PRP For Hair Loss
Stop your hair loss with your own cells!
It’s very normal for everyone to shed 100 to 150 some hair each day, but excessive hair loss is a big concern for both men and women. There are over 21 million women affected in the US . These are reported incidences of 12% in females around 30 years old and of 30-40% in the female population between 60 and 69 years old It can start with a just a few hairs falling out, or losing some when you comb your hair. Sometimes, this excess hair falling off may later progress to baldness. Baldness refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp which can be either inherited or can be due to certain medications. Hair loss can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. In this article we will look closer at what hair loss is and how you can use PRP for hair loss.
Hair Loss Causes
There are many reasons why one would have hair loss and they differ in men and women. To understand why hair loss exists, let us first understand the life cycle of hair.
Our hair goes through cycles of growth and rest, but its course is different for each individual. In general, the growth period lasts for about two to three years, and the hair grows about a centimeter per month. After the growth phase starts receding, the resting phase starts which continues for about three to four months. At the end of the resting phase, the hair strands fall out and new ones begin to grow in its place, thus the growth phase starts again. This cycle may become disrupted due to many reasons.
If you develop a hormonal imbalance or a specific irritation of the scalp, some hair follicles can potentially have a shorter growth phase and produce thinner and shorter hair shafts.
There are specific types of hair loss and the cause for each of them may be different. We need to understand the types of hair loss to better understand what is causing them.
- Pattern baldness: This type of hair loss can occur in both the genders. In this type, the normal growth phase of two to three years is shortened and the hair is also not as thick or sturdy. With each growth cycle, hair becomes rooted more superficially and tends to fall out more easily during shampooing or combing. Some researchers suggest heredity plays a key role in pattern baldness. Heredity also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair.
- Scarring alopecia: This type of hair loss is permanent and is characterized by inflammation of the hair follicle. Inflammation damages the hair follicle and it can cause the hair to fall out. Due to inflammation, the new hair does not grow. This condition may not occur independently and is usually associated with several skin conditions like lupus erythematosus or lichen planus.
- Alopecia areata: This is thought to be an autoimmune disorder (condition where one’s immune system attacks its own tissues), but the exact cause is unknown. People who develop this condition are generally in good health, but a few of them may have other autoimmune disorders like thyroid disease. Researchers believe that some people are genetically prone to get this condition, or a viral infection can contribute to the cause. In this condition, your hair generally grows back with treatment but may again fall out and regrow again. This may happen a number of times.
- Telogen effluvium: In this case, hair suddenly and unexpectedly falls out. It may occur when there is some kind of emotional or physical shock to your system which causes the hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state, but generally within few months, the hair follicles become active again and new hair starts to grow. It may occur after emotional shock, such as the death of a loved one, a high fever due to certain diseases, sudden or excessive weight loss, surgery, or metabolic disturbances. Hair typically grows back once you treat the underlying condition, but it takes a long time and the growth may not be same as the earlier growth.
- Traction alopecia: This kind of hair loss occurs when you pull your hair too tight when you style it. The roots tend to weaken and the hair can fall out.
Another potential cause of hair loss is poor nutrition. Inadequate amounts of protein, iron, or vitamin B12 in your diet can cause you to experience hair loss. Diabetes and lupus are two known diseases to cause hair loss.
Certain drugs used in the treatment of gout and arthritis can cause hair loss. Psychological disturbances like depression and heart problems like high blood pressure may cause hair loss in some people. Women on contraceptives (birth control pills) may also experience hair loss.
Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer treatment causes hair loss. These treatments will cause healthy, growing hair to fall out. Once the treatment is over, your hair will likely grow back.
Another common reason for hair loss is hormonal changes and imbalance, and this can cause temporary hair loss especially in women. In a woman’s life, hormonal changes occur during pregnancy, childbirth, after discontinuing birth control pills, at the onset of menopause, or due to an overactive or underactive thyroid gland. During pregnancy, it is normal to have thicker hair, however, it’s common to lose more hair than normal following child delivery.
Chemicals used for dying hair or those used in styling can cause hair to become damaged and fall out, especially if you leave the dye in for an extended period of time.
Overstyling using pins and curls, excessive brushing or combing can also cause hair to fall out if the hair shaft becomes damaged.
Fungal infections of the scalp (such as ringworm) can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to hair loss. Once infections are treated, hair generally grows back.
Hair Loss Diagnosis
Your doctor will take your complete medical history and your family history and will carry out an examination of the hair. Your age, habits, nutrition, the pattern of hair loss, the rate of hair loss, the appearance of nearby hairs and accompanying other bodily symptoms will all be investigated by your doctor. All these factors help in reaching a correct diagnosis of the cause of hair loss.
The effectiveness of medicines used to treat hair loss depends on why the hair loss has occurred, the extent of hair loss, and the individual response to treatment. Generally, treatment is less effective if hair loss is severe. Treatment is most effective when a correct diagnosis is done to evaluate the underlying condition. When the underlying condition is treated, it’s likely that your hair will regrow.
Some over-the-counter medications are available in liquid or foam form that is designed to be rubbed onto the scalp to grow hair and to prevent further loss.
