Tue 7 Jan 2014
I recently saw an advertisement for platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections for hair loss. I’m wondering, is PRP a type of “stem cell” or hormone hair restoration therapy? Is it an effective treatment?
PRP is technically not a “stem cell injection” nor should it contain higher levels of hormones. PRP stands for platelet rich plasma, or blood plasma that is separated from other blood components and enriched (through the separation process) with anti-inflammatory and growth factors. When injected into the scalp, these factors are supposed to help revitalize follicles and restore hair.
As a stand-alone hair loss treatment, PRP is fairly unproven. Some physicians subjectively report significant improvement in patients they treat with stand-alone PRP injections; others believe it offers no cosmetic benefit. Recently, PRP has been integrated into hair transplant surgery as both a medium for graft storage and as a growth (and survival) treatment for the new grafts, and may have some merit in this context.
Altogether, it may have a place in hair transplant surgery, but PRP’s role as a stand-alone treatment is not yet proven. Hopefully researchers will continue to test platelet rich plasma and determine whether or not it is an effective treatment on its own.
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”