For many men and women alike, thinning hair is an inevitable result of aging. Hair loss is also an unfortunate side effect of stress, hormonal changes and certain medical conditions.
While hair thinning is more common in men, numerous women are also affected by this condition. Approximately 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States have male-pattern and female-pattern baldness, respectively. As many as 65 percent of men and 45 percent of women affected start to notice a loss of hair by the age of 50. These trends make hair restoration one of the most popular types of cosmetic enhancement.
Injections of platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP, offer a groundbreaking, noninvasive treatment for hair loss.
Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma Hair Restoration
When it comes to hair restoration solutions, platelet-rich plasma therapy offers a range of benefits:
- Stimulation of the hair growth cycle at the follicular level
- Platelet materials are derived from your body’s own cells
- No risk of allergic reaction
- A nonsurgical procedure that produces little to no discomfort
- The treatment takes less than an hour to complete
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Hair Restoration?
First developed as a treatment for pain-related musculoskeletal conditions, platelet-rich plasma therapy has been proven effective in reversing hair loss as well. For many people, hair loss develops as the cells and blood vessels within the scalp start to weaken with age. PRP uses the growth factors found in the patient’s blood plasma to help restore the scalp’s natural hair growth processes.
How Do Growth Factors in PRP Treat Hair Loss?
While blood platelets play a crucial role in clotting, they also contain a vital component known as growth factors. Growth factors work throughout the body, repairing and regenerating cells and tissues. By injecting blood plasma with concentrated platelets and growth factors into the areas of the scalp with thinning hair, these same growth factors increase the blood supply and stimulate the scalp’s repair and regeneration processes so natural hair growth can resume.
How Does PRP Stimulate the Hair Growth Cycle?
A healthy human scalp contains approximately 100,000 hair follicles, with each follicle growing 20 individual hairs within a person’s lifetime. Hair growth and hair loss follow a cycle that maintains a certain number of hairs on the head when this cycle is healthy. Considering how the scalp loses around 100 strands a day, it’s easy to see how hair loss occurs when the effects of aging take hold.
What Are the Three Stages of Hair Growth?
Each hair follicle goes through three growth cycles:
- The anagen phase
- The catagen phase
- The telogen phase
Actual hair growth occurs during the anagen phase, which lasts anywhere from three to five years.
The catagen phase marks the second stage of the growth cycle and lasts for two to three weeks. This stage acts as a transitional period when hair follicles develop roots in the scalp.
The telogen phase marks a resting stage that lasts for three to four months. At the end of the telogen phase, the follicle sheds the hair.
PRP Extends the Hair Growth (Anagen) Phase
Platelet-rich plasma therapy jumpstarts the hair growth cycle by prolonging the growth portion of the process. In effect, the growth factors contained in the platelets work to repair aging hair follicles and increase hair growth rates.
If you’re starting to notice thinning hair, PRP therapy can stop hair loss and promote hair growth all at once.
Am I a Good Candidate for Platelet-Rich Plasma Hair Restoration?
Platelet-rich plasma hair restoration injections can successfully promote hair growth in many patients, although not all cases of hair loss will respond to PRP’s effects. Hair growth in any form relies on healthy blood vessels and healthy blood circulation in the scalp. When one of these conditions is lacking, PRP will produce limited results at best.
If you meet the following conditions, you’re more than likely a good candidate for platelet-rich plasma hair therapy:
- You’re in good health
- You are experiencing the early stages of hair loss
- You are not taking blood-thinning medications
- Your hair has only recently started to thin out
Who Is Not a Good Candidate for PRP Hair Restoration?
You may not be a candidate for PRP hair restoration treatment if one or more of the following applies to you:
- You take blood-thinning medication
- You smoke heavily
- You have a low platelet count
- You’ve been diagnosed with sepsis
- You’ve been diagnosed with cancer
- You have an acute or chronic infection
- You have thyroid disease
- You have a chronic skin or liver disease
- You have hemodynamic instability
- You have hypofibrinogenemia
- You have platelet dysfunction syndromes
At your consultation, we will evaluate your medical history, current medications and other factors that may affect your eligibility for PRP hair restoration treatment to ensure you are a good candidate before moving forward with treatment.
When Should I Get PRP for Hair Loss?
Platelet-rich plasma hair restoration injections produce the most favorable results when treatment is administered at the first signs of hair loss. If you’ve noticed developing patches of thinning hair, now is the time to look into PRP therapy.
How Does the PRP Procedure Work?
Platelet-rich plasma hair restoration injections are performed in a nonsurgical, in-office procedure that takes less than an hour to complete.
Step 1: A Simple Blood Draw
The process starts by drawing blood from your arm to gather the platelet material.
Step 2: Purifying and Concentrating Your Blood Plasma
Next, a device that spins called a centrifuge is used to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. This machine uses centrifugal force to separate the red blood cells and platelet-poor plasma from the platelet-rich plasma.
To ensure a high platelet concentration, a hematology analyzer device is used to analyze a sample of the platelet-rich plasma. The high-quality PRP is then put into syringes.
Step 3: Antiseptic and Anesthetic Application
The medical assistant then applies an antiseptic solution and anesthetic to your scalp to guard against infection and numb the scalp surface. The use of this medication creates a nearly painless procedure.
