Platelet Rich Plasma Hair Restoration
What is PRP?
To understand how PRP works, it is important to be aware of the role that platelets play in healing.
Platelets are a component of blood, along with red and white blood cells. When a person gets a cut or wound, the platelets are some of the body’s “first responders” that arrive to stop the bleeding and promote healing. Researchers theorized that if they could extract concentrated platelets and inject them into damaged areas of the body, they could accelerate healing.
To produce PRP, a blood sample is taken from the patient and put it into a machine called a centrifuge. This machine spins at a rapid rate, which separates the components of the blood. This allows your platelet-rich plasma to be extracted for injection.
PRP contains a range of growth factors and proteins that speed tissue repair. As some types of hair loss result from damage to hair follicles, researchers initially hypothesized that PRP could help regrow hair by reversing the process that occurs in androgenetic alopecia. Since then, PRP has become a popular method of restoring hair growth.
Is it effective?
In 2019, a team of researchers carried out a systematic review of the research on PRP as a treatment for hair loss. Their findings appear in the journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The analysis ultimately focused on 11 research papers that included a total of 262 participants with androgenetic alopecia. According to the authors, most of the studies found that injections of PRP reduced hair loss and increased the diameter of hairs and the density of hair growth.
Another 2019 systematic review, which featured in Dermatologic Surgery, examined the findings of 19 studies investigating PRP as a treatment for hair loss. These studies recruited 460 people in total. According to the authors of the review, most studies reported that PRP treatments led to hair regrowth in those with androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
How is it done?
The following steps are an example of a common approach to PRP injections for hair loss:
A medical professional draws blood from a vein in the arm.
They place the blood sample in a centrifuge.
The centrifuge spins the blood, separating its components.
A medical professional extracts the platelets using a syringe.
A doctor injects the platelets into targeted areas of the scalp.
The entire process may take about 1 hour, and several sessions may be necessary. After receiving PRP treatment, a person can usually return to their regular activities without any limitations.