A Guide to Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Hair Treatment

Dr. Sophie Chung, MD

Dr. Sophie Chung, MD - Medical Author & Reviewer

Posted Oct 17, 2016

Man getting PRP therapy done on his balding head

There has been a lot of buzz around platelet-rich plasma (PRP) hair treatment in recent years. The innovative, non-invasive procedure has been in the spotlight for its use in treating sports injuries in professional athletes and its role in the skin rejuvenation treatment known as the Vampire Facial.

While its use in orthopaedic and dermatological fields has been significant, a primary focus of PRP is its use amongst hair transplant patients. In these cases, it can be used as a way of promoting natural hair growth and increasing density. Not only this, but a PRP hair treatment can also be undertaken following a hair restoration procedure in order to reduce swelling, pain, and generally improve the recovery process.

So, what exactly is a PRP hair treatment? And how does PRP work for hair loss? We’ve laid out all of this, and more, to give you an understanding of the treatment, allowing you to see whether it could be something that would work for you.

What is PRP? Defining Platelets and Plasma

To understand a PRP hair treatment, we first need to know about the terms platelet and plasma and what they do.

Simply put, platelets are a type of cell which, along with red and white blood cells, make up our blood. The key roles are to ensure that blood clots properly and to make sure that the healing process for wounds runs smoothly.

Plasma on the other hand, is a yellowish liquid that is a part of blood. It’s responsible for carrying cells and protein throughout the body and it amounts to around 55% of the total blood volume.

Therefore, platelet-rich plasma simply refers to a sample of plasma that has a high concentration of platelets.

Getting Ready for a PRP Hair Treatment

Before you go ahead with PRP for hair loss, it’s important to have a thorough consultation with your doctor. This will include a physical examination and a discussion of your medical history and current health status. You will also talk about your hair loss timeline, and whether you have had previous treatment for it. Based on all these factors, your eligibility will be determined. And if eligible, a treatment plan will be created for you.

A diagram showing the role of platelet rich plasma guide hair restoration surgery.

How Does a PRP Hair Treatment Work?

Now that we have an understanding of the components involved in PRP for hair loss and how to get ready for it, it’s important to know how the procedure itself is performed. Below, we’ve laid out a brief breakdown of how a PRP hair treatment is carried out.

  • Taking a blood sample: To start with, a small vial of blood — typically between 30-100ml — is taken from the patient undergoing the treatment.

  • Separating the components: This vial of blood is then put into a machine known as a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood sample at a very high speed, in order to separate the platelets from the rest of the red and white blood cells, as well as the other components.

  • Extracting the platelet-rich plasma: 3-10ml of concentrated, platelet-rich plasma containing three to five times the number of platelets normally found in the bloodstream is then extracted from the sample.

  • Mixing the platelets: The platelets are then mixed with calcium chloride, thrombin, and occasionally collagen, in order to activate them. This means that the many different growth factors — naturally occurring substances which can stimulate cell growth, healing, and rejuvenate skin from the inside — contained in the PRP are released.

  • Injecting the plasma: Following this, the doctor will administer anesthesia to the area to be treated on the patients head. The activated PRP is then applied or injected into the scalp.

Once the PRP has been administered, the patient's head is then cleaned. The whole procedure lasts approximately 60-90 minutes. After the initial session, patients are often recommended to have another session after six weeks and then at three month intervals for the first year, with follow-up treatments every six months after that, depending on the response.

PRP Results and What to Expect From the Procedure

As mentioned above, a PRP hair treatment requires several cycles that can last for a number of months. Therefore, it’s important to remember that you may not see results immediately. It can be a fairly lengthy process, but it’s one that has been shown to have predominantly positive outcomes.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, in most cases, PRP for hair loss is an additional treatment. It may not help with substantial hair growth, rather, it aims to promote additional growth and density. Many hair transplant specialists offer PRP post-treatment because it’s known to release growth factors and to accelerate wound healing. Together, these are thought to protect hair grafts and make sure they grow well. However, PRP results will vary from patient to patient depending on their level of hair loss.

PRP Hair Treatment Costs

When it comes to choosing where to go for your platelet rich plasma treatment, Qunomedical gives you the option of high-quality doctors both abroad, and at home. PRP hair treatment costs can vary both from doctor to doctor, and from country to country.

A PRP hair treatment in the UK for example, typically costs around €350, while prices for the same treatment in Turkey sit at approximately €150. This reduction in price doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in quality either. Turkey is home to some of the most renowned hair transplant specialists. Leading figures such as Dr. Ziya Yavuz, MD offer PRP hair restoration at an affordable price. Dr. Yavuz has been practising since 2003 and with over 5000 treatments performed is one of the most prominent doctors within the industry. His clinic has also received outstanding reviews for the levels of care that they provide.

Think that a PRP hair treatment might be right for you? Contact us and one of our Patient Managers will be in touch to get you started. Wherever you choose to have your treatment, we’ll only ever provide you with information about doctors who have been thoroughly vetted, with high-quality and affordability in mind.

Disclaimer

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and does not replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any treatments.

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