Is your hair falling out? Have you tried every over-the counter hair loss solution with little or no success? If so, then you might have started considering more aggressive treatments, like a surgical hair transplant. While typically very successful, these procedures aren’t for everyone. For many people, the idea of undergoing a surgical hair restoration is unacceptable—but so is the idea of going bald. About two thirds of all American men will start noticing hair loss by age 35, and by 50, around 85% will have seen significant hair loss, usually from Male Pattern Baldness. Women suffer from hair loss too, in significant numbers—about 40% of all people in the United States who experience hair loss are women. If you’re among this population, you might be interested in a new procedure that’s offering patients an alternative to over-the counter medications, surgery, or just giving up. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein offers patients state-of-the-art Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) hair restoration treatments in Newburgh, New York.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a method of treating the patient with his or her own blood. PRP has been used in many different treatments, not just for treating hair loss. For example, PRP has been a successful treatment for tendon injuries and other orthopedic applications. This is because of the way the blood is prepared and used to stimulate growth in the body.
Once the blood has been drawn, it is put through a process known as centrifugation, which involves separating the platelets from the red blood cells. By concentrating the platelet count in the blood, the resulting PRP can help patients grow hair, recover from injuries, or gain other medical benefits. When used for hair loss, the PRP solution is injected directly into the scalp to invigorate and encourage the hair follicles to begin producing more hair growth.
The Benefits of PRP
Patients are very excited about the potential of PRP therapy for hair growth for a number of reasons. First, it’s a non-surgical alternative to hair transplant surgery. Even though modern hair transplant procedures are minimally invasive and easy to fit into busy lifestyles, the surgery isn’t right for everyone. PRP offers a more reliable hair loss treatment than over-the-counter medication, but without the need for surgery.
Most patients are very happy with the results they gain from PRP treatments. Many patients notice new growth, while others see their hair loss slow down or cease. This completely natural hair regrowth can help patients regain self-esteem and confidence, and make them look younger. As a bonus, the treatment is all natural, since the PRP treatments use the patients own plasma.
Who is a Candidate?
The best candidates for PRP treatments are men and women with thinning hair, optimally when hair loss is just beginning to become apparent. While PRP can be effective in people who already have significant balding, it has proven most effective for thinning hair and further hair loss prevention. Patients should be in good health, and have realistic expectations for the results of the procedure. The effectiveness of the treatments can vary from one patient to another, and being aware of this can help prevent unrealistic expectations.
Your PRP Consultation
Before you schedule your first PRP treatment, you will need to discuss your goals and candidacy with Dr. Rubinstein at his office in Newburgh, New York. During this consultation, Dr. Rubinstein will go over your medical history and ensure you are a good candidate to undergo the treatment. He will also assess your hair loss, and recommend the best options for treatment. This is a great time to ask questions so you can make an informed decision about moving forward with treatment.
Potential Enhancements to PRP Treatments
Though PRP treatments are performed using the patient’s own plasma, there are some products available that can potentially enhance the results of standard PRP treatments. Acell is one of the most popular PRP enhancements—it’s a porcine (pig) tissue-based product that helps to encourage wound healing and stem cell growth. Though it is unclear as to how much this product boosts the effects of PRP treatments, some doctors and surgeons prefer to use Acell during the PRP process. If you’re interested in Acell with PRP treatments, be sure to bring it up during your consultation.
The PRP Procedure
The PRP treatment itself is very straightforward. The entire process takes about 30 minutes. First, blood is drawn for processing. It is then refined to concentrate plasma levels to make it suitable for stimulating hair growth. Once the plasma is fully prepared, the scalp will be cleaned, and the PRP will be injected directly into the areas affected by hair growth with a small needle. There is minimal discomfort. Sedation is not required, and patients can drive themselves home after each treatment. Most patients will require 3 initial treatments spaced 1 month apart followed by maintenance treatments 2 times per year.
Recovery and Downtime
Because the procedure is minimally invasive, patients are able to get back to their normal activities almost immediately. Patients may experience minor swelling, bleeding, and bruising in the scalp following PRP treatment, due to the fine needles used to deliver the PRP. However, these side effects should subside fairly quickly, and there should be almost no limitation on normal activity following PRP. This makes the treatment ideal for busy lifestyles.
