At Tharon Blake Aesthetics, we have been performing PRP therapy as a proactive therapeutic option for male and female patients experiencing hair loss for over four years. PRP is an exciting non-surgical therapeutic option for patients who require stimulation of hair growth for hair loss conditions.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy provides the scalp with growth factors that have the potential to activate weakened and thinning hair follicles and encourage hair growth. To create the PRP, the patient’s own blood is drawn the day of the procedure and is separated using a special, computerized centrifuge. The highly concentrated PRP is composed of a potent blend of growth factors and proteins that promote cellular regeneration and hair growth, which can essentially reverse the hair loss process in many patients.
What Are The Benefits of PRP Injection Therapy?
While this application of PRP is still relatively new for hair restoration, PRP has been FDA-approved for wound healing and restorative purposes for over a decade. However, for hair restoration, the use of PRP is considered “off label.” Off label use of medical treatments is common practice. Initial clinical results have revealed that PRP and can often prevent further hair loss and strengthen weak hair while stimulating new hair growth. Ideal candidates for PRP are men and women who are already utilizing another non-surgical hair loss method such as Propecia® (finasteride), Rogaine®, Formula 82M, or low level laser therapy (LLLT) with a laser comb or cap. The reason for this is to position the hair in the maximal growing phase when the PRP is provided. Those in the early stages of hair loss may benefit most from PRP therapy, along with patients who have undergone hair transplant surgery and need an effective method for retaining non-transplanted hairs. The procedure is especially helpful for women with general hair thinning. Ultimately, Tharon Blake can evaluate your hair loss during a consultation and determine if PRP therapy – or another type of hair restoration treatment – is best suited for your individual hair loss pattern.
How is PRP Therapy Performed?
Once it is determined that PRP therapy is the right choice for you, you can schedule your session. On the day of your treatment, a sample of your blood will be collected and centrifuged to extract the PRP. During this time, your own PRP will be delivered to designated areas of the scalp at a precise depth beneath the skin where it can be most beneficial to the follicles. Treatment typically takes about 90 minutes, and you can usually resume your workday or regular activities right after your session. So the immediate benefits of this quick procedure are:
* Minimally-invasive and generally well-tolerated
* Recovery is usually swift and easily manageable
* Treatment lasts approximately 90 minutes
* Most patients can return to work or regular activities right after treatment.
When Can I Expect to See Results?
Since PRP is dependent upon your body's own healing ability (and everyone's healing ability is different), typically patients start to see results in four to eight months. Commonly reported improvements include thicker, denser hair in the treated areas. Tharon Blake will keep a close watch on your progress, and based on what he sees, he can formulate an appropriate treatment plan to help maintain or further improve your results. The positive effects of PRP therapy can be evident for several months, or even years, depending on your unique hair loss pattern and responsiveness to treatment. The need for repeat treatments will be discussed with you.
Tharon Blake Aesthetics is excited to offer the latest in non-surgical hair regrowth therapy for men and women with ACell (MatriStem MicroMatrix®) + PRP (platelet-rich plasma). Hair loss happens when DHT (dihydrotestosterone) disrupts the communication between the root of the hair follicle and the adult stem cells responsible for healthy hair growth. ACell + PRP works to restore communication lines and reverse DHT’s thinning effects. Reactivating existing hair follicles helps jumpstart the normal hair growth cycle to preserve and thicken thinning hair.
What is ACell® (MatriStem MicroMatrix®)?
ACell MatriStem MicroMatrix uses a one-of-its-kind proprietary protein made from the tissues of pig bladders. ACell is a non-crosslinked, completely absorbable, acellular Extracellular Matrix (ECM) tissue proven to have regenerative properties. During the manufacturing process, ACell is stripped of all cells and muscle tissue to prevent allergic reactions in people. (The product is contraindicated in patients with known sensitivity or allergy to porcine materials.) It is disinfected, packaged and sterilized with electron beam radiation. The chemical structure is similar to human tissues and is available only through licensed physicians and surgeons. FDA approved MatriStem devices are unique because they fundamentally change healing by triggering abundant new blood vessel formation and recruiting numerous cell types to the injury site.
