Hair Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Non-Surgical PRP/CRP Questions

How does PRP work to treat hair loss?

Growth factors are present in the follicular bulge area, where stem cells are found, and they interact with cells of the matrix, thus activating the proliferative phase of the hair. Stem cells are more primitive and of ectodermal origin; they give origin to the epidermal cells and the sebaceous glands. Cells of the dermal papilla, which are found at the capillary base, are of mesenchymal origin. Both cells are reliant on each other, and thus, when they interact through the stimulation of various growth factors, they give rise to the future follicular unit.

While some growth factors are pro inflammatory and have negative effects on hair, other growth factors such as Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) are important for hair formation and follicle size.

PDGF signals are involved in both epidermis-follicle interaction and the dermal mesenchyme interaction required for: hair canal formation and the growth of dermal mesenchyme.

In 2001, McElwee was the first to perform functional assays on hair follicle growth under the influence of VEGF. This growth factor has an important role in controlling hair biology and hair follicle size is partly dependant on VEGF induced angiogenesis.

Other studies by Yano provided the first direct evidence that VEGF improved follicle vascularisation, promoted hair growth and increased follicle and hair size and studies by Rinaldi, demonstrate that VEGF accelerated revascularization and increased the size of the follicular unit.

How effective is PRP?

The use of PRP in hair restoration surgery has multiple advantages. Carlos Uebel, MD first demonstrated that the use of PRP leads to increased follicular unit yield by 15.1%, suggesting an increase of 480 hairs per every 100cm2 transplanted surface area.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the use of PRP in hair transplantation leads to diminished scalp erythema, crusting, decreased patient discomfort, swelling, accelerated hair growth and increased size of follicular units.

In 2007, Greco suggested utilization of PRP in donor sites to promote quicker healing, less scarring and infusing PRP into the recipient site to promote vascularization to the new transplanted follicles. Since PRP treated patients hair matured sooner than non transplanted patients, a study was done in 2008 to ascertain effects of PRP on non transplanted hair and it indicated increased hair diameter in the PRP treated group.

How long has it been used?

Platelet rich plasma has been utilized in hair restorations surgery since 2004 and its role is expanding as more physicians understand the benefits in this surgical procedure. While still experimental, the use of PRP in patients as an adjunct treatment to thicken hair is gaining popularity and has been used since 2007. Double randomized independent studies are ongoing to further evaluate the efficacy of its use for this purpose, but because it is autologous (same donor) it is a safe therapy.

Can PRP be used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments?

Absolutely, because its mechanism of action is different and when used in combination with a DHT blocker, Rogaine or photo therapy it seems to have synergistic effect.


What will I look like after surgery?

For about three days, it will look like you have sunburn, and after and after that only half-inch hair will be visible.

Is the procedure painful?

The local anesthesia is about as painful as getting your gums numbed at a dentist office. Post-operatively, you will feel tightness in the donor site, and it will get less tight each day.

Will I lose any existing hair after the transplant?

Regardless of what type of procedure, there is a post transplant shock that affects about 10% of the existing hair in the recipient site. This shocked hair simply goes into the telogen (resting cycle) for two to three months before resuming normal growth patterns.

What is the difference between micro grafts and follicular units?

A follicular unit micro graft is dissected with the aid of a microscope, which enables the technician to remove all unnecessary tissue while maintaining the integrity of the follicles. The less tissue on the micro grafts the closer they can be placed and the more natural the result in fewer sessions.

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