Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is cosmetic treatment that uses a person’s own blood to stimulate hair growth. Platelets are very small cells in the blood that the body uses for clotting. When PRP is injected and microneedled into areas of hair loss, it causes a mild inflammatory response that then triggers the healing cascade.
As the platelets are arranged and organized in the tissue, they release several enzymes and growth factors that promote healing and tissue restoration. These can help to stimulate hair follicles, reduce hair loss, and improve hair density. Microneedling is a procedure that uses an automated pen device with a sterile needle cartridge to create thousands of microinjuries to the skin. These microinjuries also initiate the healing cascade and increase blood flow to the area. Microneedling has shown to improve hair loss by stimulating stem cells and activating growth factors. When combined with PRP, patients can obtain optimal results for hair loss.
The patient’s scalp is numbed with anesthetic cream prior to treatment and a small quantity of blood is drawn from a vein. The blood is then spun down in a special centrifuge to separate its components which includes red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The platelet rich plasma is then separated from the rest of the blood and drawn up for injection into the scalp. The PRP is first injected into the areas of the scalp with hair thinning then microneedled into the scalp. Treatment takes approximately 75 minutes.
PRP injections and microneedling are used for androgenetic alopecia (a.k.a male and female pattern hair loss). Some research also suggests it may be helpful for alopecia areata. A consultation to determine hair loss type may be required prior to treatment if any doubt exists regarding the type of hair loss a client is experiencing.