Maybe you remember seeing an image of Kim Kardashian's face covered in blood, a gross requirement for getting a vampire facial. Or maybe you erased the moment from your memory. Either way, the sight of something as repulsive might be an easier pill to swallow if you knew that the same method by which vampire facials operate, using PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) extracted from your own blood, can combat hair loss via PRP Hair Therapy. Having gained popularity in dermatology about six years ago, PRP injections have the ability to stimulate hair growth in areas of thinning on the scalp. Curious as to how PRP Hair Therapy works and if it's the next best cure for thinning hair after OUAI Thinning Hair Supplements, we tapped Genevieve Vielbig, RN—a SoHo-based Cosmetic Nurse Injector and Laser Specialist who performs PRP Hair Therapy on a number of patients experiencing hair loss. Ahead, Nurse Gigi answers all our burning questions about PRP Hair Therapy, including how the procedure benefits thinning hair, who's a good candidate, and more.
Is PRP hair therapy like a vampire facial for your hair?
It is similar in that it is stimulating growth factors. Some practitioners opt to do micro needling rather than apply PRP to the scalp. I prefer to directly inject the patient's PRP to the areas of concern on the scalp.
What does the PRP hair therapy process look like?
- Blood is drawn from the patient
- The tubes of blood are put into a centrifuge for 10 minutes to separate the plasma from the red blood cells and white blood cells.
- The plasma is drawn up into syringes
- The injection site is cleaned with alcohol
- Plasma is injected back into the scalp of thinning areas
- Red LED light is placed over scalp tor 20 minutes
Where exactly on the scalp or face is the blood injected?
Plasma is injected back into the scalp in areas of thinning.
On a scale of 1-10 how badly does the injection hurt?
Pain is all relative. The pain scale for the injections is usually about a 4/10 for most people. The discomfort is transient and typically there is no pain after the treatment is complete.
How many injections happen during the first session?
Depending on the severity of the hair loss and how much area of the scalp needs to be treated, it can vary from 20-50 tiny injections.
Scientifically, why does plasma or your own blood spur hair growth?
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is loaded with growth factors that promote rapid angiogenesis and localized cell growth when PRP is injected into the scalp. The PRP causes miniaturized hair follicles to become healthier and larger, producing more robust hair growth.
Will the injections cause scarring of any kind?
None reported to date.
Can PRP hair therapy cure hair loss?
There is no “cure” for hair loss. PRP slows down the process and can stimulate the growth of dormant hairs.
How long after my first session will I see results?
The first indication that it is working is a slowing of hair shedding.
How many sessions does it take to see hair growth?
New hair growth can be seen as early as two months, but is typically evident between five to eight months and will continue to improve up to a year after treatment.
Who’s a good candidate for PRP hair therapy?
A good candidate is someone who has normal balanced hormonal levels and no health issues and still has a substantial amount of hair on their scalp. Early stage, mild hair loss patients see the most promising results.
Who is NOT a good candidate for PRP hair therapy?
Patients with active hormone imbalances or autoimmune diseases that may be a contributing factor to their hair loss are not good candidates. I always recommend patients get a full panel of blood work, including thyroid function, testosterone levels, and Iron/ferritin levels tested before deciding if PRP is the right choice for them. If the body has a hormone imbalance or other inflammatory response, the PRP will not likely produce the desired effect on hair growth.
Are there any downsides to consider before getting PRP hair therapy?
The only downside is that sometimes PRP does not work for everyone and that can be disappointing for patients.
Approximately how much does one PRP hair therapy procedure cost?
The price may vary per session from $400 to $1800 depending on the geographic location and the credentials of the provider. i.e., Dermatologist, Plastic Surgeon, General Practitioner, Physician Assistant or Registered Nurse. A series of four to six treatments spaced six weeks apart is ideal for optimal results, and yearly maintenance is required to sustain results.