Hair loss is a common issue affecting people all over the world. For example, research shows that more than 36% of Canadian men experience hair loss of some form or another in their lifetime.
Various treatments for hair loss are available, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is one of the most innovative. Keep reading to discover why it could be the ultimate solution.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP therapy is a form of treatment that uses your own blood, or specifically the plasma within the blood. One of the most well-known forms of PRP therapy is the “vampire facial”, which can increase collagen production and cultivate smoother, younger-looking skin.
How does PRP therapy work?
PRP therapy treatment begins with taking a blood sample from one part of the body (often the arm), then inserting it into a centrifuge. This machine spins the sample at incredibly high speeds to separate the platelet-rich plasma from red blood cells.
Platelets are tiny cells within the bloodstream. Whenever you cut your skin, platelets bind together to fix damaged vessels and form blood clots to stop you from bleeding.
Once the plasma is separated, it is placed in a needle and injected into a specific area — in this case, the scalp. The plasma releases powerful growth factors that can increase the number of cells performing skin repairs at the injection site.
How does PRP help treat hair loss?
Injecting platelet-rich plasma into the scalp can boost circulation and encourage a better supply of blood to the affected follicles. That may promote more active growth and leave hair looking thicker.
Hair loss can affect different areas of the scalp depending on the cause. Common hair-loss sites include the crown and the hairline.
Regardless of the factors causing hair loss, it’s crucial that you undergo a thorough consultation with a trained treatment provider before you try PRP therapy. They will be able to assess your scalp, discuss your hair loss, and explore how PRP therapy could restore hair growth. After the consultation, you will have a clearer idea of how the process works and what to expect.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors. These include:
Sadly, men and women may inherit baldness. One of the most common types of hair loss is male- or female-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), which causes gradual thinning across the scalp.
Pattern baldness often begins with a receding hairline, thinning at the crown, bald spots elsewhere, or a combination. This can be a particularly difficult form of hair loss to deal with, especially when it reaches its most extreme stages.
Hormones can have a major impact on hair growth. Women may start to lose their hair following pregnancy and during menopause, as the female body undergoes significant hormonal fluctuations during both events. Hair loss related to menopause, for example, is caused by a drop in estrogen levels.
Various medical conditions can lead to hair loss. Alopecia is a well-known condition that causes hair to fall out in patches on the scalp or other areas of the body. It occurs when the immune system sees hair follicles as a threat and mistakenly attacks them. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, around 2% of the population experience alopecia in one form or another during their lifetime.
The extent of hair loss can vary from one type of alopecia to another. For example, alopecia totalis is a particularly severe form of alopecia that affects the entire scalp. Individuals living with alopecia totalis will develop complete baldness on top of their head. However, alopecia universalis extends beyond the scalp and can strip the entire body of all its hair.
Medications and treatments
Certain medications and treatments can trigger hair loss, such as those for heart problems, cancer, and high blood pressure. Hair may start to grow back after treatment ends, though that might not always be the case.
Cortisol levels in the body increase when you feel stressed, and chronic cases can prompt cortisol to hinder hair growth. Such extreme stress could be caused by an illness, severe shock, or major physical injury. Stress-related hair loss is usually temporary.
Repeatedly wearing hair in an extremely tight style, such as cornrows, can cause traction alopecia. These styles pull on the hair constantly, which leads to shedding in one or more areas.
What should you expect with your PRP for hair loss?
Whatever the cause of your hair loss, PRP therapy may be able to help promote new, stronger regrowth. You may feel daunted by the prospect of undergoing any type of treatment for hair loss, but PRP therapy involves only injecting your own blood back into your body (just in a different form).
Your pre-treatment consultation is a crucial opportunity to discuss your hair loss and what the treatment can do for you. If you have any concerns you want to address, the consultation is the perfect time.
The process is usually quite fast, and should take no more than one hour (though that can vary). You will need a series of PRP therapy sessions, typically spaced around one month or so apart, to achieve your hair growth goals.
As with almost any type of treatment for hair loss, PRP therapy carries a risk of potential side effects. These include:
All potential side effects can be discussed during your consultation for your peace of mind. PRP for hair loss may not be right for you if you are currently taking blood thinners or smoke heavily (which can impair circulation).
Book your PRP for hair loss consultation at Astra Medicare
PRP for hair loss may be an effective way to restore hair growth on your scalp, using your own blood. At Astra Medicare, all PRP treatments are only performed by a Registered Nurse (RN) with access to the latest facilities.
To book your PRP for hair loss treatment, get in touch with Astra Medicare today.
Dedicated and passionate Astra Medicare staff.