PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. The platelets are the tiny chips present in blood that mechanically help blood to clot. They contain growth factors that are believed to enhance healing and stimulate new tissue growth. To obtain these platelets, your own blood is withdrawn, spun down in a centrifuge, and the platelets, now in a concentrated band, are removed and injected back into the area that requires treatment.
PRP is FDA approved only for orthopedic injuries. It has been used a lot for ballplayers who have damaged various joints. After one or multiple injections, there is improvement in many cases.
Over the past few years, PRP injections have been used to stimulate hair growth in a thinning scalp. There have been many enthusiastic reports about the efficacy of these treatments as a medical hair restoration procedure. Some studies have shown a significant increase in hair density and quality. It’s important to realize that PRP will not work if there are no follicles present in the scalp. The proper candidate is someone who is experiencing THINNING because, while follicles are present, they have become smaller, producing smaller, finer scalp hairs. I tell my patients that there can be no absolute guarantees that the treatments will succeed, nor can improvement be expected to last forever.
I usually treat my patients with 3 monthly sessions, followed by one every 4 to 6 months. Treatments should be continuous, about 2 to 3 times a year for as long as they are effective. While some hair transplant physicians use PRP to enhance post-operative growth, there has been no hard evidence that this works.