PRP
PRP contains special cells called Platelets, that can theoretically cause growth of the hair follicles by stimulating the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicle. These special Platelet cells promote healing, accelerates the rate and degree of tissue healing and regeneration, responds to injury, and formation of new cellular growth. The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase.
Inside the Platelets are many intracellular structures such as glycogen, lysosomes and alpha granules. These granules within the PRP contain clotting and growth factors that are eventually released during the healing and repair process.
PRP specific cells that causes hair growth include:
Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta (TGF-b)—promotes growth of matrix between cells, bone metabolism;
Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)—promotes blood vessel growth, cell replication, skin formation;
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)—promotes blood vessel formation;
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)—promotes cell growth and differentiation, blood vessel formation, collagen formation;
Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2)—promotes growth of specialized cells and blood vessel formation; and,
Insulin Like Growth Factor – (IGF)—a regulator of normal physiology in nearly every type of cell in the body.
WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE PRP HAIR TREATMENT?
While PRP treatment for hair loss can be highly effective, it’s not the right solution for everyone. Patients with a history of heavy smoking, drug and alcohol use, as well as those with certain diagnoses typically won’t be a good fit. These medical diagnoses include platelet dysfunction syndromes, thrombocytopenias, hypofibrinogenaemia, hemodynamic instability, sepsis, acute and chronic Infections, chronic liver disease, anti-coagulation therapy, chronic skin diseases or cancer, metabolic and systemic disorders.
Keep in mind, you must have enough donor hair that can be relocated to thinning scalp areas. Ideally, the best candidates for hair regrowth injections are men with five-plus years of male pattern baldness — or men or women who have lost hair due to trauma, burns or cosmetic procedures such as face lifts. Interested in learning more about hair restoration in Scottsdale to see if it’s the right fit for you? Check out our FAQ page or reach out today.