PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a nonsurgical treatment for hair-loss in which platelets are extracted from blood and are injected into areas with thinning hair on the scalp. PRP therapy is still not FDA-approved as hair loss treatment, however, the studies done on PRP have found it to be safe and effective for both age-related hair loss and pattern baldness. It is considered an inexpensive, and less invasive treatment option to surgery. PRP stimulates the hair follicles, slows down hair loss and helps in new hair growth.
During PRP treatment, platelets are centrifuged from your blood and separated to concentrate the growth factors. After injecting into scalp, PRP increases the blood flow to hair follicles and stimulates the growth of new and dormant follicles. It lengthens the anagen (active) phase of the hair cycle resulting in increased number of hair follicles and increased thickness of the hair shaft.”
Pros and Cons of PRP therapy for hair loss?
- PRP therapy is nonsurgical and safe with no downtime. The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes.
- Both men and women respond well to PRP treatment in terms of increased hair thickness and growth
- Primary objective of the PRP therapy is to slow down or stop the progression of hair loss.
- This treatment is inexpensive as compared to hair transplant surgery.
- Results are temporary. Up to six treatments may be required spaced 4-6 weeks apart, and maintenance treatments every few months thereafter.
- PRP results depend on the extent and duration of hair loss. The earlier PRP is administered after hair loss onset the better. People with long standing baldness and large areas of baldness don’t usually get good results in terms of hair regrowth, but PRP can still be used to stop further progression of hair loss.
- PRP does not work in 100% of patients.
What is androgenetic alopecia?
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of progressive hair loss. It is also known as male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness, or just common baldness. It affects about 50% of men over the age of 50, and about 50% of women over the age of 65.
What causes androgenetic alopecia?
Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a genetically determined sensitivity to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in some areas of the scalp. DHT shortens the growth (anagen), phase of the hair cycle, from a usual duration of 3–6 years to just weeks or months. The hairs produced by the follicles become progressively shorter in length, smaller in diameterand lighter in color; until eventually the follicles shrink completely and stop producing hair.
Is androgenetic alopecia hereditary?
Yes, genetic susceptibility to this condition can be inherited from either or both parents.Several genes are involved, accounting for differing age of onset, progression, pattern and severity of hair loss in family members.
What does androgenetic alopecia look like?
It is characterized by receding hairline and hair loss on the top and front of the head in males. Female pattern hair loss presents with thinning hair on the mid-frontal area of the scalp, with nearly complete preservation of the frontal hairline.
What treatment options are available for male pattern hair loss?
Current treatment options include:
- Hair transplantation
- Cosmetic camouflage-hair fiber
- Micropigmentation (tattoo) to resemble shaven scalp
- Minoxidil solution
- Finasteride tablets (type II 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor)
- Platelet rich plasma therapy
- Low level laser light
- Ketoconazole shampoo
Is hair loss just a cosmetic issue?
Hair loss can have a negative psychological impact and is associated with low self-esteem, depression, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness.
Cover any bald patches with a hat or wig to protect to prevent sunburn and to reduce the chances of developing long-term sun damage.