PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma, treatments have been used to treat sport injuries for a while with great success. So it was natural that we would look for other applications for this very natural treatment.
One surprising application for PRP is for treating hair loss.
We have treated thousands of men and women across eastern Australia for hair loss using PRP treatments, with some amazing results.
But how does PRP work? Does it work?
PRP treatment for hair loss
Hair loss is one of those conditions that nobody truly understands unless they have been through it.
Hair loss is caused by hair follicles shrinking so they can no longer support the hair. The causes are many, but effective treatments are rare.
Whether through genetics, illness, stress, or something else, watching your hair fall out every time you brush, or waking up with a little less hair isn’t pleasant.
But there is a treatment for it.
PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma, treatment.
Platelet rich plasma has been used in sports medicine for years but has more recently been used to treat hair loss.
It can be used to treat:
- Genetic hair loss
- Androgenetic alopecia
- Stress-related hair loss
- Thinning hair
- And a range of other common hair loss conditions
Growth factors within blood are believed to promote cell growth and regeneration within the treated area.
In hair loss, this means delivering a potent dose of growth factors to hair follicles. This gives them everything they need to repair, regenerate and regrow.
The PRP treatment
The process is relatively straightforward. Blood is taken from you, like a blood test.
It is passed through a medical centrifuge to separate the blood plasma from the rest of the blood and is collected ready for use.
We add an anticoagulant to the solution to keep it liquid, but otherwise, the solution is 100% natural and derived from your own blood.
It is this that makes PRP treatment so effective.
It is this that also makes PRP safe. It drastically reduces any chances of side effects or a negative reaction.
It’s your blood after all.
Once the blood has been prepared for use as the PRP solution, it’s added to a microneedler so we can apply it to your scalp.
We prepare your scalp, make you comfortable and then use the microneedler to apply the PRP solution to the affected area.
The microneedler uses tiny needles to inject the PRP solution into the skin.
The idea is to deliver the healing power of your own blood directly to places that need it most. We firmly believe the growth factors within the blood can help hair follicles recover and hair to regrow.
Once the PRP solution has been delivered, we apply a red LED light to the area to help reduce the chances of infection.
Once complete, you are free to go about your day.
PRP treatments take around 45-60 minutes each. They leave little or no sign and you can go about your day as if nothing has happened.
A course of treatments
So that’s what an individual PRP treatment looks like, but what about the overall course of treatments?
PRP hair treatments are typically delivered as a course of 6 or more over several weeks. Much will depend on your hair and any underlying conditions, but that’s how it usually works.
The effects are slow to start and cumulative. You won’t see instant results, but once you begin seeing improvements, they will continue over the course and for up to 18 months after.
Once the course of PRP treatment for hair loss is complete, we can schedule regular top-ups to maintain hair growth.
The specifics of PRP hair loss treatments will differ between patients and is something we can discuss at a consultation.
Is PRP effective for treating hair loss?
We firmly believe PRP treatments are effective. As it’s a new treatment, data is still being collected, but our own experience collected from many thousands of Australian men and women who have undergone the treatment says it works.
As always with medicine, much depends on your overall health, age, diet and any underlying conditions.
It also depends on the type and severity of the hair loss.
A 2019 study that appeared in the International Journal of Trichology studied the effectiveness of PRP injections and found PRP did produce positive results.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association also found that PRP and microneedling can be effective for stimulating hair growth.
We expect to find more definitive results from a wider pool of patients as the treatment develops.
How long do the effects of PRP hair loss treatment last?
As we mentioned earlier, the effects of PRP hair loss treatment are cumulative. It builds up over a course of treatments and continues long after the course is complete.
Much will depend on the person being treated, but on average our experience tells us you can expect to see effects for between 12-18 months after completion of the course.
Depending on your situation, we may recommend top-up sessions every few months to keep momentum and help maintain your new hair.
We discuss everything fully with you at your initial consultation.
Are there any side effects to PRP treatments?
One of the many benefits of PRP treatments is the fact it comes from your own body.
Aside from an anticoagulant which has been used extensively before, there is nothing added to your blood, only taken away.
This means there should be almost zero chances of side effects or rejection.
We cannot make any promises though. This is medicine after all and we’re all different!
You may experience one or more of the following immediately after PRP treatment:
- Mild discomfort at the treatment site
- Redness or tenderness at the treatment site
- Mild headache
- Itching at the treatment site
While rare, these are all normal and will pass on their own or with the help of paracetamol or other mild pain medication.
How does PRP hair loss treatment compare to other treatments?
It’s difficult to compare one treatment with another when it’s so new, but the study from the International Journal of Trichology above compared PRP to Rogaine and found it outperformed it measurably.
From our own experience, PRP treatments don’t compare to others.
It doesn’t use chemicals or medication. There is very little risk of side effects, allergic reactions or rejection and minimal impact on your life.
Most medication for male pattern baldness for example, come with warnings of side effects including erectile dysfunction.
You don’t get any of that with PRP treatments!
Are PRP treatments a permanent solution for hair loss?
As far as we know, there is no permanent solution for hair loss. The effects of PRP treatments can last up to 18 months though.
We typically recommend top-up treatments during that time to maintain your new hair and continue promoting regrowth.
Otherwise, once you have completed a course, that may be all that’s required for up to 18 months.
No medication, no chemical treatments and no surgery!
PRP treatments and hair loss
PRP for hair loss is an exciting treatment that is delivering exceptional results. It’s natural, uses your own blood, requires no surgery or invasive procedures and no medication.
It delivers huge healing potential to hair follicles, giving them everything they need to regenerate and grow.
It works for both men and women of all ages and can help tackle the many causes of hair loss. What’s not to like?