For men and women experiencing the first signs of hair loss, it can be a very difficult thing to go through. Rather than feeling resigned or helpless, further hair loss need not be an inevitability. Steps can be taken to stop this process, and even reverse it, without the need for painful surgery or downtime. Platelet-rich Plasma treatments are performed here at California Dermatology Care, and represent a safe and effective solution for hair loss. Because the growth factors used are isolated from the patient’s own blood, this is also the most natural treatment that can heal damaged hair follicles and support renewed hair growth. Dr. William Ting and the team here at California Dermatology Care are pleased to offer this solution to patients in Northern California.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair growth and loss happen in cycles. Naturally, the average person sheds 100 hairs a day, but others experience more rapid hair loss that the body cannot keep up with. For these people, hair can begin to thin as early as your 20s.
Anything that interferes with the hair growth cycle can cause significant hair loss.
Since each person’s physiological makeup is unique, hair loss can occur for any number of reasons. The effects of fluctuating hormone levels, stress, and even genetics account for thinning hair over time. Life events and physical changes, such as aging, pregnancy, illness and certain medications further increase the likelihood of continued hair loss. For patients who have undergone chemotherapy, they may also notice that after their recovery, their hair does not grow back as it once looked.
Hair growth also depends on a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen from the blood vessels that feed the scalp. As the body ages, nutrient and oxygen supplies decline as blood vessels weaken and start to die off. PRP treatment can help reduce rates of hair loss by jumpstarting the hair growth process while stimulating blood flow to the scalp.
How Does PRP Treatment Work?
The body’s circulatory system supplies growth factors to all areas of the body. These substances are required for the stimulation of growth in living cells, and naturally repair and regenerate the body from the cellular level up. Your bloodstream also delivers anti-inflammatory agents to ward off cell damage, although these levels go down as we age. The platelet-rich plasma system uses blood drawn from the patient, which is then centrifuged down to a highly concentrated solution of these growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents, which is then delivered directly to areas of the scalp that need it most.
PRP treatments help to regenerate damaged blood vessels in the scalp, thereby restoring oxygen and nutrient supplies. These restore healthy hair growth cycles in turn, which boosts hair growth and reduces rates of hair loss. Both men and women of various ages can benefit from the restorative effects of PRP treatment.
How Does PRP Treatment Help Restore My Hair?
PRP Treatment Effects on the Hair Growth Cycle
An estimated 100,000 hair follicles exist on each healthy scalp, with each follicle growing around 20 hairs within a person’s lifetime. The hair growth cycle consists of three stages. The first stage is the growth stage, before moving to the second transitional stage and the third resting stage. At the end of each hair growth cycle that can last anywhere between four to six years, hair sheds.
PRP treatments lengthen the growth stage of the hair cycle. During this time, the growth factors repair not just the underlying blood vessels in the scalp, but the hair follicle structures as well. A longer growth stage allows more, and thicker hair to grow. This increase in hair growth reduces the appearance of thinning hair when the shedding portion of the cycle rolls around.
PRP Treatment Benefits
Platelet-rich plasma therapy offers a wide range of benefits for patients. Much of the problem with hair loss comes from the breakdown of hair follicle structures, meaning they’re unable to grow hair at the usual rate. Directly delivered into the scalp, PRP is able to supply the nutrients and protections needed for hair follicles to function, and function well.
Other benefits of PRP treatment include:
- No risk of allergic reaction as the platelet-rich plasma comes from the patient’s body
- Simple, non-surgical procedure
- Little to no pain or discomfort experienced during the procedure
- Procedure takes less than an hour to complete
- Natural looking results
What’s Involved With the Procedure?
First, one to two syringes of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. Using a medical centrifuge device, we will then separate the desired plasma solution from the other components of the blood, to create a concentrated PRP serum.
Numbing cream or local anesthesia can be applied to the scalp to reduce any pain or discomfort. The PRP serum is then injected directly into the areas of the scalp where thinning is present. These small, surface-level injections are made at half-inch intervals across the treatment areas. Once completed, you can continue on with your day as usual since no sedatives or medications are used during the procedure.
When Can I Expect to See Results?
For optimal results, Dr. Ting recommends receiving three PRP treatments, spread across a three month period. Depending on how your body responds, maintaining these results will mean touch up treatments can be scheduled every 6 months to a year. Consistency is important to ensure your hair follicles remain healthy.
While each person’s scalp will respond to PRP therapy in different ways, most patients can still expect to see these results:
- A reduction in hair shedding within the first three month
- A healthier scalp
- Thicker, fuller hair by the fourth month
Am I a Good Candidate for PRP Treatments?
The effects of PRP can be seen on active hair follicles. When hair begins to thin, this is a sign that hair follicles are beginning to die off. For this reason, it’s best to get started with platelet-rich plasma treatment at the very first signs of hair loss. While this procedure can still help in some cases of later-stage hair loss, it will take much longer to see noticeable results for these patients, and more treatments will be required to make a significant difference.
PRP treatment can also work well for individuals who’ve recently had a hair transplant procedure done, or are thinking of doing one. PRP’s healing and restorative effects make the scalp a more hospitable environment for newly transplanted hair, increasing the likelihood of a successful transplant.
While no one treatment is right for everyone, the best way to find out if PRP is suitable for you is by scheduling a one-on-one consultation with a qualified dermatology team. Call California Dermatology Care at 925-328-0255 today, and schedule a meeting with us to find out if PRP is the solution you’ve been looking for.