Hair loss is a common affliction for both men and women. And, more often than not, the root cause of hair loss is a genetic predisposition that cannot be cured. But, the losses may be slowed or almost stopped with certain therapies.
We currently have a few medications available to help slow hereditary hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia) like Minoxidil and Finasteride. But, there may be some benefits to approaching androgenetic hair loss with a multi-modal approach that includes a combination of promising therapies instead of choosing just one route.
PRP may just be one of those therapies that you and your doctor choose to add into your hair loss treatment regimen.
Below, we will cover the basics of PRP for hair loss including just what it is, what studies have shown about this therapy, how many treatments your should expect to undergo, as well as any potential side effects or downsides to trying out this procedure.
PRP is the abbreviation for “Platelet Rich Plasma”, and this treatment involved the collection of your own platelets and plasma from your blood which are then injected into specific sites of your scalp.
The collection starts with a blood draw from your arm of some whole blood. The vials and then “spun down” in a machine called a centrifuge to separate the blood components into layers according to their density. This leaves 3 layers separated out: your red blood cells at the bottom, your platelet-rich plasma in the middle, and mainly just plasma at the top.
It is the middle layer with condensed amounts of platelets (about 5 times more concentrated than your usual blood) that will then be drawn up into a syringe and carefully injected at multiple carefully spaced-out locations into your scalp at the level of the hair follicles.
The goal here is to help harness the power of the platelets, which secrete growth factors that can be beneficial for tissue growth and wound healing. This growth and healing process is thought to be beneficial for those experiencing androgenetic alopecia, since the genetic hair loss process is driven by damage to the hair follicles through a naturally produced hormone called DHT.
More randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm the extent of the benefits of PRP for hair loss, including the optimal treatment regimens, and how long the positive effects can be expected to last. But, the data that we do have so far suggests potential benefits of the procedure along with high tolerability from patients.
One meta-analysis from 2019 found that most of the studies suggested that PRP led to improvements in hair diameter, density, and reduction of hair losses in those with androgenetic alopecia. However, they do warn that their conclusion should be taken with a grain of salt due to some of the studies being of low quality, having small participant sizes, various treatment regimens, and the possibility of bias.
Another review study from 2020 concluded that they advocate for the use of 3-4 monthly PRP treatments for use in patients experiencing alopecia. Although, this study again notes the need for further studies to help develop a reproducible and standard treatment process and protocol
The current common treatment regimen for PRP seems to be undergoing PRP injections once a month for about 3-4 months, and then continuing with follow-up treatments every 3-6 months afterward. The time for each treatment may range between right around 30 mins to an hour.
Although, this may differ depending on where you get your PRP treatments done. Your specific location should be able to provide you with a treatment schedule and time expectations.
Since you are just having a portion of your own blood extracted and then reinjected into your scalp, there shouldn’t be concern regarding allergic reactions as far as this treatment goes, and side effects should be minimal to rare.
However, there is still an injection process involved, so side effects may develop from the multiple injections themselves. These may include temporary bleeding at the injection site, tissue damage, infection, nerve injuries, mild pain, scalp tenderness or swelling, redness, headaches, or temporary hair shedding.
People who may not be good candidates for this procedure may be those with bleeding disorders, those who are using blood thinners, or certain autoimmune diseases.
One potential downside to trying PRP for hair loss is the high cost of the treatments. Depending on your geographic location and the clinics available in your area, you may expect an out-of-pocket cost of $500-$1000 per treatment for this multi-treatment protocol. This could end up costing thousands of dollars, and most insurances would likely consider this a cosmetic procedure that would not be covered.
PRP may be an innovative and promising way to help stimulate hair growth, density, and retention using a portion of your own blood.
However, more high-quality studies need to be completed for doctors to get a full grasp of the exact benefits, standardize treatment procedures, and confirm the best treatment regimens or combinations with other therapies.
These treatments are currently available and may have little to no side effects aside from a minor discomfort during the procedure, although they may be pricey.
It is possible that PRP injections may play a role as part of a comprehensive hair loss treatment regimen.
Here at Strut, we encourage a multi-modal approach to a hair loss treatment regimen. That is why we have developed out-of-the-box treatments with prescription ingredients including our oral and topical Finasteride and Dutasteride formulations with multiple active ingredients in one easy dosage form.
If you are interested in seeing if a prescription approach to hair loss is a good option for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors in less than 15 minutes.
If you are a good candidate for our treatments, your medication will be put together and shipped to your front door with our free shipping.
If you have any questions regarding your treatment, our team and doctors are available for free, unlimited follow-ups to help guide you.