Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a revolutionary new treatment for hair loss. It is versatile and can be used with hair transplant surgery, or as an independent treatment for thinning hair. Many hair transplant surgeons are already using this technology in their hair replacement surgery, and since the expert presentations to over 400 surgeons at the ISHRS conference in July, many more will soon start using the procedure.
PRP therapy is performed in 3 stages. First, an amount of blood between 60-100ml is taken from the patient and centrifuged. The fraction that contains the most platelets and growth factors is then removed and kept. The platelet rich fraction may be divided and one part lysed to release more growth factors then combined with the other whole-platelet factor. This extra treatment is claimed to increase the effects of PRP therapy, especially for hair loss.
Secondly the scalp is stimulated to activate the wound healing process. This process needs to be activated in order to use the growth factors and platelets that PRP therapy gives. Previously PRP activation needed to be completed with a single needle. 100's of punctures are necessary for the activation step, and so using a single needle was impractical and caused the patient significant amounts of pain. Now, a new product called the Scalproller manufactured by Nanogen is widely used for the activation step. The Scalproller is a microneedle roller that uses 192 unique titanium needles to open the skin to the same depth every time, and as it uses less pressure it causes less pain. As the Scalproller is rolled over the scalp, it saves the surgeon time as well.
The third step in the PRP process is the re-injection of the platelet and growth factor rich fragment into the scalp. This provides high levels of every factor needed for healing and healthy hair growth, the factors are utilized by the stimulated cells, including hair follicles.
The stimulation and access to high concentrations of growth factors has been shown to generate new hair growth, thicken existing hair growth, and make hair transplants grow thicker and healthier. In one case an Alopecia Areata patient was treated, and PRP treatment caused hair regrowth.
These findings were presented at the ISHRS conference along with the launch of Nanogen's Scalproller, and PRP with Scalproller pre-treatment is looking to become widespread as a hair loss treatment.