The new hair regrowth treatment called platelet rich plasma has seen a success rate of 80% of patients, out of which half are women. But not many people have heard about it. We will go through the basics so you can see if it could be for you.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
This is one of several new hair treatments that are being marketed specifically for women. Although more men than women experience severe hair loss, it could definitely be argued that it is a bigger problem for women. It is more socially stigmatizing and also harder to treat. Doctors have long used PRP to treat athletes’ injuries and in some dental work, but recently started using it to treat hair loss as well.
Blood consists of plasma, platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. Platelet rich plasma therapy involves extracting blood from the patient and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the components. The remaining blood will contain a higher concentration of platelets. The practitioner then adds in different nutrients before injecting the blood back into the scalp. This is done in one-inch intervals across the whole head. No worries; you will get local anesthetic before!
The treatment works by activating dormant hair follicles. The New York Times interviewed graphic artist Lina Telford, who said she noticed a difference after only two months. She used to shave hear head and wear wigs daily, but said she had high hopes of getting her hair back. The Florida practitioner who treated her charged $1,400 for an hour-long session. He said that he has seen results in 80% of his patients, and half of them are women. The procedure requires a follow-up visit every six months, but to Telford it is more than worth it.
Are There Any Side Effects?
According to Joseph Greco, Lina Telford’s practitioner, there are minimal side effects from PRP. Most of his patients fly in and out the same day, as the procedure does not require any downtime. However, this has not been practiced for long and more research is needed. Also, current data on the procedure’s effectiveness are not complete, as different doctors use different mixtures of blood and nutrients.
Why PRP Works for Women
Since hair loss often has to do with hormones, women have not traditionally used treatments for men as they contain male hormones. For example, the FDA has not approved the common male hair treatment Propecia for women for that reason. But PRP is found to work very well for women with severe hair loss. Dr. Carlos Wesley in Manhattan believes it is because women with genetic hair loss have more inflammatory cells around the follicles. He said he has seen an 83% increase in female patients and believe that the PRP is to thank. Traditional hair loss treatments like Rogaine have also started to develop treatments for women.
Healthy Living and Natural Supplements
If you do not have several thousands of dollars to spare, or if your hair loss is not acute, there are many natural hair supplements on the market that do not contain any hormones. Hair loss can also happen because of a lack of a certain vitamin or nutrient, so it is very important to keep an overall healthy lifestyle. It is also important to eat a mixed diet with many green vegetables and healthy fats, and to get a full night’s sleep and drink enough water. Working out also does wonders for your metabolism and mental and physical wellbeing, and thus, hair health.