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Boosting Your Follicles with Platelets

Last month we talked about hair loss and using SmartGraft follicular unit extraction to fill back in thinning areas. We promised a blog about another treatment for hair loss, PRP injections. Well, here we are for this March blog.

You’ve probably heard of platelet-rich plasma. Professional athletes have been putting the power of their blood platelets to work helping them recover after injury or surgery for about a decade. But what if you put the same platelets to work ending your thinning hair and actually regrowing it? Why wouldn’t the same healing and regenerative powers work for dormant hair follicles?

It does. Dr. Zhang offers this treatment for our patients suffering from thinning hair — PRP for hair loss restoration.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

We all know our blood platelets are crucial for wound healing, enabling the blood to clot and stem the bleeding when we cut our skin. But platelets are also healing powerhouses. They contain seven growth factors that aid in the healing of the wound long after the initial wound is clotted.

The idea behind platelet-rich plasma is to concentrate these qualities. Here’s how. We draw a sample of your blood, the same amount taken for routine blood work. We then place the blood in a centrifuge and remove all of the red blood cells. What you have left is concentrated blood platelets, white blood cells, and plasma — platelet-rich plasma. This is a serum with powerful healing abilities, fueled by the seven growth factors. Growth factors aren’t quite what their name sounds like. They are the messengers between the cells, signaling the cells to perform different functions. Yes, they may signal for new skin cells to be produced to heal a wound. But they have other roles, as well.

Using PRP on your scalp

The success that PRP has shown for athletic injuries made people wonder about other uses, such as improving the skin or addressing thinning hair. When your hair starts to thin, more and more of your hair follicles are entering and staying in the dormant phase of the hair growth cycle. That means fewer follicles are producing hair, so your hair begins to thin. When PRP is injected into these thinning areas on the scalp, the growth factors and other healing qualities are able to kick start dormant hair follicles back to the anagen/growth phase of the hair lifecycle. So, those areas that have been thinning can stop losing hair and then begin to regrow hair and fill back in.

Could I benefit from PRP for hair restoration?

If you are experiencing hair loss, you’re probably a good candidate for this treatment with Dr. Zhang. But the odds of success increase if your hair loss has more recently been occurring. That means your hair follicles only recently have been becoming dormant. The follicles are still healthy, but they’re spending more and more time in the resting phase. They can still be turned back to the growth phase, however, as they haven’t been dormant for years. That’s why PRP for hair restoration works best when the patient notices early hair loss. Clinically, this is known as androgenic alopecia.

If that sounds like you, then PRP could be a great option to stop your hair loss and start regrowing new hair. Now that’s something to look forward to in 2021! Call Dr. Zhang and Dr. Kronberg at (713) 771-8941 to schedule a consultation for PRP treatments for hair loss.

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