Have you ever looked in the mirror, only to find more hair on your brush than on your head? You’re not alone. Pattern baldness, the most common type of hair loss, affects some 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. Hair transplants offer a permanent solution to baldness and hair thinning but the thought of getting surgery is scary for many. This is where PRP for hair loss comes in. It’s safe, quick, and effective in managing ongoing hair loss with no incisions or downtime involved.
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What is PRP Treatment for Hair Loss?
PRP therapy is a medical procedure that uses a concentration of platelets from your own blood to encourage hair growth. Platelets are blood cells with several roles, one of which is promoting healing and regeneration. In PRP for hair loss, these platelets are extracted, concentrated, and then injected into the scalp, with the aim of stimulating hair follicles to grow.
How PRP Works for Hair Loss
PRP harnesses the growth factors found in the blood to promote follicle growth. When concentrated and applied to the scalp, these platelets release growth factors that can rejuvenate dormant hair follicles, encouraging them to shift from a resting phase to an active growth phase.
This treatment also increases blood floow to the hair follicles. This means more nutrients and oxygen for the hair follicles. By improving the health of hair follicles, PRP can lead to the growth of thicker, stronger hair strands.
PRP treatments tend to be more effective in the early stages of hair loss, where the hair follicles are still capable of being stimulated. In cases of complete baldness, where follicles are significantly damaged or entirely absent, the benefits of PRP are limited.
What Does the PRP Procedure Involve?
The PRP procedure is relatively simple and can be broken down into three main steps:
Blood Collection and Platelet Concentration: A small amount of blood is drawn from your arm, just like a regular blood test. This blood is then placed in a centrifuge, which spins it to separate the platelets from other blood components.
Preparation of the Scalp: The area of the scalp where hair loss has occurred is prepared, often with a local anesthetic or topical cream to minimize discomfort.
Injection of the PRP: The concentrated platelets are then injected into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles.
The entire process typically takes about 1 hour and requires no downtime. Most patients return to their daily activities immediately post-treatment.
How Much Hair Will I Grow Back?
While some patients report significant hair regrowth, others may only see a modest improvement. In a study of 555 cases across 10 trials, PRP was found to notably increase the thickness of hair, although it didn’t change the hair’s thickness. This effect was more evident in studies with only men, compared to those with both men and women. The results of PRP therapy can vary depending on certain factors, including the pattern and extent of hair loss, the patient’s age, and overall health.
How Long Does it Take to See Results?
Seeing results from PRP therapy for hair growth usually takes time, typically between 3 to 6 months. To get the best outcome, patients often need multiple treatments, usually once a month. Additionally, combining PRP with FDA-approved hair loss medications like finasteride and minoxidil can enhance your results. Finasteride is a medication that reduces hair loss by blocking DHT (a hormone linked to hair loss) while minoxidil is a topical treatment that stimulates hair follicles. This combination approach might lead to more significant improvements in hair thickness and coverage.
Is PRP Safe?
PRP is generally considered safe, mainly because it uses the patient’s own blood, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or infections. It offers a way to regrow hair naturally. However, like any medical procedure, there are potential side effects, including pain at the injection site, scalp tenderness, and brusing, though these side effects typically go away on their own after a few days.
How Much Does PRP Therapy Cost?
The cost of PRP therapy for hair loss varies depending on geographic location and the number of sessions required. Typically, each session can range from several hundred to over a thousand dollars. Since multiple sessions are often necessary, the total cost can add up quickly but the benefits of PRP are totally worth it.
Is PRP Covered by Insurance?
Currently, PRP therapy for hair loss is generally not covered by health insurance, as it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. This means that you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket. It’s always a good idea to consult with your insurance provider and the medical facility to understand the full financial implications before undergoing treatment.
What are the Alternatives to PRP?
PRP is not the only noninvasive treatment for hair loss. For those seeking alternatives to PRP, there are several options:
Medications: Over-the-counter solutions like Minoxidil (Rogaine) or prescription drugs like Finasteride (Propecia) can be effective for some individuals.
Laser Therapy: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive option that uses light therapy to stimulate hair growth.
Hair Transplant Surgery: A more invasive, but often more permanent solution, involves transplanting hair from one part of the scalp to another.
Dietary Supplements: Scalp and hair health is influenced by your overall health. Most people don’t realize it but deficiency in certain vitamins are linked to hair loss. By taking hair supplements that contain essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and botanicals, you are supporting hair regrowth.
Each of these alternatives comes with its own set of benefits, risks, and costs, and what works for one person may not work for another. Consulting a hair loss specialist will help you determine which approach best suits you.
Dermatologist for Hair Loss in Houston, Texas
To find out which hair loss treatment will give you the best results, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist. If you’re looking for a hair loss specialist in Houston, TX, look no further than Team Dermatology.
Dr. Ali and Dr. Maloney of Team Dermatology brings more to the table than just medical expertise; they offer a deep understanding of the unique struggles men and women face because of hair loss.
Call us to schedule a consultation today. We serve patients in and around Houston, Texas including Memorial, Sugar Land, Bay Town, Conroe, Deer Park, Tomball, The Woodlands, and nearby areas.