Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP for hair loss is a treatment that’s used to tackle hair loss and is recommended by some dermatologists and hair loss specialists. The theory is simple: the platelets in blood are loaded with proteins that accelerate wound healing.
In the words of Brian Dubow, MD a Beverley hills specialist, “They stimulate the hair follicle to turn on, if it’s been in a sleeping state, and if it’s already awake, it’s like giving it a vitamin boost, helping the hair grow longer and thicker,”.
In a recent article on Refinery29 Ann Crowley recounted her experience of PRP for hair loss at the hands of Dr. Dubow when she started to lose her hair in her 20s after being idagnosed with androgenetic alopecia (or female pattern hair loss).
Female pattern hair loss is actually a surprisingly common condition but that didn’t help Ann come to terms with something that so fundamentally affected her feeling of self-worth and femininity. After abortive attempts at using various compounds her dermatologist suggested PRP as a possible solution to her problem.
PRP for hair loss – exquisite pain
Without holding out too much hope she booked an appointment with Dr Dubow who thought she would be an excellent subject for the treatment because the alopecia wasn’t too advanced. Soon she was having 50ccs of her blood removed so she it could be treated in a centrifuge to release the platelets.
The next step in the procedure was 35 separate injections of the resulting solution into her scalp. Unfortunately for Ann she elected not to have the area anesthetized because of time and work constraints and her description of the experience was unequivocal, “the pain was…exquisite. I howled and yelped and spoke in whole sentences comprised of the f-word”.
Evidence of actual regrowth!
The experience was so unpleasant that Ann immediately became cross with herself for subjecting her scalp to a procedure that was probably going to be as unsuccessful as all the other failed treatments. However, the following day she noticed that when she was towel drying her hair the shedding she had previously been experiencing had significantly diminished and then after a few weeks there was some actual regrowth.
Whilst PRP for hair loss isn’t a miracle cure and won’t regrow a full head of hair it is an encouraging development that relies on the body’s own healing mechanisms. In the words of Dr Dubow, “I think PRP will improve with time. Harnessing the power of the human body is where a lot of the promise of the future of medicine is. Up to this point, we’ve relied mostly on drugs.”