As someone who has suffered from hair loss and battled for my edges to regrow, I understand so very well how vulnerable many women are in their quest to find a solution to hair loss. I have however seen many turn to snake oils and costly treatments that are likely to yield no results. If you have been reading my blogs for a while you know that I am all for intervention, many women I see do not seek out help early enough! Please do. There are treatments out there from steroids to transplants and much more in between. Do not ignore hair loss, not least because it can be an indication of other health matters. But please, also be aware that in a capitalist world, many will happily sell you snake oils and treatments with no proven track record of efficacy. So ask questions and seek a second opinion, especially if the treatment involves you spending hundreds or thousands of pounds and even time. A second opinion has saved me not just money but disappointment in the past. I am fast learning that not all hair coaches, Trichologists, and even dermatologists are ethical. I said what I said. Practitioners have a duty of care to be open and transparent about the treatments they are selling and its proven efficacy, including which groups of people have seen the most success from particular treatments (this point is particularly important). This is the bare minimum!
So, I have decided to pick on one treatment that is increasingly becoming popular for hair loss, PRP, Platelet-Rich-Plasma. It is not new (it's been around since the 80s at least) and although research is not conclusive about it has an effectiveness hair loss treatment, t it is exciting, and if money was not an object I'd suggest many try it in combination with other treatments. So, let’s look at the pros and cons.
First, what is PRP?
PRP is a non-surgical treatment where a practitioner uses the patients own blood to stimulate hair growth. A practitioner draws blood from you and then processes it to separate the platelets from other components in the blood. The platelets extracted is then mixed with small amounts of plasma and injected back into your scalp. Platelets are small cells in your blood that play a crucial role in clotting and wound healing. The high concentration of platelets stimulates cell growth, collagen production and tissue repair which can positively influence hair growth.
Pros of PRP for Hair Loss:
It is considered safe since there is no risk of allergic reactions or adverse side effects. The procedure is minimally invasive, involving only a series of injections into the scalp.
Can Stimulate Hair Growth:
As noted above, PRP contains growth factors that promote hair follicle regeneration and stimulate the growth of new, healthy hair. By injecting PRP directly into the scalp, it helps boost blood circulation and deliver essential nutrients to the hair follicles, potentially leading to thicker, fuller hair.
Quick and Convenient:
PRP therapy sessions are generally quick, lasting around 60-90 minutes, depending on the individual's needs. There is no downtime or recovery period, allowing patients to resume their daily activities immediately after the procedure.
PRP therapy can be used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments, such as hair transplantation or medications like minoxidil or finasteride. It may enhance the effectiveness of these treatments and provide more significant results.
Cons of PRP for Hair Loss:
While PRP therapy has shown promising results for many individuals, its effectiveness may vary from person to person. Factors such as the extent of hair loss, underlying causes, and individual response can influence the outcome. It is essential to have realistic expectations and consult with a qualified professional before proceeding. This is the type of treatment I would seek a second opinion on.
Multiple Sessions Required:
Achieving optimal results often requires multiple PRP therapy sessions, typically spaced several weeks apart. This may be inconvenient or time-consuming for some individuals who seek quick solutions. It could also be costly. Patience and commitment are necessary to see the full benefits of this treatment.
The cost can vary depending on the number of sessions required and the geographical location. It's important to discuss the financial aspect with the provider beforehand.
Limited Scientific Evidence:
While PRP therapy has gained popularity, the scientific evidence supporting its efficacy for hair loss is still evolving. Some studies have shown positive outcomes, while others have reported mixed results. Further research is needed to establish standardised protocols, ideal patient selection criteria, and long-term efficacy.
Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy for hair loss offers several potential benefits, including natural stimulation of hair growth and a safe procedure. However, it's important to consider the varied effectiveness, potential need for multiple sessions, cost implications, and the limited scientific evidence surrounding PRP for hair loss. Remember, every person is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.