Can Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Stop Hair Loss and Grow New Hair?

Wed 8 Apr 2009

Coalition member Dr. Jerry Cooley of Charlotte, NC  has already described how platelet rich plasma (PRP) may be beneficial to wound healing and hair transplant graft survival.   See The Benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma in Surgical Hair Restoration.  

Today, physicians and scientists demonstrate that platelet rich plasma may actually wake up dormant follicular stem cells and could quite potentially become the next major breakthrough in treating hair loss and growing hair.   While some people feel this is yet another marketing attempt to rob balding men and women of their hard earned money, others are very excited by its potential.    

Coalition member Dr. Alan Feller of Great Neck, NY  claims that platelet rich plasma may indeed be the “best medical treatment for hair loss since Propecia”.   However, he also admits

The technology as I’ve seen it applied falls a bit short.   Either the original research in the application of PRP to hair loss are unaware of the short comings as presented or more likely, they held back some important steps in the name of technical propriety – which is perfectly fine and understandable.

Blood is made from approximately 93% red blood cells (RBC), 1% white blood cells (WBC),  6% platelets, and plasma.   When platelets are activated in the body, these sponge-like molecules form branches and release healing proteins called growth factors.   Though growth factors have a multitude of responsibilities, the cumulative result is accelerated tissue and wound healing.   The basis for the benefit of platelet rich plasma lies in decreasing the RBC count to 5% since they are less useful in the healing process while increasing the platelet count to 94%.

A recent case study on a 26 year old hair loss sufferer suggests that platelet rich plasma can stop and reverse hair miniaturization caused by androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness.     While this 26 year old patient had hair transplant surgery to recover lost hair in the hairline, his posterior crown was traumatized using a 1 mm micro needling roller and platelet rich plasma injected into the crown.   The result suggests that PRP not only stopped hair loss, but reversed miniaturization.

Like any other conjectured treatment for baldness, scientists have a long way to go in proving that platelet rich plasma has any real benefit to balding men and women worldwide.       At this point, all we can do is wait and watch as research continues on whether or not platelet rich plasma may be the breakthrough us baldies have been waiting for.

Bill Seemiller
Associate Publisher/Editor

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50 Comments so far:

  1. Ron says:

    PRP therapy has been around for 20 years, it is just now being looked at to treat hair loss. Is it FDA approved for this? Are the doctors that are selling this to the public telling them the truth? I found some articles that claimed that PRP used in the face and scalp can cause melenoma and other cancers, people should go very slow with this “new” technology, I would hate to see patients spend thousands of dollars on a treatment that is not permanent.

  2. Ron,

    It sounds like you and I have some of the same concerns. PRP is not FDA approved for hair loss, and right now, there are still more questions than even doctors experimenting with it can provide. And yes, I use the word “experimenting” because PRP is still in infancy stages for determining if it can treat hair loss.

    My guess is, that like Propecia and Rogaine, if PRP proves to be effective, it will have to be adminstered every so often to maintain its benefit. Frequency of administration however, is unknown at this time.

    Frankly, I think there’s already too much hype regarding the PRP procedure for hair loss. As you rightfully said, I think patients and doctors alike should proceed with extreme caution and be honest about the unknowns and about what may realistically be accomplished.

    Best wishes,

    Bill Seemiller
    Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog

  3. fatemeh says:

    Hi, I am a 26 year old girl, the age of 15 suffer from hair loss and I’ve not yet managed to treatment, hair transplantation 6 years ago did not improvement. Whether this method can be treated and re-growing hair, help me?

  4. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Fatemeh,

    PRP has not yet proven an effective hair loss treatment. Do you know the cause of your hair loss? Is it diffuse (occurring all over the scalp)? Or, is it patchy?

    Why do you feel that your hair transplant was not effective? Did you discuss your results with your hair restoration physician at the time?

    David (TakingThePlunge)

  5. Azi says:

    Does any one knows where in Shanghai I can find a doctor who performs PRP?

  6. Azi,

    I’m uncertain where to specifically find a physician performing PRP injections in Shanghai. If you’d like, you can take a look at our recommended hair restoration physicians and possible find someone there who could point you in the “right direction:”

    http://www.hairtransplantnetwork.com/Consult-a-Physician/hair-loss-doctors.asp

    Blake (Future_HT_Doc)
    Forum Co-Moderator

  7. David B. says:

    It has been approximately 2 years now and I am wondering if there is any agreement as to whether PRP is effective for hair loss? Since it does not block any DHT receptors and I have seen a few doctors discontinue it because of Unsatisfactory results I am more down on it as effective. I would appreciate any input or opinions on it. Thanks Very Much: David.

