New Treatment Offers Hope for Women With Hair Loss
By ABC NEWS
Apr 25, 2016, 12:23 PM ET
Stars from Tina Fey to Selena Gomez and Zooey Deschanel rock beautiful hair in TV commercials, but such luscious locks are not a reality for every woman.
A new treatment – PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy – is gaining buzz as a no-surgery, no-drugs and no-expensive-ointment solution for hair loss.
The treatment, which has shown preliminary but promising results, starts at $400 per session.
PRP starts by drawing blood from the patient. The blood then goes into a machine that separates out the platelets filled with growth factors.
Those growth factor-filled platelets are then injected into the scalp to stimulate new-hair growth, decrease hair loss and make the hair grow thicker.
Producing platelet rich plasma is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PRP procedure is not yet approved but there is a clinical trial underway now.
“You are injecting the scalp, so you can get bruising, a little swelling and you can get a little collection of blood,” Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport, a New Jersey-based dermatologist who performs PRP, told ABC News.
Rapaport, who is part of the current PRP clinical trial, said any bruising or bleeding from the procedure is temporary and should go away.
Chantal Jaysey said her hair took a dramatic and “very embarrassing” shift after she gave birth to her son. Jaysey turned to PRP and after two months, she said, she started to see a big change.
“It was very lush. It was very beautiful,” Jaysey told ABC News of her post-treatment hair.
Michele Lowe is another mom who says having children changed her once-think hair into thin, brittle hair. She also claims that after just two PRP treatments, she got her thick hair back.
“It’s probably the best thing I have ever done for myself,” Lowe told ABC News.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief women’s health correspondent, tried PRP herself.
“That was about a six-month time period and you see it’s dramatic,” Ashton said today on “Good Morning America.” “Very impressive for me. I got a great result.”
Ashton said women can begin experiencing hair loss as early as their 40s because of changing hormones. If one chooses to try PRP, the time it takes to see results depends on the life cycle of the hair follicles, Ashton explained.
“When you do PRP, it might take you two to six months to start to see the results,” she said.
Some doctors may charge $1,500 to $2,000 per session for PRP. Ashton said other more cost-effective treatments for hair loss are available.
Those options include over-the-counter medications that contain Minoxidil, hair-thickening shampoos, prescription medications, biotin supplements and behavioral changes like not exposing your hair to heat and color treatments.