Harnessing the Power of PRP for Female Hair Loss

Harnessing the Power of PRP for Female Hair Loss

Hair loss or hair thinning is a common concern that affects women of all ages and backgrounds. The predominant cause of hair loss in middle-aged women is Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL). FPHL is marked by the gradual miniaturisation of hair follicles, transforming terminal follicles into vellus-like follicles (vellus: hairs which are fine, short, and lightly pigmented or colourless). This process results in a reduction in overall hair density, thinning of hair, and diffuse non-scarring alopecia, primarily affecting the central, frontal, and parietal regions of the scalp. The exact cause of this condition remains unclear, but it is believed to be associated with a combination of genetic factors, hormonal influences, and environmental conditions.

While there are various solutions available in the market, one innovative and promising approach gaining traction is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss. In this blog post, we will delve into what PRP is, how it works, and its potential benefits for those seeking effective hair restoration solutions.

What is PRP?

Platelet-Rich Plasma is a natural substance derived from our own blood. This plasma contains a higher concentration of platelets, growth factors and other bioactive substances that may promote tissue repair and regeneration. It allows our body to heal injuries faster, encourages growth factors, and increases levels of collagen and stem cells. The key to PRP's efficacy lies in the high concentration of platelets, which are rich in growth factors. These growth factors stimulate hair follicles, encouraging natural hair growth.

Understanding the PRP procedure

The process of collecting PRP involves a straightforward procedure. A small blood sample is drawn, just like a routine blood test, and this is then placed in a centrifuge to spin the blood.  The heavier red blood cells settle at the bottom due to their density, while the plasma, both platelet-poor and platelet-rich, will rise to the top. Following this, the PRP is meticulously extracted, leaving behind the denser elements. The resulting concentrated PRP, will be used in the procedure.

The device used to administer PRP into the scalp is typically a specialised medical tool designed for precision and controlled delivery. This instrument, often referred to as an injection gun or PRP applicator, is equipped with a fine needle or multiple needles for targeted and accurate injections.  The needle or needles typically penetrate the scalp at a depth of 4-6mm, delivering the PRP to the specific areas impacted by hair loss or hair thinning.

Is PRP Treatment Suitable for Me?

This therapy tends to yield more favourable outcomes for individuals in the early stages of hair loss due to Alopecia Areata. Ideal candidates typically exhibit good overall health and possess realistic expectations regarding the potential results. Additionally, there is evidence indicating that PRP may enhance clinical symptoms in certain forms of cicatricial alopecia(1).  Cicatricial alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia, refers to a group of hair loss disorders characterised by the destruction of hair follicles and their replacement with scar tissue (2). Unlike non-scarring alopecia, where hair follicles remain intact, cicatricial alopecia results in permanent hair loss because of the irreversible damage to the follicles.

Key considerations to keep in mind

Every procedure comes with its own recovery phase, and PRP is no different. Your regular activities won't be significantly affected, but it's worth noting that some individuals have reported mild scalp discomfort, headaches, and associated side effects. Typically, these effects are temporary and may last for a few weeks.

Patients have reported experiencing a higher level of hair shedding. However, due to a lack of comprehensive research, it is currently believed to be associated with increased efforts by the follicles to expel old hair from the hair shaft.

How Many Treatments will I Need?

PRP therapy typically consists of three treatments in a 4–6 week period, with maintenance treatments every 4–6 months (3).

Remember that there are always risk when carrying out a medical procedure.  Keep in mind the following:

Infection: Any injection procedure carries a small risk of infection at the injection site, which is the scalp.

Pain or Discomfort: Some individuals may experience pain or discomfort at the injection site, although this is typically mild and temporary.

Bruising or Swelling: There's a possibility of bruising or swelling at the injection site, particularly if you're prone to these reactions.

Allergic Reaction: Although rare, there is a minimal risk of an allergic reaction to materials used during the PRP process.

Tissue Damage: It's important to be aware of the potential for tissue damage, particularly if the injection is not administered correctly.

Your medical provider might withhold approval for PRP if you are presently taking blood thinners, are an active heavy smoker, or have a background of alcohol or drug misuse.

Your eligibility for treatment might be affected if you've received a diagnosis of cancer, chronic liver disease, chronic skin disease, metabolic disorder, platelet dysfunction syndromes, systemic disorder, sepsis, low platelet count, or thyroid disease. This emphasises the importance of seeking professional medical advice before embarking on this therapy.

Exploring a Promising Path Forward

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy represents a cutting-edge approach to hair loss treatment, offering a natural and effective solution for those seeking to restore their hair without resorting to more methods.  While some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest positive outcomes, it's important to note that the effectiveness of PRP for hair loss can vary among individuals, and more research is needed to establish its overall efficacy. Clinical evidence is still weak.

While PRP has shown promising results for many individuals, it may not be suitable for everyone. Consulting with a qualified healthcare professional or a specialist in hair restoration is crucial to determine if PRP is the right solution for your specific needs.

I've never mustered the courage to choose this solution, but I've experimented with practically every other treatment out there. Let's run through the list: Minoxidil (marketed as Regaine for Women), Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) designed to enhance scalp blood flow, Spironolactone, vitamins and minerals, Saw Palmetto Supplements, various shampoos, and head massages – especially the unconventional upside-down method to boost blood circulation to the scalp.

Subsequently, I reached a breaking point, and through extensive research, I discovered beautiful 100% remy human hair toppers – my salvation. No more dealing with cumbersome creams, remembering to take my vitamins, or resorting to unconventional methods like hanging my head upside down! Gone are the days of applying the sticky Minoxidil solution to my thinning scalp. Plus, the application of applying a human hair topper is a breeze – just imagine gaining extra snooze time while rocking effortlessly fabulous hair!

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8922312/#:~:text=PRP%20is%20also%20considered%20a,some%20types%20of%20cicatricial%20alopecia.

[2] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24582-scarring-alopecia#:~:text=Scarring%20alopecia%2C%20also%20called%20cicatricial,chemicals%2C%20burns%20or%20autoimmune%20disorders.

[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/prp-for-hair-loss#:~:text=PRP%20therapy%20typically%20consists%20of,your%20geographic%20location

 

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional, and the information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.

 

 

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