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Are PRP Injections an Effective Solution for Hair Restoration?

Androgenetic alopecia – male and female pattern baldness – is a common condition that affects over 80 million U.S. adults. However, despite its common presence among us, the condition continues to be a source of frustration, low self-esteem, and even severe mental health issues such as social anxiety and depression. Baldness is a burden for many and can have an impact on the quality of life for both men and women. Despite the numerous cosmetic products and drugs available on the market that claim to stop hair loss and promote dense hair growth, the truth is that nothing delivers noticeable results.

Researchers and scientists keep trying to find a cure for baldness but no drug has effectively managed to stop hair loss permanently and restore natural hair growth. No shampoo, conditioner, or mask will ever be able to replace the hair that is lost because it cannot cure the damaged hair follicles. The only option for patients with hair loss until recently has been hair transplantation, a complex and expensive surgical procedure that comes with its share of harmful side effects. However, things have changed significantly since plastic surgery has found the multiple benefits of platelet-rich plasma injections, a minimally invasive procedure that requires no scalpel, anesthesia, or recovery time.

Syringe injecting PRP into dark haired scalp with pink gloves

What is a platelet-rich plasma injection?

Platelet-rich plasma injection is a medical procedure that uses your own blood to help accelerate the natural healing process of the body. Initially, platelet-rich plasma or PRP was used exclusively by medical professionals to treat sports injuries such as chronic tendon injuries and muscle injuries. However, dermatology soon discovered the beneficial properties of high concentrations of platelets for skin and hair loss.

Our blood contains several compounds, including red and white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelets are a type of cell that contribute to blood clotting and wound healing. More recently, it has been shown that when available in higher concentrations and injected into the skin, they can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, heal acne scars, prevent hair loss, and promote hair restoration. At Georgetown Wellness & Weight Loss Clinic, clients from around the country come to us seeking PRP injections to help with their hair loss and hair restoration.

Do PRP injections actually work for hair regrowth?

Platelet-rich injection for hair restoration is a relatively new hair loss procedure but clinical studies have given promising results for patients with hair loss. There are different types of hair loss which, most of the time, are caused by aging and genetics. However, stress-related hair loss is also possible, especially if the individual smokes or has a diet low in vitamin D and iron.

Androgenetic alopecia or baldness appears when the hair follicles shrink and cause the hair to fall out. Injecting platelets into the scalp improves the blood flow to the damaged hair follicles and increases the thickness of their hair shafts. A high concentration of plasma rich in platelets activates the growth factors of your body and restores the hair growth cycle leading to improved hair density, healthy hair growth, and reduced hair shedding.

How do PRP injections for hair restoration work?

This hair restoration treatment is relatively simple and it doesn’t last longer than 30 minutes. The health care provider performing the procedure will need a blood sample from you to extract the platelets. They will use a centrifuge to spin your blood and separate the blood cells from your plasma. The platelet-rich plasma will then be injected into the balding areas of your scalp.

The procedure doesn’t require anesthesia and most patients experience minimal discomfort. PRP injections are an outpatient procedure with no downtime necessary. Most patients are ready to resume their normal activities the next day after receiving this type of treatment for hair loss. However, maintenance treatments are necessary, so you will probably have to schedule new PRP injection sessions once a month for three months after the initial treatment, followed by one PRP injection every three to six months afterward.

Syringe inserting PRP into a male scalp with brown hair

Do PRP injections come with side effects?

Since the plasma injected into your scalp contains only your own blood, the risk of an allergic reaction to the compound is non-existent. Other potential side effects of PRP injections are possible, but only in rare cases, and as a consequence of the procedure itself, and not the content of the injection. That is why it is very important to undergo this type of hair loss treatment only when performed by an experienced team of medical professionals who work in a sterile environment.

Some of the possible side effects of the procedure include nerve injuries to the scalp, blood vessel injury, and injection or scar tissue at the injection site. If the health care provider decides to use anesthesia for the procedure, other side effects might include confusion and muscle aches. It is essential to discuss your medical history with your physician before opting for this hair growth treatment and avoid undergoing the procedure if you are taking blood thinners, have an active scalp infection, or suffer from chronic liver disease.

During your initial consultation at Georgetown Wellness & Weight Loss Clinic, you’ll meet with one of our experts who will review your medical history. We’ll discuss your goals and your lifestyle to make sure the treatment aligns with the results you’re seeking.

When will I see the results of PRP injections for hair restoration?

While PRP injections have benefits for hair thickening and can prevent future hair loss, patients should have realistic expectations from the procedure. Platelet-rich plasma encourages hair growth and increases hair count but it may not match your natural hair growth pattern. The procedure has been shown to be very effective for patients suffering from moderate hair loss and can be used to promote growth after hair transplants when necessary for people experiencing dramatic hair loss.

You’ll need a few rounds of injections before you can see the first results. During the first months after the procedure, you’ll notice that you are losing less hair. As the platelet-rich plasma reactivates your hair cycle growth phase, you’ll be able to see improved hair thickness and healthier hair. For the best results, talk to your health care provider about the lifestyle changes you can make, such as adopting a diet that encourages hair health to actively contribute to the hair restoration process and maximize the effects of this potent therapy for hair loss.

Georgetown Wellness & Weight Loss Clinic prides itself in providing our clients with detailed aftercare information and is always available should you have any questions so that you can maximize the results of your treatment.

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