PRP for Hair Loss
At the Darrow Stem Cell Institute we utilize Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) not only to accelerate repair of damaged joints, but also for the regeneration of hair.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic “M” shape. Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness. The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.
In examining the benefits of PRP for hair growth, doctors at university medical centers in Greece published their review of PRP’s effect on androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
At the beginning of their paper, the Greek doctors answered a common question: why another hair loss treatment when there are so many to choose from?
Here is their answer: Despite available therapeutic options, the search for new, more effective hair restoration treatment is constant. Platelet-rich plasma could be the more effective treatment.
Doctors at the Santosh Medical College in India documented similar findings, in their study in the Asian Journal of Transfusion Science, doctors conducted a study of 10 patients with hair loss. In the introduction of the study the doctors acknowledged that Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has shown remarkable beneficial effects without any major adverse reactions in the treatment of androgenic alopecia, as did the Greek doctors.
Here is what the Indian doctors found: The growth factors in autologous (your blood) PRP induces the proliferation of dermal papilla cell (Hair follicles). Ten patients were given PRP injections prepared from their own blood on the affected area of alopecia over a period of 3 months at interval of 2-3 weeks and results were assessed. Three months after the treatment, the patients presented clinical improvement in the hair counts, hair thickness, hair root strength, and overall alopecia. They concluded that PRP appears to be a cheap, effective, and promising therapy for androgenic alopecia with no major adverse effects.2
In another study from Greek researchers, 20 patients, 18 males and 2 females, with androgenetic alopecia had three PRP treatment sessions performed every 21 days and a booster session at 6 months following the onset of therapy.At 6 months and at 1 year, hair volume was significantly increased.3
Images from this study:
Male, 29-year-old, before treatment
Male, 29-year-old, after treatment
How PRP stimulates hair growth
Platelet-rich plasma therapy stimulates hair growth through the promotion of vascularization and angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels that brings new blood circulation to the scalp), as well as encourages hair follicles to enter and extend the duration of the anagen phase (the most active growth portion of the hair growth cycle).4
PRP vs. minoxidil 5% and placebo
Doctors at university medical centers in Egypt compared topical minoxidil 5% and platelet rich plasma treatments for alopecia areata, a disease that results in one or more areas of coin-sized hairless patches.
- Patients treated with minoxidil 5% and platelets rich plasma both have significant hair growth than placebo.
- Patients treated with platelets rich plasma had an earlier response in the form of hair regrowth, reduction in short vellus hair and dystrophic hair unlike patients treated with minoxidil and control.
With these findings the Egyptian doctors were able to conclude that platelets rich plasma is more effective in the treatment of alopecia areata than topical minoxidil 5%.5
Doctors at the University of Rome reported their results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, half-head group study to compare the hair regrowth with PRP versus placebo.
- In this study of three treatment cycles, the patients presented clinical improvement in the mean number of hairs, with a mean increase of 33.6 hairs in the target area and a mean increase in total hair density of 45.9 hairs per square centimeter compared with baseline values.
- No side effects were noted during treatment. The data clearly highlight the positive effects of PRP injections on male pattern hair loss and absence of major side effects. 6
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1. Maria-Angeliki G, Alexandros-Efstratios K, Dimitris R2, Konstantinos K. Platelet-rich Plasma as a Potential Treatment for Noncicatricial Alopecias. Int J Trichology. 2015 Apr-Jun;7(2):54-63. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.160098.
2. Singhal P, Agarwal S, Dhot PS, Sayal SK. Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in treatment of androgenic alopecia. Asian J Transfus Sci. 2015 Jul-Dec;9(2):159-62. doi: 10.4103/0973-6247.162713.
3. Gkini MA, Kouskoukis AE, Tripsianis G, Rigopoulos D, Kouskoukis K. Study of platelet-rich plasma injections in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia through an one-year period. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2014 Oct-Dec;7(4):213-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.150743.
4. Gupta AK, Carviel J. A Mechanistic Model of Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia. Dermatol Surg. 2016 Dec;42(12):1335-1339.
5. El Taieb MA, Ibrahim H, Nada EA, Seif Al-Din M. Platelets rich plasma versus minoxidil 5% in treatment of alopecia areata: A trichoscopic evaluation. Dermatol Ther. 2017 Jan;30(1). doi: 10.1111/dth.12437. Epub 2016 Oct 28.
6. Gentile P1, Garcovich S2, Bielli A3, Scioli MG3, Orlandi A3, Cervelli V4. The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 Nov;4(11):1317-23. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2015-0107. Epub 2015 Sep 23.