Hair loss can be devastating, whether you’re a man or a woman. In the past, there was little we could do about this problem other than cover it with wigs. There are more options today, but many require drugs or invasive procedures. At Orchidia Medical Group in Naples, FL, we offer PRP for hair restoration because it’s a fast, safe way to naturally jumpstart your own hair growth.
If you’re concerned about your hair loss, there are commercial products you can try, but they come with a lot of side effects. If you’re not yet ready to try anything as invasive as hair transplant surgery, PRP could be just what you need. Are you a candidate for PRP for hair restoration?
PRP for Hair Restoration: Am I a Candidate?
What Stage of Hair Loss Are You In?
PRP treatment works best when you catch hair loss early. If most of your hair is already gone or you’ve been bald for a while, PRP won’t be able to fully restore the hair in that area. That’s why it’s so important to come talk to us right away as soon as you notice your hair beginning to thin. We can help you understand what’s causing the loss and then get you the treatment you need right away to stop it.
What’s the Skin in the Area Like?
For most people, the skin on our scalp remains largely protected from the sun by our hair. But if your hair has been thinning a while or there’s some other issue at play, the skin might not be in good enough shape for the PRP to work. If you’ve experienced frequent sunburns in the area, for example, you can expect some improvement but won’t see a full return to your natural head of hair.
What’s Your General Health Like?
Below, we explain what PRP treatment is exactly and how it works. For now, just know that the components to prepare the treatment come from your own blood. This is good news in that it means there are no drugs, foreign materials, or chemicals needed, so you don’t have to worry about rejection or allergic reactions. However, it also means you need to be in good general health.
If, for example, you’re suffering from anemia, we won’t be able to take your blood to extract the PRP. This also isn’t a good treatment for anyone with cancer. If your overall health, however, is generally fine, this could be the perfect treatment for you.
Do You Have Any Malignancy Infections?
Any malignancy can potentially be transferred by your blood from one area to another. Malignancy causes uncontrolled cell division, leading to tumor growth. If you’re suffering from a malignancy infection, such as blood cancer, or any infection of the blood, it’s best not to get PRP treatment.
Are You a Smoker?
Smoking harms your health in almost every conceivable way. One of the many health issues it causes is reduced platelet count. Since platelets are the first P in PRP, they’re crucial to successful PRP for hair restoration. In smokers, it’s not uncommon to require three times the amount of blood to get the same amount of platelets, which simply may not be possible. If you smoke, let your thinning hair be your motivation to finally give it up. Once you’ve stopped smoking for long enough, PRP can be an option for restoring your hair.
Are You a Heavy Drinker?
Moderate drinking doesn’t mean you can’t undergo PRP therapy, but if you drink heavily on a regular basis, you’ll need to cut back so your body can make enough stem cells for the PRP to restore your hair. As with smoking, consider your thinning hair a motivation to drink more moderately.
Are Your Hair Follicles Still Working?
PRP therapy works best for people with hair follicles that still work but are simply lying dormant. Follicles can actually die off due to old age or poor nutrition, among other issues, so it’s important to seek treatment from medical professionals like the doctors at Orchidia Medical Group. We can help you understand the reasons behind your hair loss and the best treatment for it.
Are You Pregnant?
Out of an abundance of caution, it’s usually best to wait until after pregnancy for many cosmetic treatments, PRP included. While PRP isn’t a harmful substance that could hurt a fetus, pregnant mothers can have blood pressure too low to allow for a safe blood draw, among other concerns.
Improving Your Candidacy for PRP
Your first step is to schedule a consultation with us. We can talk over all your concerns and find out what’s right for you. While there are a few things that could stop you from getting treatment, and in a few cases you may need to wait a little while before starting treatment, for most people, PRP therapy will be a good choice.
Understanding PRP for Hair Restoration
What Is PRP?
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is an element of your blood. Blood has many components, but the two main ones are red blood cells, which give blood its color, and plasma, which is basically clear. In the plasma, there are platelets and white blood cells, and the platelets are very rich in something called growth factors.
