Would you consider injecting your own blood into your scalp to improve your hairline?
Leave it to Kim Kardashian West to surprise us yet again when we least expect it. Who knew that the American celebrity could be your hair loss guru? Obviously not via her recent choice of neon wigs matching her green Lamborghini, but by bringing to the limelight the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedure.
On an Instagram picture that gathered almost 150,000 likes, the voluptuous starlet exhibited her face covered in blood, moments after a procedure commonly called the vampire facelift. With the help of microneedling – essentially a pen with small needles that create tiny holes in the skin – a PRP solution made from her own blood was applied. This then ignited a process where collagen (a protein that promotes skin elasticity and rejuvenation) was produced five times more than normal. The goal was to improve skin tone and texture, smooth fine lines, and obtain a younger look. Interesting… but how can men benefit from it?
PRP has been used in medicine for a long time in non-glamorous scenarios, such as being injected into joints to help arthritis. It consists of your own blood being centrifuged to separate it into its components of red blood cells and plasma. The plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which is where the healing abilities lie. “We keep the rich plasma, which contains a lot of growth factors and cytokines that help to promote healing and rejuvenation of collagen and elastin,” explains Dubai-based plastic surgeon Dr Rory McGoldrick.
If you are facing hair loss, PRP can be extremely useful to promote stronger hair, reduce the amount of hair you might lose, and thicken existing hair. The procedure is quite fast and relatively painless: after your blood is extracted and centrifuged on the spot, a numbing cream is applied to your scalp to make the injections more comfortable. The PRP is injected with an anesthetic solution, making it almost painless besides a small sting here and there. The full procedure is done in less than 30 minutes. “For the skin, you can see results from the first month. In terms of hair loss, you require repeated treatments. And the more you do, the better the results will be,” explains Dr McGoldrick. “Many clients have a hair transplant and start injections of PRP monthly, so that the plasma promotes hair growth. The before and after, after 12 months, is amazing.”
Another positive aspect about PRP for hair loss is that it involves nearly no downtime, since any bruising or light swelling is covered by the existing hairline. It is also one of the safest cosmetic procedures on the market, with almost no side effects. “We are using a natural product that comes from your own body,” underlines Dr McGoldrick. “Since we are introducing a needle to the skin, there’s some bruising and swelling, and always a theoretical risk of infection. But since it is a natural body product, we are just distributing it in the place where is needed. It is very safe.”
But beware, the results of PRP don’t last forever and the treatment needs to be followed up monthly for optimal results. “If you stop doing it, you can go back to your pre-treatment stage,” Dr McGoldrick concludes. “It is like when you quit exercising, you put the weight back on.” We have all been there…
From AED2 500 per session. Dubaicosmeticsurgery.com
Photograph: Honey Gueco
Style: Carolina Rueda
Grooming: Jess Aguirre
Model: Igor Jovanovic at Trend Models
Agency: Marc Juan Comunicación
Polo neck: Fred Perry