In my search for ways to regrow the hair that I have lost along my hairline, I recently came across platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments. PRP has been around for many years, used in dental procedures, to heal sports injuries, cosmetic treatments, etc. The treatment involves drawing a patient’s own blood, processing it so that only the platelet-rich plasma cells remain and then injecting the PRP cells into the area to be treated. You may recall that PRP received a lot of media attention a few years ago when Kim Kardashian had a so-called “Vampire Facial” (which includes PRP) to help renew and rejuvenate her skin. To learn more about the treatment and its use in restoring hair, I spoke with Dr. Michelle Henry, a board certified dermatologist based in New York City.
What makes PRP better than other hair re-growth treatments?
PRP is unique because it is all natural and comes from the patient’s own blood. This drastically reduces the risk of side effects. It works by harnessing the body’s own powerful healing properties. The platelets are a reservoir of growth factors that are important in wound healing. With this procedure, we are injecting the growth factors into the scalp to restore youthful hair growth and density.
Can the treatment be done anywhere on the scalp (including the hairline)?
PRP can be used anywhere on the body (including the eyebrows and hairline.)
How quickly are results visible?
I typically see results within 3-6 months.
How many treatments are typically needed to achieve the desired results?
My protocol is to do monthly injections for 6 months. On occasion, I will recommend maintenance treatments.
Are there any potential risks in having the treatment?
No. The only risk is surviving the tiny pinch of the needle.
Are there any restrictions to activities recommended after the treatment?
No. I recommend that patients do not dye their hair or have any treatments that might irritate the scalp the day of the procedure. Beyond this recommendation, there is no downtime. Patients are allowed to work out, swim and return to all activities immediately after the procedure.
Is there any post-treatment swelling, bruising or pain?
I use tiny needles which reduces the pain and there is very little swelling. I have never had bruising in a patient, but as we are using tiny needles there is a small risk of bruising.
Is the treatment a permanent solution or does it need to be repeated after a certain period of time?
For many patients it is permanent. However, I will sometimes recommend annual or biannual treatments for maintenance.
Is there an ideal candidate for the treatment?
PRP can be used for any type of hair loss; however, I use it most often on patients who have not responded to traditional therapies. I often use PRP on patients who seek a great result, but prefer to not have any synthetic treatments.
What is the average cost for the treatment?
It varies based on the treatment area but the cost can range from $1,200-$1,800 per treatment.
Dr. Michelle Henry is a Harvard trained, board certified dermatologist. She is currently a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. She practices Mohs micrographic surgery, laser surgery, and cosmetic surgery. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for Laser Medicine, and American College of Mohs Surgery. Dr. Henry has also been featured in many magazine and newspaper publications, including Instyle, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Essence and Newsday. Her treatment philosophy is to provide holistic care while utilizing the latest techniques and scientific data.
To learn more about Dr. Henry, visit drmichellehenry.com