My PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy Experience

by admin on November 12, 2009

It has been quite a long time since a treatment has come along that I would entertain trying. That was until I started to hear more about PRP therapy. In my post titled “Is PRP Therapy a Viable Treatment For Women’s Hair Loss” I wrote that I was more of a “wait and see person,” but I thought… “What the heck?” I mean I really could not find a downside to trying it, and I have been reading really positive things about this treatment. I of course had concerns:  Will it hurt? Will it make my hair fall out more? Will it hurt? Will it hurt? Will it hurt? :)   I think the least of my concerns was that it would do nothing at all.  I felt it was definitely worth trying, and that the payoff would potentially greatly improve the quality of my hair and decrease the shedding. At this point of my hair loss life, that is really my goal – just to keep what I have. Early on in my hair loss, probably for the first 5 years, I prayed constantly for ALL my hair to come back. Now I think I could be happy with the hair I have left, if I knew it was going to stick around for awhile.

So the PRP Journey begins. I flew to Tampa, Florida to have this done with Dr. Joseph Greco. The night before my treatment I went out and had a few drinks, not sure that is proper night-before-treatment protocol, but hey, I needed to relax!

The morning of the treatment I awoke quite early and simply couldn’t get back to sleep. I had PRP jitters. All my nerves really centered around “pain.” How MUCH pain would be involved?

I took a cab over to the doctor’s office and waved the driver goodbye, thinking… “wait come back!” I still was having my concerns about whether or not I could go through with it. I scan the office numbers on the glass window doors of the building complex and finally happen upon 113. I walk in and am welcomed by a bubbly blond hair receptionist, soon enough I’m filling out the patient forms. It isn’t long before the doctor walks out to greet me. We go into his office where he explains what will be happening, and also how PRP works. For all I know he was explaining the rise and fall of the roman empire. I must admit I felt a little bit like one of the students in Charlie Brown listening to the teacher, and all they can hear is “Wah wah wah wah.” I was too anxious to be in a learning mode. I expressed my concerns about PAIN and he reassures me that it really wouldn’t be bad at all. I still had my doubts. But, by that time I am fully committed to having this treatment done.

I am taken into the room where the treatment will be done and introduced to Dr. Greco’s assistant Valerie. Fist step of this process is to have my blood drawn. Now THAT I knew I could deal with. I’ve had my blood drawn a zillion times. No problemo. Valerie happens to be really good at it, and finds the vein the first try, no pain. I’ve had people draw my blood where they seem to use me as a pin cushion. But Valerie is no doubt a pro at this.  The blood is drawn, and they then take it into another room where they then spin the heck out of it in a centrifuge to obtain the platelet rich plasma. I sit in the reclined dentist like chair, thinking about, you guessed it… Pain… is this going to hurt?

I’m not sure how long the spinning process took, perhaps 15 minutes. Now the numbing process begins. My head is numbed using small injections of lidocane around the perimeter of where the treatment will take place. I forgot to mention that while my hair loss is diffuse all over, the doctor only treated the top portion of my scalp because he stated that there is platelet migration downward. Okay by me, less needle pricks.  After the numbing is done the doctor then rolls my scalp with a microneedle roller, this brings trauma to the area to help to facilitate and trigger the healing process. I did feel some of those needle pricks, but it wasn’t bad at all. And last came the Pièce de résistance, the injection of my own platelet rich plasma back into my head. These injections are audible to the person receiving them. It sounds… humm… weird, like an air pocket hole or something. Hard to explain. But, much to my delight there wasn’t any pain there either!  Before I knew it I was getting my scalp massage and was done. Not bad at all. I came prepared with a soft hat to put on afterwards. My hair was resembling something of a drunken night involving some red punch or hair dye. :)   So the hat came in handy for sure.

As time continued to pass, my head started feeling tight (probably swelling) and it also started burning. To me that was the most uncomfortable part of the process. It probably had the burning feeling for several hours, and then it subsided. The tenderness and tightness remained for the rest of that day. I awoke the following morning anxious to wash the stuff out of my head (you have to keep it on overnight). The blood gets hardened on your hair and it is a bit crunchy, it felt like I had OD’d on too much hair gel. The area was still slightly tender so I sat in the tub, filled it with water and dunked my head backwards into it to wash it clean. I didn’t feel like having the water pressure on my scalp, so I took my time repeating this process several times. Interesting how a shower just makes everything better. I felt pretty much back to normal after that. I had some tightness, but that was really it. After my hair dried it looked totally normal again. I had also been concerned that the rubbing, rolling and injection process would  make *some*  hair fall out right then and there, but it didn’t. It was just the same after the shower. Yippy!

