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PRP for Hair Restoration

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that about 30 million women in the U.S. and 50 million men have hereditary hair loss. And that doesn’t include the millions of women struggling with thinning hair due to hormonal changes in pregnancy and menopause, or due to stress and other conditions. Many are not good candidates for hair transplant surgery because in women the hair thins all over, unlike men who lose hair on the back of the head and at the temples.

Why platelets?

Blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. While platelets are commonly associated with blood clotting, they also serve as a natural repository for numerous biologically active proteins known as growth factors. These growth factors are pivotal in the processes of healing and tissue restoration. In the presence of an injury or inflammation, platelets rush to the affected area to halt bleeding and facilitate the recovery of damaged tissues.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

Platelet-rich plasma is a solution made by concentrating platelets and growth factors in the blood to harness their healing abilities and regenerative properties.

What are some expected benefits and considerations?

  • It stimulates hair regrowth in areas of thinning and miniaturized hair.
  • It may increase hair thickness and overall hair density.
  • It typically produces gradual and natural looking improvements in hair quality and quantity.
  • Results are often influenced by the underlying cause and stage of the hair loss.
  • Treatments are minimally invasive.
  • Effectiveness varies among individuals
  • Periodic maintenance treatments may be needed to retain results.
  • Rains may recommend combining PRP treatments with topical medications like Minoxidil or taking supplements such as Nutrafol to enhance results.

How is PRP used in hair restoration?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for hair restoration is primarily used to address specific conditions that lead to hair thinning or hair loss. While it may not be effective for all types of hair loss, PRP can be beneficial for the following conditions:

  • Androgenetic Alopecia (Male and Female Pattern Baldness): PRP is commonly used to treat androgenetic alopecia, the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. It tends to be most effective when the hair loss is in its early stages and there is still some hair remaining. PRP can help stimulate dormant hair follicles and promote regrowth in these cases. However, it cannot fix dead hair follicles.
  • Alopecia Areata: This autoimmune condition results in patchy hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. While PRP may not fully restore hair in severe cases, it can be considered as a complementary treatment to stimulate hair regrowth in conjunction with other therapies.
  • Telogen Effluvium: This condition is characterized by excessive shedding of hair due to various factors like stress, illness, hormonal changes, or certain medications. PRP may help accelerate the regrowth of hair in individuals with telogen effluvium by promoting a more rapid transition from the resting phase (telogen) to the growing phase (anagen) of the hair cycle.
  • Traction Alopecia: Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by excessive pulling or tension on the hair, often due to tight hairstyles like braids or ponytails. PRP can aid in the healing and regeneration of hair follicles in affected areas.
  • Diffuse Thinning: PRP can be beneficial for individuals experiencing diffuse thinning of hair, where the hair becomes progressively finer and less dense. It may improve hair thickness and overall hair quality in such cases.
  • Postpartum Hair Loss: After pregnancy, some women experience temporary hair loss. PRP can help accelerate the regrowth of hair in these situations.

What is the PRP Process?

  • Blood collection: A small blood sample is taken from the patient’s arm.
  • Blood separation: The sample is put in a centrifuge machine and spun at high speed to separate the different blood components – red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma. Plasma is rich in platelets which contain proteins and growth factors that play a crucial role in tissue regeneration.
  • Platelet Activation: Before injection, the concentrated plasma is activated to release the growth factors and proteins.
  • Injection into the scalp: Then using very fine needles, it is carefully injected into the areas of concern where the hair is thinning and has been lost. PRP for hair restoration is typically done in a series of treatments usually spaced several weeks apart.

Contact Dr. Michael Rains to schedule a consultation to determine if PRP is a suitable treatment option for your specific condition and to discuss realistic expectations regarding the outcomes.

Dr. Michael Rains is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Beacon Dermatology in Asheville, North Carolina. His approach to aesthetic and dermatological treatments are holistically focused on revealing and enhancing a patient’s natural beauty. Dr. Rains is known for his caring and compassionate approach to medicine, listening to his patients’ concerns and goals and ensuring they receive excellent care and education to ensure they can make informed decisions about their treatments.

At a Glance

Michael Rains, MD, FAAD

  • Board certified in dermatology
  • Specializing in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology
  • Author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and previous adjunct faculty at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Learn more

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