Will PRP recover hair on my temples and hair line area? (photos)
Doctor Answers 3
Increasing the frequency and shortening the interval of PRP injections will not restore your hairline - look into a combination
Thank you for your question. You’ve submitted 2 photos, asking if platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can recover your hair lost in your temples, and state you’ve been losing hair and using minoxidil for about 2 and half years. You indicate you’ve completed 3 sessions of what will be a 10 weekly session process of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. I think that it’s understandable you want to know if this will actually work.
I can certainly give you my perspective. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I’m also the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers, which s based on a technology we developed while doing hair transplants which uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as well as Acellular matrix, which I will discuss further as a non-surgical treatment that has been significant, and has changed the way we help people with hair loss.
To begin with, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentration of wound healing growth factors naturally in your blood which stimulate collagen, and blood supply. PRP is made of different factors that when concentrated, have shown to have a stimulatory effect for hair follicles that is actually documented in dermatologic literature. In our practice, we use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) a lot for: skin rejuvenation, wrinkles, under eye dark circles, and acne scars. However, when it comes to hair loss, the experience we’ve had is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) will stimulate hair growth, but it will not stop the progression of hair loss, which is a very important element of your plan. In my experience, people have come to us after getting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) done elsewhere, mostly done once a month. Usually by the 4th month, they were not sure whether or not they were going anywhere. There have been others who recommend doing it every 3 months, and I think a lot of my colleagues are developing their own approach based on their clinical experience. I think why treatment frequency varies has to do a lot with the stage of the growth cycle - whether or not the resting stage or telogen stage of hair is actually being responsive to the injection. From my perspective, a weekly platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection seems very aggressive.
Physiologically speaking, just on the wound healing concept, it seems like you’re creating new wounds by entering the tissue space or the skin, which may be disrupting what’s going on. This in no way means your doctor doesn’t have a valid explanation of why they’re recommending weekly treatments. One thing about clinical medicine that should always be respected is each individual physician is making a decision to guide you on what’s best for you based on their experiences, which is the art of clinical medicine.
That being said, I want to introduce you to a bit about what we developed in our practice and the way we use platelet-rich plasma. We were first trying to help hair transplant patients heal better by using platelet-rich plasma with something called Acellular matrix. This is a wound healing technology that takes the regenerative medicine capacity of PRP to a very different level. It is not like getting very highly concentrated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) which a lot of people are trying to improve the concentration of platelets, but rather there is a certain behavior unique to extracellular matrix, which is healing by duplication of cells. When extracellular matrix is placed on muscle cells, it heals with muscle instead of scar tissue. On skin, when I use it for facelifts or any other cosmetic surgical procedure, I find the healing is accelerated and the appearance is remarkable.
What we ultimately developed was a protocol based on the observation that thinning hair started to look thicker in different patients when we are combining platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with Acellular matrix for the purpose of healing the donor area, and the hair grafts. We developed a protocol that has been successfully consistent for 99% of men and women with genetic pattern hair loss, or androgenic alopecia. With Hair Regeneration, we are able to stop progression, reactivate hair that is not growing, which is basically in the resting phase which is prolonged when hair is thinning, as well as induce the shed of thinning hair to be replaced by the growth of thicker hair. With over 5 years of data, we’ve not seen any significant trend of regression in patients who had only one treatment session.
To contrast Hair Regeneration with what you are going through, there really is no comparison. We do a single injection, and are able to get consistently five years of successful improvement of hair loss. For people with moderate to severe hair loss, we do something called a booster injection which is around 15 months later. It’s really a very different model, even though we are using platelet-rich plasma (PRP). I think you need to ask your doctor, and I’m sure your doctor probably said to you they’re going to do their best to see if you get any growth, which depends a lot on the salvageability of the hair follicles. For me, a weekly injection of platelet-rich plasma doesn’t seem to make sense with the physiology of wound healing. Your doctor may have a protocol, and I’m sure you looked at before and after pictures and other things, but the question ultimately is how long can you really keep doing this? Going for injections in the scalp once a week for 10 weeks may be fine, but how long can you do that, and keep doing it again for another 10 weeks?
My observation has been that platelet-rich plasma can stimulate hair growth, but it cannot stimulate sustained hair growth. I think this is an opportunity for you to learn more about the technology behind Hair Regeneration. In our experience, you can then at least compare and contrast your options, discuss the feasibility, and when should you expect results. When we talk to our patients about Hair Regeneration, we have treated so many people from around the world, and we have so much data we collect, and we follow our patients every 3 months, so we are able to give them very specific information about the scenarios, how they can play out, follow up with each patient, take very specific photos, microscope photos, etc. to document their improvement. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.
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PRP for lost hair
PRP will not regrow hair that has been lost. PRP with thicken your hair that is thinning. It maximizes the growth for hair to stop shedding. I would ask the doctor you are receiving the treatment through if you have concerns though.