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What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

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Platelet-rich plasma therapy – or PRP – is a largely experimental hair loss treatment in which platelet-rich plasma processed from the patient’s own blood is injected into the scalp. The goal of PRP for hair loss is to trigger hair growth by increasing the blood supply to a hair follicle. Although there is currently little scientific evidence that PRP is actually effective in treating hair loss, anecdotal evidence claims that it works, much like how PRP has been used to heal injured tendons and ligaments. How PRP for Hair Loss Works Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a three-step process. The first step is to draw a vial of the patient’s blood, usually from a vein in the arm. The vial is placed in a centrifuge for about ten minutes to separate the solid element of the blood from its liquid plasma. This plasma is rich in platelets, tiny cells that promote healing in tissue and help blood to clot. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into areas of the scalp where hair loss is the most prominent. Most patients who undergo PRP therapy for hair loss require about three treatments four to six weeks apart before they see any results. As we said before, there is little evidence that PRP is actually effective in treating hair loss, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it can stop or possibly even reverse hair loss, particularly in those with thinning hair. As doctors perform more research on the effects of platelet-rich plasma on hair loss, they will almost certainly be able to better treat patients who are struggling with hair loss. In the meantime, there are several clinics who provide PRP therapy for hair loss with some positive results. The procedure is relatively safe since the plasma is derived from the patient’s own blood, so there is relatively little to lose by trying it.