For those who are suffering from hair loss, it may be a relief to know that there are a lot of ways that can make it possible for you to grow your hair back. You might have heard of hair loss medications, hair pieces or the more aggressive surgical hair restoration methods. But did you know that you can actually use your own blood to help you restore hair volume?
Enter Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), a concentrated type of plasma which contains five times more than the usual number of platelets in the blood that circulates the body.
For those who are not well versed on the various composition of blood, it actually contains your red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. But let us take a closer look at platelets and its function. Click here for more information.
The platelets are more known for their role in blood clotting and wound healing. This means that platelets are key factors when it comes to tissue regeneration. And it is because of that action that the idea behind PRP to treat hair loss was formed.
By increasing the platelet count in the scalp area that was wounded due to hair transplant, it improves its chances of healing. And it increases the survival rate of transplanted hair. In addition to this it prevents the progression of hair thinning and hair loss as it improves the growth of hair follicles. Many doctors believed in the healing ability of platelets and they have been treating their hair loss patients with it.
PRP treatment is done by first collecting around 60-100 ml of blood from your vein, which would have to be done by a phlebotomist or a nurse. This will placed on a special container and then spun on a centrifuge to separate the different blood components. The time in the centrifuge would take approximately 15 minutes and after that your plasma will be separated from the other blood materials.
The plasma component which is teeming with stem cells and growth factors is then collected and prepared for injection to the scalp. A micro needle roller device is used for administration, but despite the size, the scalp would have to be prepared with topical anesthesia to make the procedure less painful.
The roller device would create micro trauma to the scalp stimulating the healing process. While this is happening, PRP is also injected into the area simultaneously. The area would have to be wrapped with occlusive dressing later on to prevent bleeding, lessening the effectiveness of the treatment.
During the healing process the platelet rich plasma will generate thicker and healthier hair growth as the stem cells of the transplanted hair follicles are stimulated. It is also advisable that patients prevent taking anti-inflammatory medications because this might impair the healing process. And they must remember to stay out of the sun and protect the area at all times.
The first few days after the procedure might cause some swelling on your scalp. In rare occasions an infection may even be possible. But with the right techniques used by an experienced and reputable surgeon, this can be avoided. Allergic reactions wouldn’t be an issue in this kind of treatment, because you are basically using your own blood.
Generally, the outcome of this procedure is often highly satisfactory with an 80% success rate. Scientific studies have proven that Platelet Rich Plasma promotes best results for hair transplant procedure as shown by successful results over the years.