Surgical procedures to treat baldness are generally expensive and can cause significant discomfort to the patient and can be painful. Many people choose not to follow through with this treatment. With surgery, there are always possible risks of infection or scarring. It takes a few months before you would assess the quality of the new hair.
PRP for Hair Loss
Platelet rich plasma, or often termed PRP contains approximately five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood. Platelets contain growth factors that promote regeneration of the cells in the body. PRP has been used in medicine for the last 30 years.
The benefits of platelets and the regeneration of tissue is widely known and accepted in medical literature, but its usage in recent medical conditions is currently being studied. The use of PRP to treat hair loss has the potential to change the way hair loss is treated around the world as it’s a revolutionary, new treatment for hair loss.
How does PRP help in treating hair loss?
If the hair follicles or hair roots are healthy, the growth of the hair is healthy. Hair follicles survive on the nutrition they get from blood supply. If we introduce platelets by administering platelet rich plasma (PRP) in the area of damaged hair follicles, it amplifies the body’s naturally occurring wound healing mechanism. Some doctors around the world believe PRP can be used to stimulate the growth of hair follicles preventing hair loss.
PRP therapy is performed in 3 stages.
First, approximately 10-20 ml of blood is collected from your vein. It’s very similar to having a routine blood test performed at your doctor’s clinic. The blood is collected by a nurse or perfusionist and placed in a special container. The container is then placed in a machine called a centrifuge where your blood is spun for approximately 5 minutes. When the centrifuge has stopped spinning, your blood components have now been separated. The concentrated platelets have been separated from your normal whole blood. The PRP that contains abundant growth factors and stem cells is now ready to be applied to the scalp. The goal of this process is to increase the effects of PRP therapy in hair loss.
The rich concentration of platelets now has to be applied to the scalp where hair loss has begun. Therefore, preparing the scalp to receive the PRP is necessary. For this, the scalp is stimulated to activate the wound healing process. Topical anesthesia is applied on the portion of the scalp where PRP will be injected. To prepare the scalp for PRP application, a special micro needling roller device is used. This roller device causes microtrauma to the lower layer of the scalp that induces other healing and growth repair cells into action. The microneedle roller uses 192 unique needles made up of titanium that pierce into the skin and open the skin to create micro wounds. Since it uses less pressure, the pain is minimal. Immediately, the highly concentrated PRP is injected in many different areas of the scalp.
The new rolling device product is a medical breakthrough for physicians to utilize because it causes the patient much less pain then similar products used in the past. This device also saves a doctor much needed time when performing this form of treatment.
Occlusive dressing is then applied on the scalp and photodynamic treatment on the injected area is carried out to further enhance the effects of PRP. Mild discomfort is expected during the treatment. You can return to your normal activity almost immediately, but your scalp needs protection from the sun and excessive irritation.
There are many benefits of using PRP treatment to promote healing for hair growth. Highly concentrated growth factors in the form of platelets have been shown to generate new hair growth, thicken thinned out hair, and make hair transplants grow thicker and healthier.
However, not everyone is an ideal candidate to undergo this procedure. Patients who have an active infection in the scalp, history of a viral infection like shingles, diabetes, any clotting disorder, or patients who are on blood-thinning medications like aspirin and immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine are not candidates for this procedure.
Also, if hair follicles are completely lost, this procedure is less likely to help patients. Patients may need to opt for hair transplant surgery.
The procedure takes one to two hours depending on amount of hair loss.. Since an inflammatory process is initiated at the wound site, there may be mild pain or discomfort felt by the patient at the site where PRP is injected. Patient are not advised not to take any anti-inflammatory medication since it may interfere in the natural healing process of PRP. Patients generally have to receive this treatment multiple times before they can see any results. However, some patients may only have to receive this therapy once a year. Follow up Low Laser Light Therapy In the office or at home is 30 minutes/week for 6 weeks.
The injected area may have mild swelling, it may even be tender to touch. Swelling may go away in few hours after the procedure while tenderness may go away in a couple of days. There is a possibility of the area getting infected, but this is rare.
PRP does not pose any danger of allergy, hypersensitivity, or foreign-body reaction and it is a safe choice for many patients.
Prognosis is generally good, but it varies from person to person. Most of the clinics practicing this therapy have reported almost 80% success rate.
Hair Loss Prevention
In most cases, hair loss is dependent on an underlying cause. When you treat the underlying cause, the hair loss is treated. On the other hand, hair loss that is due to poor hygiene, nutritional deficiencies, or stress can definitely be prevented. Good hair hygiene, regular shampooing, and proper nutritious diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and iron can possibly prevent certain types of hair loss. One can use hairstyles that do not damage hair.
Doctor Nacouzi has trained with Dr. Charles Runels , the inventor of the Vampire Face Lift and has used PRP in numerous procedures very successfully.
Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have, he loves to teach and answer questions as he is very passionate of the ongoing PRP field.
Should you have questions please fill out the form on this page. To schedule an appointment please call us at 919-332-7568 or go to the BOOK NOW to schedule an appointment!
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