  8. Hi David,

    Frankly, it doesn’t seem like there is a conclusive answer yet. Some physicians continue using it and state observationally, subjectively, and anecdotally that it is helping patients. However, as you said, the research simply isn’t as substantial as we’d like yet, so any agreement as to whether or not it’s effective for hair isn’t very concrete yet either.

    Blake (Future_HT_Doc)
    Editorial Assistant

  9. haifa says:

    what is the side effect for PRP sooner or later?

  10. Haifa,

    Although platelet rich plasma (PRP) used in hair restoration procedures is a fairly new treatment, it has been used for some time in Orthopedic surgery practices.

    Although the practitioners state that side effects are uncommon, they also claim that there is always some small risk of infection whenever an injection occurs, and that individuals with bleeding disorders are probably not prime candidates for the PRP extraction and re-injection procedure.

    Additionally, I did want to state that because it is your own plasma that is being extracted, concentrated, and re-injected, some of the rejection or autoimmune reactions associated with other transplant procedure and medications should not occur.

    Remember that all medications and medical procedure carry some risk of side effects, and these should be well explained and understood before treatment is administered.

    I hope this helps!

    Blake (Future_HT_Doc)
    Editorial Assistant

  11. sandy says:

    hi all my self is sandy , i loosing my hair ,i heard about PRP treament how effective is this is there is any side effect?

  12. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Sandy,

    PRP as a hair loss treatment is still experimental. No verifiable data has been collected to show that it results in any significant hair growth.

    Side effects are generally rare since the serum is derived from the patient’s own body. However, there is a small risk of pain and infection.

    David (TakingThePlunge)

  13. kamal says:

    HI David,
    When you say side effects are minimal.

    Does that mean the talk of having melenoma/cancer is just a scare? please throw some light.

    Thanks.

  14. David (TakingThePlunge) says:

    kamal

    I want to stress that I am not a doctor and my opinions don’t constitute medical advice. Always consult with your physician if you are concerned about the possible side effects of a given hair loss treatment.

    Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been proven safe if not yet proven effective. It has been used in various healing applications since the mid 90s. Side effects are generally mild and include those that are common to any type of injection.

    David (TakingThePlunge)

  15. Mahnaz says:

    Hi,
    I wanted to know if this therapy could make the roots stronger?I’m not asking if it can help the growth ,my question is can it prevent the hair loss??or that hasn’t been proven yet either??

  16. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Mahnaz,

    At this point, PRP’s potential in fighting hair loss is still being evaluated.

    As the article states, “A recent case study on a 26 year old hair loss sufferer suggests that platelet rich plasma can stop and reverse hair miniaturization caused by androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness”. This statement suggests that PRP may be an effective preventative treatment. However, these claims remain unproven.

    David (TakingThePlunge)

  17. Zaree says:

    Hi,I am 29 years old girl suffering hair loss caused by Alopecia.I would like to know whether the PRP treatment can be effective and re-growthing hair or not?

  18. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Zaree,

    There is still no verifiable data proving that PRP will regrow hair. However, there is some anecdotal information suggesting that some patients have seen positive results.

    Currently, Rogaine (minoxidil) is the only hair loss treatment proven safe and effective for female patients. If you have not yet done so, I highly recommend discussing this treatment option with your physician.

    David (TakingThePlunge)

  19. morteza says:

    hi i am 30 years old and suffering hair loss . prp can be re growthing hair or not ?

  20. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    morteza,

    As I’ve previously mentioned, there is still no data proving that PRP will regrow hair. The best non-surgical hair loss treatment currently available for men is a combination of Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). Only Rogaine is proven safe and effective for balding females.

    David (TakingThePlunge)

  21. Luke Leonard says:

    The PRP just needs one more ingredient.

    ACell

    Permanent hair loss ;)

  22. 10 tips for hair growth in men and women says:

    10 tips for hair growth in men and women
    Eating a lot a first batch of water, fat, sweet and savory gourmet. Many people who are overweight can cause diabetes, which in turn can lead to hair loss. A healthy lifestyle is the best of all the tips of the hair growth, but remember to take vitamins for hair, especially vitamin A and vitamin E.

    Secondly, you avoid the stress of excessive growth of hair, curling iron, hot water or a brush. You can also take a break from wet hair, hair loss, no one in the field.

  23. green tea hair loss says:

    So is PRP approved by FDA as of yet? I agree with that vitamins and diet lead to a healthier scalp and can diminish hair loss. You would think that after all this time we’d hear more about PRP and its approval or not.

