Most people don’t know that there are natural ways to support hair regrowth that are effective and safe. Hair loss can be concerning, even if it’s expected — say, due to a family history of hair loss. Ideally, you want to explore possible underlying causes for hair loss (that I mention below), in addition to supporting the hair strength and potential to regrow hair. For example, if there is an underlying low thyroid condition contributing to the hair loss, this needs to be identified and addressed.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a therapy that has been in use and studied since the 1980s. It is made from your blood, so it is very well-tolerated and the side effects are almost non-existent. The exciting part is that the growth factors that are released are very stem-cell like, and will drive healing of the tissue they are injected into. In this case, your hair!
So let’s review…
- What is PRP?
- Who does PRP work best for? Men or Women?
- How do we get the PRP from your blood?
- What are the side effects?
- What other health areas should be explored for hair loss?
- Are there additional therapies to assist PRP?
What is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)?
Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood and is primarily composed of water, but is also includes proteins, nutrients, and other elements that is can distribute throughout the body. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a sample of the patient’s own plasma that is concentrated with platelets (for clotting) and white blood cells (for fighting infection). PRP is obtained by drawing a small sample of blood from the patient and separating the red blood cells and plasma. This technology yields a high concentration of platelets and white blood cells that is 5-7 times greater than normal. The separation is done by spinning the blood sample in a special centrifuge to separate the elements before the injection.
PRP Therapy utilizes your body’s own bio-active proteins, also known as growth factors, to replace, repair, and regenerate tissue. PRP is used to deliver the growth factors directly to the site of treatment. When tissue injuries occur (say, after an injection into the scalp), platelets collect at the site of the injury and begin the clotting cycle. These activated platelets release numerous growth factors that are directly responsible for tissue regeneration. So by increasing the concentration of platelets, we can deliver a powerful mixture of growth factors directly to the injured tissue and dramatically enhance the body’s natural healing process. This treatment may result in a more rapid, efficient, and thorough restoration of the tissue to a healthy state.
PRP growth factors in hair restoration have been shown to improve and increase collagen and keratin levels within hair, as well as the strength of the hair follicle.
Who is it best for? Men or Women?
PRP hair treatment is for both men and women. Both men and women have good response rates for pattern hair loss (non-scarring hair loss). That said, women do tend to have a higher rate of response.
Pattern hair loss with dormant hair follicles can also be treated with PRP. There is still an opportunity to wake up the hair follicle and stimulate the hair growth! What this means is that even if the area appears bald without active hair, there is still an opportunity for growth and change.
PRP is not a permanent cure. PRP does need to be repeated once or twice per year, although you can begin to see results within a few weeks. Hair’s growth cycle is a 3-month cycle, where you can begin to see the full-impact of the treatment at this time. If the hair loss is more severe, you might want to consider 3-4 treatments per year.
There are certain types of hair loss it won’t help – which are all types of scarring alopecia. This is typically diagnosed by your dermatologist, and is a more rare form of hair loss.
What do we do?
PRP is obtained by drawing a small sample of your blood and separating the red blood cells and plasma. This technology yields a high concentration of platelets and white blood cells that is 5-7 times greater than normal. The separation is done by spinning the blood sample in a special centrifuge to separate the elements before the injection.
The PRP is then ‘activated’ to enhance the growth factor release. We then numb the scalp before injecting, and complete a series of small injections throughout the scalp, concentrating on the thinner areas.
After the treatment, do not wash your hair for 24 hours. You should avoid sun exposure for the first 48 hours. You don’t want to use any harsh chemicals/hair dye/chemicals for 72 hours. You also need to avoid alcohol and smoking for 48 hours, as these impair healing.
What are the side effects?
PRP is very safe, very minimal side effects. You can expect some discomfort after the injections. The scalp can itch due to the healing stimulation locally.
What other health areas should be explored for hair loss?
We will get the best results by treating underlying conditions, and/or adding other supportive nutrients or medications. We also want to look at and optimize thyroid levels, mineral levels, protein levels, diet, stress, and hormones. We can also consider adding medications which slow hair loss such as Finasteride or Spironolactone, or Amniotic Stem Cells to the PRP.
We can also measure the hormone testosterone and DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – (testosterone converts to DHT) – which will miniaturize hair, and then result in hair loss. If DHT is high, there are herbs that will help slow the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
Are there additional therapies to assist PRP?
If you really want to boost your PRP, we recommend that you complete two to three IV Vitamin infusions before your PRP to help nourish your blood. There are a few natural topicals as well that can help with nourishing the scalp, improve circulation to the scalp and encourage hormone balancing. These are topical melatonin, rosemary oil and natural progesterone. Progesterone inhibits testosterone conversion to DHT, and can increase hair thickness. And if you really want to boost the effectiveness of the growth factors, we also can combine your PRP with amniotic stem cells (talk about a great, stimulating combination for hair growth!!).
Questions about options for you for the regrowth of your hair? We would love to create a personalized plan for you! Please reach out if you have questions or to schedule a consultation. We would love to see you!
In love, health and light,
Dr. Angila Jaeggli, ND
Phone: (425) 835-0359
Sage Integrative Medicine Clinic, PLLC
110 James Street, Suite 103
Edmonds, WA 98020
Instagram: drangilajaeggliYoutube: Sage Health TV