In this article, we will take a look at:
- What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy?
- Eligibility for PRP therapy
- PRP therapy procedure
- Risks and side effects of PRP therapy
- Advantages of PRP therapy
- Number of sessions required for PRP therapy
- Recovery from PRP therapy
- Pre & post-treatment guidelines for PRP therapy
- Cost of PRP therapy in India
- More Hair Treatment Related Topics
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PRP Therapy Overview
Our blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Plasma, is the fluid part of the blood which suspends and carries blood cells and nutrients throughout the body. Platelets are tiny cells in the blood which rush to any site of injury, when bleeding occurs, to plug and form a clot and repair the damage. Platelets are also known to be a reservoir of growth factors that stimulate tissue recovery by increasing blood flow and cytokines. They are known to be responsible for stimulating and enhancing hair follicle function.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is processed blood plasma, a concentration of plasma with platelets from which red blood cells and white blood cells are removed. This concentration of PRP taken from the patient’s own blood is injected into the scalp to promote hair growth. The scalp is that the skin that covers the top part of your head.
Am I eligible for Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy?
You are eligible for PRP therapy if:
- you are not completely bald and have low-density hair
- you do not smoke heavily or drink alcohol frequently
- you do not indulge in drugs usage
- you do not take blood thinners
- you do not suffer from medical conditions such as chronic skin or liver disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, blood disorders such as platelet dysfunction syndrome, thrombocytopenia, hypofibrinogenemia, hemodynamic instability
The procedure of PRP Therapy for Hair
At the outset, the doctor will discuss at length with you about your medical history, including your family history, your nutrition, medications you take (including vitamins), your hair care regimen, recent surgeries and a detailed history of your hair loss situation. The doctor will also perform a general physical examination. Depending on your medical condition, you may have to undergo certain medical tests, such as blood tests, or a scalp biopsy to determine your eligibility for PRP hair therapy.
Once you are okayed for PRP hair therapy, you will be given certain guidelines to follow, before the actual procedure.
Prior to each session of the therapy, approximately 30 ml or 60 ml of blood will be drawn from you depending on the size of the area to be treated.
Extraction of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) from the blood
Our blood contains:
- White Blood Corpuscles (WBCs) - involved in protecting the body against infectious diseases and foreign invaders
- Red Blood Cells (RBCs) - which carry oxygen to different parts of the body
- Platelets - involved in clotting and repairing injuries
- Plasma - fluid which carries nutrients and vitamins throughout the body.
The blood drawn from your system, before each session, is spun in a centrifuge, a machine used by scientists to isolate the solids from the liquids in any solution. Due to the centrifugal force, the blood spins very rapidly in the centrifuge causing the heaviest particles in the blood, i.e., the red blood cells to fall to the bottom of the vial. Sitting just above the layer of red blood cells are the white blood cells and platelets with plasma. Atop this layer, rests a clear solution of blood plasma.
The clear blood plasma or the platelet-poor plasma (PPP) is removed. Next, again through centrifuging, the white blood cells are separated from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
The platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is what is used for the therapy.
Typically, 8 ml - 12 ml of injectable PRP is considered as the optimum volume for injecting into the scalp.
The PRP Procedure
- The doctor marks out the area on your scalp where hair needs to be restored.
- The marked area on your head is anesthetized using a local anesthesia.
- A disinfectant is applied on the area which is to be treated.
- The PRP is injected into the deeper layers of your scalp.
- The site is then cleaned thoroughly.
Most of the doctors also perform a procedure called micro needling along with PRP Hair Therapy.
A derma roller, or mesogun, or an insulin syringe is used to create micro holes on the scalp.
These controlled micro-injuries to the scalp skin triggers the skin’s repair process by making it naturally produce collagen and elastin, thereby creating an ideal environment for your own natural hair to regrow. The microchannels created by the injuries aid the quick absorption of the injected Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and other topical products used on the scalp. The injuries induce the platelets to release growth factors at the injury site, and “awaken” dormant hair follicles to begin the production of new hair.
Are there any risks or side effects of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair?
You may experience tenderness and soreness, minimal pain, and pinpoint bleeding in the areas where injections were delivered. You may also experience a feeling of ‘tightness’ on your scalp for a day after the procedure. A few patients also complain of a headache for a day post the procedure.
What are the advantages of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair?
The advantages of PRP therapy for hair include:
- Very minimal side-effects limited to soreness and redness of skin for a day or two.
- Very less recovery time. The patient can continue with his/her daily tasks right after the procedure.
- Minimally invasive procedure requiring only the injections.
- The treatment process is quick and is usually over within 60 mins to 90 mins.
How many sessions of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair are required to produce desired results?
The effects of a full round of PRP treatment (which may consist of one to eight sessions) may last up to 12 months. Therefore, the procedure can be repeated every year or even before that time without any side effects.
How long will it take to recover from Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair?
There is hardly any downtime after a PRP hair procedure. The patient can get back to his/her regular routine right after the procedure.
