Is Your Blood the Key to Hair Growth?
If you tend to keep up with the latest advancements in cosmetic medicine, you’ve likely heard about a treatment dubbed the “vampire facial.” The reason it is referred to as such is that the specialized facial rejuvenation treatment works via the patient’s blood. Contrary to the way it sounds, a vampire facial does not involve slathering blood over the skin. It involves a blood product called PRP, platelet-rich plasma. There are two components that make up the blood. These are the red blood cells and the plasma. The latter is a colorless substance that is rich in growth factors. These substances act as messengers in the body. Depending on the need, growth factors signal various cells to function. In the case of the vampire facial, growth factors signal the skin cells to function more efficiently. This same process has also been studied in the area of hair growth. With so many people looking for a proven hair loss treatment that doesn’t involve hair transplant surgery, the value of platelet-rich plasma has skyrocketed. Here, we will discuss how the process works and why more and more people are seeking PRP hair restoration therapy.
What is the Purpose of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Hair Growth?
In the era of modern medicine, platelet-rich plasma has established quite the following. Its use in cosmetic medicine is one of the newest inventions. Prior to that, doctors have used PRP to address age-related concerns like arthritis and in the treatment of sports injuries and other orthopedic concerns. The value of PRP lies in its growth factors and the way in which they stimulate cells into a higher state of activity. Multiple studies have been performed on the use of PRP, each of which has demonstrated the efficacy of this organic form of treatment. Specifically, in the area of hair restoration, PRP has been shown to increase hair count and improve hair thickness. Part of its action is to prolong the body’s hair growth cycle.
The Treatment Process
The use of platelet-rich plasma involves a few steps. First, the provider obtains PRP by performing a blood draw. This is no different than the lab work that is done during a routine physical. The tube or tubes of blood are then processed using centrifuge technology. A centrifuge device spins at a high rate of speed to quickly separate two substances. In this instance, it separates the blood plasma from red blood cells and other fluids. The provider then transfers the plasma to a sterile syringe to inject into the scalp. We hear you. Ouch! The scalp is highly sensitive. We know. To make the PRP injection process as comfortable as possible, the provider applies a topical anesthetic ahead of time. This may sit on the scalp while the PRP is being prepared in the centrifuge. A topical anesthetic may not completely numb the treatment area but it can significantly reduce sensation so the minor injections do not hurt. In addition to the topical numbing, the provider may also use ice packs or cool air to manage comfort.
Who It Works For
Platelet-rich plasma may be an excellent treatment to stimulate hair follicles to produce more hair but, unfortunately, that does not mean that this method of hair restoration is right for everyone. Most commonly, PRP is used to treat androgenic alopecia. This is also referred to as male pattern baldness, but it also affects women. In the latter, androgenic alopecia may look like the expansion of the normal part and hair thickness at the back of the head or, sometimes, on the crown of the head. In men, androgenic alopecia nearly always starts on the top of the head. For the best results, PRP therapy for hair loss should begin early and should be performed consistently. Treatments are usually scheduled monthly for three to four months to stimulate new growth and hair strength and density. After that, treatments may continue every three to six months for some time to ensure that the hair growth cycle continues as needed to maintain hair thickness. At first, patients may notice that they are shedding fewer hairs. Over time, they then notice an increase in hair density and length.
PRP for hair restoration has been proven beneficial. It’s a kind of Miracle-Gro for the hair. However, because hair loss involves several factors, PRP is considered one part of a broader treatment program. Dr. Ong utilizes various tests and therapies to help our patients get the best results in hair loss treatment. To explore how we can help you, contact our Scottsdale office at (480) 771-7771 and schedule a consultation.
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