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PRP treatment successful for hair loss

What is PRP for hair loss?

PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is a nonsurgical hair-loss treatment during which platelets extracted from your own blood are injected into areas of your scalp with thinning hair. While PRP is not yet FDA-approved for hair loss, the research done so far finds PRP to be effective for both age-related hair loss and alopecia areata, a disease that causes hair loss in young and otherwise healthy people. It’s considered a safe, relatively inexpensive, and less invasive alternative to surgery, and the doctors who perform it say it can stimulate the follicles and slow down the rate of hair loss. In some cases, it can regrow hair.   

Platelets in your blood play a role in clotting and healing. They are the cells that contain the cell signaling agents that quarterback, or orchestrate, the human body’s tissue rejuvenation and healing systems. Plasma is the liquid in blood that carries the platelets, along with red blood cells and white blood cells. During a PRP procedure, the doctor separates platelets from your blood and processes them to concentrate the growth factors. Once injected into your scalp, PRP increases blood flow to the hair follicles, stimulates the growth of new follicles, and lengthens the anagen (active) phase of the hair cycle to promote hair growth.

“It stimulates the dormant hair follicles to grow,” explains Dr. David Berman, a plastic surgeon in Sterling, Virginia. “Studies suggest that you get an increased number of hair follicles and increased thickness in the hair shaft.”

PRP injections originated in Europe more than a decade ago. Today, doctors use it for a variety of medical applications, including helping injured joints and wounds to heal more quickly and treating aging skin and hair loss.
What is PRP for hair loss?
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"It depends on the etiology and how long the hair has been gone from the area," says Dr. Melissa Doft, a plastic surgeon in New York City. "For example, if you have alopecia caused by stress, pregnancy, or another trauma and treat it right away, there's a greater chance that the hair follicles will be stimulated and the hair will grow back. However, I've had male patients who have had hair loss for a while and have seen some small hair regrowth when I've injected them. Also, the hair that they do have has gotten thicker."

The hair growth cycle is also a factor. Hair has a dormant period, a fast growth period, and then sheds. These three stages repeat themselves. "One of the many reasons you want to do a number of sessions that are spread out is because you want to hit all of the hair follicles when they're coming out of the dormant stage and are ready to grow," explains Dr. Doft.



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