Platelet Rich Plasma Injection for Hair Loss
Are you missing your “flowing mane”? We can help!
Whether you’re a man or a woman, at any age, loosing your hair can be difficult to deal with. From birth, to childhood, throughout our teenage years, and into adulthood, hair is a part of our identity. Our hair can make a statement about our personality, and it’s a trait we can control with a trip to a beauty salon or barber shop. We color it, curl it, straighten it, wear it long, wear it short, wear it up and wear it down. We might have a style we choose to wear that looks more professional, one that is more laid back and “fun,” or a more formal hairdo for special occasions. We might wear it differently from day to day to reflect our mood, or accommodate our needs for the day. We can change it throughout our life time as we go through different stages, our hairdos are a part of our unique story!
Styles, so many famous hair styles! Did you ever have a mullet, a wedge, a flat top, a mohawk, a beehive, a bouffant, a bob, a flipped bob, a mop top, a pixie, a shag, the feathered “Farrah” look, “Cher” hair, an afro, dreadlocks, or hippie hair? Who hasn’t looked back at pictures throughout the years and laughed at our hairstyle, reminiscing about the good old days! Our hair is our own unique accessory that is tied to our personality! Is it any wonder we get extremely attached to it! Needless to say, when it no longer seems very attached to us it can cause a huge range of emotions, including panic, sadness, stress and pain!
There are several things that cause hair loss, some are genetic based on our heredity, but it can also be caused by hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, stress, crash diets or reactions to products we have used. Anyone can experience hair loss, but it is more common in men.
Hair loss can appear in different ways, depending on what is causing it.
1. Gradual thinning on the top of the head.
This is the most common form of hair loss and can affect both men and women as they age. It is caused by an inherited gene and is often is called “male or female pattern baldness,” or is scientifically referred to as “androgenic alopecia.” In men this is often starts as a receding hair line and leads to bald spots over time. In women it usually presents as a broadening part in their hairline as the hair becomes thinner over time.
2. Circular or patchy bald spots.
In this type of hair loss, coin size bald spots start to appear. This is usually confined to the scalp, but in some instances there can be a loss of facial hair or even the eyebrows. This area of skin may become painful or itchy before the hair falls out. This condition may be referred to as Alopecia Areata.
3. Sudden loss of hair.
You may notice clumps of hair in your brush, in the bathtub, or on the shower floor. This type of hair loss can be caused by a physical or emotional shock. It usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.
4. Full-body hair loss.
Chemotherapy for cancer can result in the overall loss of hair on head as well as everywhere on your body. Certain medical conditions may also cause this. *Note: PRP will not help with this type of hair loss, but fortunately once chemo treatments are complete your hair usually grows back. If the hair is growing back after treatments are complete, PRP treatments may speed up it’s regrowth.
5. Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp.
If you have this type of hair loss and it is accompanied by redness, swelling, and possibly oozing your should see your primary care provider as this can be a sign of ringworm.
Note: It is important to see your primary care provider if you have sudden hair loss or notice any sores that accompany your hair loss as this can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition that requires treatment.
Platelet Rich Plasma is an Exciting New Treatment for Hair Loss!
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment has been used for wound healing, for dentistry, for orthopedic injuries, and for cosmetic procedures for a number of years. There is an increasing amount of data available for it’s use in other areas as the research continues. The excitement is building in the area of HAIR as it has been shown to be an effective treatment for hair growth with very few side effects! PRP contains proteins, cytokines and growth factors; when injected into the scalp they stimulate the hair follicles and tissue under the skin, resulting in rejuvenation of the area. This results is hair growth, producing an increased number of strands of hair as well as creating a thicker hair shaft. It also helps prevent the loss of hair that is already there. We invite you to look the published studies in educational articles section of our website to learn more about the science behind PRP treatment for hair loss.
What is Involved in Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment for Hair Loss?
First you will meet with one of our providers who specialize in bio-identical hormone therapy and PRP procedures. They will look at your health history, perform a brief physical exam, and talk with you about your needs. They will examine your scalp to determine the condition of your hair follicles. They will recommend lab tests based on the information gathered during this exam. This is because hormonal imbalance, thyroid issues, or vitamin deficiencies can contribute to hair loss. We have state-of-the-art equipment in our office so that we can obtain labs at this appointment. We will schedule your next appointment, to discuss the results with you, before you leave.
(*Note: We do accept most major medical insurance plans for the exam and labs.
Coverage will vary depending on your plan, deductibles, and copays.)
At your second appointment, your lab results will be reviewed with you. If it is discovered that your hormones are not in balance, your thyroid is not functioning optimally, or if you have a vitamin deficiency, the provider will discuss treatment options with you. Together, you come up with a plan you are comfortable with. (See our section on Bio-Identical Hormones and Thyroid to learn more.) Our provider will also discuss if you are a good candidate for PRP therapy to stimulate hair growth, based on the results of your labs, your health history, and the condition of your hair follicles. If it is determined you are a good candidate for PRP then you can begin treatments.
The treatment protocol for PRP involves taking a small sample of blood from your arm. Then the blood is spun down with a specialized centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood cells. The platelets are very concentrated and contain specific proteins and a multitude of growth factors. A chemical compound is added to the platelets to ignite these cells so that they can work their magic! The area to be injected is numbed with a topical cream, so there is very little pain with the procedure. The PRP is injected into the scalp with a very tiny needle in several spots in the targeted area. Then these multi-potent cells go to work rejuvenating tissue over the course of several months. It can take up to 5 months to see full results.
A second treatment is typically recommended after 6 weeks for optimal results and for the best long term outcome another treatment is recommended at 1 year. (*We do offer discounted pricing for the series of three procedures). In addition other treatment options that work in conjunction with this treatment will be discussed with you. Depending on your situation, certain shampoo or hair products may be recommended, some are over the counter or some may require a prescription. There are also prescription products that can be tailored to your needs, they are created by a compounding pharmacy. A “laser therapy hat” may also be recommended if it is felt this could contribute to hair re-growth. Again, we work with you to come up with a plan that you are comfortable with.
Your physical and emotional health is important to us! We are passionate about helping your feel and look your absolute best at every stage of life. Getting your hormones into balance and ensuring your thyroid is functioning optimally contributes to this. When you feel good physically, you are typically also better psychologically. Helping with your physical appearance is like putting icing on the cake! We understand if your hair is an important part of this equation and we will do all we can to help you keep what you have and get back what you have lost!
We are here to help you live your BEST life everyday!
Please reach out to schedule an appointment today.