What Is PRP?

PRP is an abbreviation for the word platelet-rich plasma, a substance that has been used in the medical treatment of athletes for decades. While the clinical advantages of PRP for sports injuries are well documented at this point, its use for hair restoration is still being formally studied. Nevertheless, overwhelming clinical use and early studies have already illustrated the benefits of this procedure.

Platelet-rich plasma is effective because it concentrates all the excellent and valuable parts of your blood (regarding hair growth) into a single solution.

Why Do We Need PRP Therapy?

Unfortunately, outside of expensive hair follicle surgery, there are very few other reliable hair restoration methods. Medications are available, but many patients have found their conditions to be resistant to those types of treatments.

When that is the case, PRP therapy is an affordable option and does not require even minimally invasive surgery. In short, we need PRP for hair loss because there are very few other options.


How Does PRP Treat Hair Loss?

When the solution is taken from the centrifuge and injected into the skin, you are flushing the area with a host of different growth factors and hormones. This stimulates the hair follicles to produce thicker and more resilient hair. While PRP therapy for hair loss is still relatively new, a study in 2014 has shown promising clinical results:

A significant reduction in hair loss was observed between the first and fourth injection. Hair count increased from an average number of 71 hair follicular units to 93 hair follicular units.

The research concluded that “PRP injection is a simple, cost effective and feasible treatment option for androgenic alopecia, with high overall patient satisfaction.”

Definition: Androgenic alopecia — Permanent hair loss from the scalp, causing baldness.

Am I a Candidate for PRP Therapy?

If you are struggling with hair thinning, you are likely going to be a candidate for this procedure. PRP therapy for hair loss can be performed on most people regardless of skin type or tone. Unfortunately, if an area has gone completely bald, this treatment will not be able to help you regrow your hair since it requires active hair follicles to be present.

It is essential to have realistic expectations about your procedure. You should do plenty of research and look at a large number of before and after photos to know what PRP for hair loss can achieve. Otherwise, you might find yourself disappointed by what would otherwise be considered a successful procedure.

How Should I Prepare for PRP Therapy?

No lengthy preparation process is needed for PRP therapy, but you can make some lifestyle changes to ensure your results are as strong as possible. The first is to quit smoking as soon as possible. Tobacco and nicotine products will damage your body’s natural healing response, potentially hurting your recovery time and leading to suboptimal results. The other change you can make is avoiding excessive sun exposure, which can also have problematic effects both before and after your treatment is performed.

What Should I Expect from the PRP Therapy Procedure?

PRP therapy is completed in three easy steps: blood draw, purification and injection. During the first phase, you will give blood to one of our highly trained staff members. The process will be similar to any other lab work or blood donation you have performed in the past. Once the blood has been collected, it will be put into a centrifuge, which will spin the blood at a very rapid rate, separating the different parts.

Three products are made from this process: platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma and a concentration of red blood cells. Platelet-rich plasma is then filled into a needle and injected into the targeted areas of the skin. The solution will immediately begin bolstering and repairing hair follicles near the injection site.

What Should I Expect During PRP Therapy Recovery?

The recovery process is very light since only injections are being performed. You may experience some very minor discomfort, soreness, redness or swelling at the injection sites, but these typically resolve within 24 to 48 hours after completion. More severe side effects like infection, scar tissue and calcification at the injection site are possible but extremely rare.

You will be able to resume your regular routines and return to work immediately after your procedure if you prefer. You will not need to adjust any usual activities, but you may be instructed to avoid heavy lifting on the first day or two in some cases.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a PRP Therapy?

You can expect to notice an immediate improvement in hair that is thinning. The result will be a head of hair that is thicker, healthier and much younger in appearance. You will find that confidence you lost from hair thinning may be found, making you once again feel good about the way you look. You may need to have multiple sessions to achieve the ideal results, but our expert team will work with you to determine the best treatment plan during your consultation and as we observe your results.

How Much Does PRP Therapy Cost?

The cost of your PRP therapy will depend on a few factors, including your unique conditions, the amount of correction being performed, your geographic location and how often you have treatments performed. Unfortunately, since PRP therapy is considered a cosmetic procedure, your insurance usually does not cover it. During your initial consultation with our office, we will be able to provide you with an exact quote for your treatment so that you know exactly what you are getting into as you move forward in the process.

Expert PRP for Hair Loss Treatment in San Francisco, CA

If you are ready to learn more about how hair loss treatment with PRP can change your outlook, give our office a call at (415) 567-7200 to schedule a consultation with one of our expert physicians. You can also fill out our online contact form if you would like to be contacted at a more convenient time. We are looking forward to being a trusted partner as you navigate the hair loss treatment process.

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