  24. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    green tea hair loss,

    The following excerpt regarding PRP and FDA approval is from the ISHRS website:

    The use of PRP in the United States as part of the clinical process of hair transplantation does not require FDA approval, just as the use of blood transfusion during or after surgery does not require FDA approval. Use of PRP as part of the surgical treatment is defined as a procedure and is not subject to FDA regulation.

    However:

    In the United States, the device used to prepare PRP must have FDA approval. Centrifuges that separate PRP from whole blood for a medical purpose (e.g., to assist tissue healing) are medical devices covered by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. Federal law requires that manufacturers of medical devices must obtain clearance or approval for the products before offering them for sale. Failure to have premarket approval or clearance for such devices is a violation of U.S. law. Premarket approval requires data showing that a device is safe and effective.

    The FDA has not approved PRP as a medication specifically for use in hair transplantation. FDA approval would be based on objective evidence of efficacy (e.g., promoting healing, promoting hair growth) and safety. Claims that PRP is “FDA approved” for use in hair transplantation are incorrect. Advertised claims of PRP efficacy in promoting hair growth may be a violation of FDA protocol regarding medical claims.

    David

  25. farzad says:

    Hi
    I will be thankfull if anybody can tell me the sideeffects and conutrandications of prp and give me a garanty honestly that this treatment is useful ?
    with best wishes

  26. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Farzad,

    Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that PRP is useful for hair growth. As stated above, there is still no verifiable data proving that PRP will regrow hair. However, there is some anecdotal information suggesting that some patients have seen positive results.

    Side effects of PRP are minimal due to the fact that the serum is derived from your own body. However, patients may experience skin discoloration, infection or pain.

    David

  27. Sahar says:

    Dear David,
    In my opinion these minimal side effects can happen in a short time after the injection, but who knows about the bigger side effects after a long time for example 10 years later??!!! I think having this method of treatment is a big risk!!! David tell me something honestly, if you were suffering from hair loss would you try PRP to see what happens on your scalp? :)

  28. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Sahar,

    While PRP is relatively new to the world of hair loss, it has been used to aid in the healing of bone and spinal injuries for about 15 years. I am not a doctor but I am confident that any resulting side effects are well documented at this time.

    Personally I have not undergone PRP for hair loss and have no plans to do so. However, this is simply due to the fact that, in my opinion, the procedure has not yet proven itself effective for this application and not for fear of potential side effects.

    David

  29. kimia says:

    I am a diabetic patient . can I use PRP method for growing of my hair ?

  30. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Kimia,

    I am not a doctor but, there should be no problem performing PRP on a diabetic patient. However, you should be sure to discuss this with your physician prior to undergoing treatment.

    Also, be aware that PRP is, as yet, unproven for hair growth.

    David

  31. Ingrid says:

    Hi,
    recantly I do PRP for my hair loss with my doctor.
    i really shocked read the comments that PRP can cause cancer? my doctor very sure that PRP can be the right medicine to regrowth hair.
    which one I should belive now?

  32. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Ingrid,

    I’m not a doctor but, to my knowledge, the correlation between PRP and cancer is only rumor and completely unfounded.

    PRP is derived from your body’s own cells and is the same blood clot found naturally in any wound. The only difference being that it contains a greater number of platelets.

    David

  33. Shirin says:

    You mean I shhould use a shampoo which is included vitamin A & E or I should take them as pill?

    Can I mix them with water and use the liquid to massage my head skin?

  34. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Shirin,

    It seems as if you are referring to comments made previously but I don’t see any discussion above related to taking vitamins. You can certainly use vitamin enriched shampoo if you like. However, they do not take the place of oral vitamins.

    If your concern is hair loss, taking vitamins is highly unlikely to slow your balding or regrow hair. Most hair loss is genetic. For that you must use clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatments like Rogaine (for both males and females) and Propecia (males only).

    I hope that answered your question.

    David

  35. kia says:

    hi thanks for ur honest information. one of my friend is a biologist an she told me that prp surely cause cancer on the place it is injected specially for those who has a genetic factors of cancer,so i was frightened to do that ,and she is doing a project for her phd on this issue.what do u reccomend? thanks

  36. Mary says:

    Im going to do PRP for my hair tomorrow, Im 37 y old woman, and I lost much hair, I tried many things but nothing helped so I hope it helps, I dont think is cause cancer if it be so never doctors do it in many differnt roblems for hair or skin or …. .