How does ACell work and what are its benefits?
Stem cells are in every tissue in our body and act as “master cells.” These undifferentiated cells are capable of developing into more than 200 cell types (such as blood cells, skin cells, hair follicles, etc.) They continue to divide throughout life and give rise to highly specialized cells that can take the place of damaged, dead or lost cells. Stem cells allow the body to renew and repair its tissues. Unlike mature cells, which are permanently committed to their fate, stem cells can both renew themselves and create new types of cells. However, adult stem cells cannot develop new tissue, unless they are activated by an acellular device, such as ACell Matristem MicroMatrix. ACell MatriStem MicroMatrix technology works at the cellular level by recruiting adult stem cells and increasing blood supply to the site of the wound to repair and remodel damaged tissue. During the healing process, ACell converts these adult stem cells back to their active form as progenitor cells. They facilitate direct healing by leaving new native tissue where scar tissue would normally form. Once activated, stem cells recruit other cell types to the area to begin tissue regeneration. ACell, when injected into the scalp, regenerates dormant hair follicular tissues and increases hair growth and quality. Stem cell activation with this proprietary UBM scaffold technology has been used extensively in a broad range of medical applications, including general surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, urology and plastic and reconstructive surgery to enhance wound healing. It gained popularity when doctors discovered it could help people with partial finger amputations grow back their fingertips (often with the fingernail bed). The use of ACell in wound healing also dramatically decreases the formation and appearance of scar tissue.
What are the benefits of ACell in hair regrowth therapy when used in conjunction with PRP? At the 19th annual International Society of Hair Transplant Surgeons conference, doctors presented evidence that ACell attracts adult stem cells to a wound and converts them into progenitor cells that, in the case of hair follicles, grow hair. The goal of injecting ACell mixed with the patient’s adult stem cells into thinning areas of the scalp is to send signals to the adult stem cells lurking in the dormant hair follicles and, in essence, wake them up. By using the body’s own tissue regeneration mechanism, miniaturized hair follicles become healthier and thicker, producing more robust hair growth. ACell + PRP treatment is effective for both male and female pattern hair loss. ACell + PRP therapy has also regrown hair in cases of alopecia areata, eyebrow hypotrichosis and non-hereditary hair loss.
What are the advantages of using ACell + PRP versus PRP alone in Hair Regrowth Therapy?
PRP treatment alone must be repeated at least every two to three months. This is because PRP can cause short-term, limited growth, but will not stop the hair thinning process. There is a limit to what PRP alone can do long term. The combination of ACell + PRP hair regrowth therapy provides a significantly longer-lasting solution for hair loss. Research presented at the 2015 ISHRS Annual Scientific Meeting showed that the use of ACell in combination with PRP therapy significantly extends hair regrowth, requiring a once-a-year or biannual regimen for most people. This is because ACell slows down the hair thinning process by providing the extracellular matrix (ECM) structure on which to continue building hair follicles. When comparing prices, some offices may offer PRP alone at a much lower cost. But over time, that cost adds up and can easily become more expensive than ACell + PRP treatment. At Tharon Blake Aesthetics, we have researched and perfected best practice priniples of PRP and PRP + ACell hair restoration. We only use the highest rated equipment and have worked with researchers to develop the Gold Standard for therapy.
It’s important to note that the ACell + PRP hair regrowth therapy can only affect follicles that are still active. If your hair has not been present for more than 5 years, that area of your hair is not salvageable. These patients will typically require a hair transplant. There are exceptions, but for this reason we advocate early intervention. The earlier we begin treatments, the more hair we can save and thicken. Our consultation process will identify if PRP or PRP + ACell is right for you.
Learn More About Non-Surgical PRP for Hair Restoration.