Hair Restoration with PRP
When human skin is wounded, platelets play a magical role in clotting the blood and stopping the bleeding. But there’s more to these tiny healing powerhouses than most people know. Platelets are also powerful growth facilitators, which aids in the wound-healing process.
If you follow football, you’ve heard of players using concentrated blood platelets to speed healing after injury or surgery. Now, Dr. Behr puts that healing power to work restoring patients’ thinning hair in a procedure known as hair restoration with platelet-rich plasma. This isn’t some stopgap measure, either. This program helps our patients stem their hair loss and start regrowing hair.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrated healing workhorse. It consists of a high concentration of blood platelets, along with white blood cells and plasma. PRP is what remains when you put a sample of blood in a centrifuge and removal all the red blood cells.
PRP also has seven growth factors. Growth factors are messengers in the body, signaling cells to perform various functions. When healing a wound, growth factors are important to initiate new tissue growth. Recent studies on hair loss have shown that growth factors can help hair follicles that have become inactive move back into growth phase again.
Why is my hair thinning?
Most men (and many women) have some degree of hair thinning as they age. This isn’t necessarily male pattern balding; it’s just age. By the age of 50, 85 percent of men have noticeably thinning hair.
It’s all to do with the human hair growth cycle, which consists of three phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting/shedding phase). When we’re young our hair follicles spend more time in the anagen cycle, growing hair. Due to aging or genetic determinants, our hair follicles begin to spend more time in the telogen/resting phase. This makes the hair thin because when a follicle sheds a hair, it doesn’t immediately jump back into the anagen phase and start growing a new hair. For some people, more and more follicles enter the resting phase and stay there.
How is PRP used for hair restoration?
Platelet-rich plasma has been found to be effective in getting resting hair follicles to perk back up and begin producing hair again. It has to do with the healing mechanisms and growth factors in PRP. For hair restoration, PRP is injected in dozens of injections across the scalp where the hair is thinning. The PRP gets to work and its growth facilitators stimulate those resting hair follicles, kick starting them to return to the anagen phase and start growing hair. As more follicles exit the resting stage, shedding decreases, and thinning areas begin to fill back in.
How is PRP extracted?
Creating PRP is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. We take a small blood sample, similar to what you’d give for a routine blood test. We then place the blood in a centrifuge to isolate the red blood cells. Those are removed and what you have left is platelet-rich plasma. It earns that title because PRP has four times the number of platelets, making it a healing/growing powerhouse.
How is the PRP injected into the scalp?
Once she has the PRP, Dr. Behr injects it back into the patient’s scalp using a special syringe with three needles. She injects the PRP at approximate one-half inch intervals across the area with thinning hair. Because the injections are at such a shallow level, most patients don’t feel the need for numbing cream, but we can provide that beforehand if you’d like.
How long will it take to start growing hair?
Most patients first notice decreased hair shedding. From there, real growth usually is noticeable after the first two to three months. Remember, the follicles have to reawaken and move out of the telogen phase. This isn’t an immediate transition.
Would I be a good candidate for hair restoration with PRP?
If you are experiencing hair loss, you’re basically a good candidate for PRP hair restoration with Dr. Behr. However, the growth factors in the PRP work best when awakening dormant hair follicles. These hair follicles are still healthy and capable of growing hair, but they are spending more and more time in dormant phase. They’re sleeping, but they’re not dead, and that’s important for regrowing hair. That’s why PRP hair restoration works best when the patient notices early hair loss. Clinically, this is known as androgenic alopecia.
PRP works well for both men and women, especially those in the early stages of hair loss.
How many PRP hair restoration sessions will I need?
Dr. Behr recommends one PRP treatment per month for three to four months, with follow-up treatments every three to six months, depending of the patient’s response to treatment. For most patients with thinning hair or pattern baldness, this is viewed as an ongoing maintenance program to overcome the tendency for the hair follicles to become dormant.
Is there recovery after a PRP session?
There isn’t really any recovery. You may take an over-the-counter pain medication if you feel any soreness, but you can shower and wash your hair immediately. We usually recommend holding off one to two days with typical hair maintenance, such as blow drying, coloring, curling, etc.
Are there risks with hair restoration with PRP?
Remember that the platelet-rich plasma is your blood with the red blood cells removed. That means you won’t have a reaction to it when it is injected back into your scalp to encourage hair growth. This procedure is safe and has little risk. Some patients say their scalp feels “tight” after their injections, but that usually passes within a day.
Is my hair growth with PRP permanent?
The hair you grow is for the duration. Of course, that doesn’t mean the same follicles will forevermore stay in the growth cycle. They can still go dormant again. That’s why Dr. Behr recommends that these treatments be thought of as hair maintenance.
Schedule A Consultation
To find out if you are a good candidate for Hair Restoration with PRP, call our office in Fresno CA to schedule a consultation at (559) 435-7546.