Have you been wondering about pictures of celebrities with blood all over their faces going viral? Although it looks really scary and painful, this procedure, known as “Vampire facial”, has become very popular lately and was made famous by Kim Kardashian.
This anti-aging skin treatment works by using your own blood to make your skin look glowing and youthful. The proper name for it is called the “Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy”.
PRP therapy can also be used for hair growth and requires your own blood as well. Curious? I am going to explain you everything you need to know about the platelet rich plasma therapy for hair loss including the costs of this treatment.
What Is PRP Therapy?
If you are suffering from alopecia and don’t want to undergo any surgery, aren’t responding to treatments with minoxidil or finasteride or just don’t believe in hair growth pills, then PRP therapy might be the right solution for you.
PRP therapy for hair loss involves withdrawing a patient’s own blood (blood plasma rich in thrombocytes), processing it so that only the enriched cells/platelet-rich plasma remain and injecting it into the scalp. The protein in PRP stimulates the hair roots and triggers natural hair growth.
As a result, hair becomes thicker and inactive hair roots are reactivated to form new hair.
How Does The PRP Therapy Work?
The PRP therapy is a three-step process and usually requires 3 treatments that are 4-6 weeks apart. Maintenance treatments should be done every 4-6 months for optimal results.
Step 1: During the treatment, a technician draws your blood (typically from your arm) and spins it in a centrifuge, a machine that separates the platelet and plasma.
Step 2: 10 minutes later, your blood will have separated into three layers:
- platelet-poor plasma
- platelet-rich plasma
- red blood cells
Step 3: The doctor then injects the platelet-rich plasma into areas of the scalp with sparse hair, which helps repair blood vessels, stimulate collagen production and promote cell growth and wound healing.
Are There Any Risks?
Due to some risks, you should make sure to report all kinds of medications you are on before you start with a PRP therapy.
PRP therapy might not be well-tolerated if you are/have…
- … a heavy smoker.
- … cancer.
- … a history of drug abuse or alcohol.
- … been diagnosed with sepsis.
- … on blood thinners.
- … chronic liver disease.
- … chronic skin disease.
- … metabolic disorder.
- … platelet dysfunction syndromes.
- … thyroid disease.
- … a systemic disorder.
- … a low platelet count.
- … hypofibrinogenemia.
- … a hemodynamic instability.
- … acute or chronic infections.
It is of utmost importance to consult a doctor before you decide to pursue PRP therapy for hair loss.
What About Side Effects?
Just like any other treatment, PRP therapy carries a risk of side effects as well. These side effects include:
- scar tissue
- injury of blood vessels and nerves
- calcification at the injection points
- negative reaction to the anesthetic
I would recommend doing a medical check-up in order to prevent possible side effects.
PRP Vs. Other Hair Loss Treatments
The tried and true options for treating hair loss are the two FDA-approved medications minoxidil and finasteride. Both of them have side effects as well, such as dryness and itching of the scalp (Minoxidil) or a sexual dysfunction in men (Finasteride).
A hair transplantation is typically recommended for those who have dramatic hair loss and don’t respond to any other treatment. As it is a surgical procedure, it is more costly, leaves scars on the scalp and the recovery time is much longer.
What Are The Costs Of A PRP Therapy For Hair Loss?
The price of a PRP therapy typically ranges from $1,500–$3,500 for the initial 3 treatments before the maintenance treatments. The cost calculation depends on a number of factors, such as your country of residence, the quality of equipment in the clinic or the addition of nutritive components.
As the insurance considers a PRP treatment for hair loss to be a cosmetic treatment, you might have to cover the costs of this treatment yourself. But for further information you will have to check with your insurance provider to see if the costs can be covered for you.
Are You The Right Candidate For PRP Therapy?
A PRP treatment might be a safe and effective treatment method for many people suffering from hair loss, but it might as well be the wrong option for you.
If you fall into either of these groups, you should be on the lookout for an alternative hair loss treatment:
- If you have been diagnosed with lupus or a thyroid disease, you aren’t likely to be the right candidate for PRP because both conditions will lead to hair loss.
- If you are on blood thinners, the procedure won’t be as effective because your platelets won’t work as effectively.
- If your hair follicles have been dormant for a very long time, it is more difficult to reactivate them.
However, anyone experiencing hair loss is essentially a good candidate for PRP treatments. Those with androgenetic alopecia tend to respond best to PRP therapy.
Conclusive Thoughts About PRP
There will always be a risk of pursuing a PRP therapy without seeing any results, because no doctor can give you a guaranteed success rate beforehand since every immune response is unique.
But all in all, consistency is key and this rule applies to every hair loss treatment. In order to see the best results, PRP should be part of a multifaceted hair loss treatment program. Topical solutions like Rogaine can be applied additionally without causing any side effects.
Researchers are optimistic about the potential of a PRP therapy. A 2014 study in India has shown that after 4 PRP treatments, men with pattern-baldness had about 30% more growth in thinning areas.
Regardless of gender, PRP treatment has proven its effectiveness and helped countless men and women to regrow their hair.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
Founder of The Hairy Solution