Now it is just a waiting game. I am really glad I had the treatment done and I am optimistic and realistic about what benefits it may bring. All that I am really looking to achieve is to be able to maintain the hair I have today by reducing the shedding. The PRP treatment will hoping shift my hairs into an anagen phase to help that process along. The doctor stated that many women who have had this done had reported that their hair quality has improved, and that would be awesome as well because I feel over the years mine has gotten this lackluster look to it. I’d love to start seeing that elusive thing called “shine” back in my hair again.

I have to thank Dr. Joseph Greco and his staff for treating me so well. They were absolutely wonderful and made me feel completely at ease.  He was compassionate and understanding of my concerns, a great doctor with a good sense of humor and kind personality. So thank you Dr. Greco and staff!

I know some of you will ask why I chose to fly to Tampa, Florida to have this treatment done when I might have been able to find someone closer to my home to do it. To me it was never an option to go anywhere else. Dr. Greco is the pioneer in using PRP therapy for hair loss and if I was going to get this done I wanted to make sure I went to the person who had the most experience and knowledge using this medical technology. I likely won’t know for 4 months whether or not this treatment has worked for me, but if it does I will be back in that chair at 6 months to maintain the benefits of it. I’d happily fly to Florida to get this treatment done twice or three times a year so that I can feel better about my hair and better about myself.

So happy waiting to me!

PRP Therapy Resources:

Dr. Joseph Greco’s Blog

Is PRP Therapy a Viable Treatment For Women’s Hair Loss?

Women’s Hair Loss Project Member: Lisa’s Experience recieving PRP Therapy from Dr. Greco

Dr. Joseph Greco Ph.D. answers your questions

Wounding The Scalp + Platelet Rich Plasma Grows Hair

Video Presentation of PRP Injections for Hair Loss / Platelet Rich Plasma Presentation Part 2 / Dr. Joseph Greco | Hair Loss and Power Point Presentation 1

Cutting Edge and Future Treatments – Will Regenerative Medicine Change Everything?

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela November 12, 2009 at 11:04 am

Awesome blog! I look forward to hearing more about your progress.

Margaret November 12, 2009 at 11:34 am

Thanks for the information. Just a few questions…How much did it cost? How often will you need to go back? How successful is it for women? and for what kinds of hair loss?

Bonnie November 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm

this is a great blog. I wish you the best success with it and cant wait to hear about it.

kat November 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Thanks for remembering to post this im keeping my fingers crossed for you and praying for you :)
Also in an old video i had seen of Dr. Greco compared to these pics now his hair looks a lot nicer and thicker (maybe its just me hehe ) .

Keep us posted girl :D

gypsy November 13, 2009 at 10:49 am

AWSOME!!!!!!!i sure hope it worked for you!!!! i havethe same thing as you thinning all over. so hair transplant is out of the question. but this treatment sounds promising. please keep me posted .. since you got me so excited about it im considering having it doen also…. god im crossing my fingers that this treatment works for you and for all us girls with the same problem…
one other question, how much does it cost? and do you haveto go back every 6 months????
thank you for sharing your experience with me , i look forward to your next post

patty November 14, 2009 at 5:53 am

What a great blog. Please write more about prp. Many docs have no clue this is being done and one that I saw was such a jerk about it all that I am now motivated to prove him wrong!

LDK November 15, 2009 at 10:19 am

whoa – I cannot wait to hear how you feel this turned out! I had not heard about this therapy, but after researching a bit… it sounds viable and its cheaper, much cheaper than my hair unit costs! If this therapy takes off, these hair transplant surgeons, laser treatement and hair replacement companies that are charging a fortune are in big trouble!

admin November 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

@Angela – Thank you !

@Margaret – The cost of the PRP with the Protein Matrix is $1,000 – but if you fly in from outside of florida you get a travel discount of $200. So basically $800. The article I wrote back in Aug has some additional information:
http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss/prp-platelet-rich-plasma-therapy-for-womens-hair-loss/
As far as how often I would have to go back, I think I’d do it every 6 months since this is something that does have to be maintained to continue to keep the benefits. I might even go at the 5 month mark to make sure I keep the hairs in an anagen phase. Success in women? From what I have heard, women are having good results from this treatment. Results being gotten have ranged from improved quality and texture to decreased shedding and probably in some cases there are some women who get regrowth. But for me the big thing is to just stop or dramatically decrease shedding, because that in itself will help my hair to be thicker — if the miniaturized hairs could grow back and stay put instead of falling out earlier than they should. I have androgenetic alopecia, I am not sure if those with alopecia areata have had favorable results. I will have to look into that.

