Platelet rich plasma or “PRP” is increasingly being accepted as a treatment for many different types of hair loss. In fact, recent scientific publications support the role of PRP not only in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia but also in the treatment of another hair loss condition called alopecia areata. In addition, some authors showed that pretreatment of follicular units with PRP before a hair transplant resulted in improved hair growth and density.
Now, in a new study, published in the journal Biomedical Research International, researchers from Italy provided further evidence of the role of PRP in treating androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern balding. The study was performed in 10 men. One side of the scalp was treated with platelet rich plasma and the other side was treated with placebo (saline). Results were compared at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
What are the results?
The results of the study showed a statistically significant increase in hair count for the treatment area after just 3 months. There was an increase in 27.7 hairs per square cm compared to baseline. In addition, terminal hair density improved significantly by 27.0 ± 15.3 (number of hairs/cm2) in the treatment area, while decreasing by 2.1 ± 12.4 in the control (saline only) treated area of the scalp.
We are no longer in the era where we “wonder” if PRP works to help those with hair loss. Rather we have moved into the era where we know if helps and now need to determine what is the best way to perform PRP.
Key questions to explore now include:
- What is the best machines to use to prepare PRP (i.e. what machine should a physician buy if he or she wishes to offer PRP)?
- What is the optimal amount of PRP to inject (is injecting too much going to be bad)?
- What is the optimal frequency to repeat PRP injections for those with hair loss (1 month 4 months, 6 months)?
However, this Italian study adds to a growing list of studies showing that PRP is a bonafide treatment for hair loss.
Cervelli et al. The Effect of Autologous Activated Platelet Rich Plasma (AA-PRP) Injection on Pattern Hair Loss: Clinical and Histomorphometric Evaluation. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 7
The following was a guest post by Dr. Jeff Donovan