PRP Treatments for Hair Loss
Unwanted hair loss is an extremely common and often very distressing problem affecting both men and women. By the age of 60, most men and women will suffer from some form of hair thinning. However, in a significant number early onset male and female pattern hair loss can be the cause of significant psychological distress. A normal head of hair consists of between 100,000 to 120,000 hairs. On average most people lose 60 hairs per day. This is a normal part of the hair cycle. However, for those suffering with pattern or Androgenic hair loss this number is much larger. By the time one can see through to the scalp they have often lost over 50% of their original hair in that region.
What treatments are available for hair loss?
There are a large number of treatment options for hair loss for both males and females. Treatments and their success depend upon the underlying cause of hair loss. The most common type of hair loss in both men and women is Androgenic (‘Pattern’) Hair Loss. First line treatments include Minoxidil Foam or Gel, Caffeine based shampoos, Finasteride (Propecia™) for men as well as Low Level Laser Therapy. All of these treatments can help to reduce hair loss to some extent. For more extensive hair loss and balding many men consider a FUE hair transplant but this should really be considered the last option.
Platelet Rich Plasma has emerged over the last 5 years as a very promising treatment for hair loss with many patients showing significant reduction in hair loss, and even significant increases in new hair growth. However, the effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is all down to quality.
How is the procedure performed?
Rejuvence Clinic is a centre of excellence for Platelet Rich Plasma. We are authorised providers for Angel Arthrex™ PRP and Magellan TruPRP™ systems.
Our Advanced Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatments for hair loss are non-invasive procedures. PRP is a completely natural treatment and produced using your own blood. Blood is taken and subsequently run through a machine known as a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the blood into its different cellular components. Once finished, standard centrifuges will split your blood samples into different layers of cells and the platelet rich plasma layer is extracted using a syringe manually.
At Rejuvence Clinic, the Angel Arthrex and Magellan TruPRP systems are based around very advanced centrifuges that are completely automated and able to identify the platelets in your blood, concentrate and extract them. Both Angel and Magellan are able to produce very high concentrations of PRP needed for effective treatment of hair loss especially male and female pattern hair loss. The Angel Arthrex system is also able to customise the cellular components of your PRP very precisely by removing varying amounts of red cells. Both systems have been assessed by independent researchers and shown to consistently produce much higher concentrations of PRP than rival systems.
Once the PRP is ready this is injected into the affected areas of the scalp using an automated injector device. At Rejuvence Clinic we recommend a series of 3 treatments over 3 months for all patients new to PRP followed by a further treatment at 6 months and then maintenance treatments every 9 months. This is all based on data and research published in prominent medical journals.
©Individual results may vary
How does PRP help with Hair Loss?
Over the last few years there has a been huge interest in the potential of platelet rich plasma to treat hair loss. The combination of micro needling and platelet rich plasma has been shown recently to significantly increase hair thickness, hair count and thereby hair density. PRP works by acting as a chemical messenger once activated and injected. It attracts growth factors and stem cells that have a direct effect on the bulge cells of the hair follicles. Growth factors and stem cells also have ‘angiogenic’ properties. This means they stimulate the development of new blood vessels in the scalp which also helps fight hair loss.
Studies over the last five years have demonstrated approximately 20% increase in hair thickness following on average 3 sessions over 3 months with maintenance sessions every 9 to 12 months. PRP tends to be more effective when started early before large bald patches appear. However, not all clinics are able to achieve similar results. This is because not all PRP is the same. PRP is only effective if the concentration of platelets achieved is greater than 4 to 5 times baseline levels.
The majority of clinics offering PRP use preparation methods that can only achieve concentrations 2 to 3 times greater than baseline. At Rejuvence Clinic we use Angel Arthrex™ and Magellan TruPRP™. This system is guaranteed to yield PRP with a concentration of platelets greater than 5 times baseline and hence our treatments tend to perform much better than other clinics (although individual results may vary). In addition the Angel Arthrex system allows for complete customisation of the cellular contents of PRP by being able to adjust the percentage of red cells. The presence of red cells in the final PRP serum is especially significant in the treatment of severe and recurrent forms of Alopecia Areata not responding to steroids.
PRP treatment following a FUE Hair Transplant
Platelet Rich Plasma is increasingly being used by hair transplant surgeons during surgery. Most transplant surgeons including our resident surgeon, Dr Waqas Chaudhary, recommends all patients have a course of PRP 3 to 4 months following their hair transplants.
PRP has angiogenic properties. This means PRP helps improve the blood supply in areas where it is injected and this is extremely important for newly transplanted grafts. Following a FUE Hair Transplant, a course of 3 PRP sessions can help to secure and strengthen transplanted hairs and ensure they thrive. PRP treatments on a regular basis can also help to improve hair over the rest of the scalp. Many forget that androgenic (‘pattern’) hair loss does not stop and cannot be cured. Hence regular maintenance treatments are still needed. PRP is also helpful where a transplant has not worked as well as it should and can thicken and strengthen grafts, even years afterwards.
