Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in the past ten years has shown dramatic improvement in the regeneration of tissues and bones. Such regenerating properties have been identified by the scientific community to help in providing cosmetic treatments for hair loss without the side effects experienced by medication.
Problems Relating to Hair Loss
A study done by the British Journal of Psychology documents that loss of hair can cause some to extreme amounts of psychological effects on a person and greatly diminish their quality of life. Some of these associated psychological disorders to name a few are low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety around hair loss.
PRP: A New Solution
For this reason, in the past ten years the requirement for hair loss therapy has been in great demand by individuals who suffer from androgenic alopecia. Medication therapy such as Finasteride and Minoxidil have been available since 2010 but due to the side effects of these medications, health professionals in the cosmetic field had been searching for an alternative.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) at the time was being used by plastic surgeons to heal adverse body injuries and had amazing results in the regeneration of soft and hard tissue. Regeneration in the body depends on the presence of factors such as: platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). When these factors are present, the regeneration of the tissue occurs. Such regeneration occurs very well when blood vessels are present. Blood vessels are in few numbers around the hair follicles and a further decrease in vascularity can lead to reduced growth factors and thus hair loss.
How Does it Work?
Recently, the cosmetic industry has been seeing the positive effects of PRP as the regenerative properties platelets are injected directly into the hair follicles. Direct application into the hair follicles allows the follicles to receive the necessary growth factors to regenerate and form vascular structures around them to further enhance the health of the scalp. Some added benefits to the treatments are no side effects, as the PRP is collected from a blood sample of the patient, and the treatments are once every three months under the oversight of a doctor.
What Have Studies Shown?
Researchers Elie M. Ferneini, Daniel Beauvais, Concetta Castiglione, and Moniek V. Ferneini did a study summarizing cosmetic treatments showed that PRP injections showed increases in the production of collagen fibers – increasing the elasticity of the skin, increased formation of blood vessels in the scalp, and increased skin thickness at the areas of alopecia.
While the study of PRP has been positive, it is still a relatively new therapy. Further research is currently being done to increase the effectiveness of PRP by adding other factors such as CD34+ cells, D/P MPs, or altering the growth factors present in the PRP extract. All in all, PRP treatments have been noteworthy in the regeneration of hair growth, benefitting both men and women and providing them the alternatives to medication that might cause side effects.
SOURCE: Ferneini, E. M., Beauvais, D., Castiglione, C., & Ferneini, M. V. (2017). Platelet-rich plasma in androgenic alopecia: indications, technique, and potential benefits. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 75(4), 788-795. (APA) Read here.