Hair loss is a prevalent issue among men and women, and it can significantly impact your life and self-confidence. This condition is mainly caused by the disruption of the growth cycle of the hair follicle. Since everyone experiences it differently, not all treatments will provide the best results for you. Additionally, there are hundreds of therapies that come with varying levels of success and reliability.
Today, we’ll examine two emerging treatments and show you how they can help you deal with hair loss. If you are interested in medical needling or PRP, and if you want to know which treatment you should choose and why take a look at our comparison.
PRP therapy is a hair loss treatment based on platelet-rich plasma. This substance exists in your bloodstream. After all, platelets are vital components in the blood. They facilitate healing and prevent bleeding after a cut or injury. Plus, they contain proteins that boost cell growth. When we inject PRP into damaged tissue, it will produce new cells and ultimately signal the body to heal.
Aside from releasing growth factors, PRP also boosts collagen levels, active proteins, and nutrients. PRP therapy has various applications, including tendon or acute injuries, post-surgical repair, facial rejuvenation, GI use, and hair loss.
When PRP is used as a hair loss treatment, its growth factors can help patients regrow their hair and strengthen hair follicles and shafts. The treatment can help several types of hair loss caused by damage to the hair follicles.
The PRP Process
Generally, the process requires four treatments that are two weeks apart. PRP hair loss therapy is a three-step procedure:
- Step 1: A specialist will draw your blood from the arm. Then, they will place the blood inside a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood rapidly and separates it into fluids of different densities.
- Step 2: It takes 5 minutes until the centrifuge separates the blood into three layers. That consists of:
- Red blood cells
- PRP (Platelet-rich plasma)
- PPP (Platelet-poor plasma)
- Step 3: The specialist will draw PRP into the syringe and inject the PRP into your scalp using a particular PRP machine. The injections will be administered to the areas of the scalp that require hair growth.
How Effective Is PRP?
PRP relies on the body’s restorative capability to stimulate regrowth and maintain growth. Although the treatment is not proven, many medical, cosmetic, and dermatological experts promote it as an effective solution for combating hair loss. And while there has been a lack of clinical evidence for this treatment in the past, some recent studies have found scientific evidence that proves its effectiveness.
In 2020, a study from the Journal of Dermatological Surgery found that PRP had a potent effect on hair regeneration. The study found that PRP could temporarily regrow hair, increase the hair count, and help with male or female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).
In 2019, a study published in the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery journal also found that PRP reduced hair loss while increasing the density and diameter of individual hairs.
Another study from 2019 found that the treatment was effective for those with alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia.
Is It Permanent?
The PRP procedure takes approximately forty-five minutes, but it requires several sessions. The procedure will produce results after a few visits. Still, you will need maintenance treatments every six months or at least once a year.
Moreover, since underlying conditions mainly cause hair loss, we can’t use PRP to cure those conditions. Therefore, patients will require multiple treatments. At our clinic, we can suggest the optimal PRP treatment by assessing your condition. After the initial procedure results, we can monitor your hair growth and advise you on maintenance injections.
PRP hair treatment offers numerous medical advantages:
- Safety — this treatment relies on your own cells. Therefore, it eliminates the risks of allergic reactions or rejection.
- Minimizes Discomfort — PRP therapy results in minimal discomfort since it does not involve surgical procedures.
- It’s Effective — the treatment can produce results in up to three months.
- Convenience — PRP doesn’t require a recovery period. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately after a procedure.
- Versatility — the treatment can help several groups of people who are experiencing hair loss. That includes men and women dealing with pattern baldness in a wide age range (18 to 70). It also includes those who have suffered hair loss due to stress or those with thinning hair.
While PRP will allow you to resume your everyday activities, it still has a few temporary side effects. The effects can last for up to a week. Patients could experience some of the following side effects after the treatment:
- Mild discomfort at the site of injection
- Temporary scalp itchiness,
Medical needling, microneedling, or Collagen Induction Therapy is a cosmetic procedure that can combat the effects of ageing and hair loss. It is also named skin needling because it uses tiny needles to penetrate the skin.
When utilized as a treatment for hair loss, medical needling is designed to create the optimal conditions for improving hair structure and reversing hair loss. It can maintain the health of your hair follicles as well as regrow or thicken the hair for those suffering from alopecia areata or androgenic alopecia.
The treatment leads to hair growth by inducing stem cells. Additionally, several studies have found that microneedling promotes the absorption of hair loss products. That includes topical steroids and minoxidil. Microneedling can also produce effective results when combined with PRP.
A specialist will use a handheld Dermaroller with the attached small, sterile cartridge that contains six needles during the procedure.The length of the needles is set to 0.5 mm. The specialist uses the roller to create small punctures in the scalp. That results in slight injuries to the skin that stimulate growth factors or directly facilitate growth of the hair.
Typically, the procedure lasts around 20 minutes. After the procedure, you will receive a home kit (home dermaroller and serum) that needs to be used daily in between treatments.
How Effective Is Microneedling?
Some clinical studies have found that microneedling can help with regrowth within 1 to 3 weeks or after 4 to 6 treatments. However, microneedling for hair loss is only a recent advance, and scientific evidence on its effectiveness is sparse.
A 2016 study from the Indian Dermatology Online Journal has found that the treatment produces better hair growth when used in combination with minoxidil or PRP. Additionally, the study observed a better response when microneedling was used in tandem with triamcinolone acetonide for alopecia areata.
Is Microneedling Permanent?
In androgenic alopecia clinical trials, the most effective results were obtained when the procedure was repeated every 1 to 3 weeks. Microneedling is not a permanent hair loss remedy, and its effectiveness will depend on several factors. That includes the size of the needle, applied force, patient’s healing intervals, and the most importantly of the underlaying cause of hair loss.
As mentioned, the treatment works best when combined with minoxidil or PRP. Most findings claim that microneedling enhances the effectiveness of those methods and that patients will see significantly better results than undergoing microneedling or PRP alone.
Which Treatment Should You Choose?
Both microneedling and PRP have proven themselves as effective treatments for androgenetic. Deciding between these two therapies will depend on your condition. Both treatments are not surgical and require no downtime.
What’s more, microneedling is more expensive compared to PRP, but it has proven itself to be the most effective when combined with PRP or minoxidil. It could also be tempting to lower the costs with at-home microneedling solutions, but those treatments could increase the risks and provide ineffective results.
If you are worried about your scalp and skin or if you’re pregnant or have a condition like diabetes, it would be best to avoid microneedling and opt for PRP. Additionally, it will be harder to predict the results of microneedling since the effects depend on so many variables. In comparison, PRP takes a much lighter toll on your skin, is less expensive, and it minimizes the risk of infections. Nevertheless, if your condition is severe and you need to see significant results, a combination of microneedling and PRP could stimulate hair growth faster and with more intensity.
Finally, microneedling and PRP are not surgical procedures, but they require the skills of trained and experienced professionals. The best way to proceed is to consult a healthcare professional to learn more about your condition and find out about the optimal treatment for you. So reach out to our team today, and we will execute a treatment plan based on your needs!