PRP/ Stem Cell – Stem Cell / PRP for Hair Restoration
Platelet Rich Plasma is a procedure where a patient’s blood is drawn out, separated and concentrated through a process which is known as centrifugation. It is then re-injected into desired areas of the body. This process concentrates helpful cellular components of the blood and injects them into areas where the body requires and can use additional resources. PRP therapy is a stimulating non-surgical remedial option for natural hair growth.
Platelets are the constituents of blood along with red and white blood cells. Unlike red and white blood cells, platelets do not contain a nucleus and therefore do not qualify as cells. They are a little smaller than red and white blood cells. Platelets are components of the blood clotting system. When any injury disrupts a blood vessel and leads to bleeding, platelets are activated quickly and form a clot to stop the flow of blood. These platelets are much more than just first-line of responders to a bleeding injury. Each and every platelet is also a storehouse of regulatory molecules that are responsible for recovery and healing of tissues.
Growth factor molecules which are associated with platelets are insulin like growth factor, platelet derived growth factor, fibroblast growth factor 2, transforming growth factor beta, epidermal growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor. All these lead to tissue recovery and health.
PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma
PRP is blood plasma which contains a concentration of platelets that is a number of times greater than blood. PRP is autologous which means that it comes from the patient’s own body. This is quite akin to the practice of having a patient donate his/her own blood before a surgery which is then used in preference to blood from outside in case a transfusion be required. Another such example is the removal and transplantation of a patient’s own skin for a plastic surgery. Blood is taken from the patient. The tubes which contain the blood are placed in a centrifuge and spun for a period of time. The centrifuging separates the red and white blood cells as well as the platelets and concentrates them at various levels in the tubes. Blood plasma which is loaded in platelets is drawn off from the apt level. Plasma which can be defined as platelet-rich plasma has four to eight times the number of platelets per cubic centimeter found in normal plasma. With a little more preparation the PRP is ready for use.
PRP promotes hair growth from the follicles which results from the action of platelet growth factors on hair follicle stem cells. The platelet growth factors encourage follicle stem cells to shift from a latent state to an active state which leads to the process of hair production. To revive latent hair follicles the platelet growth factors can activate dormant hair follicles and start the production of new hair.
Safety and complications
It is a safe and painless procedure which takes one hour. A small amount of blood is drawn from the arm of the patient. Platelet rich plasma is prepared. Local anesthesia is injected to prepare the area for procedure. It makes the area numb so no pain is felt during the process. The platelet rich plasma is inserted in the area of head which is devoid of any hair. It can be done as an outpatient procedure. The hair cannot be washed for next 24 hours and is left with a head gear on. No bandage is required. A person can resume regular activities immediately after the procedure.
This process can improve hair density in just 2-3 sessions. This seems to work better in patients who have diffused hair thinning. It is effective in alopecia aerata. It is not good for patients with complete baldness. Hair fall stops within 4-6 weeks whereas new hair growth can be seen after 4 months. It is a safe and natural process as platelets from one’s own body is used.