Hair loss is an incredibly common condition brought on by a variety of causes. For some, genes are what causes them to lose hair as they age. For others, it’s a result of lifestyle habits and environmental factors. Regardless of the cause of your hair loss and thinning, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are many prospective methods for treating hair loss. The most effective and proven approach is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Learn more about how this amazing therapy works and if it’s right for you.
Why Am I Experiencing Hair Loss?
There are dozens of potential causes of your hair thinning and loss. It’s important to rule out underlying medical conditions that may need addressing first. One common cause of hair loss is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The chemicals used in chemotherapy medications can sometimes cause the body to lose hair. In this case, your hair will grow back after treatment, although it may not be the same quality as it once was. It could also take many months to regain a portion of the growth you once had. Luckily, PRP therapy can promote fast growth and encourage new growth after chemo.
Another cause of hair loss is the autoimmune disease, alopecia. This condition occurs when the misguided immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out and potentially not grow back. It can happen in round patches on the head, the rest of the body, or both. PRP treatments have been life-changing for those suffering from alopecia. In one study, signs of new hair growth showed up as early as four weeks for males and six weeks for females post-PRP.
In addition to chemotherapy and alopecia, hair loss can sometimes be caused by your genes. There’s a common myth that a man’s chances of going bald depend on his mother’s genes. While the X chromosomes do determine some levels of baldness, other factors can also affect it. If there’s hair thinning or loss on either side of your family, your chances increase.
Here are some other common causes of hair loss:
- Hormonal changes such as those during pregnancy and menopause
- Protein and iron deficiencies
- Stress from emotional trauma
- Smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke
As you can see, the causes of hair loss vary from person to person. However, the possible solutions vary just as much as the causes.
What Are My Options?
You can find hair loss treatments from every beauty supply store, pharmacy, or drugstore. Do these over-the-counter options work? In the majority of cases, no. One-size-fits-all, topical products often aren’t strong enough to reboot your hair growth. There are some prescription medications that claim to improve hair growth. Under the guidance of your doctor, you may have tried that route and realized it didn’t work for you. Is there anything else you can do to rejuvenate your hair?
PRP therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment option for hair loss from all of the causes above. Although you need a medical professional to administer the treatment, it’s accessible for most people. Simply find a clinic that has qualified and experienced experts providing the treatment.
How Does PRP Work?
Plasma-rich platelet therapy is the process of withdrawing your blood, extracting the PRP from it, and reinjecting it into your body. It may sound intimidating, but it’s quite a simple procedure. If you’ve ever had blood drawn for tests or donation in the past, you can handle this treatment.
First, the blood is withdrawn. The technician will use a sterilized needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm. It’s then placed in a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge’s job is to spin the vile of blood rapidly that the different elements separate from each other. These elements include red blood cells, plasma-poor platelets, and plasma-rich platelets. The process only takes about 10 minutes.
The technician will use a syringe to withdraw the PRP from the centrifuge. Then, they inject the PRP into the hair follicles in your scalp. Topical numbing creams can be used to make the process more comfortable. Overall, it’s not a painful process besides a couple of pricks.
You may be wondering if this procedure does anything, or if it’s just a fad that celebrities are currently obsessed with. While it has gained popularity in Hollywood for skin rejuvenation, it also has credible evidence that it works on hair rejuvenation.
The Science Behind It
The human body has the natural ability to heal itself. When you scrape your knees as a kid, the wounds go away within a couple of days. If you break your arm, bruise your shins, or even burn yourself on the stove, your body knows how to heal. Scientists learned how to isolate the specific component that allows the body to do this: platelets. Although they aren’t the only factor involved in the self-healing process, they play a significant role. Platelets are found in the blood and are responsible for clotting to prevent excessive bleeding.
PRP therapy involves using the patient’s own blood because it contains the platelets their body is already accustomed to using. Through processing the blood in a centrifuge, technicians can isolate the platelets. The final product is a concentration of self-healing platelets that can be reinjected anywhere in the body. When this concentration of platelets is injected into the hair follicles, it jumpstarts the follicle cells’ functioning. Whether they were damaged or merely underactive, the platelets reactivate them.
How Many Treatments Does it Take to See New Hair Growth?
After the treatment, there’s next to no downtime. You can resume working, showering, etc. The only things that aren’t recommended are using the blow dryer on your scalp and colouring your hair. Having a warm shower after treatment is sometimes recommended because it increases the blood flow to the scalp. There’s rarely any residual pain post-PRP therapy, but if there is, an ice pack or Tylenol can help.
The number of treatments you’ll need depends on your hair type and the cause of the hair loss. Often, patients will receive treatments once a month for 2-4 months. After that, patients tend to get treatments every 3-6 months. It’s common for patients to see an improvement in their hair quality, amount of shedding, and new growth within the first 2-3 months.
Your technician may recommend other hair treatments to receive in between PRP treatments. Although it’s revolutionized the way hair is rejuvenated, PRP therapy works best when combined with other evidence-based therapies. Your technician may recommend additional products or treatments to assist the PRP with rejuvenating your hair.
EM Clinic and Spa provides advanced skin, hair, and body treatments. In addition to PRP therapy, we also specialize in Skinceuticals and body relaxation. If you’re looking for an experienced registered massage therapist in Guelph, our team is here for you. Book a free consultation for PRP or one of our many other services by sending us a message or calling the clinic today: (519) 668-7449.