At Rejuvence, using Angel Arthrex™ and the Magellan TruPRP™ systems we have achieved really great results for patients who have come to us following a FUE transplant. We have even treated patients who have had their transplant years ago and have been left disappointed with the results. PRP has helped to thicken thin ‘wispy’ grafts. For the best PRP nourishment for your FUE transplant book an appointment with us.
Stem cell treatments for hair loss
At Rejuvence we strive to push the boundaries providing cutting edge regenerative treatments yielding superior results. At Rejuvence we are introducing personalised cellular therapies for hair loss. This involves combining stem cells from your own fat with PRP to augment hair regrowth. Harvested fat is micronised (filtered) to produce a homogenised fat serum consisting of equally sized fat cells with large concentrations of stem cells and growth factors. This can easily be injected into the scalp and together with PRP has been shown to improve on responses from PRP alone. Using ACP Arthrex fat harvesting and Angel Arthrex PRP we are able to provide cutting edge scalp regenerative treatments.
The most common cause of hair loss in men and women is medically termed androgenic alopecia. It is otherwise known as male and female pattern hair loss. In men, this is usually due to effects of testosterone being converted to dihydrotestosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Dihydrotestosterone results in a reduction in the blood supply to the scalp and gradual miniaturisation of hair follicles and lengthening of the hair cycle.
In women the cause of female pattern hair loss is not fully understood. Other common causes of hair loss include anaemia (normally due to iron deficiency), underactive thyroid and vitamin D deficiency. Other causes of hair loss can be due to stress and medication. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks it’s own hair follicles.
There are numerous treatments available at present for hair loss. Initial treatment is in the form of topical foams and shampoos, most well known of which is Minoxidil and must be applied to the scalp every night. Minoxidil usually takes about 9 months to take effect and can result on average in reduction of hair loss and about 1% increased hair growth. If stopped patients often suffer from a ‘rebound loss’ with increased hair fall. Caffeine based shampoos have also been touted as a treatment for hair loss. Numerous supplements are available over the counter and through prescription. These supplements replace vitamins and minerals that are potentially implicated in the cause of hair loss. Their success is limited. Prescription medications in the form of Finasteride have been shown to help and most patients awaiting a hair transplant are started on finasteride although this is not an option for women of childbearing age. Low level laser therapy has recently shown some promise in hair regrowth. Often once these treatments have failed patients jump to hair transplantation as the solution. This is not the answer in the majority of cases and is at best a camouflage solution. This is clear to see when you consider 3000 to 4000 grafts cannot make up for up to 60,000 hairs.
PRP has been gaining increased credibility over the last 5 years with more and more sceptical doctors being convinced of its positive effects on hair loss and in particular ‘pattern’ hair loss. The effects of PRP on hair loss are still, however, slightly variable. This is because it is a cellular based therapy dependent on a variety of factors that vary from patient to patient. However, most importantly there is a huge amount of variety in the quality of PRP treatments amongst clinics offering this treatment in the UK. Effects of PRP on hair loss can include up to 20% increased hair growth in affected areas around 6 months as well rapid reduction in hair fall. This is much more than can be achieved with just Minoxidil or Finasteride where new hair growth sits around the 1-2% mark at 9 months.
Our advanced PRP treatments at Rejuvence with the Angel Arthrex and Magellan TruPRP systems require a blood draw of 60ml or 120ml of blood depending upon the amount of PRP required. This is much more than used in other PRP setups at other clinics. This volume of blood being taken is completely safe and will not have any negative effects on you at all. We do always encourage patients to make sure they are well hydrated prior to attending clinic for their treatment.
For the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss we advise all our patients to treat the entire top of the scalp extending from the hair line to beyond the crown. In order to ensure thorough treatment we encourage patients to have the 12ml PRP treatment. The majority of other clinics are only able to generate 3-4ml of PRP that tends to be significantly lower concentration than we are able to produce with Angel Arthrex or Magellan TruPRP. In a single treatment of PRP at Rejuvence you will receive more PRP than in 3-4 treatments combined at other clinics.
We use an automated injector device called the U225 for injecting PRP into the scalp. The needles on the injector are very small and the pain involved is much less than if injected manually using a syringe. In addition the injector device allows us to precisely set the depth to which we inject the PRP and it is much quicker than doing it by hand. No anaesthetic is used. This is because local anaesthetic can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of PRP. The injection process is slightly uncomfortable but all our patients are able to easily tolerate the procedure.
There is no downtime associated with this procedure and patients can often return to work the following day. However, depending upon the amount of fat harvested from the flanks, there can be a bit of oozing that persists for 48 to 72 hours.
At Rejuvence we specialise in regenerative medicine techniques for hair restoration and believe with the advent of biocellular hair restoration using Angel Arthrex™ and Magellan TruPRP™ and micronised fat with stem cells and growth factors, fewer patients will have to opt for hair transplantation and more will successfully maintain their natural hairline for longer.
For further information please book a free consultation.