Approximately 30 million women and 50 million men in America have hereditary hair loss, called Androgenetic alopecia or AGA. AGA causes the hair follicles to shrink and shortens the hair’s growth phase resulting in progressive hair loss.   

Treatment options for treating AGA are limited. Hair transplantation is not the best option for women due to their diffuse nature of hair loss, unlike men with male pattern baldness.  

Alopecia Areata (AA) is another common autoimmune condition that causes inflammation induced hair loss, but it doesn’t destroy the hair follicles.  Some studies report that platelet rich plasma therapy may work for AA as well as other types of hair loss including traction-induced alopecia from hair extensions and pony tails. 

Platelet rich plasma therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for hair loss, and can increase density, count and thickness of hair.  

What is Platelet Rich Plasma? 

Platelet-Rich plasma is a natural product created from your own blood and used to promote wound healing. A small amount of blood is drawn and processed to remove all blood components except plasma which is enriched with high platelet and growth factor concentrations. The concentrations of growth factors and proteins are injected into the scalp to enhance the body’s inherent capacity to repair and regenerate. Because it is made with our own blood, the risk of allergic reaction is minimal. 

Platelet rich plasma therapy has been used in dental surgery, orthopedics and sports medicine. It also has cosmetic applications to treat aging skin, facial scarring, and acne.  Multiple clinical studies report its beneficial effects.  

How Platelet Rich Plasma therapy works 

The high concentration of growth factors in platelet rich plasma promote hair regrowth by stimulating stem cells in dormant hair follicle to grow new hair. Platelet rich plasma therapy can reverse hair loss and stimulate natural hair regrowth.  Additionally, treatments accelerate tissue regeneration and healing, and improve the blood supply to the scalp which delivers nutrients for hair growth.  

Is it safe? 

The biggest risks come from the way your blood is handled. It’s essential that the blood removed from your body be kept sterile. Otherwise, you could develop an infection.  For your safety, the University Skin Clinic follows the same process that transfusion centers use to make sure that your own blood is kept sterile and injected back into you. 

Who is a good candidate? 

Patients who have growing hair, and dormant hair follicles, would be good candidates. However, patients who take anticoagulants, have a scalp infection, low platelet counts, or liver disease may not be good candidates. Men with male pattern baldness who have irreversible hair loss or no visible hair follicles are less likely to benefit. Early diagnosis and treatment can save the hair. 

Your consultation 

During your consultation Dr. Hashemi will review your medical history, listen to your concerns and expectations and conduct a thorough examination of your scalp using trichogram to evaluate hair count, density and growth.  

The Procedure 

A small amount of blood is taken from your arm. The blood is spun to separate the platelet rich plasma from the rest of the blood components. The site is cleaned, and the platelet rich plasma is injected in the areas to be treated. Dr. Hashemi may use microneedling to stimulate the skin of the scalp, to create microtrama which induces healing and stimulates growth and repair; and to create microchannels in which the platelet rich plasma can flow deep into the scalp. Proteins are released from the platelet rich plasma solution almost immediately and begin to stimulate hair follicles. The procedure requires no down time and causes minimal side effects. You may experience some swelling, pain and bruising after the procedure which tend to resolve within a few days. 

How many Platelet Rich Plasma injections do you need? 

Researchers have found that most patients who get results have 3 or more treatments over 4-6 months; followed by maintenance treatments every 4-6 months.  

When will I see results? 

In the first few weeks you may notice improved texture, thickness and new hair growth; and noticeable growth in about 4-6 weeks. It can take 3-6 months to see measurable results.  

Who can have Platelet Rich Plasma? 

While Platelet rich plasma is considered safe for most people, it’s not recommended for anyone who has one of the following medical conditions that affect your platelets, making them unable to deliver the expected results. 

Contact Dr. Hashemi at The University Skin Institute in Sacramento, California to schedule a consultation and learn how this treatment can help restore your hair.  

References 

Mao, G., Zhang, G. & Fan, W. Platelet-Rich Plasma for Treating Androgenic Alopecia: A Systematic Review. Aesth Plast Surg43, 1326–1336 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-019-01391-9 

Hesseler MJ, Shyam N. Platelet-Rich Plasma and Its Utilities in Alopecia: A Systematic Review. Dermatol Surg. 2020 Jan;46(1):93-102. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001965. PMID: 31211715. 

Stevens HP, Donners S, de Bruijn J. Introducing Platelet-Rich Stroma: Platelet-Rich Plasma and Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) Combined for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. Aesthet Surg J. 2018 Jul 13;38(8):811-822. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjy029. PMID: 29554209. 

Butt G, Hussain I, Ahmed FJ, Choudhery MS. Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in androgenetic alopecia patients. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Aug;18(4):996-1001. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12810. Epub 2018 Nov 4. PMID: 30393988. 

Jha AK, Vinay K, Zeeshan M, Roy PK, Chaudhary RKP, Priya A. Platelet-rich plasma and microneedling improves hair growth in patients of androgenetic alopecia when used as an adjuvant to minoxidil. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Jan 28. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12864. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 30693667. 

Gentile P, Scioli MG, Bielli A, et al. Platelet-Rich Plasma and Micrografts Enriched with Autologous Human Follicle Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improve Hair Re-Growth in Androgenetic Alopecia. Biomolecular Pathway Analysis and Clinical Evaluation. Biomedicines. 2019;7(2):27. Published 2019 Apr 8. doi:10.3390/biomedicines7020027 

Badran KW, Sand JP. Platelet-Rich Plasma for Hair Loss: Review of Methods and Results. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2018 Nov;26(4):469-485. doi: 10.1016/j.fsc.2018.06.008. Epub 2018 Aug 16. PMID: 30213428. 

Gupta AK, Versteeg SG, Rapaport J, Hausauer AK, Shear NH, Piguet V. The Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the Field of Hair Restoration and Facial Aesthetics-A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Cutan Med Surg. 2019 Mar/Apr;23(2):185-203. doi: 10.1177/1203475418818073. Epub 2019 Jan 4. PMID: 30606055.