1.What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)? Is it safe?
a.PRP is a concentrated portion of your blood generally injected back into your body at specific sites to promote healing. Blood is comprised of many things, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, plasma, and growth factors. When your body, for example your skin, is wounded, the wound sends out signals that there has been a disruption and the healing cascade starts, with the end result of forming new collagen/skin. Growth factors are part of the healing cascade and help to start the healing process. PRP is safe – it uses your own body’s natural wound healing factors to help your skin and hair.
2.Why PRP for hair?
a.PRP has been studied in hair restoration, as well as other medical fields like wound healing, joints, and skin for the past few years. While there are many reasons why some people may start to have thinning hair, there have not been to date any perfect solutions (or else someone would be very rich!). While PRP is a great tool, it is not a cure-all. It is not a substitute for a hair transplant, where your healthy active hair follicles are physically redistributed around your scalp. (However, we think it works very well in conjunction/preparation with this surgery.) It does not grow hair where the follicles are already dormant. This procedure is best for prevention of further thinning of hair. Please come in for a consultation and evaluation if you are in doubt.
3.When can I expect results?
a.Some patient report a tingling in the scalp immediately after PRP. Think of PRP as fertilizer for your hair as it is laying the groundwork for healthier, more robust hair follicles. Hair takes a while to grow. As such, it may take about a year to visibly see more hair, though some patients start to see results as early as 6 months from starting.
4.Is it permanent?
a.The treatment is permanent in that it will help nourish your hair follicle. However, follow up treatments every 4-6 months is highly recommended as the processes that caused your hair to thin are likely still occurring, so the thinning process continues even during treatment. The treatment tries to promote hair thickening and growth.
5.What’s the process like?
a.First, set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chin to discuss whether this procedure is right for you. Generally, Dr. Chin offers 4 sessions of PRP injections each 1 month apart in one package. After that, follow up PRP injections are every 4-6 months, depending on the patient and the patient’s progress. The treatment visits take up to 45-60 minutes. The time includes blood draw, centrifuge time, and injection time, which depends on the treatment plan.
6.Does it hurt?
a.Most people find the injections painless even without the use of numbing agents. Men and women can tolerate the injections easily with just some pre-cooling and the use of small needles. We do offer numbing cream and other pain control agents upon request.
7.What’s the downtime?
a.There is in general minimal downtime. Some people experience a sensation of tightness in the scalp or a mild headache for a few hours after injection. This is due to the small volume of liquid PRP being injected into the scalp. As the liquid is absorbed, the headache will lessen.
8. What else can I do?
a.Dr. Chin believes in a multifaceted approach to hair restoration, so we suggest a few different hair-promoting modalities during your treatment with us for a holistic approach to hair and scalp health. For example, many of our patients like using an at—home LED head device for weekly maintenance, as well as various topical therapies. Please contact Dr. Chin for a consultation for more details and personal recommendations.