Every year there is a new revolutionary treatment that is supposed to stop hair loss and regrow hair. Unfortunately, the majority of these treatments do not deliver on their promises and most of them are overpriced. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has exploded in popularity recently and is offered by world renowned hair restoration clinics around the world. In this article, we will go over PRP as a potential treatment for genetic hair loss.
What Is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma is derived from whole blood, centrifuged to remove red blood cells. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrated source of blood plasma and autologous conditioned plasma. PRP contains several growth factors and cytokines. Blood is made up of two main components, red blood cells and plasma. The plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which are rich in growth factors. Growth factors work by signaling the production of new cells.
How Does PRP For Hair Loss
To date, the clinical evidence and data for the efficacy of PRP for the treatment of genetic hair loss is scarce. However, many swear by the treatment and it's benefits for the thickening of existing hair and regrowth of hair. However, one study published in the Stem Cells Journal a randomized placebo controlled study was conducted on 23 patients suffering from hereditary hair loss. The results were impressive and the individuals who participated in the study saw significant improvements in hair density. PRP is thought to promote hair growth by stimulating stem cells and growth factors to reinvigorate hair.
How is PRP Performed
PRP is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in a doctors office for a short-period of time. First, physician's will draw the patient's blood from their arm and place the blood in vials that are placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge is a machine that spins the blood and separates the red blood cells. After the blood is placed in the centrifuge for several minutes, the blood will be separated in to three layers platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma and red blood cells. The physician then draws the platelet-rich plasma in to a syringe that is then injected in to the patient's balding areas.
Unfortunately, the clinical data and scientific evidence is severely lacking for the treatment of androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) using PRP. However, there is some anecdotal evidence online that suggest the treatment could be effective in thickening existing hair. Currently, there are only two medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness, the medications are Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). The only treatment than can regrow hair on a completely bald scalp is hair transplantation.
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