Updated: 5 days ago
Hair is often considered an essential part of one's identity, and concerns about hair loss can impact self-esteem and confidence. While various factors contribute to hair loss, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy has emerged as a promising treatment for those seeking to restore and rejuvenate their scalp's hair growth. In this blog, we'll delve into the science behind PRP therapy, its benefits, and what to expect from the procedure.
Understanding PRP Therapy
Initially introduced in Hematology, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was characterized by its small plasma volume containing elevated platelet levels compared to peripheral blood. Its primary application was as a transfusion remedy for thrombocytopenia since 1970.1 Today, PRP has gained prominence across diverse fields like sports medicine, regenerative medicine, aesthetic practices, and hair loss treatment. Its appeal lies in the assortment of growth factors and cytokines it houses, capable of expediting wound healing and tissue rejuvenation.
PRP scalp therapy is a non-surgical medical treatment that utilizes the body's natural growth factors to promote hair growth. PRP is derived from the patient's own blood and contains a high concentration of platelets and growth factors. These components play a crucial role in wound healing, tissue repair, and cell regeneration.
The Science Behind Hair Growth with PRP
Numerous studies have highlighted that platelets possess influence beyond just the hemostatic system; they also impact the inflammatory system, angiogenesis, stem cell induction, and cell proliferation. These effects stem from the release of diverse growth factors and cytokines stored in platelets' alpha granules.
PRP contains activated platelets that discharge factors such as PDGF, TGF-β, FGF-2, VEGF, EGF, IGF-1, and GDNF. These elements work synergistically to stimulate hair growth by facilitating cell proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis, and protection against early catagen transition. For instance, - GDNF supports cell proliferation and guards hair follicles from untimely catagen progression. - VEGF fosters hair growth via its robust angiogenesis induction. - IGF-1 prompts basal keratinocyte proliferation, prolonging the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.
Furthermore, PRP activates ERK, FGF-7, beta-catenin, and Akt signaling in dermal papilla cells, leading to their proliferation. Dermal papilla cells are like tiny controllers under the skin that play a crucial role in making hair grow and keeping it healthy. They help determine how your hair grows and how long it stays on your head.
PRP also exhibits anti-apoptotic (to prevent or stop cell death) effects, increasing survival of hair follicle cells and promoting hair growth by extending the anagen phase.
PRP is generally a safe treatment with minimal side effects, yet specific contraindications warrant consideration.
Absolute contraindications include critical thrombocytopenia, platelet dysfunction, hemodynamic instability, sepsis, local infection at the PRP site, and patients unwilling to accept potential risks.
Relative contraindications include recent use of NSAIDs, glucocorticoid injection at the treatment site within one month, systemic glucocorticoid use within two weeks, recent illness or fever, cancer, anemia, low platelet count, and tobacco use.
Benefits of PRP Therapy for Hair Growth
1. Natural Approach: PRP therapy is a natural treatment as it utilizes the patient's own blood components, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or side effects.
2. Minimal Downtime: PRP therapy is a minimally invasive procedure, typically requiring little to no downtime. Patients can resume their daily activities shortly after the treatment.
3. Safe and Effective: PRP therapy is considered safe when performed by a qualified medical professional. Additionally, numerous studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in promoting hair growth.
4. Customizable: PRP therapy can be tailored to suit individual needs, with treatment plans adjusted based on the severity of hair loss and the patient's goals.
What to Expect During a PRP Procedure
1. Consultation: The journey begins with a consultation with a qualified medical professional who will assess your hair loss and determine whether you are a suitable candidate for PRP therapy.
2. Blood Draw: A small amount of blood will be drawn from your arm, similar to a routine blood test.
3. Processing: The drawn blood is then processed in a centrifuge machine to separate the PRP from other blood components.
4. Anaesthesia: Topical and local anesthesia may be applied to minimize discomfort.
5. Injection: Once the PRP is prepared, it is injected into specific areas of the scalp where hair thinning or loss is evident.
6. Recovery and Results: While some patients may experience mild discomfort or swelling, these side effects are temporary. Results vary among individuals, with visible improvements typically noticeable after a few months of treatment sessions.
For individuals seeking a non-invasive and effective solution for hair loss, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy offers a promising avenue. By harnessing the body's natural healing and regenerative processes, PRP therapy stimulates hair follicles, enhances blood circulation, and encourages hair growth. Before embarking on any medical treatment, it's essential to consult with a qualified medical professional who can assess your individual needs and guide you toward the best possible solution for your hair restoration journey.