Platelets are the workhorses of the body’s healing response after being wounded. We all know about their clotting ability, enabling the wound to close and begin to heal. But there is far more power in our platelets beyond simply clotting — they also contain seven powerful growth factors that are critical for skin repair and healing.
A process for concentrating your blood platelets into what is known as platelet-rich plasma has been used for years by professional athletes to encourage healing after injury or surgery.
Recently PRP has been shown to have beneficial effects for turning back on dormant hair follicles, and regrowing hair in thinning areas. This is called PRP for hair restoration and Dr. Barrera offers this treatment at his practice.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
When Dr. Barrera concentrates your blood to make platelet-rich plasma, the centrifuge used simply removes the red blood cells. What is left is concentrated blood platelets, white blood cells, and plasma — platelet-rich plasma. This is now a powerful healing serum that is fueled by seven growth factors. In the body, growth factors are the messengers between cells, signaling the cells to perform their different functions. In wound healing, they initiate various healing processes.
Why is PRP valuable for hair restoration?
In the last few years, it was discovered that PRP was effective for treating men and women who are suffering hair loss. For people with thinning hair, more and more of their hair follicles are entering and staying in the dormant phase. When PRP is injected into the area, its growth factors and other healing qualities are able to kick start dormant hair follicles back to the anagen/growth phase of the hair lifecycle. So, those areas that have been thinning can begin to regrow hair and fill back in.
How is the PRP injected into my scalp and it is painful?
Once your blood has been transformed into PRP, Dr. Barrera injects the PRP into your scalp using a specialized syringe. The injections are not made deeply at all, so they are not painful, but we do apply a topical numbing cream prior to your session. He injects the PRP at approximately every half-inch across the areas of thinning hair.
How long before I will see my hair coming back?
The PRP’s first change is to stop the ongoing hair loss; this happens almost immediately. Real hair growth is usually noticeable after the first two to three months. Studies have shown about a 30 percent improvement in hair growth in the thinning areas after four PRP treatments.