When Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has cropped up in the media recently, it’s because some celebrity has decided to go public about their vampire facial treatment. PRP has a history that pre-dates its latest incarnation, however. It’s been used to heal sports injuries for many years, while more recently, it has become a standard treatment in the hair restoration business. It’s a process that involves injecting a concentrated solution of the client’s own platelets into the scalp. The platelets contain growth factors that promote hair growth and improve the overall health of the scalp. What are these growth factors, and how do they work? More importantly, how long will they take to fix your hair?
Keep reading to get some answers!
PRP Growth Factors
Platelets in PRP contain three major growth factors. Let’s take a quick look at each of these.
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a protein that is naturally produced by cells in the body, including platelets. It is a potent mitogen, meaning it stimulates the growth and division of cells. It is involved in the repair and regeneration of tissues, particularly in wound healing and tissue repair processes.
PDGF is also involved in the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) and the recruitment of cells to the site of an injury. Small wonder, then, that it’s regarded as a potential treatment option for chronic wounds, bone fractures and tissue damage in various diseases.
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is produced in various tissues, including the salivary glands, kidneys and intestines, and is involved in the development and maintenance of many tissues, including the skin, hair and nails. Just like PDGF, this growth factor plays a critical role in wound healing and tissue repair.
EGF has been the subject of extensive research, and its potential therapeutic applications are being explored in various fields, including regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and dermatology. EGF has been investigated as a treatment option for skin ageing, wound healing and, of course, hair restoration.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a protein that plays a crucial role in the formation of new blood vessels. It is a type of growth factor that is primarily produced by cells in the endothelium.
VEGF stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, a process essential for normal development, tissue repair and wound healing. In addition to its role in angiogenesis, VEGF also regulates the permeability of blood vessels.
How Growth Factors Work
Here are some of the ways in which growth factors promote hair growth:
- Growth factors can stimulate the proliferation of cells in the hair follicle, including the hair matrix cells, which are responsible for producing the hair shaft. This can lead to an increase in the number and quality of hairs produced.
- Growth factors can stimulate the formation of new blood vessels, which can increase blood flow to the hair follicles. This can provide the hair follicles with the nutrients and oxygen they need to support hair growth.
- Inflammation can damage hair follicles and lead to hair loss. By reducing inflammation, growth factors can help protect hair follicles and allow the natural hair growth cycle to run its course.
- The anagen phase is the active growth phase of the hair cycle. Growth factors can help to extend this phase, which can lead to longer, thicker hair.
- Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death that can occur in hair follicle cells. Growth factors help prevent this, meaning that hair follicles can keep producing hair for longer.
The timeline for seeing results from PRP therapy can vary from person to person. Some people may notice improvements in hair thickness and density after a few months while others may take longer to see results. It’s also important to note that PRP therapy is not a one-time treatment, and multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve optimal results. Patience is required, therefore!
Many clients worry about the pain involved in the PRP process. Such fears are groundless unless you have exceptionally sensitive skin or a particularly low pain threshold. The needles used to inject the PRP solution are much smaller than the needles used for tattooing, for example, so this is not a traumatic experience.
Overall, growth factors can have a positive effect on hair growth by stimulating the proliferation of hair follicle cells, increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, reducing inflammation, lengthening the anagen phase and preventing apoptosis. The PRP process takes several months to have an impact, however; this is not an instant cure.Top of Form
If you’d like to know more about PRP or any other treatments from our extensive range, why not book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our hair experts? Vinci Hair Clinic is one of the world’s leading hair restoration organisations, so we have more experts than most! Consultations can happen in person at one of our clinics or over the phone using photographs. Get in touch today to schedule your appointment!