@ Bonnie – Thank you!

@ Kat – I have my fingers crossed and my toes crossed and whenever possible I cross my arms. LOL. I’ll definitely be keeping everyone posted!

@ Gypsy – You could wait longer to go back, but you would start to see a reversal in your improvements as the months passed. It isn’t a one shot deal where you do it and are done with it for life. For all the time I’ve spent worrying about my hair and trying to make it look good, I’ll happily take those trips bi annual trips :) That is of course, if I see benefits from it. That is still yet to be determined and I likely won’t know the effectiveness of this treatment for myself until probably the 4 month mark. Cost will range between $800 – $1000. See my comment above to Margaret

@ Patty – I definitely plan to write more and learn more as well. It doesn’t really surprise me that many docs have no clue about this, while PRP itself isn’t a new treatment, it’s usage in treating hair loss is. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with that other doctor.

@ LDK – I can’t wait either to see how it turns out. I will be keeping everyone posted with the latest happenings about my hair and if I start to see any improvement.

Thank you to everyone for your support!

xoxo

Judy November 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm

I was wondering if PRP would help with chronic TE, low iron stores, basically hair loss due to something other than female pattern baldness.

Thanks!

Judy November 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm

One quick comment I had low ferritin (under 30) now for the past couple months I am maintaining it in the mid 70′s. I have not noticed a big change in my hair so I guess I am wondering if PRP would give the kick start to help reverse chronic TE…thanks again

Wantresources November 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm

You are so brave and an inspiration to all of us! Thanks for sharing. You inspired me to call Greco’s office and get it done. After all I have spent on hair products to hide all the issues for the last few years…what the heck are a few more dollars. Thank you again and we hope you will write regularly about this! Sending you lots of hugs and healing.

admin November 17, 2009 at 11:34 am

@Judy – I was unsure of whether or not PRP would help when hair loss was being caused by something other than androgenetic alopecia, so I emailed the doctor.

I was informed that PRP therapy may definitely help women suffering with hair loss caused by either chronic TE or hair loss from other issues such as low iron.

From everything I have read and understand about the treatment, I certainly don’t think it can hurt.

I’ll know more about my own results several months from now, and will certainly report back.

@Wantresources – Thank you so much for you kind words and support! I definitely will continue to write about this. It is the latest happenings in my hair loss, so we shall see what will be. It does feel good to have been proactive and get this done. I really exhausted all my hair loss treatment options over the years and was just resolving myself to accept what is and when the time came that I needed to buy hair, I’d do that. There are such wonderful hair additions out there for women nowadays. But, if I can just keep what I have today that would be ideal! I don’t like to get my hopes up about anything, because I don’t want to be disappointed, so I am maintaining what I call a “realistic, yet optimistic” attitude. Good luck, and hugs back at you!

Wantresources November 26, 2009 at 4:19 am

PRP Recipients!

We are all wondering how you are doing , feeling , etc.
At your convenience, we would love an update!
I am hoping that we can get Dr. Greco to get more women patients to write about their results here or on his site!

Tara December 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm

All,
Wanted to let you know that I made appointment w/Dr. Greco. I also live out of state (California) so I will be traveling to have this therapy performed. Based on the links provided, I’m really encouraged by the results and can only hope that it will at least help slow down my hair shed. I must say Dr. Greco’s offices were really quick to get back with me, in fact as soon as I sent my new patient profile with pictures their offices responded stating they would forward to the Dr. who would respond via email. I sent my request yesterday and received a response from the Dr. Greco this afternoon stating he thought I would be a good candidate since my hair loss appears to be in the early stages. Right now I’m just waiting to confirm my appt date – it will be sometime between 2/15 – 2/19. Apparently, he will be out of the office the first week of February for a conference in Rome.

Lisah – please keep us posted on your results. According to a person by the name of Destin on Dr. Greco’s blog he had the therapy performed in June of this year where he said he noticed his hair shed decrease 2-3 weeks after the therapy. I’ll be praying that in 4-6 months you see new growth and hair density.

Wantresources December 31, 2009 at 5:20 pm

hi Tara,
Best of luck on your upcoming appointment and do keep us posted!

Tara December 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Wantresources – Thank you! I will definitely keep everyone posted on my treatment and progrss. I can’t help but feel encouraged by the results posted on these links.

Tara January 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm

FYI: I am schedule for my PRP treatment with Dr. Greco on 2/16. Again, I will keep everyone posted.

Renee January 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I was just wondering if you had any updates??? Are you noticing any changes yet?

