Platelet-rich plasma injections have increasingly been used as a hair loss treatment for many patients, with plenty of promising results for hair regrowth and improvement of hair density. However, many patients have also reported a welcome, if an unexpected effect from their treatment for hair loss: restored, darker hair after PRP injections. These cases aren’t isolated: many patients going through the PRP process have reported this condition, and many providers also back up their claims.
So can PRP hair growth treatments help restore hair color with new hair growth? There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests that it can, but since there are no formal studies on this effect, it’s difficult to guarantee that it’ll happen. Most providers will generally stick to making sure that the growth factors in your PRP solution can restore your hair – but if you do get darker hair after your PRP treatments, it isn’t always the same experience compared to other patients.
PRP Might Restore Your Darker Hair Color
Platelet-rich plasma treatments are a fairly straightforward process: a pure platelet concentrate is processed from a blood sample taken from your body. After the processing (and the optional addition of some ingredients/compounds) this pure platelet concentration is injected back into your body.
PRP treatments have been used on different types of hair loss, most notably in cases of androgenic alopecia. With the added platelet count in the injected areas, patients can rejuvenate dormant hair follicles, improve the blood flow to the scalp, and trigger the growth phase of hair strands. It’s seen results in treating male-pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, and reducing future hair loss and hair shedding.
Some patients who have received this treatment also experienced darker hair growth – where the regrown hair is darker than usual. This has led to some claims that the effects of PRP injections not only revitalize viable hair follicles and lead to an overall stimulation of hair growth, but they can also manage gray hair without the need for hair dyeing.
This is a common enough phenomenon that many different PRP providers consider it commonplace, especially with elderly patients. Despite this, they’re still quick to point out that PRP hair treatments are only designed for improved hair growth, not as a way to head a darker head of hair without hair dye.
Why Is This Happening?
But given that the actual clinical trials we have about the use of PRP treatments usually point to it being a way to manage different forms of hair loss, what’s happening with patients that experience darker hair regrowth after their injections? Here are two theories from PRP providers:
1) The Regenerative Nature of PRP Injections
Unlike traditional methods of hair regrowth, PRP injections are unique in the way that they don’t actually introduce a new substance to your system. Rather, they use your body’s own repair and regrowth response to replace lost skin and tissue, improve blood circulation, and overall rejuvenate your body.
One reason why hair shafts growing back from PRP treatment can be darker than usual is that the regenerative properties of your injection trigger the melanocytes in your hair follicles. Melanocytes are responsible for giving your body’s skin color, acting as the “pigment” to your body. Most are found in your skin, but a fair few of them are also found in hair.
The theory is that since the pure platelet concentration repairs the cells responsible for your hair follicles to function and grow, it also revitalizes the melanocytes that give it its color. This theory needs more review but is widely gaining traction for providers and patients alike.
2) Increased Blood Circulation for Better Cell Activity
A by-product of PRP injections is that the scalp receives more blood flow from the rest of the body, which delivers vital nutrients needed to keep your skin and tissues healthy. While this normally works towards restoring hair and awakening dormant hair follicles, some providers also think that the increased blood supply can help give you darker hair.
Like all cells in your body, your melanocytes need a consistent source of nutrients and other essential compounds to function properly. As you get older, your body’s transportation system for these nutrients slows down and eventually excludes non-essential areas – which is why older people are likely to get graying hair and hair loss.
But by increasing the blood circulation, your body’s ability to maximize the delivery of nutrients all around your body, including areas that it may have no longer prioritized. By injecting PRP serum into your scalp, you’re essentially sending a signal to your body to revitalize that area of your system, which can produce darker hair in response.
Is This A Guaranteed Outcome?
While all of this does look promising and there is plenty of evidence from patients and providers alike, it’s important to remember that PRP therapy is still an exploratory treatment option for hair loss. Even its effects on its main benefit (which is regrowing hair) aren’t completely understood, which makes any other benefits like restoring hair color not guaranteed.
PRP providers will be the first to tell you to not expect too much from your treatment since each person can react differently to PRP injections. Even patients who experience darker hair growth can have varied results – one patient may find their natural hair color coming back, while someone else may only be a few shades darker.
Overall, if you’re expecting PRP therapy to restore your hair color or encourage newer and darker hair growth, you may not get the outcome that you’re looking for. If you want to really make a visible difference with the color of your hair, use a hair product like dyes for a reliable and consistent result.
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While there aren’t any formal studies done about the subject, there is a lot of evidence from patients and providers that platelet-rich plasma treatment restores their hair to a darker shade. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is only a side-effect of the treatment: it’s not a guarantee that your hair will grow back darker if you get a PRP injection. The only stated benefit of platelet-rich plasma injections on your scalp is possible improvements in hair thickness, hair follicle count, and hair density – anything else is secondary.
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