If platelet-rich plasma sounds like a futuristic health care technique, that’s because it is. In only the past few years, the technology surrounding platelet-rich plasma therapies have gone from speculation to a widely used tool for doctors and cosmetic surgeons to treat a variety of conditions including “torn tendons, tendinitis, muscle injuries, arthritis-related pain, and joint injuries.” Only recently has this revolutionary medical technology also ventured into the arena of cosmetic procedures.
As such, platelet-rich plasma, commonly shortened to PRP, is one of the hottest trends in the treatment of hair loss. PRP is potentially the next big thing when it comes to the treatment of both male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. Here’s why.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
To understand platelet-rich plasma, let’s break down the components.
Platelets are “tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding. If one of your blood vessels gets damaged, it sends out signals to the platelets. The platelets then rush to the site of damage, (where) they form a plug (clot) to fix the damage.” Platelets are formed in bone marrow, and are essential for healthy bodily functioning.
Plasma is “the liquid portion of blood. About 55% of our blood is plasma, and the remaining 45% are red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that are suspended in the plasma.”
Putting those two together, platelet-rich plasma combines two components of natural blood: platelets and plasma, to form a solution that is more concentrated than natural blood without some of the other key components. PRP solutions are typically derived from the patient’s own blood.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Hair Loss
As mentioned in the introduction, PRP treatments are becoming common for medical conditions such as patellofemoral pain and IT band syndrome. So what about PRP for hair loss? While many medical doctors and healthcare professionals believe that platelet-rich plasma therapies require additional research, others believe that it is the present and the future of hair loss technology. Here are some of the highlights:
- PRP treatments are effective for both men and women suffering from androgenic alopecia.
- As with many new treatments, celebrities and athletes have been first to adopt PRP treatments for hair loss. Perhaps most famously, Kourtney Kardashian went public with her usage of platelet-rich plasma for her hair loss. While a Kardashian using a new technology does not a scientific discovery make, her results spoke to the efficacy of the technology.
- PRP for hair loss can be used as a supplementary treatment. Many practitioners advocating for platelet-rich plasma therapies for hair loss do so in conjunction with other therapies such as other injectables, laser treatments, and even surgical treatments.
- PRP treatments involve injecting the platelet-rich plasma directly to the hair loss site. Patients do not require any downtime after the procedure, and the process can be completed in one session from beginning to end.
It is important to understand that scientific studies on PRP treatments for hair loss are limited. While there are many reasons to believe that the therapy is effective for the treatment of hair loss, the volume and reliability of these results must be replicated at a greater scale before PRP is widely accepted in the medical community.
PRP vs. Other Common Hair Loss Treatments
Last but not least, let’s example how platelet-rich plasma hair treatments stack up against other common methods.
PRP treatments for hair loss: The main benefits of platelet-rich plasma technology is that it is effective for many individuals, uses no chemicals, and is very safe. The main downsides of PRP treatments are that they require a number of treatments (commonly 3 treatments per week for over a month) and that they are relatively expensive.
Hair replacement procedures: Another common solution for hair loss are cosmetic procedures including micro-grafting, slit grafting, and punch grafting. These methods of hair transplants are permanent solutions to hair loss that involve invasive surgeries.
Topical hair loss treatments: Last on our list is the most common treatment for hair loss: topical products. Hair loss products such as Rogaine have proven efficacy, but will generally not yield the same level as results as the other methods listed above.
SCALE 2020 for Medical Aesthetics Trends and Much More!
This July 22-25th, join us at the world famous Music City Convention Center in downtown Nashville for SCALE 2020! The annual Symposium for Cosmetic Advances & Laser Education is bigger and better than ever. We are proud to present a wide range of exhibitors and sponsors who will be discussing topics ranging from robotic dermatological surgeries to acne to non-invasive cosmetic procedures.
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