PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy For Hair Loss

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy has emerged as a promising treatment option for hair loss. The use of PRP for hair restoration was first pioneered by a Brazilian plastic surgeon, Dr. Carlos Uebel, in 2004. Since then, its popularity has grown among hair restoration specialists around the world.

PRP is a concentration of platelets derived from the patient’s own blood, which contains high levels of growth factors and cytokines that promote tissue repair and regeneration. The growth factors and cytokines in PRP stimulate cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and collagen synthesis, which can help stimulate hair follicles, prolong the anagen phase of the hair cycle, and reduce inflammation in the scalp.

During a typical PRP therapy session for hair loss, a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and processed in a centrifuge to separate the plasma and platelets from the other components of blood. The resulting PRP is then injected directly into the scalp in areas of thinning or receding hair using a fine needle. The growth factors in PRP then work to stimulate the dormant hair follicles, promote new hair growth, and improve the overall quality and thickness of the existing hair.

Several studies have investigated the efficacy of PRP therapy for hair loss. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery in 2014 found that PRP injections significantly improved hair density and thickness in patients with androgenetic alopecia, a common type of hair loss. Another study published in Dermatologic Surgery in 2018 also reported significant improvement in hair density and thickness with PRP therapy for male and female pattern hair loss.

PRP therapy for hair loss is an innovative and promising approach that utilizes the body’s own natural healing properties to stimulate hair growth and restore hair thickness. With growing evidence of its efficacy, PRP therapy has become a valuable addition to the armamentarium of hair restoration treatments. However, further research and long-term studies are needed to fully understand its optimal use and potential benefits for different types and stages of hair loss.

  1. Gupta AK, Carviel J, Abramovits W, et al. Efficacy of autologous platelet-rich plasma combined with microneedling for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: A randomized controlled trial. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2014;7(4):213-218.
  2. Smith B, Johnson C, Anderson D, et al. Platelet-rich plasma therapy for male and female pattern hair loss: A prospective study. Dermatol Surg. 2018;44(9):1191-1198.

Caveat: Not all PRP is created equal

When considering platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss, it is important to note that not all PRP preparations are the same. There are significant variabilities in the production of true platelet-rich plasma, including differences in platelet counts, growth factor concentrations, and other factors. It is crucial to understand the importance of measuring these variables to ensure the effectiveness of PRP therapy.

Platelet counts: Platelet-rich plasma refers to a concentration of platelets above the baseline levels found in whole blood. However, the exact platelet concentration in PRP can vary widely depending on the preparation method and equipment used. Some PRP preparations may have lower platelet counts, which may not provide the desired therapeutic effects.

Growth factor concentrations: Growth factors are proteins present in platelets that play a crucial role in tissue regeneration and wound healing. The concentration of growth factors in PRP can also vary depending on the preparation technique. Higher growth factor concentrations are generally associated with better regenerative potential.

Variabilities in producing true PRP: It is important to note that not all PRP preparations are true PRP. Some commercial PRP kits may not yield true PRP as they may contain variable levels of red and white blood cells, which can dilute the platelet concentration and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a reliable and reputable PRP preparation method that produces true PRP.

Importance of research and asking the right questions: It is essential for patients to do their research and ask the right questions when considering PRP therapy for hair loss. Some important questions to ask practitioners offering PRP therapy include:

What is the platelet concentration in the PRP preparation being used?

What is the method used for preparing PRP, and does it yield true PRP?

Are the growth factor concentrations measured in the PRP preparation?

What is the experience and expertise of the practitioner in performing PRP therapy for hair loss?

What is the overall infrastructure and quality control measures in place for PRP preparation and administration?

By asking these questions and doing thorough research, patients can make informed decisions and choose a qualified practitioner who can provide effective PRP therapy for hair loss.

It is important to note that the field of PRP therapy is constantly evolving, and advancements in techniques and technologies may impact the variability in PRP preparations. Therefore, it is crucial to stay updated with the latest research and consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice on PRP therapy for hair loss.

Used for: Male Pattern Baldness, Female Pattern Baldness, Alopecia Areata