PRP for Hair Loss - Thicker, fuller hair can be yours
PRP hair rejuvenation is being recognized as one of the most effective treatments for thinning hair. The popularity of the treatment is due to the fact that it is an all-natural hair treatment, with no side effects. Platelet-Rich Plasma, known as PRP, has been shown to be an effective treatment for androgenic hair loss as well as various other forms of hair loss in both men and women. ¹ ¹¹
About the Treatment
The procedure begins with a small volume of the patient’s blood being drawn and then centrifuged to separate and concentrate the platelets into the plasma. The PRP is drawn into a syringe containing calcium chloride, which activates the platelets. Activated platelets release growth factors, the proteins responsible for repair and regeneration of tissue, including hair. The activated platelets are then introduced to the affected area by fine needle injection.
Patients report a high degree of tolerability, but for those patients that are sensitive or apprehensive, a local anesthetic can be used to reduce the sensation.
The entire procedure takes approximately an hour with much of the time being allotted for the PRP preparation. Come visit us on our Vancouver clinic.
Results are not immediate and may take 3-6 weeks to notice hair thickening. 2-4 treatments, 4-8 weeks apart are generally required.
¹Khatu, Swapna S et al. “Platelet-Rich Plasma in Androgenic Alopecia: Myth or an Effective Tool.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 7.2 (2014): 107–110. PMC. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
¹¹V. Cervelli, S. Garcovich, A. Bielli, et al., “The Effect of Autologous Activated Platelet Rich Plasma (AA-PRP) Injection on Pattern Hair Loss: Clinical and Histomorphometric Evaluation,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 760709, 9 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/760709
Q and A: All About Hair
What is hair made of?
Hair is primarily made up of a sulfur rich protein called Keratin. Keratin is made from a combination of amino acids and micronutrient cofactors. Important nutrients for healthy hair formation include :Sulphur, Biotin, Iron, Copper, Lysine, Zinc, Manganese, Lysine, Proline, Vitamin D, and B vitamins.
How Does Hair Grow?
Hair grows from the base of the follicle, known as the bulb. The Bulb is supplied with nutrients from the body via tiny blood vessels. The cells of the bulb divide rapidly which results in 0.3 mm to 0.4mm of hair growth above the scalp, per day. The bulb and hair follicle are susceptible to subtle changes in their environment. Hormonal changes, chemicals, stress, and poor nutrition will significantly impact the rate of division and quality of cells being produced.
Hair growth follows three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. At any given time, a random number of hairs will be in one of three stages of growth and shedding.
- Anagen is the active growth phase. The cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly. A new hair is formed and pushes the old hair, or the hair that has stopped growing, up and out. During this phase the hair grows approximately 1 cm a month. Scalp hair stays in this active phase of growth for two to six years. About 85% of the hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time. The longer the hair stays in the anagen phase, the longer the hair can grow. Individuals that have difficulty growing their hair long, tend to have a shorter anagen phase.
- Catagen phase is a transitional stage and about 3% of all hairs are in this phase at any time. This phase lasts for about two to three weeks. Signals are sent out to stop growth. The hair follicle shrinks and blood flow is diminished. The follicle detaches from the bulb, allowing the bulb to rest.
- Telogen is the resting phase and usually accounts for 10-15% of all head hairs. This phase lasts for about 3 months for hairs on the scalp and longer for hairs on the eyebrow, eyelash, arm, and leg. During this phase, the hair bulb is completely at rest and the club hair is completely formed. This phase is known as the “shedding phase”. The hair, separated from the base and nutrient supply will eventually be pushed out by the newly forming follicle and hair beneath it.
How do Hormones Affect Hair?
Estrogen: can stimulate new hair growth and extend the anagen phase. Hair thinning in women generally becomes noticeable around menopause and in conditions like PCOS where female hormones are lower and androgens elevated.
Progesterone: This hormone helps keep your hair thick and full by counteracting, or inhibiting, the effects of 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a strong testosterone and is responsible for hair miniaturiziation seen in androgenetic hair thinning.
Dihydrostetosterone (DHT): This hormone is the main culprit of hair thinning and loss.