  37. Mike-magnum says:

    Hello all. I have had one session of this treatment and plan on doing my next one in another week . I have tried everything on the market except for hair transplant … I am assured by my doctor that this therapy will work wonders on regrowing my hair as I am o ly thinning and not bald. I am led to believe him as he is also doing the prp himself and is highly excited about this.. It has been shown on the dr show on tv and they had really food comment on its ability to not only keep the hair u have but to restore new hair . It’s been 4 weeks since my first treatment and result are expected to be seen at the 3 to 4 month period. I pay 1000$ per session and consider it a small price to pay to be able to get my hair back!!! I am very excited about this breakthrough and if anyone has questions , please ask away!!!

  38. Mary says:

    Its about one week I did it , but doctor told she do it in just one time, not more, so just I must wait to see the result, I hope it works, my hair is thin too.

  39. KP says:

    Hi Mike,

    Hope the treatment works well for you.Please do keep us updated about your story as other aspiring patients like me would want to try the treatment.

    Has anyone in India tried this yet?

  40. jaber says:

    hi.iam a 22 guy & lost front of my hair,i meet a DR for prp method,do u think this way goes right for me?should i have hope by this method.
    thank you.

  41. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Jaber,

    PRP is still as yet unproven. While some recipients have reported favorable results, many have seen no hair growth.

    While I see no reason not to try PRP, I also highly recommend that you consider using the clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatments, Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). These drugs offer males the best possible chance of retaining and regrowing hair.

    David

  42. Noora says:

    Hi, I am a 26 year old girl, the age of 15 suffer from hair loss and Iâ??ve not yet managed to treatment,2 hair transplantation 6 years ago did not improvement. My problem is only on the front of head above my forhead.Whether this method can be treated and re-growing hair, help me? And where can I find it in Kuwait

  43. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Noora,

    Before discussing medical or surgical treatments, I encourage you to consult with a dermatologist and get a diagnosis for your thinning hair. There are several causes of female hair loss (both genetic and non-genetic), including but not limited to; medications, illness, child birth and trauma. Some can be treated medically while others may only be treated surgically. Some may not be treatable at all.

    It appears that you underwent hair transplant surgery some years ago without success. Since I do not have any details about your procedure or doctor, I cannot provide an educated opinion as to why it was unsuccessful. However, I highly recommend contacting one of the highly skilled, prescreened, quality hair restoration physicians we recommend, for more information. They will be better suited to helping you understand your options. Unfortunately, we do not currently recommend any surgeons in Kuwait but you can always schedule free online consultations with the clinics of your choice.

    David

  44. Seriously says:

    We are seeing a lot of promise while testing PRP for hair loss and hair regrowth when used in combination with other therapies. Each case is very different and we cater to that particular patients needs. Please feel free to contact

  45. yosy says:

    I want to use rogain but iam afraid cuz I used performa since 3 years and stopped it thenn hair loss increased as rogain same as performa

  46. Madlein says:

    I am suffering from hair loss and balding. I am a female and I want to go for PRP can you please tell me if this gonna make any difference and if there’re any side effects like cancers?? etc..

  47. pshahnwz says:

    Hi..I am facing hair loss from past one year. I consulted doctor and he recommended to use minoxidil. I have been using minoxidil from past 6months. I could see the results like hair fall is controlled but not fully. So i consulted another doctor. He recommended PRP treatment.

    I Undergone my first sitting of PRP and doctor asked to stop minoxidil for few days. But from past 10days i am having hairfall. I am not sure why hairfall started again. Is it due to minoxidil stoppage or hair serum usage or PRP. Can anyone clear my doubts?

  48. AB says:

    Hello, its now 2015. What is the latest information on PRP. My Dr. has suggested it.

    Thank you

  49. james says:

    so medical/science can turn a man into a woman, a woman into a man, genetically modify an embryo for a enhanced child, perform a face transplant, have been doing research to do head transplants and from what i heard a doctor in Spain i believe is going to be the first to actually do it on a human patient soon, all kinds of incredible things but they can not find a cure for male pattern baldness/ hair loss and when i say i cure i mean a permanent cure not a cover up like rogaine where if you stop using your hair falls out again. i mean a real/permanent cure where you go in they fix the problem and you don’t have to be on a pill, injection or foam for the rest of your life!!!!!!! come on they can do all these amazing things that was never thought possible but they can’t cure baldness?!?!?!

  50. GEORGIA says:

    I had my first of 6 treatments 5 days ago – and am looking forward to see the results – it was more uncomfortable that I thought – but if it helps – it
    worth it. These posts are old – do you have any updates on Mike-Magnum or any of the others who completed at least 6 sessions?

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