Though most people see at least some hair regrowth with PRP, the results are not instantaneous. Due to the hair growth cycle and the natural stimulation provided by PRP treatments, most patients should expect to see results within 4-6 months. It’s important to note that results will vary based on the individual and the stage of hair growth they were in when starting treatments. For good results, patients need to be committed to undergoing regular treatments.
Are all PRP Treatments the same?
No, not all PRP treatments are the same. There are many devices on the market that concentrate platelets. For optimal hair growth, platelets have to be concentrated at least 4 to 6 times from baseline. Dr. Rubinstein uses the Eclipse system which produces a high concentration of platelets.
Can PRP Treatments be combined with other hair treatments?
Other treatments can augment your PRP hair treatment results. Topical Rogaine, oral Propecia, and LED laser light therapy can be beneficial. Find out if this is something you should add to your PRP treatments.
Does adding Microneedling to my PRP hair treatment have added value?
Microneedling in and of itself has been shown to stimulate hair growth in some patients. There are no studies that show added benefit of combining Microneedling with PRP treatments. The scalp Microneedling is uncomfortable and adds significant time to your treatment and cost. It is also impractical for most patients unless they have very little hair in the treatment area. Dr. Rubinstein will add Microneedling if he thinks it will be of added value to his patients.
Are there any risks to PRP treatments?
Since the procedure uses the patient’s own blood, there is no risk for reactions, unless Acell is used in conjunction with the PRP (allergies to pork could be triggered). The procedure itself is minimally invasive, and the only expected side effects are minor bruising, swelling, and bleeding. PRP is a very safe treatment for healthy patients, with very few risks.
How many treatments will I need to see good results?
Most surgeons recommend at least 3 treatments, though more may be needed. These treatments should be spaced at least 4 weeks apart. Once the initial treatments are completed, patients may want to consider maintenance treatments every 6 months, depending on their surgeon’s recommendations.
Can I undergo PRP while I’m receiving chemo treatments?
It’s best to wait until chemotherapy is complete to undergo PRP, as hair can regrow following the completion of chemo treatments. It is also potentially dangerous for patients with a recent history of cancer to undergo PRP.
Can PRP reactivate follicles?
Yes. While the treatment is most successful for patients who have diffuse hair loss or thinning hair, it is also sometimes successful for people with inactive follicles.
How long does each session take?
Treatment times vary, but each session typically does not take more than 30 minutes.
Can PRP be used with a hair transplant?
Absolutely. By combining PRP with surgical hair transplant, growth is stimulated, and patients often see superior results than if one procedure alone is used.
Are the results permanent?
Unfortunately, hair loss is an ongoing problem. It’s important to undergo regular treatments to help reduce hair loss over time, especially as aging progresses. PRP treatments aren’t a permanent solution—they’re part of an ongoing effort to circumvent hair loss.
Is the treatment different for women than it is for men?
No, PRP works the same for both men and women. PRP is often very successful in women, because the hair loss pattern is typically more diffuse, which is the ideal condition for PRP success.
Does the PRP treatment hurt?
There is minimal discomfort. Topical anesthesia is typically not required and can be messy and difficult to remove from the hair. Icing if necessary is helpful for those who experience discomfort. Swelling and bruising can cause some discomfort after the treatment, but this should subside quickly.
Could PRP be dangerous for some patients?
Some patients should not undergo PRP, including heavy smokers or drinkers, people with low platelet counts, recent sepsis or cancer patients, and patients who have blood clotting problems. Unstable low blood pressure and cortisone treatments may also make patients ineligible for treatment.
A Customized Treatment
Though there are a few standard treatments for hair loss, each patient’s individual needs require customization. If you’re interested in PRP hair loss treatments, then consider making a consultation appointment to speak with Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein in Newburgh, NY. Dr. Rubinstein will be happy to assess your candidacy and make a recommendation about which treatment is likely to work best for you. For more information, call Dr. Rubinstein’s office at 845-863-1772 today.