Are you trying to find a way to stop hair loss? A treatment that helps hurt joints heal could help your hair grow back.
Baldness can start early in life, but it's much more common after men turn 50, when more than half of them lose their hair somehow.
But platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, a new treatment, seems to help grow back lost hair. And PRP has almost no side effects, other than a mild feeling of pressure where the injection was given.
What happens during PRP therapy?
About a decade ago, doctors started using PRP therapy to help damaged joints heal faster after an injury or surgery.
During the treatment, a technician takes your blood and spins it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma. The doctors then inject the plasma, which helps fix blood vessels, grow new cells, heal wounds, and make more collagen.
Researchers found that high concentrations of platelets in plasma cells help hair grow by making the growing phase of the hair cycle last longer. This led doctors to start using PRP in dermatology.
When people lose their hair, doctors inject plasma into the scalp. Most of the time, they give injections every month for the first three months, then every three or four months for up to two years. The schedule of your injections will depend on your genes, the way and how much hair you are losing, your age, and your hormones.
How is PRP therapy different from other treatments?
Many people have more trouble with other treatments for hair loss that are currently on the market.
Finasteride and minoxidil are two hair loss treatments that the FDA has approved. But you must keep taking these drugs over time, and the results aren't always the same.
Each drug can also have undesirable effects:
- Minoxidil might make the scalp feel dry and itchy.
- Finasteride might make it hard for men to have sex.
Hair transplantation is another option, but it hurts more and takes longer to heal.
Because hair transplantation is a surgery, doctors usually only recommend it to people who have lost a lot of hair. Also, a transplant is more expensive and leaves scars. Before transplantation, doctors can use PRP therapy, which can lead to better results and more dense hair growth.
How do you know if you are a good candidate for PRP therapy?
Part of why PRP works is because the right patients are chosen for therapy. PRP is safe and works for a lot of people. But you shouldn't get PRP therapy if you are one of the following:
- If you have a condition like a thyroid disease or lupus that is causing your hair loss, you probably won't get good results because these conditions will keep causing hair loss over time.
- If you take blood thinners, your platelets won't work, so the procedure won't work either.