What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is an innovative treatment for hair loss that has quickly gained popularity. PRP is a non-invasive treatment using your own blood cells to stimulate growth of new hair. The platelets and plasma are components of your blood that contain proteins and growth factors, which can stimulate hair growth. There are many clinical studies showing that PRP leads to successful regrowth for various types of hair loss.
How does the process work?
- Blood is drawn from your arm, like if you are getting bloodwork done at a lab
- The blood is put into a special centrifuge which separates the various components of the blood, so that the plasma is isolated from the other components
- The platelet-rich plasma is collected and injected in small amounts into the scalp
- The growth factors in the platelets kickstart the healing process, and the regrowth of hair
Side effects of PRP injections
Complications associated with PRP injections are uncommon, which may be because the injections are your own blood. Some patients may experience temporary pain and/or soreness at the injection site. There is a risk of infection, as is the case with most injectable treatments. There is also the risk that the injections do not provide the desired results with your hair restoration.
Platelet Rich Plasma Before & After
Platelet Rich Plasma Before & After
How long does it take for PRP injections to start working?
It often takes about 6 months to get the full benefits of these injections. This timeline varies based on what is being treated and the individual person.
Do PRP injections hurt?
You will likely feel a pinch as the needle is inserted. The level of discomfort depends a lot on the treatment area. You may feel nervous about the injection appointments. We know each person has his or her own tolerance for and comfort with injections. Overall, PRP injections are not described as painful by our patients.
How often will I get the injections?
It is recommended to do a series of 4 treatments, 1 month apart initially. Afterwards, maintenance treatment is recommended every 6 months to 1 year depending on the initial cause of hair loss.
How much do PRP injections cost?
The only way to get a definite idea of cost is to schedule a consultation. The cost varies based on the treatment area, number of appointments and other factors.
How Long Do Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Last?
The way that PRP works for hair loss is to increase the function of inactive hair follicles. The body utilizes the growth factors and increased circulation to the fullest extent, which means that the effects may get “used up” over time. To sustain prolonged hair growth, your doctor may suggest that you schedule touch-up PRP injections at least once a year. Depending on how your body responds to your initial treatment, you may need touch-ups three to four times a year. The outcome is unique for every patient, so you can monitor your hair growth regularly for signs that you need maintenance treatment.
What Should I Avoid After PRP?
You will receive thorough aftercare instructions from our office when you undergo your PRP treatment for hair loss. Generally, patients are advised to avoid:
- Strenuous exercise
- Swimming, hot tub use, sauna, and excessive heat
- Excessive sun exposure
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin
What Happens if I Drink Alcohol After PRP?
You should not consume alcohol in the few days before your PRP injections, nor for at least a few days afterward. The reason is that alcohol can degrade platelet function, slowing or inhibiting the full aggregation and activation of the growth factors and other nutrients that have been injected into the scalp. Stem cells are also affected by alcohol, which could slow down your healing process. To maximize the investment that you’ve made into your hair regrowth process, you should focus on staying adequately hydrated and consuming nutrient-dense foods throughout your treatment program.
How Long is the Recovery Time for PRP for Hair Regrowth?
PRP injections cause minimal side effects. You may feel sore or tender for a few days after your treatment sessions. During this time, you can minimize activity but won’t necessarily need to take any time off work. In a week or two, the minor side effects of treatment should fade enough to resume light to moderate exercise and other tasks.
Why am I Losing More Hair After PRP?
Anytime we treat the scalp for hair loss, whether with PRP or FUE, we anticipate some shedding. In the case of PRP for hair regrowth, shedding is a natural occurrence that may simply have to do with the significant change in the environment of the hair follicles. PRP infuses the scalp with numerous growth factors, including cytokines and chemokine in each session. For some hair follicles, this change is overwhelming, so they shed the hair within them. Normally, this shedding is just one step on the way to fuller, more robust hair growth in the coming months.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like a personalized evaluation to see if PRP may be right for you, please contact us at 713-988-8442 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zhang at our office in Houston. We proudly serve Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas.