Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Dr. Ayad Harb, one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, an avant-garde solution in the world of hair regrowth treatments, is carving a distinct niche in the medical domain. It serves as a beacon of hope for countless individuals, both men and women, who grapple with the daunting issue of hair loss. The therapy is particularly attractive due to its foundational reliance on the body's own natural healing mechanisms, which presents a markedly decreased risk profile when compared to synthetic or chemical interventions.
At the heart of this therapy lies the process of drawing a modest volume of the patient’s blood. Once obtained, this sample undergoes rigorous centrifugation, a procedure to segregate the plasma and platelets from the other constituents. The resultant Platelet-Rich Plasma, abundant in growth factors and essential proteins, becomes the primary therapeutic agent. Precise injections of PRP are administered to specific zones of the scalp, primarily areas bearing witness to hair thinning or an outright loss. This reintroduction of concentrated platelets into the scalp sets in motion a cascade of cellular activities.
On a deeper, microscopic level, the growth factors released by the platelets play a pivotal role. They accelerate tissue repair, ensuring that the scalp’s health is optimised for hair regrowth. Moreover, enhanced blood circulation is promoted to the scalp, which ensures a consistent supply of essential nutrients. It’s akin to rejuvenating barren land with a fresh supply of water and nutrients, priming it for new seeds to sprout. In this analogy, the ‘seeds’ are the dormant hair follicles, which, under the influence of PRP, can be re-energized, paving the path for new hair to emerge.
Now, one might wonder about the logic behind using one’s own blood for treating hair loss. The body, in its infinite wisdom, is a reservoir of healing agents. Blood is no exception. With PRP, we’re merely harnessing this inherent potential, focusing it on an area where healing and regeneration are sought. Given that the PRP is autologous, meaning it's derived from the patient's body, the risks of allergic reactions, foreign body reactions, or transmittable infections are virtually non-existent.
Patients opting for PRP therapy are often driven by its two-pronged appeal. Firstly, it promises a non-surgical intervention in contrast to the more invasive hair transplant techniques. The absence of surgical incisions, stitches, or scars makes it an attractive proposition for those hesitant to go under the knife. Secondly, the therapy beckons with the allure of significant hair regrowth without the constraints or commitments of daily medications, which can often come bundled with their own suite of side effects.
To paint a clearer picture, imagine the process akin to giving a plant the ideal conditions to thrive. You aren’t modifying the plant itself, but you’re ensuring the soil is rich, the sunlight is adequate, and the water is plentiful. Similarly, with PRP, the body is not being altered at its core. Instead, it’s being provided with a milieu, brimming with growth factors, to allow natural processes of hair growth to resume with renewed vigour.
The world of aesthetic and regenerative medicine is perpetually evolving, and PRP therapy for hair regrowth exemplifies this progress. A blend of nature and science, PRP offers not just a treatment but a promise of renewed confidence and self-assuredness for those it serves.
Resume as normal
Not required (though some may wish to take a day)
After 24 hours
The recommended number of PRP sessions varies based on individual needs and the severity of hair loss. Generally, a common recommendation is an initial series of 3-4 sessions, spaced 4-6 weeks apart. This intensive phase aims to maximise the benefits by establishing a foundational level of growth factors in the scalp. Subsequent to this, maintenance treatments are usually advised every 4-6 months to sustain the results. This long-term plan ensures that the hair follicles remain stimulated, preventing re-entry into the dormant phase. Regular consultations with your specialist can help tailor the number and frequency of sessions to your specific condition and desired outcome.
PRP therapy is praised for its safety profile, largely because it uses the patient's own blood, minimising the risk of allergic reactions. However, no treatment is entirely devoid of side effects. Commonly observed post-treatment symptoms include mild redness, swelling, or a sensation of tenderness at the injection sites. These are transient and typically subside within 24-48 hours. It's essential to communicate any prolonged or severe side effects to your doctor, ensuring a swift and effective management plan if needed.
The concept of multiple injections might sound daunting to many. However, to ensure patient comfort, a topical anaesthetic is meticulously applied to the scalp before commencing the PRP procedure. This numbing agent significantly diminishes any discomfort, making the experience relatively pain-free for most. That said, pain perception is subjective, and while most patients describe a mild, bearable sensation during the injections, everyone's tolerance varies. It's always recommended to discuss any pain or anxiety concerns with your physician beforehand, so they can make the necessary accommodations or provide reassurances.
Absolutely. PRP therapy often functions as one component in a comprehensive hair restoration strategy. It can be synergistically combined with other treatments such as topical minoxidil, oral finasteride, or even surgical interventions like hair transplant surgery. Such a multifaceted approach can optimise results by targeting hair loss from multiple angles. Regular discussions with your physician can help draft a customised plan, ensuring each modality's benefits are maximised while minimising potential interactions or side effects.
The anticipation of results post-therapy is palpable among most patients. Typically, initial subtle improvements can be discerned after 2-3 sessions. These include a reduction in hair shedding and a gradual thickening of existing hair. By the 6-month mark post-treatment, many patients witness noticeable hair regrowth. However, it's crucial to remember that hair growth is a slow, incremental process, and patience is key. Regular follow-ups with your physician can help track progress, make necessary treatment adjustments, and provide an objective perspective on the results achieved.