Balding can inspire a sense of helplessness. The gradual loss of such a key aesthetic feature leaves many reluctantly accepting their fate, giving in to what seems to be the inevitable. Thankfully, there are solutions.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a new tool in the fight against hair loss, and it has been turning heads. This minimally invasive treatment promises a noticeably fuller head of hair after just a few months.
As both a Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse and a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist, Melissa Giordano is a strong proponent of this technique. With over a decade of experience at The Breslow Center, Giordano has extensive experience performing injectable cosmetic treatments.
Sharon Grasso, RN, Plastic Surgical Nurse at the Breslow Center, also endorses PRP injections as an effective treatment for thinning hair and heredity androgenic alopecia.
Can PRP really deliver the results that you are looking for? Here’s what our experts have to say about it.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma uses a patient’s own plasma to improve hair growth and maintenance.
“We take a tube of your blood and extract the platelet rich plasma,” says Giordano.
This plasma is then reinjected into the scalp. “The plasma is very concentrated, and contains a high amount of growth factors, as well as bioactive proteins, that all work together to stimulate hair growth,” says Giordano.
For effective treatment, repeat injections are required. “It’s a series of four treatments done once a month for four months, and then the maintenance is twice a year after that,” she explains. Each treatment is quick, only taking about half an hour on average.
To help eliminate any pain, a numbing gel is applied to the site prior to the treatments.
“We also use a vibration device that helps to distract patients from any of the discomfort caused by the injections,” says Giordano. “You will feel a slight pinching as the PRP is going in, but overall it’s a very comfortable process.”
Grasso uses the term “liquid gold” when describing PRP. “These growth factors truly activate the proliferation of hair growth when reinjected into the treated areas,” she says.
After the procedure
There is essentially no downtime following each treatment session.
“You can resume all normal activities immediately afterwards,” says Giordano. “You might feel a little bit tender to the touch, but you should be fine.”
Recovery doesn’t require any pain medication. Even over-the-counter pain relief like Advil or Aleve likely won’t be necessary.
Results are noticeable six months following the first injection. “Patients will begin to see and feel the difference in their hair,” says Giordano.
The hair’s texture and volume will improve over the course of these six months and beyond, with hair loss slowing — or stopping altogether — in certain regions.
Most impressive of all, hair might start to return to areas where it was thinning. “You will start to see new growth as early as two to three months after the first treatment,” says Giordano.
And she should know. Giordano speaks not only as a practitioner of this procedure, but as a patient herself.
“I’ve personally had PRP performed on myself over two years ago,” she says. “I went through the full series of four treatments and the maintenance twice a year.”
Giordano points out that sometimes it’s the small things that she appreciates about her treatment.
“I’ve noticed less hair loss in my hairbrush, and less hair coming out in the shower and clogging the drain,” she says. “My hair is also growing fast. It’s getting longer quicker.”
Who can PRP help?
PRP can improve the outcome of most patients experiencing hair loss. “It works differently on everybody, but we’re noticing a great response from all of our clients who have had it done,” says Giordano.
Typical balding — like male-pattern hair loss — is a gradual process. The earlier in this process that you seek the help of a specialist, the better your results are likely to be.
“It’s not good for someone with total baldness, but it’s great for someone with thinning hair, especially thinning in the temples or the crown area,” says Giordano.
“Men’s hairlines typically start receding at the temples,” Grasso concurs. “This can be accompanied by thinning at the crown, leaving men with a horse-shoe shaped band around the sides and back of the head.”
Women, on the other hand, will start to notice thinning and clumps of hair in their combs or brushes.
“Female hair loss can be linked to hereditary factors and hormonal changes caused by childbirth or menopause,” Grasso explains. “Other potential causes include medical conditions such as thyroid and lupus disease, as well as chemotherapy and radiation-based cancer treatments.”
Aging also causes the hair follicles go into a resting phase while surrounding hair becomes thinner. “With time, harsh heat styling tools and hair coloring can also lead to hair loss in women,” Grasso adds.
Combining PRP with other hair restoration treatments
While PRP can offer life-changing results, it is still only one of many hair loss treatments available. Seeing PRP as a part of a broader hair loss treatment strategy can help you better achieve your aesthetic goals.
“At the Breslow Center we take a multifaceted approach in hair restoration,” Grasso explains. “Our patients have the option of combining their PRP treatments with Nutrafol nutritional supplementation, which are available for both men and women.”
As Grasso explains, Nutrafol is a 100% drug-free, clinically-tested treatment that contains botanical ingredients known to strengthen and improve hair growth by getting to the root of the issue.
“These supplements target the underlying problems associated with hair thinning and hair loss like hormonal problems, inflammatory issues, or the stress-related causes of hair loss,” Giordano adds.
Another method is laser therapy. Giordano strongly recommends the LaserCap low level laser therapy device for at-home use.
“It stimulates the hair follicles and promotes blood flow to the area,” she explains. “This promotes hair growth, and prevents hair loss from happening.” Three 30-minute sessions per week are recommended for optimal results.
How much does PRP for hair loss cost?
At The Breslow Center, initial PRP treatments are sold as a series. These four treatments are priced at a total of $3,000. The biannual maintenance treatments that follow are priced at $800 each.
Other treatment options in PRP’s price range simply do not offer comparable results.
“It really is the only option right now in terms of non-surgical hair restoration,” says Giordano. “It’s the best option short of hair transplants.”
For reference, the significantly more invasive hair transplant procedure can cost as much as $15,000.
The bottom line
From its proven track record as an effective hair loss solution to its overall safety, platelet-rich plasma treatment for hair loss is the low-risk high-reward solution that many are looking for.
Contact The Breslow Center in Paramus, New Jersey today for more information on PRP hair restoration treatments.