Wantresources January 31, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Hi Ladies,
Just wondering if any of you prp recipients can give us further updates?? Curious minds want to know! :)

srs January 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I know I probably speak for a lot of women when I ask, “what are your PRP results like?” please share any observations you have– good, bad, indifferent.

admin February 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

Hi Everyone!

I keep meaning to write my PRP Update, and then zip another day goes by. I definitely hope to write it this week, but not to keep you guys in suspense…. the short PRP update is…. I definitely think that it has helped! I have noticed a dramatic decrease in shedding and also the color (pigment) just seems to pop and be more vibrant. As many women with hair loss know, the color begins to fade and get more washed out as the hair miniaturizes. At this point I don’t feel there has been any regrowth that I could actually “see,” but getting the shedding to slow down is more than half the battle for me. I am actually quite anxious to get back to Florida and hope to get there either this month or next month for another treatment.

I’ll write more in my blog update. But for me, I feel this has been a success! If you have any question please ask. I can address them here or in my blog update.

@Tara, I look forward to hearing about your update.

Renee February 2, 2010 at 7:07 am

that is wonderful!!! Congratulations =) I have a feeling it is only going to get better for you from here!

Amanda February 3, 2010 at 9:40 am

Hi
Glad to hear it has worked for you. I was just wondering how bad your thinning was before, if you had miniturization and how long you had been thinning for before you got the procedure

admin February 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

@Renee – From your lips to God’s ears :) !!
@Amanda – I have had hair loss for 10 years, started at 21, I’m now 31 and actually soon to be 32. My thinning was and actually is still quite extensive, it just may be that those around me are not as aware as I am because they don’t know exactly how much hair I had to begin with and I’m a wizard with a blow dryer and a roll brush. I was one of those lucky gals born with a mop of hair, so I literally had plenty to spare. I definitely have had miniaturization over the last 10 years, that is the nature of female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). The hair falls out and grows back, but each time slightly thinner and with a shorter life before it falls out again and the process repeats. Typically female pattern hair loss is a slow and progressive type of hair loss and that has been the way it has been for me.

I do not know if there has been a reversal in miniaturization, since my hair hasn’t been examined in that capacity with a densitomer, but what I know is that the shedding has decreased and the color is better. I don’t think my hair is any “fuller” at this point, but it just looks better. Not sure if that makes sense. But should my hair “thicken up” a bit, I likely wouldn’t actually see that for quite sometime because hair grows very slowly. But fingers crossed! :)

For now, I’m grateful for the hair I have today and the fact that the excessive shedding has slowed down.

xoxo

Renee February 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

admin,
how many hairs do you (did) lose a day? I have PCOS and my hair has gradually thinned over the years. Like you, I used to have a very full head of hair..almost “afro” -like back in the big bangs and perm days =) I am just now beginning to be very concerned. I had TE at this time last year due to an illness and my hair is still recovering. When I had TE I would lose about 125 per day. Now I am down to about 55 from first brush-shower-style and I think I lose about 15 more throughout the day for a total of about 70-75 per day. My hair is not thick anymore and I have some receding and a slightly wider part than I used to so I think that the normal 100 is a bit of a stretch for normal hair loss in my case. Any thoughts??? I have my PCOS under control and I am wondering if the hair loss has slowed or stopped. Do you think I am stressing over nothing?

admin February 10, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I posted my update here: http://www.womenshairlossproject.com/hair-loss-success/prp-therapy-revisted-3-mo-update/

@Renee- As far as how many hairs I have lost per day, that number has fluctuated greatly over the years, there were days I lost 500+ hairs and other days I lost 30-50 hairs. After all the craziness I’ve experienced with the massive shedding days/years, I think losing 55 hairs per day is totally reasonable. That is now of course, before I used to think that was a lot. But I simply can no longer compare my loss to the way it was before this whole thing began. That is the new me (for better or worse) and I have to work within the parameters of the now. I’ve heard (as you have) that losing 100 hairs a day is normal, it wasn’t MY normal though, before hair loss, I don’t remember even seeing one hair fall out in the comb. It used to take years to fill a hair brush. But again, that is the past. I think everyone’s normal is very different, you know yourself best. I am glad to hear you have your PCOS under control, I can only imagine (or hope) that would reflect favorably on your hair. Do I think you are stressing over nothing? No, I don’t, because this is not a “nothing” situation. It is something that affects us in very profound ways. But I will say, that if we can accept the “less” and wave goodbye to our former thick manes (with fond memories and reflections, ha), be present and thankful for now, I think we will all be so much happier.

Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself, I remind myself, it CAN be so much worse.

xoxo

Renee February 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Thanks so much for your reply. I am just at the beginning of realizing that I may have a problem so I am at the stage where I painstakingly count every hair =) It has helped me so much to read posts on this site . Until it happens to you, you don’t really notice..but there are ALOT of women out there dealing with this. I see them everywhere! It is comforting and sad all at the same time. I read your post about your progress and I am SO HAPPY for you!! I cannot wait to make my own trip to Tampa! My heart is overjoyed at the hope for treatment. Thanks so much for sharing =) Have a great day!!

Tara February 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Hi Everyone!
Just wanted to let you know I had the PRP therapy performed last Thursday, 2/18. Just flew back from Tampa this weekend. Based on the comments from the Admin, I’m feeling really encouraged by this technology. I must say Dr. Greco and his staff were very knowledgable and friendly – the entire process took about 1hr and was pretty painless. I would say the only painful step was the numbing of the scalp, primarily in the frontal crown where there are more nerve endings. Otherwise, I felt fine the rest of day through the following day. I made sure to leave the dried blood pallets on my scalp for 24hrs before I washed it off. He told me I could wash it sooner but since my flight didn’t leave until later in the day I figured I would just keep it on. In the meanitme, he said it wouldn’t hurt to incorporate the laser light comb, Rogaine 5% and Spiro to my treatment. He also recommended high doses of Biotin, roughly 20,000 mg the first month and following months 30,0000 mg. Right now I haven’t seen any changes (while it’s only been 4 days). However, I will keep you all posted.

Tara February 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

One more thing…. while I was at Dr. Greco’s office, he told me there were two flight attendants coming in who had the therapy done before who had incredible results from this technique. In fact he mentioned I could come back later in the day to see these patients to get my own opinion and talk w/them. Unfortunatley, I couldn’t hang out or come back since a friend had given me a ride and needed to get back to work. However, it sounds like there are a alot of people who have had this done and seen great results. As I mentioned Dr. Greco’s staff were extremely friendly and knew who I was when I walked in the door which made the experience that much more easier.

Renee February 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Thanks so much for your updates Tara!! That is so encouraging. 20,ooo – 30,000 mcg or mg. Biotin is usually made in mcg. I am currently taking 8,000 mcg. I find it interesting he recommended the laser comb! I have been contemplating buying one anyway. As soon as I save up enough money..Tampa here I come =) Please keep the updates coming! Bless you.

Tara February 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Renee – it’s mcg (micrograms). Also if you visit toppik.com, there is a laser comb for $299.00 which is much less than other hair combs that typically run between $500-$800 which Dr. Greco said works just as well.

Skyer August 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Hi ladies,

I’m about to try PRPT in Melbourne Australia through http://www.bioscor.com.au/prphair.html but I am hoping to ask a few questions.

1. I’ve been told I need to do 3 sessions (2-4 weeks apart) and then go back every 6 months. Each treatment is $600 US. Does this seem too frequent? Everybody else seems to think twice a year is enough!

2. They use one vial of plasma per treatment. Is this right? Have those who use it in the US had more or less?

3. Do you need to accompany the treatment with anything else? I’ve tried everything from minoxidil to the pill to iron tablets and nothing works for me, including laser. I’m reluctant to try it with anything else but I dont know if it is likely to work on its own.

4. Does it help to regenerate hair or simply stop shedding? My hair stopped seriously shedding 2 years ago but I’m left with very thin coverage. I just something that will turn those dormant hairs into slightly thicker, stronger hairs!

Any comments and tips MUCH appreciated!

Thanks! Skye from OZ

Lucy Nualart November 26, 2010 at 7:10 am

Can you tell me where your office is, and telephone number? I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I am thinking of making an appointment. Thank you

farrah February 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Hi, i was told about this treatment a couple of days ago.. im very interested and very scared and worried at the same time… i have had a lot of hair loss in the front of my head about 10 yrs ago.. one thing i want to know is.. will the hair fall back out once treatment has been stopped? is it something you will need to do for a while.. i was told that i may need about 4 treatment but im worried about it falling out again.. great blog and so happy for you and your success!!

Sunny October 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Happy that the PRP is helping restore hair. Very interested in this as I have had surgery gall bladder which left me with other heath. issues and hair loss. Which I now do not have a life and avoid being with friends. Are there any medical restrictions that would prevent someone having this therapy?
My hair has been lifting off with a bulb on end and no new growth. Scalp feels sandy. Hair is limp lifeless and much thinner strands that turn white fro
Ends up to root. Then they fall out. Any info will be helpful.

Shans February 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Hey guys, I M shans from India. I was wondering if the prp treatment would help heal hair breakage. I ve undertaken many chemical treatments n have used hair iron continuously for months which eventually is causing breakage of my hair. So do you think prp can help me?

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