Hair loss and balding are very common conditions, affecting the majority of men at some point in their lifetime, and a significant proportion of women also experience hair thinning after menopause. Currently, there are very few satisfactory treatments to stimulate hair growth, especially for women. However, there have been recent breakthroughs showing that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments may be able to halt and even reverse hair loss.
Hair grows out of specific structures called follicles; there are around 100,000 hair follicles on the scalp. Each follicle grows one hair at a time at a rate of around six inches per year. The bulb that surrounds the root of the hair in the follicle is composed of rapidly dividing cells that create the hair and slowly extrude it out of the follicle. After spending several years growing a hair, the follicle basically shuts down for a rest period and the hair falls out. On a healthy head, around 90% of the hairs are actively growing at any one time. However, when thinning occurs, increasing numbers of hair follicles start to spend longer times resting rather than growing hair, and they may eventually transition to shutting down hair growth permanently.
Platelets are formed elements found in the blood. They essentially consist of little sacks full of clotting factors, growth factors, and cytokines. When an injury occurs, the platelets burst and release their contents to stop bleeding and to promote healing of the injury. This later function has been exploited by doctors over the years for many purposes, such as speeding healing of surgical sites and encouraging chronic injuries like tendonitis to heal. More recently, doctors have noticed that PRP doesn’t just encourage healing; it can also induce aging tissues to regain a more youthful function.
PRP for Hair Growth
A number of clinical studies have shown that PRP can stop hair loss and induce the growth of hair. The usual procedure is to take a normal blood sample from the patient, prepare the PRP from it in a quick in-office procedure, and then inject it using a tiny needle into multiple locations on the scalp. Patients usually notice obvious results after the third treatment and hair growth just keeps improving after that. PRP has been shown to be useful in treating a variety of different types of hair loss, not just androgenic alopecia.
PRP gives the best results when initiated at the first signs of hair loss, so if you or a loved one has started to notice hair thinning, consider visiting Le Beau Visage Medical Spa in Frisco, TX to learn more. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!