Hair loss is one of the most common cosmetic problems facing Americans over age 50. Some estimate the number of men and women living with pattern baldness at over 80 million. There are a myriad of causes – from hormone changes to overstyling – and just as many solutions. One of the trendier options is PRP therapy. You may have heard of this seeming miracle treatment, a non-invasive method that boasts of results with few if any side effects. But if you’ve wondered exactly what PRP therapy entails, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about this exciting new modality for restoring the hair you’ve lost.
Who Loses Their Hair?
The stereotype of a person facing hair loss is that of an older man. But the reality is quite different. Women are almost just as likely to face pattern balding, with hair loss around the hairline and crown of the head. Adults as young as their 20s can also see their hair seemingly vanish overnight. The reasons are often the same:
- Trauma from burns
- Tension from tight or repetitive hair styling
- Hormonal changes
The list goes on and on. Whatever your age, the chances are you’d like to get your hair back with the fewest side effects possible. This is where PRP therapy can come in.
What Does PRP Therapy Do?
Simply put, PRP therapy uses your own body to heal itself. For years, doctors have known that blood plasma plays a role in helping the body heal. Plasma, the liquid portion of whole blood, helps the body regenerate following an injury. In the past, doctors used plasma injections to help with joint issues or in healing after surgeries.
About a decade ago, dermatologists started applying the plasma theory to hair growth. As the plasma helps other parts of the body heal, doctors surmised that it would also help prolong the growth period of hair follicles.
PRP therapy is a simple process. Your own blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge to separate the plasma. That plasma is then injected into your scalp, where doctors believe its stimulating properties can “wake up” dormant hair follicles. The process can take multiple sessions lasting a few months to a few years to achieve maximum results. The upside is the therapy is minimally invasive.