Unfortunately, the dream of these beautiful locks evades nearly 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. according to the Cleveland Clinic because of male- and female-pattern baldness, or Androgenic hair loss.
And while hair loss may not drastically affect your health, it’s very common to search for a solution as a way to improve your self esteem and quality of life. Luckily, a new treatment has emerged — Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for hair loss.
Interested in learning more about PRP for hair loss, specifically in the Houston, Texas area? Read on to learn more.
First, we should explain what PRP is.
PRP is a substance drawn from your blood that is five times more concentrated than regular blood.
So what does this have to do with hair loss? It has to do with the regenerative ability of platelets and their ability to promote cell growth. And while in the past PRP was primarily used to improve the texture and appearance of skin, research has shown that it may also be particularly effective in stimulating hair growth.
According to Harvard Medical School, “When it comes to hair loss, the theory is that platelets, injected deep into the scalp to reach the bottom of the hair follicle, may stimulate a specialized population of cells named dermal papilla cells, which play a critical role in hair growth.”
So the science demonstrates why physicians began using PRP for hair loss, but how is PRP administered?
While the process for retrieving PRP injections for hair loss may sound quite technical, it does not require much from you as the patient. But it is good to understand the process from start to finish before undergoing PRP injections.
Harvard Medical School breaks down PRP injections: “The process of obtaining PRP involves a blood draw and a centrifuge. To yield PRP, blood is drawn from your arm, then spun down in a centrifuge (a machine that spins at high speeds to help separate blood components). After centrifuging, the plasma rises to the top, and the lower part of the plasma is the PRP. Sometimes, a second spin is performed to increase the platelet concentration of the plasma.”
After this portion is complete, your doctor will then inject your own PRP into the areas of hair loss on your scalp. Luckily, you should only expect to have to visit your doctor about one time a month for three months for treatment. To keep up with maintenance, expect to receive PRP injections every three to six months for continued results.
While this is still a relatively new procedure for dealing with hair loss, initial studies have found promising results when using PRP for hair loss. In fact, it is proving to be more effective than other procedures popularly used for hair loss.
In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, after testing PRP injections on eleven patients who were dealing with hair loss due to Androgenic Alopecia and had no success with six months of other treatments, “A significant reduction in hair loss was observed between first and fourth injection. Hair count increased from [an] average number of 71 hair follicular units to 93 hair follicular units.”
Another study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine echoed the efficacy of PRP for hair loss.
“Patients treated with PRP had significantly increased hair regrowth compared with those treated with triamcinolone acetonide (TrA); 27% of patients treated with TrA achieved complete remission at 12 months, compared with 60% of patients treated with PRP, which is significantly higher than that seen in TrA- and placebo-treated patients.”
Since PRP injections are still a relatively new treatment option for hair loss, you will want to find the right doctor to perform the procedure. As a doctor who has put herself at the forefront of understanding and offering noninvasive and effective procedures at her practice, Dr. Natalie Drake is the Houston, Texas doctor to visit for best results with PRP injections.
Dr. Drake received her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and her Medical Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has since presented her research at national organizations and been published in a number of highly esteemed peer review journals.