Signs and symptoms of hair loss include:
- Gradual thinning on top of the head
- Circular/patchy bald spots
- Sudden loosening of hair
- Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp
Hair loss can arise in a variety of ways, depending on the cause. There are various factors that contribute to this. Both female and male hair loss can be caused by androgenetic alopecia, a medical condition in which hair follicles shrink in size. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has long been used in the medical field to encourage and improve healing. It has been used by fields such as Orthopedics and Wound Care as a regenerative treatment option for many years. It is now gaining attention in the Aesthetics field for its significant benefits with studies showing that it may be an effective treatment option for those suffering from hair loss. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are a relatively safe and natural way to treat hair loss. By Injecting PRP into damaged tissues (unhealthy hair follicles), there is potential to help restore and rejuvenate the cells in the treated area and promote hair growth.
What can cause hair loss?
- Hereditary baldness is a natural occurrence brought about by a combination of genetics, hormone levels, and the aging process. When people get older, almost everyone notices hair loss or thinning.
- Hormonal changes
- Hormonal changes that occur as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid issues
- While they are intended to treat a range of health conditions, they can occasionally cause unpleasant side effects such as hair loss.
- Hair treatments
- Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can lead to traction alopecia, which is a form of hair loss. Hair loss can also be caused by hot-oil hair treatments and permanents. Hair loss may be permanent if scarring occurs.
- Alopecia is a condition in which hair falls out in tiny patches that are often undetectable. However, these patches can connect and become visible. When the immune system attacks the hair follicles, hair loss occurs.
Can PRP Treatments Help Me?
We believe it can! PRP treatments can promote new hair growth with people who are dealing with thinning hair or balding areas. Best of all, by promoting safe and natural healing, treatments provide an alternative to hair transplant surgery.
PRP therapy is most effective for patients who are in the early stages of hair loss or who are not candidates for surgery. It is also ideal for those who prefer to avoid hair surgery.
Who are the ideal candidates for PRP Injections for Hair Loss
- People who are in the earlier stages of hair loss
- People who are experiencing thinning hair, but still have a good number of hair follicles
- People who are in good health and not on any medications that affect bleeding
- People who have small isolated patches or areas of hair loss
Who it's not for
- There are a specific group of conditions in which PRP injections would be not advised:
- Patients with impaired immune systems due to immunosuppressive diseases or medications
- Facial or scalp skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or melanoma
- Chemotherapy patients
- Accutane patients or patients recently off of Accutane
- Bleeding disorders or platelet dysfunction syndromes
- Active acute or chronic infection in the area desiring treatment
Creating the Mix
The process begins with a sample of your blood. It is spun around in a centrifuge. This separates it into platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. The platelets are then concentrated and mixed with some of the plasma. This mixture is called “platelet rich plasma.” The doctor injects this into your scalp in the area that needs improvement.
The doctor injects this into the balding areas of your scalp. It bathes your follicles in growth factors. It helps improve blood circulation in the tissues of your scalp to support hair growth
Not All PRP Kits Are The Same.
We use the EMCYTE PRP system which has shown to have high concentrations of platelets. Our kits create concentrated PRP with very low red blood cells, neutrophils and granulocytes. See the comparison of various PRP systems below. Although the cost of these kits are higher than others, we only use the best so that our patients have the best chance of success.
7 days before treatment:
Follow our dietary restrictions.
• Nuts, seeds, seafood, fish oil, NSAIDs, vitamins, and anything else that prolongs bleeding should be avoided. This can greatly reduce bruising, bleeding, and swelling following the injections.
Hair Care Prior to treatment
• You can continue any hair loss treatments, including Minoxidil (Rogaine®) and hormone blocking medications, until the day of treatment. Up to 7 days before the procedure, you can color or highlight your hair.
Stopping Medications and Supplements
• Speak with your primary care doctor or a physician expert. If you’re on blood thinners, you might need to stop these a few days or weeks before your injection. Consult with your prescribing physician to see if stopping these medications is safe, as well as to get instructions on when to stop and restart them.
