Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are effective means for the treatment of hair loss most commonly seen on the scalp. Androgenetic alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair follicles to shrink in size, can result in both female and male hair loss.
How PRP Works for Hair Loss
PRP has been historically used in the clinical setting to promote and accelerate healing. The PRP is a component of blood that contains special proteins that helps blood clot as well as support cell growth functions. PRP is used in a variety of clinical settings from orthopedic surgery to microneedling for treatment of acne scars. The foundation for PRP use comes from the fact that by injecting PRP into damaged tissues (unhealthy hair follicles), you help restore and rejuvenate the cells in the treated area.
Hair loss can appear in many different ways, depending on what’s causing it. It can come on suddenly or gradually and affect just your scalp or your whole body. Some types of hair loss are temporary, and others are permanent. Hair loss does not only affect the scalp but it can also occur on any part of the body.
What to Expect from PRP Treatment?
PRP injections for hair loss are performed in office and require minimal preparation by the patient. A topical numbing cream is applied to the scalp about half an hour prior to the treatment to improve patient discomfort during the procedure. Your medical provider will draw some of your own blood in order to prepare the PRP solution. Your blood is spun down using a centrifuge in a special PRP extracting tube. The PRP solution is removed from your own blood and small amounts of PRP are injected into the scalp experiencing hair loss or thinning hair.
Usually 4-6 treatments sessions are advised 4-6 weeks apart. Hair texture, thickness, and growth of new hair follicles will begin as soon as 2 weeks after initial treatment. We advise patients to wait 3-6 months after initial treatment before assessing final results.
Follow our dietary restrictions for 2 weeks before injections:
- For 2 weeks before your appointment avoid nuts, seeds, fish, fish oil, NSAIDs, supplements, and anything that prolongs bleeding. This will significantly help minimize bruising, bleeding and swelling after your injections. Read our Guidelines on Foods and Medications to Avoid Prior to Injections.
- You can start Arnica supplements a week prior to injection to help with post injection bruises. Arnica helps to speed up the fading away of bruises. Arnica supplements can be found in most health supplement isles at your local Whole Foods, GMC or CVS, as well as purchased from The Naderi Center.
Day of PRP injections
Eat and drink before your treatment
- It is not uncommon for patients to “pass-out” or experience “vasovagal” during their injection. Most people are not fond of needles. Having a good blood sugar and being hydrated will make it less likely that you will feel queasy during your treatment.
Minimize hair gels, hair sprays, or other topical hair products day of procedure
- Please avoid hair gel, hair sprays, spray hair colors, or other topical hair products day of treatment. Wash your hair the day of your treatment.
Come in 30 minutes prior to your appointment time for numbing
- We recommend numbing cream application prior to injections. The numbing cream needs a good 20 – 30 minutes to exert its full effect, hence, we ask all our injection patients to come a little earlier to allow for the numbing time.
Reserve your next appointment
- We love our loyal patients, and making sure that we can see you when you need your next injection is important to us. We always recommend that you schedule your next appointment before leaving. PRP injection treatments are recommended every 4-6 weeks.
After your PRP injections, it is normal to experience bruising, redness, itching, swelling, and/or soreness that may last from 2-5 days following your treatment. Often times patients describe their scalp as feeling tight and stiff immediately after their injections. You may notice a tingling sensation while the cells are being activated. DO NOT touch, rub, press, or manipulate the treated area(s) for at least 8 hours after treatment.
For the first week after your treatment make sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated to promote healing.
Try to refrain from applying ice to the injected area as ice acts as an anti-inflammatory and inflammation is a desired effect of the treatment. Cold compresses can be applied to reduce swelling if required.
If you experience any pain or discomfort, you may take Tylenol or other Acetaminophen-containing products as directed. Continue to avoid aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren, and other anti-inflammatory medications for a week after your procedure.
Vigorous exercise, sun, and heat can aggravate swelling and bruising after PRP injections. For 48 hours avoid heavy exercise, excessive sun exposure, saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs. No swimming pools for 2 days.
For 3 days post PRP injections try to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine consumption. Smokers do not heal well and problems recur earlier and results may take longer.
Continue Guidelines on Foods and Medications to Avoid Prior to Injections Instructions for 1 week after treatment
Wash your hair the day after your treatment
Topical and injectable PRP treatments involve minimal to no downtime. Most patients will see an immediate improvement in texture and tone that will last up to three months. When combined with plastic surgery, PRP will promote faster healing of scar tissue.