Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is key to Dr. Gray’s work for hair loss and available both as a standalone treatment at the Hair Transplant & Restoration Center, but also PRP is an integral part of our FUE and FUT surgical hair transplantation procedures. Dr. Gray’s belief in this regenerative treatment is so unwavering that he recently changed his PRP protocol and now offers a type of PRP that is rarely found in PRP centers across the country. Using a state-of-the-art centrifuge, ACell restorative support, sonication to release growth factors, and a strategic schedule of treatment, Dr. Gray creates a 5x concentration of PRP which is processed further into Platelet Lysate promoting exponentially higher levels of growth factors, protecting fragile FUE grafts, and spurring hair growth. At HT&RC, you’ll receive PRP from an innovative doctor who has the medical expertise and concern for your outcome required to maximize results.
PRP at HT&RC: Introducing Platelet Lysate (PL)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is one of the newer treatments for hair loss, and believing the higher the level of specific growth factors, the higher the response to hair growth, Dr. Gray has taken it a step further. Based on cutting-edge data, Dr. Gray has updated all of his technology to maximize the growth factors found in platelets which involves using a top of the line centrifuge to achieve a high platelet count, but more importantly, incorporating sonication, which is traditionally mostly used in molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology labs.
Most hair restoration physicians using PRP activate platelets artificially (although PRP can be injected without prior activation), but artificial activation only releases a certain level of growth factors from the alpha granules in platelets. Dr. Gray has used different forms of artificial activation in the past but did not find one activation method released a more considerable amount of growth factors than the other.
Sonication is an entirely different way to release growth factors which does not require any type of artificial "activation," AND also produces the similar levels of the smaller growth factors but exponentially higher levels of larger growth factors. After the centrifuge has separated components of the blood, PRP goes through sonication, and high-intensity sound waves destroy the platelet membrane which releases high levels of growth factors from alpha-granules into the plasma. This process destroys platelets, so the product produced is no longer “platelet-rich-plasma.” Instead of PRP, what remains is called Platelet Lysate (PL) which has abundant independent growth factors, and PL is injected into the scalp.
Our PRP/PL Protocol - Strategically Timed Treatments
If you’ve been researching PRP, you’ve likely noticed that the timing of treatments varies widely. That’s because there is no universally accepted standard for the timing of PRP/PL treatments among hair restoration surgeons. Dr. Gray’s approach to PRP/PL is focused on making sure that hair follicles capture the benefits of treatment while they are most receptive. Hair goes through different stages, and during the anagen (or growing) phase, follicles are more responsive to PRP/PL. Delivering three PRP/PL treatments two to three months apart ensures that the greatest possible number of follicles receives treatment from Dr. Gray during the anagen stage.
Following the Growth Cycle
As you know, each strand of hair goes through several stages of growth in its lifecycle. At any one time, the majority of the hairs on your scalp are in the anagen active growth stage – and that’s the stage in which PRP/PL delivers its greatest benefit. Any hairs that happen to be in the 2-to-3-month telogen phase aren’t actively growing, so they miss out on the impact of treatment. Dr. Gray has strategically synced PRP/PL treatments to the hair growth cycle. Any follicles in the telogen phase during the first treatment will have time to shed and be replaced by hair follicles in the active growth stage by the next treatment. In fact, with the sonication method, the telogen follicles seem to be “pushed out” to make way for a new anagen follicle. From the patient’s point of view, there can be some shedding, but this is not permanent loss, but rather preparation for new anagen follicles to grow. Delivering three PRP/PL treatments two to three months apart ensures that each and every viable hair on your head receives treatment from Dr. Gray during the anagen stage -- when it’s most receptive to PRP/PL.
Timing is everything!
You know that genetic hair loss gets worse over time, but here’s something you may not be considering. At the onset of hair loss, the ratio of actively growing anagen hairs to dormant telogen hairs is about seven to one. Someone who is just beginning to experience miniaturization has seven times more hair in the anagen phase than the telogen phase at any one time. As genetic hair loss advances, several things happen. The life cycle of the hair follicle becomes shorter. The hair follicles become more miniaturized and the ratios of follicles in the anagen phase compared to telogen phase decreases from 7:1 down to less than 4:1. All of these result in varying amounts of permanent hair loss over time. PRP/PL needs existing hair follicles that have not yet overly miniaturized for it to be effective. This is why it’s so important for men to have PRP/PL treatment sooner than later. The further into hair loss you are, the fewer hairs will be impacted by each PRP/PL treatment, and the more critical timing becomes.