Are there any pre and post-treatment guidelines for Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair?
- The doctor may advise you to stop taking vitamins, (or multivitamins), blood thinners and other contraindicated medicines (if you take any) for this procedure at least a week prior to the procedure.
- You need to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol and also stop using hair products at least three days before the procedure.
- Wash your hair the morning of the PRP session or the day before the PRP session.
- The doctor may also recommend you to increase the intake of water a day before the procedure
- Post the procedure (a day or two after) you may be advised to shampoo your hair.
- You need to avoid certain medications, especially anti-inflammatory medications, for at least 3 - 7 days after the procedure as anti-inflammatory medications prevent inflammation, which is essentially required for the platelets to perform their function of stimulating hair growth.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, as these habits can interfere with the healing process.
- Avoid venturing out in direct sunlight. Wear a hat to protect your scalp from direct sun rays.
- If you wish to color your hair, you can do so after 3 days of the procedure.
PRP hair therapy is not suitable for heavy smokers, drinkers, and those who take drugs.
What is the cost of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair in India?
Depending on the lab equipment being used to obtain PRP, the cost per session (only therapy) in India can vary between Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 30,000.
Are the results of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair permanent?
A full round of PRP hair therapy (which can consist of 3 to 4 sessions) can make your hair thick, increase hair growth, and arrest hair loss for sometime. However, the treatment needs to be repeated yearly for maintaining good results.
More Hair Treatment Related Topics
- Hair Fall Treatment Procedures
- Hair Transplantation Procedures Overview
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- Scalp Reduction Surgery
- Artificial/Synthetic Hair Implant
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Hair Growth
- Dhurat R, Sukesh M. Principles and methods of preparation of platelet-rich plasma: A review and author′s perspective [Internet]. 2018 [cited 19 March 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338460/
- Singhal P, Agarwal S, Dhot P, Sayal S. Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in treatment of androgenic alopecia [Internet]. 2018 [cited 19 March 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562137/
- Cervelli V, Garcovich S, Bielli A, Cervelli G, Curcio B, Scioli M et al. The Effect of Autologous Activated Platelet Rich Plasma (AA-PRP) Injection on Pattern Hair Loss: Clinical and Histomorphometric Evaluation [Internet]. 2018 [cited 20 March 2018]. Available from: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/760709/abs/
- Gkini M, Kouskoukis A, Tripsianis G, Rigopoulos D, Kouskoukis K. Study of platelet-rich plasma injections in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia through a one-year period [Internet]. 2018 [cited 20 March 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338465/
- Garg S, Manchanda S., Platelet-rich plasma—an ‘Elixir’ for treatment of alopecia: personal experience on 117 patients with review of literature [Internet]. 2018 [cited 20 March 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539389/
- `Khatu S, More Y, Gokhale N, Chavhan D, Bendsure N. Platelet-rich plasma in androgenic alopecia: Myth or an effective tool [Internet]. 2018 [cited 20 March 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4134641/
Questions answered by trusted doctors
Did you know?
PRP is not a new technique as is commonly touted
PRP was first developed in the 1970s, and used for the first time in Italy in 1987, in an open heart surgery procedure. Its popularity gained momentum from the mid 1990s and since then it has been used across different medical fields such as dermatology (especially for hairloss treatment), cosmetic surgery, dentistry, sports medicine and pain management.
Everyday hair fall
Do you ever see a lot of hair in the drain after showering? That’s normal–we shed between 40 and 150 strands of hair a day.
PRP treatment for youthful looks - also known as "Dracula Facelift"
PRP treatment on the face, popularly known as "Vampire Facelift" or “Dracula facelift”, is a procedure that involves withdrawing a patient's blood, processing it in the lab to isolate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP), then re-injecting on marked areas on the face to erase wrinkles and create a more youthful look.
The hair on our heads is composed of: 50 percent carbon, 21 percent oxygen, 17 percent nitrogen, 6 percent hydrogen, and 5 percent sulphur.
PRP treatment has been observed to accelerate healing
An advantage of PRP is, that it is prepared from patient’s own blood and therefore there are no important side effects caused by PRP. Infact it has been observed since PRP has high rates of platelets and growth factors it accelerates wound healing in numerous tissues.
It is normal to lose a few hairs everyday
How much hair do we have on our scalp? More than you think. The average person has 100,000 - 150,000 strands of hair on her head (so don’t worry too much if you lost 40 - 150 hairs today while showering).
Scalp reduction surgery also known as scalp lifting, as the name itself suggests, is a surgery which removes parts of the scalp affected by alopecia.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), as opposed to the FUT procedure, is a hair transplant method in which the doctor extracts the follicular units of hair, from the donor area of your head, one by one.
Hair transplantation is a surgical method, which is used to treat varying levels of alopecia in men and women. Know more about Hair Transplant, Alopecia, Hair fall treatment and other useful facts, links and videos on Health-Wiki | Practo