Can PRP treatment for hair loss cause shock loss or hair shedding?

I have currently my doubts about the efficacy of the PRP procedure, since I can't find any positive reports about PRP on popular hair loss forums like "Hair loss talk" or "Bald truth talk". PRP has been out now for a while, surely there should be more "independent" reports about its efficacy. I am also worried about the shock loss and shedding reports after PRP treatment. What is really the current state of PRP efficacy? Should I consider it or is it just expensive placebo treatment?

Doctor Answers 4

PRP; Effective? Shock loss? ENGLEWOOD Cliffs NJ

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In my opinion, there are several studies that demonstrate PRP to be effective in hair loss. Research  exists from as long as seven years ago, both International and National, and many presentations at hair research meetings. Personally, I have seen people with miniaturization as well as active hair loss improve in 2 to 4 months. People with hair loss of less than three years may demonstrate  regrowth. Shock loss does appear in approximately  less than 2% of treated individuals. Shock loss seems to be greater when PRP is combined with Acell or treatment is more superficial or traumatic. Furthermore, you are asking about independent forums. Many of the forums that  discuss hair loss are owned or run by hair transplant surgeons or related entities.I have listed below a truly independent hair loss forum. They have discussed the benefits of PRP.Good

Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

PRP is effective for short-term hair regrowth, but not publicized as it's not a pharmaceutical. Combination treatment is best

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Thank you for your question. You’re asking about the  efficacy of PRP as you haven’t seen much about PRP in popular hair loss forums. You have concerns about the shedding and possible shock loss related to PRP, so you’re looking for some independent information, and if it’s just an expensive placebo.

I can give you some guidance on this which I deal with everyday in our practice. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’m the founder of TrichoStem® Hair Regeneration Centers, a system we developed using PRP and extracellular matrix for non-surgical treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years, and I have been taking care of hair loss patients for this time, and I have extensive experience with hair transplant surgery.

I’ll start by clarifying agendas a little. When you asked about the independent study of  PRP, you have to also understand that in medical studies in general, there always has to be a source of funding. Very often there is an agenda with a lot of medical studies, particularly when it benefits the sponsoring company or entity. For example, if Allergan, and not isolating Allergan, wants to show the benefit of a particular injectable filler, they will sponsor a study. The study may be for FDA approval, but for other reasons as well. The same thing goes for universities or anywhere medical studies are performed.

When it comes to something like PRP, one of the struggles is no large entity gains from people using PRP. The only people who really make money on PRP from the industry point of view are the people who make the kits, and they're not as capitalized as much larger entities. When you don't hear about PRP, or have a lot of conflicting information about it, part of it is due to this issue.

As a cosmetic surgeon, I can tell you that PRP does have incredible efficacy in a lot of areas: we use it every day in our practice for acne scars, pigmentation, wrinkling, damaged skin, and for wound healing. When it comes to hair loss, the prevailing opinion of my colleagues who use PRP is it does help hair loss, but in my experience PRP alone does not have long-term benefit for hair loss. From our experience, PRP stimulates short-term growth of hair, kind of like a boost. If there's hair that is not growing, you get a PRP injection and will get some growth, but it won't sustain - it will stop growing. People come to who have had PRP injection done elsewhere often report they got PRP done monthly, and unfortunately a lot of people have experienced discomfort getting these PRP injections. After about the fourth month of getting these injections, and felt their scalp was being hurt, and they weren’t seeing endpoint of getting these injections.

In our practice we developed a treatment called Hair Regeneration where we’ve learned how to combine PRP with a material called extracellular matrix which was originally intended for wound healing. Long story short, when using these materials for healing of grafts and the donor area after a hair transplant, the side effect was thinning hair became thicker. The tricky part was figuring out how to dose it, deliver it, and customize it, so it took several years to develop the system we call TrichoStem® Hair Regeneration. We treat people from all over the world for both male and female pattern hair loss. This treatment uses PRP, but not PRP alone. We’re able to stop the progression of hair loss, restore the growth cycle so thinning hairs grow in thicker, and reactivate hair that's not growing. From one treatment session, we have patients who have continued to grow hair effectively for more than 5 years. This is not a monthly treatment - it was one treatment over 5 years ago.

We follow our patients very closely, so we see patients who live within the tri-state area every 3 months, then beyond that we see people yearly. For people who travel from outside of the country, we encourage them to come as often as possible, and customize to individual needs.

If you are trying to understand the benefit of PRP, you have to make a distinction between PRP alone, PRP in conjunction with hair transplant, or PRP the way we use it in Hair Regeneration.

It common practice for people to do extensive research, but I think it's also important to go out and meet with doctors personally. Interacting only online can only get you so much information. When you meet a doctor who has experience and is actually in the frontline, it’s a very big distinction between the academic world and the clinical world. We treat patients from all over the world - we’re in the frontlines helping people and seeing patients every 3 months, so this treatment has to be successful, otherwise we would stop doing it. You can look for many studies, but when you meet doctors who have real success with real patients who they treat daily, you can't get better than that. Learn more, meet with the doctors, and hopefully you'll find a find a solution that works for you. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

PRP Shock Loss

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There have been reported cases of shock loss as everyone reacts differently to the procedure. However we do recommend waiting 3 to 6 months to see results, but most see results in as little as 1 to 2 months. You may want to consult a professional in your area and they can talk about a treatment plan for you.
Thank you for you question. I have included a link on a study.

PRP for hair loss

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There is peer reviewed scientific evidence concluding the benefits of PRP for hair loss. Shock loss is seen in a small population of individuals. From my experience this tends to occur as a result of repeated injections into healthy follicles rather than injecting in between follicles. Furthermore, as a hair transplant surgeon I often combine PRP treatment with a hair transplant as we have noticed better results. Please note PRP is not going to grow hair on a bald scalp but will provide an increase in thickness as well as help reverse the miniaturisation process.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.