Step 4: Injecting the PRP in Areas With Hair Loss
Once the scalp is prepared, a high concentration of platelet-rich plasma will be injected into the areas of your scalp that have thinning hair. Injections are made at half-inch intervals over the treated area so the platelets can enter the scalp at the follicle level.
How Many PRP Treatments Will I Need for Hair Restoration?
An initial series of three PRP treatments is generally recommended to treat hair loss. However, your specific number of treatments will be determined at your consultation based on your area and amount of hair loss as well as your goals.
How Often Should I Get PRP Scalp Treatments?
Since PRP therapy works by stimulating the hair growth cycle, follow-up treatments after your initial injections should be performed in the first three to four months.
After that, PRP treatments once every three to six months are essential to helping maintain optimal hair growth and producing the full hair restoration benefits.
What Is Recovery Like After PRP Hair Restoration Treatment?
After your PRP treatment, you do not need to plan on any downtime; you can resume most of your daily activities immediately. However, we recommend taking it easy for the rest of the day and being aware of the following activity restrictions.
What to Avoid During PRP Recovery
Avoid washing your hair and using any hair products for at least six hours after your PRP hair restoration treatment. Do not engage in strenuous activities, go swimming or sit in a sauna or steam room for at least two days. Avoid excessive heat and sun exposure for a couple of days also, and do not smoke or drink alcohol for three days.
Following these recommendations will help you achieve the best PRP hair restoration results possible.
What Results to Expect After PRP Hair Restoration
As the hair follicles respond to the platelet-rich plasma, a decrease in hair shedding will be the first thing you’ll notice. Before long, new hair will start to grow in, and existing strands will grow longer. On average, you can expect to see noticeably fuller and longer hair within two to three months.
Does PRP Provide Permanent Hair Regrowth?
The results of PRP for hair loss are long lasting but not permanent. Most patients experience fuller, thicker hair that lasts for about a year. Repeat PRP treatments can help maintain your hair growth for longer.
Frequently Asked Questions About PRP for Hair Loss
What Is the Cost of PRP Hair Restoration in Newport Beach?
At California Vein Specialists, we offer a package of four PRP hair restoration treatments for $2,900. If you choose not to get the package, we offer treatments at the cost of $750 per two tubes. For those who would like more injections, extra tubes are available for $150 each.
The total price of your treatment will depend on your individual circumstances and concerns, the size of your treatment area and various other factors. After your personalized PRP consultation, we will be able to provide you with the specific cost of your PRP hair restoration treatments.
Is PRP Treatment Painful?
The blood draw portion of PRP treatment is equivalent to a simple blood draw you might get at the doctor’s office for testing or when donating blood. You may feel a slight prick at the donor site in your arm where the small needle is inserted, but patients say this is relatively comfortable or only creates slight discomfort.
While you may feel some pressure during the PRP injection process, it is generally reported to be comfortable and not painful. A numbing solution is used before the injections for added patient comfort.
Recovery is generally painless as well, but an over-the-counter pain reliever should minimize any discomfort you might experience after your appointment.
Are There Any PRP Risks or Side Effects I Should Know About?
Risks are a concern for patients with any procedure, but the good news is the risks associated with PRP therapy are relatively minimal. These rare but potential risks include scarring, injection, calcium buildup in the scalp and injury to nerves or blood vessels. Since platelet-rich plasma therapy uses the patient’s blood, there’s no risk for allergic reactions or adverse effects.
PRP side effects are also rare but may include irritation or aches in the treated area, inflammation, skin discoloration, dizziness and nausea.
Our staff will take steps to minimize any risks and ensure your safety and comfort throughout the procedure. They will review the benefits and risks of PRP and answer any questions you may have before, during and after treatment.
Can I Combine PRP Hair Restoration With Other Hair Loss Treatments?
In some cases, patients may benefit from combining PRP with other hair loss treatments or medications (prescription or over-the-counter). At your consultation, you can ask your doctor about other hair loss remedies available from us or your dermatologist to combine with PRP if that’s something you’re interested in.
What Is Male-Pattern Baldness?
Male-pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, is a condition in which men slowly lose hair from their scalp. It tends to start as a receding hairline above their forehead or a bald spot at the crown of the head. This type of permanent hair loss is often genetic and results in complete baldness as men age.
PRP therapy can be an effective treatment for male-pattern baldness.
What Is Female-Pattern Baldness?
Female-pattern baldness is a genetic condition in which women experience overall thinning of their hair while typically maintaining their natural hairline. They may notice that the part in their hair reveals more of their scalp than it did when they were younger, and their hair continues to become thinner over time.
PRP therapy can be an effective treatment for female-pattern baldness.
Learn How You Can Restore a Full Head of Hair With PRP Hair Restoration in Newport Beach
At our Newport Beach medspa, our experienced staff will be happy to walk you through each stage of the treatment process and answer any questions you may have. Call our office at 949-339-1032 to schedule a consultation and see if PRP therapy is right for you.
*Providing you with accurate medical information is one of our priorities. To ensure this, Dr. Leary reviews all the information posted on our website. Please get in touch with us today if you would like more information about any of the conditions we treat and the procedures we offer.