Bald spots, thinning hair, a receding hairline: nobody is ready to face these issues. But by age 50, roughly 40% of women and 85% of men will begin to experience balding. The best way to preserve healthy hair is, of course, through either an FUE or FUT transplant, but these treatments require surgical skin removal, which can be embarrassing and inconvenient for many. As a result, a wave of patients has become more interested in a new, non-surgical solution to hair loss: platelet-rich plasma injections.
What are Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a mixture with a highly concentrated number of platelets, a key component of human blood. PRP’s most prominent liquid component is plasma, a yellowish liquid that makes up about 55% of blood volume and allows cells and proteins to pass through the veins and arteries. To create PRP, blood must be drawn and then placed in a centrifuge machine, which spins at extremely high speeds and separates the blood into sections. This allows specific parts of the blood to be withdrawn from the sample.
The remaining serum, free of red and white blood cells and impure proteins, is then ready to be used. It can be administered as an injection or through micro-needling, both of which tear small holes in the skin and promote the healing and creation of new and healthy skin tissue. What makes PRP so special is the sheer number of platelets it contains—roughly 500% more than in regular blood.
Why Are Platelets Used?
Blood has four key components: platelets, red and white blood cells, and plasma. Platelets are naturally occurring cell fragments in the bloodstream, and on their surface are strong proteins that stick both to blood vessel walls and to each other. This allows platelets to stop bleeding all over the body, and to promote cell growth and regeneration.
The more platelets we have, the better, as they also secrete important chemicals like thromboxane A, serotonin, and thromboplastin, all of which help to heal wounds and stimulate the production of fresh tissue.
How Collagen Affects Hair Growth
PRP injections also facilitate the production of collagen, one of the most common and important proteins in the body. Collagen can be found in the bones, the skin, the tendons, and the ligaments; it is commonly referred to as the body’s “glue,” and in fact, the word comes from the Greek “kólla,” for glue.
Collagen is particularly helpful for hair growth because:
1. It Contains Vital Amino Acids
Collagen contains vital amino acids that play a part in producing keratin, the protein that supports the regeneration of the hair, the nails, and the skin. Every hair follicle has a few layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. Keratin forms the cuticle (the hair’s visible surface) by smoothing and overlapping its cells. The most common reason that hair might look full or glossy is because the cuticle absorbs the right amount of keratin. Another amino acid found in collagen, called proline, protects the hair from oxidization damage. Strong, voluminous hair can therefore be attributed to collagen and proline’s antioxidant properties.
2. It Keeps the Hair Full and Healthy
As we age, the sebaceous glands (located just beneath the hair follicles) secrete less and less oil, and as a result, our hair becomes thin and brittle. This can also occur as a result of collagen deficiency; because collagen is like a glue, it holds the skin and follicles together, giving the hair a much fuller and more pleasing appearance.
3. It Combats Greying
Melanin gives the hair its color, and the older we get, the less melanin we generally produce. Greying hair can also be linked to stress, poor diet choices, and chemical buildup from dyes, sweat, and shampoos. Thankfully, collagen has the unique ability to reverse the effects of greying and can sometimes fight it off for years.
If you’re looking for the best PRP treatments, you must entrust your hair to professionals, such as those at J Spa Med Spa, Long Island’s best medical spa. The facility is run by top New York facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Andrew Jacono, who has helped countless patients find confidence in front of the mirror. Call (516) 773-2424 today to schedule a consultation.