If the hair follicles or hair roots are healthy, the growth of the hair is healthy. Hair follicles survive on the nutrition they get from blood supply.
By introducing platelets to the area of damaged hair follicles, it amplifies the body’s naturally occurring wound healing mechanism. Some doctors around the world believe PRP can be used to stimulate the growth of hair follicles preventing hair loss.
The first stage of the procedure involves the collection of blood. Around 40 mls of blood is extracted from the patient, the procedure is similar to that of a routine blood test. The collected blood is then spun in a medical grade centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the rest of the blood constituents. This process takes around 15 minutes.
PRP therapy is performed in 3 stages.
Once the centrifuge stops spinning, the PRP which contains abundant growth factors and stem cells is ready to be applied to the scalp.
The rich concentration of platelets now has to be applied to the scalp where hair loss has begun. To prepare the scalp, local anaesthetic is used to numb the area. We use a combination of three different local anaesthetics, specifically mixed for this procedure. The patient will also have the option of a ring block where the anaesthetic is injected using a very fine needle around the area to be treated. This is down to the patient’s own preference and pain thresh hold. A dermaroller is then used to cause microtrauma to the area. This will help encourage other healing and growth repair cells into action. The PRP can then be applied to the scalp and injected where the doctor feels is necessary.
Mild discomfort can be expected during the treatment but it is not an unbearable treatment and the application of a topical anaesthetic helps further improve the comfort of the procedure. You can return to your normal activity almost immediately, but your scalp needs protection from the sun and excessive irritation.
There are many benefits of using PRP treatment to promote healing for hair growth. Highly concentrated growth factors in the form of platelets have been shown to generate new hair growth, thicken thinned out hair, and make hair transplants grow thicker and healthier.
Patients are not advised not to take any anti-inflammatory medication since it may interfere in the natural healing process of PRP. Patients generally have to receive this treatment multiple times before they can see any results. However, some patients may only have to receive this therapy once a year.
Once the area has completely healed, the doctor may choose to prescribe a course of topical creams. These creams contain antioxidants and hormones which further help activate the hair follicles to promote hair growth.
The injected area may have mild swelling, it may even be tender to touch. Swelling may go away in few hours after the procedure while tenderness may go away in a couple of days. One of the main advantages of treating hair loss with PRP is that it utilises your body’s own processes meaning that the likelihood of reactions to the treatment are minimal.