In the past few years, there has been a lot of research and innovation in the field of hair restoration and what comes as a relief to several people is the fact that there are now steps to restore hair, without surgery. PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy happens to be one such innovation and in the last few years, the results of the same have been more than promising. It is now getting established as a very effective hair fall solution.
Let’s start by looking at exactly what PRP is:
PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a non-surgical and therapeutic option for people suffering from hair loss. As a matter of fact, this is the best option for people who are looking at a method of restoring hair, at a point when the loss has just started setting in. if the hair loss is extreme, then hair transplant might be the only option, but for those who have just started noticing baldness or thinning of hair, this might be a great option.
This is how PRP works:
Human blood contains something called mesenchymal stem cells, which contain essential elements for growth and development of various aspects of the body. In PRP, platelets, which contain these cells, are harvested from your own body, treated with some other growth factors and then reintroduced into your body, specifically your scalp, leading to better hair growth. Because the cells have been harvested from your own blood, the chances of infections, allergies or rejection are almost none, making this an incredibly safe procedure. This procedure works even better after a hair transplant, because it stimulates the newly transplanted hair follicles.
A PRP therapy session would be performed in a manner like this:
Blood will be taken out from your body and then placed in a centrifuge, where through the spinning action, the platelet rich plasma would get separated from the other aspects of blood. The platelet rich plasma contains growth factors which would be injected into the scalp. Normally, local anaesthesia is administered, which makes the injections completely pain free and the entire procedure is comfortable one for the patient. What is great about this procedure is that you will not need any sedation or any other medication.
Once the procedure is over and the effects of the anaesthesia have worn off, the hair can be washed off next morning in most cases, the patient is able to drive back home on their own! The number of sessions that will be required for you, will depend on what course of action your doctor has chosen for you.
If you are wondering what the science behind PRP is, then here it is:
Every human being has platelets in their blood and it is these platelets that promote general healing in the body. They also increase the rate at which tissue healing takes place and are also the response mechanism after an injury. Most importantly, they aid and assist in the formation of new cells. Within the platelets, there are several intracellular structures including glycogen, lysosomes and alpha granules and each of these is responsible for growth and healing of the body. The specific cells in platelets that lead to hair growth include:
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor which promotes growth of blood vessel and replication of cells
- Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta stimulates the growth of the matrix between cells
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor promotes blood vessel formation
- Epidermal Growth Factor ensures that there is proper growth of cells and there is formation of collagen
- Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 promotes the growth of specialized cells and also aids in the formation of blood vessels
- Insulin Like Growth Factor regulates the normal physiology of the cells
In case you are wondering if PRP will work for you, here are the answers:
PRP works in most cases of generalised hair loss & thinning However, studies have shown that when PRP is used post a hair transplant, the results are better. PRP has also been used for people who are not suitable candidates for a transplant and in several cases, further hair loss has been reduced, if not completely stopped.
Wondering if PRP is meant for you:
Whether PRP will work for you or not is a secondary question, but you need to know whether it is a procedure meant for you, first. Here are some of the conditions, prospective candidate for PRP therapy may not get good outcome:
- Heavy smoking
- Regular consumption of alcohol
- A history of drug abuse
- Medical conditions such as platelet dysfunction syndromes, hemodynamic instability, thrombocytopenias and hypofibrinogenaemia
- Chronic ailments such as liver disease, skin or other types of cancer
- Metabolic or systemic conditions or disorders
- Have undergone anti-coagulation therapies
If you are not putting a tick for any of these above mentioned problems, then you could be a good enough candidate for PRP therapy. Given that there are no side effects or chances of infection with PRP, there is actually no harm in giving it a try, but do consult an experienced doctor, before taking any decisions.