How PRP Works
The breakdown of blood
Platelet-Rich Plasma is a natural healing treatment that puts your body’s existing components to work in fighting hair loss. Blood has several components — a liquid substance called plasma, red and white blood cells, and platelets. These naturally occurring platelets have very beneficial effects, and much medical research has been done to try and take advantage of those properties. Platelets allow the blood to clot, and they also contain proteins, called growth factors, that assist the body in healing soft tissue and bone. In the field of hair transplant and restoration, some of these growth factors are known to stimulate hair growth, and by further processing the platelets in a sonicator, these growth factors are released in extraordinary amounts.
The power of PRP/PL to fight hair loss
PRP/PL combats hair loss by stimulating your scalp and hair simultaneously, improving both. For men with androgenetic alopecia, PRP/PL aggressively fights miniaturization by strengthening the hair and causing active cellular growth. It has also shown great promise in rejuvenating vellus hair to produce a thicker coverage of the scalp. Treatment with Platelet-Rich Plasma/Platelet Lysate is an exciting option, especially for men who are not transplant candidates.
Benefits of injecting Platelet-Rich Plasma/Platelet Lysate:
- Platelet-Rich Plasma promotes wound healing by speeding up the already-short recovery process after a hair transplant surgery.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma aids in new hair growth after hair transplant surgery.
- There is evidence that PRP causes hair to grow back thicker than before, even without a transplant.
PRP/PL to Improve Surgical Hair Restoration
Dr. Gray now includes PRP/PL and ACell treatment as a component of every hair restoration surgery at the Hair Transplant & Restoration Center. It’s simply the best way to maximize results. In hair transplant surgery, PRP/PL works in at least two ways — healing the skin and growing the hair. In the FUE transplant method, harvested follicles are very fragile before transplantation. PRP/PL protects the follicles throughout the procedure to minimize the potential for unsuccessful grafts. When you consider the cost of your hair transplant, it’s vital to consider that PRP/PL and ACell are included at no extra cost.
What to expect during PRP/PL treatment
Through a quick and painless process, the doctor creates a sample of plasma highly concentrated with platelets. Dr. Gray will draw a sample of blood. He will then spin the blood sample in the centrifuge to isolate the platelets compounds that promote growth. The PRP is processed in a sonicator for 30 minutes to release growth factors. The PRP/PL is combined with Acell before injection into the scalp. You will be awake throughout the treatment, but the doctor will numb your scalp so that you don’t feel any pain. He then uses a tiny needle to inject the PRP/Platelet Lysate into areas of the scalp where hair growth is needed. There’s no downtime, and the PRP/PL helps the injection sites to heal very quickly. Dr. Gray will use photographs to document the change in your hair and scalp as your hair grows.
Things to be aware of:
- We recommend shampooing and cleansing your scalp at least 24 hours before treatment.
- We request that sewn-in or glued-on hairpieces be removed before arrival. If this is a problem for you, these can be removed privately in our office and put back on before you leave, immediately following treatment.
- There is usually no downtime directly after therapy, and the PRP helps the injection sites heal very quickly. Your scalp might feel numb for a few hours, but you can promptly continue with your usual hair care routine.
- Because of the small needle used, there are generally no visible signs of treatment on the scalp.
- Dr. Gray will use photographs to document the change in your hair and scalp as your hair grows.
What our patients are saying
"The pain with PRP/PL was very minimal. Dr. Grays strives very hard to minimize all discomfort. By the second treatment, just knowing what was going to happen and with his technique, virtuously it was painless. He did bacteriostatic saline, which I thought was amazing, I did not feel the needle stick in my arm from when he drew the blood. He did a topical block around my scalp, there were a few very very minimal little sticks, but it was way less, way less (pain) than receiving an injection or having blood drawn at a local facility. This was great. "
"I've noticed a fullness already (by my third treatment) on my crown where I had the PRP/PL injections done (where my areas of concern were), and I would say I first noticed this change in about two and a half to three months. A month after my first treatment, I noticed that my hair wasn't falling out as much as it was. I decided to do PRP/PL because I wanted to grow my natural hair back out as much as possible before I decided to do anything else, and there were more scientific studies to back up this treatment."
Are you ready to take action? The first step toward resolution is to find out whether you’re a good candidate for PRP. As with any of our medical treatments, PRP works best for men who do not yet have severe hair loss. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gray to find out whether PRP or another medical hair loss solution can resolve your hair loss problem.