Platelet rich plasma (PRP) could be the next major breakthrough in treating hair loss and growing hair. PRP works by waking up dormant follicular stem cells. While some fear this is yet another market spoof to rob balding people, others are encouraged at the prospects. Some experts are lauding it as the greatest medical breakthrough against balding since Propecia.
To understand the basics of how it’s thought to work, a basic knowledge of blood is needed. Red blood cells (RBC) make up 93% of blood; white blood cells (WBC) make up only 1%.
Platelets and plasma make up the remaining 6%. when platelets are stimulated they release healing proteins called growth factors. The resulting platelet rich plasma decreases the less helpful RBC count to 5% while raising the healing platelet count to 94%. The results are accelerated tissue and wound healing. PRP merely amplifies the naturally occurring healing properties of the body via increased PRP content along with white blood cells, the body’s natural defence against disease.
PRP was first developed in the 1970s, but it’s only recently that it’s become popular in the medical field to battle hair loss. Some areas where PRP has been found to be helpful are in orthopaedic surgery, dental surgery, and regenerative medicine. To prepare the substance, blood is drawn from the patient and the platelets are isolated by spinning the blood in a centrifuging chamber. The plasma enriched with platelets, which are the healing elements in blood, are then infused into the scalp.
Platelet rich plasma has also been used in supporting hair transplants—specifically regarding the improvement of scar healing and to better preserve follicular units during surgery (however, opinions on its effectiveness for this purpose are still divided). By providing a nutrient-rich base for the newly transplanted follicles, some experts believe they are seeing quicker healing and more successful transplants.
At this point hair loss specialists have a long way to go before they can prove emphatically, the role of PRP in hair growth. Many doctors and clinics are working on PRP treatments to help promote new hair growth and top the balding process. But for now, this process is still in the early days of discovery.
Benefits of the PRP are that no foreign chemicals are being injected into the body and therefore the procedure is free from all potential side effects that other medication might carry. It’s also an option for women that can’t take finasteride as well as those men who experience side effects from using it.