Platelet-Rich Plasma for Hair Loss
With all the “miracle” hair growth and hair thickening products out on the market, it’s hard to be able to trust that something is actually going to work instead of just giving false promises. For both men and women, hair loss can be a big hit to one’s own self-esteem. No wonder the hair loss market is a $3.5 billion dollar industry – as big as the over-the-counter cold and flu market!
A vast number of conditions can cause hair loss in both men and women. From androgenic alopecia (aka male-patterned hair loss) to hair loss due to hypothyroidism or other clinical conditions, there are realistic and efficacious options available to help promote hair growth. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have been utilized in both musculoskeletal conditions as well as aesthetic medicine and are used to help stimulate the body’s natural healing process as well as rejuvenate a multitude of various tissues – like your hair follicles. PRP is extracted directly from your own blood and is an excellent source of concentrated platelets. Apart from assisting blood clotting, platelets also release growth factors that support the body in repairing itself by stimulating cells to regenerate new tissue.
PRP therapy in the literature
PRP therapy for hair loss has been well cited in the literature. One 2016 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of interest used PRP injections in a small population of patients with androgenic alopecia. Each patient received a total of three PRP treatments, one month apart. Six months following the first treatment with PRP, there were significant differences seen in hair growth and density when compared to the control side. Another 2014 study reports similar results, with an increase in the average number of hairs and hair thickness compared to baseline values at three and six months after the first treatment. The authors also remark that PRP injections have a positive therapeutic effect on both male and female hair loss without any major side effects.
PRP injections consist of a simple blood draw, which is then centrifuged. The platelet-containing fractions are separated from the red blood cells and prepared for injection. The injections are then applied in a grid-like manner to the scalp, focusing on areas of particular hair loss or thinning. The procedure itself takes no more than an hour in total and is performed every 3-4 weeks for a total of 3-4 treatments. PRP injections are relatively painless and have minimal side effects, including tenderness, mild bruising and/or redness at the injection site, which usually subsides within 24-48 hours.
If you’re someone who suffers from hair loss, PRP injections are a viable, effective and efficient option for you to explore.
Alves, R; Grimalt, R. (2016 Apr). Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study to Assess the Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma on the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. Dermatol Surg. 42(4):491-7. PMID: 27035501
Bergeson, L. (2014, Nov 10). The Truth About Hair Loss and Baldness Cures. Huff/Post 50. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/08/hair-loss-baldness-cure_n_6101528.html
Kang, JS et. al. (2014 Jan). The effect of CD34+ cell-containing autologous platelet-rich plasma injection of pattern hair loss: a preliminary study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 28(1):72-9. PMID: 23279091
Prpinjections.com.au (2016). Platelet Rich Plasma Injections: The information resource website for PRP in Australia. Retrieved from: http://www.prpinjection.com.au/