We all agree that hair loss is a problem that takes a lot from one’s character as a beautiful woman or a confident man. This problem, which causes a lot of frustration, is caused by many reasons as genetic male/women pattern, stress, pollution or Malnutrition. Fortunately, scientists’ efforts have paid off, as there emerged different solutions to this problem as hair transplant surgeries and PRP.
The two types of hair transplant surgeries “FUT&FUE” have been proved an effective solution to hair loss and baldness. However, they have failed to meet the expectations of average people because of their high cost. Add to that, the side effects left by these two types of surgeries like scars, especially with the traditional FUT method.
That leaves us to the other solution “Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)” injections, which has proved to be the most effective yet cost affordable hair restoration technique in which your own blood plasma is injected back in you.
What is Plasma?
Plasma: is a pale-yellowish watery substance that makes up over half of the blood. It contains water, salts, proteins, nutrients and gasses.
Its main function is carrying particles to the cells in need. It is also the responsible of clotting blood, provision of immune response and other critical functions.
What are the growth factors in PRP injection?
The significance of Platelet Rich-Plasma (PRP) in simulating blood vessels, renewing cells and production of antibodies, has led scientists to apply more experiments on it. Their hard effort resulted in a modern treatment for hair loss that is less invasive and effective. The scientific explanation behind that lies within the growth factors that a PRP needle contains which are:
- platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)
- transforming growth factor beta (TGFß)
- Keratinocyte growth factor
- Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF)
- Fibroblast growth factors
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
- insulin-like growth factors (IGFs)
How does plasma treat hair loss?
When PRP injected into the scalp, it promotes renewal of the cells and spurs production of protein &collagen “The two substances that give freshness and vitality to the skin”. PRP also activates the growth factor inside the Platelets, which promote tissue regeneration. This all mechanism results into fresh scalp that regrows and nourishes hair.
PRP Injection Steps:
PRP treatment for hair restoration is a safe non-surgical procedure that does not require anesthesia, and takes few minutes for every session. It includes the following steps:
- Taking a small amount of blood (about 8ms) from the same person.
- Blood then placed in a special medical device (centrifuge) that separates plasma rich with platelets from other components of the blood.
- Adding Calcium into plasma to speed up its effect.
- The plasma then placed in special needles.
- The doctor injects the scalp with plasma. “This doesn’t necessarily require the use of anesthesia”. You still can ask the physician to use anesthesia or ice to eliminate the pain of injection.
Previous steps are repeated at every session. The number of sessions varies as the physician suggests. The result of the therapy usually shows after the third session, but the final one takes usually 3 to 6 months. The physician will also provide you with instructions that you should follow post to each session.
How to find the best clinic?
It might be hard to find a clinic that applies quality PRP treatment standards, especially with the increasing number of unlicensed hair restoration centers. An excellent clinic however, is one that has a qualified physician with established reputation among people who have taken PRP therapy before. It is also critical to make sure that the clinic is licensed, and possess international quality certifications.
Who can take a PRP injection?
Despite the reason, you can take PRP injection long as you suffer any type of hair loss problems including genetic male pattern, hair loss, scar in the scalp that prevents hair out, alopecia or any other type of skin problems.
Who can NOT take a PRP injection?
There are certain diseases that prevent you from taking this type of hair treatment. These diseases include:
- low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
- Chronic heart disease
- Liver diseases including liver viruses.
How much does it cost?
Although it varies depending on the center’s policies or physician, one thing to know is that PRP injection is a cost-affordable treatment. This fact actually is one of the major reasons behind it success and popularity. The prices also varies from a country to another. For example, a one session of PRP treatment costs $4000 in KSA and $5000 in UAE while it only costs $150 to $400 in Turkey.
What is the result?
It is very important to remember that the outcome of this therapy varies from someone to another based on many factors like the physical condition, reason behind hair loss and age. Sometimes, with sever types of baldness, it is recommended to undergo a hair transplant procedure instead. It also takes 6 months for the finale result to show up since the renewal of cells takes two to three months. Preliminary results however, may show post to the third session in form of slight appearance of short hairs in the injected areas. After that, the hair will continue to grow up normally. The thing that shows effectiveness of PRP approach.
What are the Side Effects to PRP injection?
As mentioned earlier, PRP injection is totally safe as long as it is applied by a skillful and experienced physician. There might be still some minor side effects like:
- Slight itching at the injected area
- Temporary slight redness on the scalp
- Temporary tingling after direct injection.
What precautions to look for prior and after a PRP session?
It is highly recommended that you pay attention to the following things before and after taking your sessions:
- Choose the best physician.
- Stop taking medications that affect platelets measure such as aspirin.
- Inform the physician of any chronic disease you suffer from, or drugs you have been taking.
- Make certain the clinic is licensed from the authorized party in the country.
- Be sure the physician has performed successful procedures to people before you.
- Make sure the clinic or center is carefully sterilized and hygienic.
- Wash and dehydrate your scalp before injection.
- Make certain the tools used are new and not reused.
- Do not forget to use prescribed ointments after each session to eliminate any possibility of infection.