PRP Therapy Overview
Our blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Plasma, is the fluid part of the blood which suspends and carries blood cells and nutrients throughout the body. Platelets are tiny cells in the blood which rush to any site of injury, when bleeding occurs, to plug and form a clot and repair the damage. Platelets are also known to be a reservoir of growth factors that stimulate tissue recovery by increasing blood flow and cytokines. They are known to be responsible for stimulating and enhancing hair follicle function.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is processed blood plasma, a concentration of plasma with platelets from which red blood cells and white blood cells are removed. This concentration of PRP taken from the patient’s own blood is injected into the scalp to promote hair growth. The scalp is that the skin that covers the top part of your head.
Am I eligible for Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy?
You are eligible for PRP therapy if:
- you are not completely bald and have low-density hair
- you do not smoke heavily or drink alcohol frequently
- you do not indulge in drugs usage
- you do not take blood thinners
- you do not suffer from medical conditions such as chronic skin or liver disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, blood disorders such as platelet dysfunction syndrome, thrombocytopenia, hypofibrinogenemia, hemodynamic instability
The procedure of PRP Therapy for Hair
At the outset, the doctor will discuss at length with you about your medical history, including your family history, your nutrition, medications you take (including vitamins), your hair care regimen, recent surgeries and a detailed history of your hair loss situation. The doctor will also perform a general physical examination. Depending on your medical condition, you may have to undergo certain medical tests, such as blood tests, or a scalp biopsy to determine your eligibility for PRP hair therapy.
Once you are okayed for PRP hair therapy, you will be given certain guidelines to follow, before the actual procedure.
Prior to each session of the therapy, approximately 30 ml or 60 ml of blood will be drawn from you depending on the size of the area to be treated.
Extraction of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) from the blood
Our blood contains:
- White Blood Corpuscles (WBCs) – involved in protecting the body against infectious diseases and foreign invaders
- Red Blood Cells (RBCs) – which carry oxygen to different parts of the body
- Platelets – involved in clotting and repairing injuries
- Plasma – fluid which carries nutrients and vitamins throughout the body.
The blood drawn from your system, before each session, is spun in a centrifuge, a machine used by scientists to isolate the solids from the liquids in any solution. Due to the centrifugal force, the blood spins very rapidly in the centrifuge causing the heaviest particles in the blood, i.e., the red blood cells to fall to the bottom of the vial. Sitting just above the layer of red blood cells are the white blood cells and platelets with plasma. Atop this layer, rests a clear solution of blood plasma.
The clear blood plasma or the platelet-poor plasma (PPP) is removed. Next, again through centrifuging, the white blood cells are separated from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
The platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is what is used for the therapy.
Typically, 8 ml – 12 ml of injectable PRP is considered as the optimum volume for injecting into the scalp.
The PRP Procedure
- The doctor marks out the area on your scalp where hair needs to be restored.
- The marked area on your head is anesthetized using a local anesthesia.
- A disinfectant is applied on the area which is to be treated.
- The PRP is injected into the deeper layers of your scalp.
- The site is then cleaned thoroughly.
Most of the doctors also perform a procedure called micro needling along with PRP Hair Therapy.
A derma roller, or mesogun is used to create micro holes on the scalp.
These controlled micro-injuries to the scalp skin triggers the skin’s repair process by making it naturally produce collagen and elastin, thereby creating an ideal environment for your own natural hair to regrow. The microchannels created by the injuries aid the quick absorption of the injected Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and other topical products used on the scalp. The injuries induce the platelets to release growth factors at the injury site, and “awaken” dormant hair follicles to begin the production of new hair.
Are there any risks or side effects of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair?
You may experience tenderness and soreness, minimal pain, and pinpoint bleeding in the areas where injections were delivered. You may also experience a feeling of ‘tightness’ on your scalp for a day after the procedure. A few patients also complain of a headache for a day post the procedure.