As we age, our hair follicles weaken – and so our hair starts to fall out at a pace faster than it can grow back. There are several factors at play, but thinning hair is a reality that nearly everyone will have to face. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hair loss affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States.
Fortunately, novel medical treatments can help to slow down hair loss. PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy harnesses the healing properties of your own blood to stimulate hair follicles and boost natural hair growth. Let’s talk about this revolutionary therapy and how it might work for you, as well as where you can go for a personalized hair evaluation.
What Happens During PRP Therapy?
PRP injections are particularly helpful in treating androgenetic alopecia, which is a form of hereditary hair loss in both men and women. It’s also useful for treating traction alopecia, which causes hair to fall out due to repeated physical strain on the hair.
During a PRP session, your doctor will first collect a small sample of your blood. The sample is then placed in a centrifuge machine, which separates the blood components so that the platelets can be isolated and concentrated.
The resulting PRP has a high volume of natural platelets, growth factors, and cytokines. This solution is drawn into a syringe and injected into targeted areas in your scalp where hair is thinning.
How Does PRP Support Hair Growth?
Once administered, the platelets activate and release natural growth factors that support new hair growth. The following growth factors serve varying functions at the cellular level that promote healing:
- Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)
- Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
- Epidermal growth factor (EGF)
- Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)
The PRP is believed to induce a faster transition from the telogen to anagen phase in dermal papilla cells: The telogen phase is a stage in the hair cycle where the follicle is at complete rest. Meanwhile, the anagen phase, or growth phase, is when cells in the hair bulb divide and produce new hair. Different follicles in the scalp are in different phases at any given time, so that you maintain a consistent head of hair.
Studies show that the insulin-like growth factor-1 can prolong the duration of the anagen phase. This also delays the catagen phase, which marks the end of active hair growth.
Likewise, platelets contain dense granules with bioactive factors. These regulate inflammation and enhance hair health. By taking advantage of naturally occurring proteins, PRP encourages processes that can help grow new hairs and extend the life of existing hairs.
Why Choose PRP Therapy?
PRP therapy is a safe in-office procedure that takes no more than 10 minutes. Since the procedure uses blood drawn from your own body, there is little risk of adverse immune reaction and infection. Additionally, there is no recovery time, so you can safely resume your regular activities immediately after treatment.
However, the results are not immediate. It may take a few months before you see visible improvements in hair density. The injections are generally administered every three or four months. Your hair specialist will craft a personalized schedule that considers the following factors:
- Hair-loss pattern
- Other unique characteristics
PRP Therapy Experts in Kansas City and Liberty, MO, and West Des Moines
If you’re suffering from hair loss and would like to determine whether PRP therapy may be right for you, visit Darling Hair Restoration. Our own Dr. Scott Darling has decades of experience in restoring the confidence of countless patients who have been dealing with hair loss, helping them to enjoy restored hair.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Darling, call us today at (816) 792-3400 or fill out our online appointment request form. You can also send us pictures of areas on your scalp that you would like to improve. This will help us make a more accurate diagnosis and to select a treatment that meets your needs. Give us a call today, and let us help you love your hair again!