Growth factors are like the military messenger service of your body. Their job is to deliver messages to the cells ordering them to perform certain functions. PRP is used in many medical applications, but for hair restoration, the basic function of the growth factor messengers is to signal to the follicles to move out of dormancy and back into an active growth cycle.
How Does Treatment Work?
Since PRP is in your blood, the first step is drawing some of that blood. Then, the blood is put into a machine called a centrifuge. This machine spins things at extremely high speeds: so high, in fact, that the different components of whatever it’s spinning will separate from each other based on their molecular weight. In the centrifuge, your red blood cells separate from the plasma, which is now concentrated and full of platelets.
Once you have platelet-rich plasma, the next step is to carefully inject it into the areas where you’re experiencing hair loss. Normally, it takes about one injection for every half inch of area, and for most people, the treatment won’t take more than half an hour. After treatment, there’s nothing special you need to do other than avoid any kind of harsh hair treatments for two days or so. This means no blow-drying, coloring, perming, or vigorous scrubbing. However, warm showers will enhance blood flow through the area so the PRP can get to work.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
The number of treatments you’ll need will depend on your personal hair loss issues and the extent of the hair loss you’re experiencing. Just remember that this therapy is all about using your own body’s natural healing powers to kickstart hair growth. It takes a little time for the messengers to get the word out and for the follicles to begin growing again.
We’ll talk about the best schedule for you when you come in, but, speaking generally, many people do well with treatments once a month for the first three or four months and then a maintenance treatment every three to six months after. It all depends on how your hair responds to the PRP.
When Will You Notice Results?
The first results begin showing up from two to three months after your first treatment. The first thing you’re likely to notice is less shedding. After that, you’ll see the first signs of hair regrowth and notice that your hair is getting thicker and longer.
What makes PRP treatment so amazing is the way it uses your own body’s abilities to stimulate hair growth. It’s important to keep up treatments in order to keep the follicles growing, but this is true of many hair restoration options. While topical treatments and drugs can help with hair growth, they also must be continuously repeated (sometimes every day or week) and come with all kinds of risks and side effects that you avoid entirely with PRP treatment.
FAQ About PRP for Hair Loss
Is This Really a Better Option?
PRP doesn’t have any of the side effects of drugs like finasteride, and it doesn’t come with the downtime and pain of invasive hair transplant procedures. Additionally, some people aren’t a candidate for hair transplants, for a variety of health reasons, but are eligible for PRP. The same is true of drugs like finasteride, which some people are not able to use safely.
Does This Treatment Hurt?
This is a virtually pain-free treatment. Most people don’t even want a numbing cream, but one is available if that’s a concern for you.
Is This for Both Men and Woman?
PRP treatment works as well for women as for men. It works particularly well on those suffering from alopecia areata, which in men typically manifests as a receding hairline and in women results in balding patches on the scalp.
Can I Use This in Conjunction With Other Treatments?
Minoxidil and finasteride are the most common hair loss treatment drugs available. Minoxidil can be used by both men and women while finasteride is only safe for men. Both are fine to use in conjunction with PRP treatment if that’s the best way to treat your hair loss.
Many people also treat their hair loss with supplements of various kinds, and this is an emerging field for improving hair strength. Supplements contain the minerals and nutrients necessary to decrease inflammation and correct nutritional deficiencies that could be making hair loss worse. They normally pair well with PRP, but it’s important to always let us know all the supplements you’re taking.
Has the FDA Approved This Treatment?
The FDA only approves drugs, and since your blood is not a drug, it doesn’t need any such approval. In the case of PRP treatments, the medical community looks to the body of evidence available as PRP is used more and more often in every area of medicine.
PRP treatments have been used in healing and rejuvenation for sports injuries and osteopathic medicine, for facial rejuvenation and cosmetic medicine, and even as a therapy in cardiac medicine to speed up healing after heart surgery. Doctors across medical disciplines have found it safe and effective in promoting healing and regeneration.
Find Our More About PRP Today
If you’re displeased with lost or thinning hair and want to kickstart your body’s natural hair growth process, don’t wait. The sooner you get started with PRP therapy, the better your results can be. Contact us at Orchidia Medical Group in Naples, FL today and set up a consultation. We can’t wait to help you find the best ways to get back the full head of hair you deserve.