The technology behind the Vampire Facial, a bloody beauty treatment favoured by celebrities like Kim Kardashian
and model Bar Refaeli, is now being used to help combat hair loss
What is a Vampire Facial?
During a Vampire Facial a cosmetic doctor draws the patient’s blood then injects it back into their face, using a technique known as Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP).
This bloody procedure, which fans claim leaves them looking more youthful, was one of the most requested beauty treatments of 2013 despite not being widely available yet in the UK. Practitioners saw an 800 per cent rise in demand after its famous fans, most notably Kim Kardashian who posted a selfie of her blood-covered face mid-treatment (right), brought attention to the procedure.
You can watch Kardashian getting a Vampire Facial in the clip, below.
Story continues below this video.
How can the Vampire Facial help hair loss?
By applying the same Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy method to the scalp, doctors believe they can trigger dormant hair follicles, encouraging them to grow again, making this a potential treatment for both men and women with genetic hair loss
, as well as other hair loss conditions
including alopecia areata
Trained PRP practitioners say that optimum results, such as a lengthening and thickening of the hair in the affected areas, can be seen three months after treatment.
The 90-minute treatment involves taking four syringes of the patient’s blood. The plasma is then separated from the red blood cells in the patient's blood by a centrifuge. The area is numbed by local anaesthetic injections administered directly to the scalp, which is then stimulated with a dermaroller. After this, PRP is injected into the scalp, concentrating on the areas most affected by hairloss.
PRP sessions generally cost around £1,300 for a single treatment - though on-going courses are generally recommended - and the patient will need to use a dermaroller at home every day for around a month following treatment.
Is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy a viable alternative to hair loss treatments or hair transplants?
Whilst more tests are needed, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy could be a welcome addition to existing hair loss treatments
However, PRP is not a replacement for surgical hair restoration
procedures as transplants are generally considered when the hair follicles no longer respond well to treatment (anyone considering a hair transplant
is advised to complete a three month course of pharmaceutical hair loss treatment before surgery).
Speaking about PRP, American and British board certified plastic surgeon specialising in cosmetic surgery, Dr Yannis Alexandrides, MD told the Daily Mail:
'PRP to treat hair loss has been championed by many surgeons quietly for the past few years, and studies underway are showing promising results that the procedure does stimulate the growth of new hair follicles.'
'Patients should keep in mind that PRP is not considered an alternative to a hair transplant, in fact the two procedures combined provide optimum results for thinning hair.'
'The role of PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase, and this treatment should be repeated (number of treatments will vary per case) during the re growth stage following the hair transplant.
, pharmacy manager at The Belgravia Centre, adds: 'There is no established clinical evidence as to whether PRP would be effective or not just yet. However, if the treatment can really re-activate dormant hair follicles, then I can see an application for some types of hair loss, such as Alopecia Areata and Telogen Effluvium
'With regards to androgenetic alopecia, PRP may not be as useful in treating female and male pattern hair loss as any re-activated follicles would still be subject to the action of DHT, leading to hair loss. The patient would still need to use either or both of the MHRA licensed and FDA approved treatments, where appropriate, to sustain hair growth and to inhibit DHT which causes this type of shedding