Platelet Rich Plasma (commonly abbreviated as PRP) is derived derived from blood. These plasma derived platelets are rich in multiple growth factors and proteins that collectively stimulate, repair and aid in wound healing and help in possible hair growth. However, there is very little research that vouch for PRP stimulating Hair growth, but nevertheless the ones that do are promising.
What is PRP
Blood is composed primarily of Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma. These Platelets are small disk shaped cells within the blood that are rich in several growth factors like:
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)
- Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)
- Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)
- Insulin Like Growth Factor
- Insulin Like Growth Factor 2
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)
- Epidermal growth factor (EGF)
- Interleukin 8
- Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF)
- Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF)
- Bioactive Proteins
These platelets have the power of accelerating the healing of wounds and are potentially viable in promoting the growth rate of hair follicles. The separation process of platelets from blood is done with 2 stages of centrifugation, after which the solid form of platelets is injected or sprayed directly on scalp
Hair follicle’s structure and its characteristics are complex. Its growth is regulated through various stages (Anagen à Catagen à Telogen àAnagen). Growth factors like PDGF, EGF, TGF, FGF, VEGF and etc play a fundamental role in the life cycle of follicle by controlling the active phase and inducing Catagen and Telogen phase.
PRP in Hair Transplantation
The use of PRP during the Hair transplantation process is merited at different levels: Strengthening a poor donor and non transplanted area, increase the transplanted graft yield rate, reduce graft transaction rate and healing of wounds from the donor and recipient area. Normally in maximum cases, calcium chloride and thrombin is activated with PRP before bathing the treated area. Thus, the growth factors increase the yield of newly transplanted follicles. At Berkowits Hair & Skin Clinic, it has been observed that the transplanted grafts which were activated with PRP have an increased yield rate of 15.5% than as compared to non activated grafts.
The research studies done on understanding the fundamentals of PRP still need to verify the efficacy. However, it has been always vouched that PRP has a preventive effect on hair disorder.
Moreover, its use with Hair Transplant accelerates healing and should increase the graft yield.