• Please inform your physician right away if you are taking any blood thinners, as they could be a contraindication to this care. Plavix, Coumadin, and Heparin are examples of these drugs.
• Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren, and others should be avoided. Inflammation is one of the mechanisms by which PRP operates, so we want that to happen.
• You may use Tylenol (acetaminophen) as needed prior to the treatment.
• Prescription drugs (including heart and blood pressure medications) should be taken exactly as directed up to and including the day of your appointment.
• If you’re taking a broad beta-blocker like Inderal (Propranolol), tell your doctor because you may need to switch to a specific beta-blocker before the procedure.
• Avoid excessive sun or heat exposure.
• Arnica Supplements. You can start Arnica supplements a week prior to injection to help with post injection bruises. Arnica helps to speed up the fading away of bruises.
Avoid excessive sun or heat exposure.
Hair can be colored or highlighted up to 7 days prior to the PRP treatment date.
3 days before treatment:
• Alcohol consumption should be minimized or to be avoided.
• If at all possible, avoid or limit smoking prior to your treatment, as it has a negative effect on the healing process.
• Before your procedure, you can proceed with other hair loss therapies such as laser therapy, minoxidil, or hormone blocking tablets. If you’re not sure if you should stop taking a medication, ask your doctor.
Diet and Fluid Intake:
• Increase your fluid intake the day before your treatment by drinking two glasses of water in the morning, two glasses at lunch, and two glasses at dinner, in addition to your regular water intake.
Day of Procedure:
• The morning of your appointment, take a shower and thoroughly shampoo your hair with your daily shampoo.
• Sprays, gels, and other beauty items should not be used on your hair.
• On the day of your PRP session, eat a normal breakfast or lunch.
• At least 2 hours before your session, drink a 500 mL bottle of water.
Come in 30 minutes prior to your appointment time.
- We need to have a history and physical completed to ensure there are no contraindications with having this procedure done. We also recommend nerve blocks prior to PRP injections. The nerve blocks may cause some momentary discomfort so we recommend icing the area and/or applying some numbing cream prior to the nerve block. This process takes time so please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. Also, please ensure you do not have other commitments immediately after your appointment as you may feel soreness once the numbing wears off.
Reserve your next appointment
- We always recommend that you schedule your next appointment before leaving. PRP injection treatments are recommended every 4-6 weeks.
Before & After
Immediately Following Treatment:
• Bruising, redness, scratching, swelling, and/or soreness are common causes of the treatment and can last anywhere from 2 to 5 days. Take Tylenol or other acetaminophen-containing medications as prescribed if you are in pain or discomfort.
• While the cells are being activated, you can experience a tingling sensation.
• A skin infection or reaction can occur in rare cases, but this is easily treated with an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory. If you experience any unusual pain, please contact our office right away.
• Ice acts as an anti-inflammatory, so try to avoid using it on the injected region. If necessary, ice or cold compresses may be used to minimize swelling.
• For the next three days following the treatment, avoid aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren, and other anti-inflammatory medications (if possible try for 7 days).
• For at least 2 days after your procedure, avoid physical exercise, sun, and heat exposure.
•After your procedure, wait at least 6 hours before using any hair products.
• After treatment, abstain from alcohol, caffeine, and smoking for three days. Smokers do not heal well, and symptoms recur sooner, taking longer to resolve.
• It is strongly advised that you take a hot shower either that evening or the next day after the procedure to maximize the effects of PRP. However, wait at least 3 hours after your treatment before washing your hair.
• For the next three days, don’t use Minoxidil (Formula 82M, Rogaine®), hair coloring, or straightening.
• Continue increased water intake the first week after your treatment.
• For at least one week after the procedure, avoid using blood thinning agents such as vitamin E, vitamin A, ginkgo, garlic, flax, cod liver oil, and essential fatty acids.
Wash your hair the day after your treatment