PRP right option for my hair loss? Thinning of hair in front. 26 years, male (Photo)
Doctor Answers 18
Hair loss in young males.
PRP as option for hair loss
In the field of hair restoration, evidence supports PRP therapy as a promising treatment to promote hair growth, although no claim an be made of its efficacy. Studies have shown that growth factors released from platelets may act on stem cells in the bulge area of the follicles, stimulating the development of new follicles and promoting neo-vascularization. ( Journal of Aesthetic Cutaneous Surgery, 2014). Since PRP is in the early stages of scientific research for hair loss therapy, PRP is not meant to replace current FDA approved therapies such as DHT blockers and Minoxidil. That being said, PRP is a promising non-surgical option for men and women experiencing hair loss.
How is PRP Hair Loss Therapy performed?Upon arrival at the BioSpa Newport Beach, you will be escorted to one of our private hair restoration treatment rooms. One of our qualified nurses or surgeons will draw your blood just as though you were having routine blood testing at your primary care physician’s office. The drawn blood is then spun in a sterile centrifuge system, which separates the platlete-rich plasma from the rest of the blood. The system eliminates granulocytes which can harm tissue regeneration. A topical anesthesia is applied to the scalp to reduce any discomfort during the PRP treatment. The highly concentrated platelet rich plasma is then injected into the scalp. Your hair will then be washed and you may return to your daily routine. You are able to drive after the procedure.
We recommend a total of 3 treatments scheduled 6 weeks apart. This will vary depending on the severity of hair loss and desired result. Treatment plan will be discussed at your initial consultation.
Is PRP right for me?
In general though, PRP has show excellent results for patients suffering from many forms of hair loss such as androgenic alopecia (or common pattern loss) and alopecia areata. PRP contains potent growth factors that stimualte the hair follicles to grow. The procedure has no significant downtime and is very safe, as the PRP is generated from your own blood.
Overall, the literature is becoming increasingly populated with data supporting PRP for hair (see below for some of the studies from just the year 2015). The limitation of the literature is a formal recommendation on the methodology to perform the PRP and a recommendation on the system to use. There are at least 7 different PRP systems, each with important distinctions. After evaluating the systems, I do believe certain kinds of PRP extraction kits are better for hair, and I would urge you to seek consultation with a clinician who has obtained great results with PRP.
Hope this information helps and that you find the right solution to treat your hair loss.
Studies showing benefit of PRP:
Khatu, Swapna S et al. “Platelet-Rich Plasma in Androgenic Alopecia: Myth or an Effective Tool.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 7.2 (2014): 107–110. PMC. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
Maria-Angeliki G, Alexandros-Efstratios K, Dimitris R, Konstantinos K. Platelet-rich Plasma as a Potential Treatment for Noncicatricial Alopecias. International Journal of Trichology. 2015;7(2):54-63. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.160098.
Singhal P, Agarwal S, Dhot PS, Sayal SK. Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in treatment of androgenic alopecia. Asian Journal of Transfusion Science. 2015;9(2):159-162. doi:10.4103/0973-6247.162713.
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If your doctor says PRP may work for you but you are having doubts, you should see another doctor for a second opinion.
PRP for Hair Regrowth Has No Side Effects
Be aware that if the density is depleted in the area you are trying to treat, results aside from prevention of loss will be minimal. Substantial improvement in hair caliber and length are seen where the treatment is applied. Improvements in coverage of the scalp occur most noticeably where there are large numbers of weaker hair follicles that can be improved.
PRP for Hair Loss
Schiavone et al. Platelet rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia: a pilot study. Dermatol Surg 2014; 40: 1010-9
The challenge with PRP is there are many, many ways to do it. In fact a bewildering number of different machines and techniques. Do different techniques and machines give different results? Probably, but that also needs to be studied. For example, I take 120 cc of blood to do PRP and concentrate the platelets at 3.5 times above baseline. Last week, I learned of a machine that uses 8 mL of blood and concentrates at 1.5 times above baseline. We have a long ways to go to get everyone on the same page.
But does PRP help patients with androgenetic alopecia? Yes. it certainly has helped a proportion of my patients and is a valuable off label treatment in my toolbox.
PRP - Does it Work?
That being said, medications such as Minoxidil and Propecia are great. They work very well and risk of "Severe" side effects is very low. In 2 years I have probably started more than 200 patients on Propecia. I have not yet had 1 patient stop due to a side effect.
Finally, why did your dermatologist advise you that you are not a candidate for a hair transplant. Looking at the pictures from the back of your scalp, your donor zone seems to look good. I would recommend maybe following up with a hair transplant surgeon in your area that specializes in this procedure to see whether you are a candidate or not.
PRP for hair loss
PRP is a great option for many patients who suffer from hair loss. PRP works best in patients who are suffering from thinning as it can help to increase hair mass by stopping or reversing the process of hair miniaturization. PRP can be used in conjunction with many other hair loss treatments such as Minoxidil, Finasteride, light therapy, topical shampoos, and even hair transplants.
PRP has potential side effects of bruising, swelling, mild discomfort, numbness, and infection (which would be quite rare). Most patients do quite well without any problems and are pleased with the results. I always recommend seeing a fellowship-trained hair restoration surgeon to discuss hair restoration options in detail.
All the best,
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.