Platelet-rich plasma (aka PRP) has been finding amazing success for joint problems as well as for cosmetic improvements and rejuvenation. It can be mixed with wrinkle fillers to enhance the results and applied topically after laser or other skin resurfacing. PRP is obtained by a simple blood draw from one of your arms then it is spun down to concentrate the platelets and growth factors.
Another area that is finding use with PRP is androgenic hair loss. PRP injections into the scalp can help with both areas of thinning and to stimulate new hair growth where it has been lost. The use of PRP is a great treatment option for hair loss because it has a number of scientifically based articles showing its efficacy increasing hair count, hair thickness, and the growth phase of the hair cycle. Its use for hair loss is gaining popularity around the world because it has no downtime and works. Shown below is a Springs Aesthetics patient.
After the blood has been drawn it is spun down using a centrifuge then the PRP is pulled out with a syringe then injected into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles. The process is meticulous — with injections beginning across the scalp, approximately at every half inch over the area of thinning hair. Treatments take about 30 minutes. At Springs Aesthetics we have a zimmer cryo-cooler to make the injections more comfortable and topical anesthetic can also be applied. There are no post-treatment restrictions. Best results are obtained with 3-4 monthly treatments then maintenance every 3-6 months afterwards. Results start to be seen between 2-3 months. Right after treatment a hot shower can stimulate helpful blood flow to the area. Avoiding a hair-dryer or curling iron for a few days is recommended.
PRP for hair loss can help both men and women. It works best for genetically-related androgenic hair loss. A multi-faceted program works best which includes: 1) low-level (cold) laser light helmet wear for about 20 mins a few nights a week (e.g., Theradome or I-Grow); 2) Topical minoxidil like Rogaine foam or Evolis; 3) Oral supplements; and 4) sometimes the use of orally prescribed medications –(Spirinolactone or Finasteride in men and post-menopausal women) to promote hair regrowth.
The at home use of the low laser light helmets is completely painless, and can help thicken current hair sizes as well as stimulate new growth. Some patients with just thin-caliber hair (no actual hair loss) have used the helmets just to have thicker quality hair.
PRP treatments at Springs Aesthetics currently cost $2500 for the first series of 3, and include a hair-regrowth helmet to wear at home a few times per week. Retreatments 2-3 times a year cost $700 each. Results can’t be guaranteed, but on RealSelf PRP for hair loss has about a 70% worth it rating, and results can vary depending upon the protocol followed and other patient variables. Numerous published scientific studies have shown PRP for har growth works and is proven. Best results are seen by following the recommended multi-modality approach.
John R. Burroughs, M.D.
300 Garden of the Gods Road, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80907